* David W. Tamkin <dattier(_at_)panix(_dot_)com> [2004-08-09 20:48]:
No, the fight over that goes back long before Windows clients were
on the net. Yahoo Groups' list settings give the options of leaving
Reply-To: alone or three ways to clobber it: to the submission
address, to the -owner address (suitable for announce-only lists),
or to the -unsubscribe address.
That's inadequite for a couple reasons. The first is that Yahoo
Groups defaults to the most offensive setting, so new admins that
simply click okay and accept all the defaults end up creating an
The next problem is that it puts control into the wrong hands. If
someone wants to do something foolish and munge the reply-to headers,
they should only be able to munge their own, not everyone elses.
Tyro listowners fall for the "encourages discus- sion" fallacy and
tend to point it to the submission address; then sub- scribers who
cut their teeth on lists run by inexperienced managers get the idea
that that's standard operating procedure.
That's a problem. Y!G should not be set up this way. Also, I don't
believe they deliberately select that setting because of the
discussion encouragement fallacy, but simply because they don't give
it any thought. Then if the debate starts after they've set it up,
they then come under the influence of that fallacy and consequently
choose to keep it that way (in part due to lazyness and distaste for
It really has nothing to do with Outlook or Outlook Express, which
have reply-to-all functions.
You cannot discount O[E] considering it is by far the most common MUA.
If you ever get caught up in this debate with people who actually
favor reply-to munging, they will argue strongly about the
inconvenience of deleting addresses from the header. This means they
are well aware of group replies, and they have the capability, but
despise the extra effort of address cleanup.
And I don't blame them. They should not have to fuss with that. But
the solution is what where I disagree. They would rather see the
mailing list munge the headers than switch to a decent MUA.
Regardless of how this debate was in the past, the problem today is
you have 90+% subscribers who are O[E] users and want the list to
conform to their MUA rather than to switch to an MUA that is adequite
for mailing lists. We're up against large numbers of users running
the same bad tools; and it's the type of users who don't like change -
especially when it requires an effort on their part.
I would also bet that if Micro$oft got it together and added a reply
to list capability to O[E], this issue would virtually go away.
That's how much I think it has to do with O[E]. People who discuss
this are strongly influenced by their favorite MUAs, and because most
of them are using O[E], O[E] is key to this.
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