[sf-lug] Ubuntu release ("back on-list" sub thread)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Apr 27 15:14:20 PDT 2008

Quoting jim (jim at well.com):

> hmmm. good point.

Exceedingly bad point.  Internet novices should (finally) stop insisting
that their MUAs' "Reply" command must be induced to magically do the
right thing in all circumstances, and should learn about their MUAs'
separate Reply-to-All command.

> you'd like the mailman server to send mail such that the reply to:
> field is the list so that reply sends to the list (then what's the
> purpose in this context of reply all?).  correct me if i've got it
> wrong. 

That is an abuse of the Reply-To: header, and (as usually implemented)
prevents its use in its legitimate role by individuals to indicate an
alternate address to which direct replies should go.

> i'm not sure it's a good idea, ultimately, but worth inspection. 
> we (hopefully someones more than just me) will check this out: can we
> do it as well as should we do it. 

I'm afraid I cannot permit mailing lists with munging of Reply-To
enabled on my server.  The technical disasters that tend to result from 
that configuration error (e.g., mail loops with badly written
out-of-office autoresponders) and the social disasters of accidentally
published highly confidential mail should be well known, seven years
after advocates of munging lost the standards battle.


I'm not _personally_ menaced by the practice, because I'm a mutt user:
Mutt has an option to ignore and override Reply-To: munging (as does
Emacs GNUS).  However, others tend over time to suffer mishaps (getting
fired, bloody noses, divorces, etc.) from accidental public sending of
confidential mails that they _thought_ were going offlist.

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