Re: DSSSList administrivia

Subject: Re: DSSSList administrivia
From: DSSSList Owner <dssslist-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 14:10:56 -0400 (EDT)
At 24 Jun 1998 10:34 -0700, Earl Hood wrote:
 > On June 24, 1998 at 09:37, DSSSList Owner wrote:
 > > ======================
 > > 
 > > The reply address of DSSSList messages (and of digests) is
 > > dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx so REPLIES GO TO THE LIST BY DEFAULT.  If
 > > you want to reply to just the author of a post, you should change the
 > > "To:" field in your reply.
 > I highly recommend you look at
 > <URL:>.
 > And since you sent the reply-to the dssslist, they will get this message
 > also since you have bypassed my mailers default behaviour of selective
 > replying (as noted in above URL).

No, I had not forgotten or ignored this.  Your message was sent while
I was on vacation, and since coming back I've only now had time to get
to it.  Nor do I mind discussing this on the list, since it affects
more than you and me.

I have read (actually, re-read) the "'Reply-To' Munging Considered
Harmful" page, and I still favour replies going to the list for the
following reasons:

1. This list is available as single messages and as daily digests, and
   both single messages and digest messages have their "Reply-To"
   field set to dssslist@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx so that everybody's replies
   go to the same place.

   I subscribe to digests of different lists where the "Reply-To"
   field is not set to the posting address for single messages, and it
   is onerous to firstly remember and secondly enter the correct
   posting address for the list when replying.  Sometimes people
   forget and post to the digest address, and it is confusing to
   receive a single message from a list for which you usually receive
   the digest.  Any messages erroneously sent to the digest address
   are also going to miss being archived.

   I believe that the correct behaviour is that the "Reply-To" field
   of the digest should be set to the posting address for single
   messages.  Since people can and do switch between receiving single
   messages and receiving digests, single messages should also have
   their "Reply-To" address set to the posting address.  The
   "'Reply-To' Munging Considered Harmful" document makes the point
   that it is difficult to remember that a list has the "Reply-To"
   field set to the posting address;  it is much more difficult to
   remember that you have different behaviour when replying to a
   digest message and replying to a single message.

2. I don't share the writer's faith in either people or technology.

   Speaking for myself, it usually takes me two tries to post to a
   list that does not have the "Reply-To" field set to the posting
   address of the list: one try where I hit the key combination for
   "Reply" because that's what I ordinarily do, and a second try where
   I delete the first message buffer and remember to hit the key
   combination for a follow-up message.  When the "Reply-To" field is
   set to the posting address, I have no such trouble.

   A follow-up or group-reply message (for a list that does not have
   the "Reply-To" field set) will ordinarily be sent to both the
   author and the list that relayed the message.  This results in two
   copies of the message being sent to the author, one direct and one
   relayed by the list.  In principle, the original author's mail
   software should detect the duplication and delete the second copy
   that it sees.  It is my experience that, in practice, the time lag
   between receiving the direct message and receiving the low-priority
   message relayed by the list defeats any message ID caching or
   comparison, and the original author receives two copies of the
   message.  When the "Reply-To" field is set to the posting address,
   no-one needs to receive multiple copies.

   I have been on lists where people repeatedly receiving two copies
   of messages have become extremely irate about the unnecessary
   volume and posted messages requesting that responders reply only to
   the list.  While it seems that many people, not including myself,
   are able to post follow-up messages rather than straight replies,
   it also seems that many of these people do not then take the time
   to remove the original author from the recipient list, even after
   being requested to do so.  When the "Reply-To" field is set to the
   posting address, no-one gets irritated by multiple messages, and
   no-one has to remember to remove the original author from the list
   of recipients.

   When a thread attracts discussion from several people, and the
   "Reply-To" field is not set to the posting address, and responders
   neglect to remove previous authors, then the address of each
   responder accretes to messages in the thread so that everybody who
   ever posted about the thread receives two copies of the message,
   whether or not they remain interested in the topic.  While the
   number of extra copies being transmitted remains small compared to
   the number of copies being transmitted by the list software, this
   does increase the probability that someone will become irritated
   with receiving multiple copies.  When the "Reply-To" field is set
   to the posting address, this does not occur.


Tony Graham
Tony Graham
Mulberry Technologies, Inc.                         Phone: 301-315-9632
17 West Jefferson Street, Suite 207                 Fax:   301-315-8285
Rockville, MD USA 20850                 email: tgraham@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 DSSSList info and archive:

Current Thread
  • Re: DSSSList administrivia
    • DSSSList Owner - from mail1.ability.netby (8.8.5/8.6.12) with ESMTP id OAA15950Sat, 1 Aug 1998 14:15:56 -0400 (EDT) <=