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Re: best name for followups?

1997-07-10 00:13:23
On Jul 10,  2:32am, Keith Moore wrote:
} Subject: Re: best name for followups?
} Actually I believe that UAs should encourage people to *select* the
} recipient list of *every* reply which would otherwise be addressed to
} more than one recipient.  Of course, they should make the recipient
} (the one issuing the reply) aware of the sender's preference, as
} expressed through the reply-to field from the subject message.

That's all nice in the abstract, but I was just discussing this today
with several of my co-workers, and they all agreed that they hate it
when their UA asks them questions or requires that sort of extra action.
They don't care that some of the recipients are getting multiple copies;
they care that they can process their own mail very quickly with the
absolute minimum number of clicks and keystrokes.

} It's an open question as to whether UAs that encourage such behavior
} can be successful in the market...users would probably rather be lazy
} than aware, even if they occasionally get bitten for being lazy.

You have the right of it there.  The best thing is for UAs to get better at
providing a complete, yet minimal, set of "default" addresses.

} At any rate, I suspect we're going to end up with some sort of
} List-Address or List-Reply-To header, along with List-Subscribe,
} List-Unsubscribe etc.  It's easy to do, and there was a lot of support
} for it at the listhdr BOF at the Memphis IETF.

I see how this might solve the multiple-copies problem for those who are
on the list.  How does it solve the lack-of-any-copy problem for those
who are NOT on the list?

} I thought about proposing a header of the form
} Dont-Reply-To: <x(_at_)foo(_dot_)com> if-replying-to <y(_at_)bar(_dot_)com>

I think this is nasty from the user interface point of view, because of
the very effect that you give as its first advantage:

} + It doesn't change the user interface for the guy issuing the
}   reply.  He just says 'reply' or "reply to author" or reply to
}   author+to+cc or whatever he says now, and the user agent does
}   this, but leaving out the redundant addresses.

Just because users generally don't notice where replies are going doesn't
mean that they never notice.  Some user is going to see two messages that
appear to be identical -- they have the same To/From/Cc -- but then when
he replies to one of them, the To address is NOT included, yet when he
replies to the other, that same address in the same field IS included.

How does the UA explain that inconsistency?  By showing the user that
horrible-looking header?  Please no.  The inconsistency and having that
header visible would both be nightmares; I can't decide which is worse.

} - There's nothing to stop lists from munging this header.

There's also nothing to stop MTAs from munging other headers, so that
it becomes necessary to equate <x(_at_)foo(_dot_)com> with 
<x(_at_)bar(_dot_)Foo(_dot_)COM> and
other such lunacy.  I think anything involving address comparisons is
doomed to failure.

} If more UAs had
} duplicate suppression there would be very minimal additional gain to
} be had from Dont-Reply-To or similar proposals.

But duplicate suppression doesn't solve the lack-of-any-copy problem.
There still needs to be a way to say "please DO send me a copy," and to
do so without having the list server stomp on it.

Bart Schaefer                                 Brass Lantern Enterprises    

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