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Re: [dm-devel] Reply-to munging



Alasdair G Kergon wrote:
And here are some counter-arguments:
  http://www.metasystema.net/essays/reply-to.mhtml

And they would be wrong:

The Principle of Minimal Bandwidth

I don't see how forcing a reply that otherwise was intended to go only to one recipient to be sent out to the entire list saves bandwidth.

Reply-To Munging Adds Something

No, it does not; it takes away something. If you want to reply publicly then you use reply-to-all. It is up to the SENDER to set their Reply-To: header if they do NOT want a reply going to them as well as the list. They should make that choice, not the replier. Users also are supposed to be able to use Reply-To: to direct replies to the correct sender in the event that they forward a message on someone else's behalf. Thirdly, munging the header breaks the reply functionality of the client by making it behave like reply-to-all.

It Doesn't Break Reasonable Mailers

Yes, it does. This argument boils down to "Breaking the reply function isn't really breaking it because some mailers have added a reply-ignoring-broken-munged-reply-to function that you can use instead". If the headers weren't munged in the first place this option would not be needed.

Freedom of Choice

This one could not be more of a bold faced lie. The only "freedom" it adds is the replier's freedom to take away the freedom of the sender and force a reply only to the list despite their wishes otherwise, as reflected by the reply-to: header they did or did not set.

Some Mailers are Broken

Same fallacious argument as "It Doesn't Break Reasonable Mailers". It is mailing lists that munge that are broken, not clients that have not added a 3rd reply option specifically to deal with such broken lists.

Principle of Least Total Work

Again, it is up to the poster to decide if they want a reply directly to them, or only to the list, not the replier. If they want their own reply, then give it to them.

People are Responsible for Their Own Mistakes

This item simply dismisses the principal of least surprise in favor of codling the ignorant. User mistakes are no longer their fault when your mailing list causes an unexpected change in the behavior of their mailer.



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