[Top] [All Lists]

Re: mail-followup-to / mail-copies-to

2005-05-30 18:49:27

On Mon, 30 May 2005, Charles Lindsey wrote:

In <200505271041(_dot_)43706(_dot_)blilly(_at_)erols(_dot_)com> Bruce Lilly <blilly(_at_)erols(_dot_)com> writes:

As another, not uncommon, example, consider a message posted to a mailing list with a request by the author to send off-list (only) responses, to be summarized by the author. The author could easily indicate that with Reply-To, and every response that is directed "where the author suggested" will comply with that. For such a mailing list message, your "list context" would send a doubly wrong response -- it wouldn't go directly to the author (as requested) and would go to the entire list (contrary to the request).

Note btw that "list context" isn't my idea, it's simply what a few MUAs in the field already /do/. (Indeed, at least one simply ignores all cues in the mail being replied to for a "list reply", other than MFT).

The problem isn't so much in 'my' "list context", but in the problematic /deployed/ MUA functionality.

That is exactly the sort of situation that MFT is supposed to deal with. In the absence of MFT, then using the List-Post address is the right thing when "Replying-to-List". But if MFT is present, it should override the List-Post. There might even be a 'list' keyword in the MFT header to mean reply to List-Post (to be used in addition to the sender's address if he want replies both to the list and himself).

I'm not sure about MFT, it seems as vague and broad (and hence as problematic) as Reply-To is.

It seems to me that supplying information which is as specific and indisputably true as possible is better than supplying vague "suggestions", which may be too broad in their scope to be able to provide . Eg:

"Suggest that Replies go To <a>, <b>, etc.."


"Suggest that Follow-ups go To ...."

seem fraught with possibilities of ambigious corner cases to me. Compared to things like:

"This mail was sent by <b>"


"Please consider copying <a>, <b>, ... on replies"

Seem far clearer and with far limited scope for misinterpretation. (whether the information/suggestion is acted on is a different matter and in the hands of the respondent). It's nice to have a limited set of general cues if it all works out nicely, but not if it fails to deal with common usage scenarios. :)

For the MFT case, what constitutes a "Followup" exactly? And didn't Keith Moore highlight a few problems in the previous thread? (around list exploders, i cant remember - i'll have to go reread again).

Paul Jakma      paul(_at_)clubi(_dot_)ie        paul(_at_)jakma(_dot_)org       
Key ID: 64A2FF6A
You know, the difference between this company and the Titanic is that the
Titanic had paying customers.