[conspire] Re: 802.11 blues update

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Fri Oct 28 18:33:19 PDT 2005

It would appear that Peregrine is using Microsoft Outlook
Internet-Mail-Only Edition, which probably handles mailing lists similarly
to what was once my MUA of choice, Outlook Express. That MUA has not two,
but three different types of reply: the regular Reply, Reply All, and
Reply Sender. In giving the user these three options, M$ has created the
best user interface paradigm for dealing with e-mailing lists that I have
seen so far, albeit the distinction among the different types of reply as
applied to lists was, in all likelihood, unintentional on Microsoft's
part. Ideally, the three types of reply would work as follows: The regular
Reply would reply to the list, Reply Sender would reply in a private
e-mail, and Reply All would reply to all e-mail addresses to which the
previous message was sent, including the list and the sender.
Unfortunately, IIRC from using OE, lists only work in this ideal way when
the "Reply To" header reflects the list, and the "From" header reflects
the sender. That means that on this list, one must use Reply All.
Personally, I avoid all the response type ambiguities by not using a mail
program at all with this list (and others), but a newsreader instead. It
should be noted that this is not a M$-only problem. For example, Calvin
was unable to find the Reply All functionality in GNU-mutt.

On Fri, 28 Oct 2005 17:59:51 -0700, Rick Moen wrote:

> These are innocent and minor errors/misconceptions, but we try to help
> people get past them.  The whole idea of a public mailing list such as
> this one is to further the state of _collective_ understanding of the
> topic.  Obviously, private-mail side-discussions help only one person;
> the same discussion if held on the public mailing list might by contrast
> help hundreds of people, if you count subsequent search hits.[1]  So,
> except in rare cases where you have reason to start a private-mail
> side-discussion with someone, you should always use your e-mail
> program's reply-to-all command, when responding to a mailing list
> discussion.  In those few exceptional cases, _please_ explain to your
> correspondent that you've departed into private mail, and why.
> If you're unclear on how to find that reply-to-all command, please ask
> the mailing list for help, and very likely someone can assist you.
> [1] The completely uncharitable, cynical interpretation grizzled
> old-timers are tempted towards, when they receive such private mail, is
> that the querent is trying to get free-of-charge private computer
> consulting from a stranger.  That is of course almost never actually the
> case, but it starts to seem that way after having it happen to you about
> twenty times a day for a couple of decades.

More information about the conspire mailing list