Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers

Tom H tomh0665 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 18:24:53 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 1:42 PM, Felipe Contreras
<felipe.contreras at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 8:24 PM, Tom H <tomh0665 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 7:57 AM, Felipe Contreras
>> <felipe.contreras at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Orthogonal to this is that the mailing lists should not mingle with
>>> "Reply-To"; they should leave the To and Cc fields intact, so that the
>>> MUA can reply to the right addresses. See:
>>> http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html
>>> This way when a non-subscriber posts something, he doesn't have to add
>>> the "Please CC me as I'm not in the mailing list"; it will happen
>>> automatically.
>> I couldn't disagree more.
>> Posting to the list: If someone wants to benefit from a list, the
>> least that he/she should do is subscribe. I delete systematically any
>> email with "please cc me as I'm not subscribed to the list".
> So you are saying that all the people that post to the mailing list
> are doing so to benefit themselves, and not to help the community?

No. I am saying that if you are not willing to subscribe, you are not,
AFAIC, part of the community.

>> Replying to the list: I want the lust to "mangle" the headers so that
>> I can hit "reply" and have the email go the list and not to the person
>> to whom I am replying.
> When you hit "reply to all" the mail will be sent to the mailing list,
> and the other person would receive the mail directly from you, and
> will know that the mail was directed to him (as a marker in Gmail, or
> mutt, etc.). Also it's nice to be able to search back mail:
> 'in:linux-kernel and to:felipe.contreras' and see actual results.
> Is it so much to ask for you to hit "reply to all" instead of "reply"
> (depending on the case), so that other people can have the benefits of
> non-munged headers?

On debian-user, hitting reply sends an email back to the poster and
there are two regular complaints.

1. Many people hit "reply" and don't send a reply to the list - and
the recipient then forwards the unintended private email back to the

2. Many people hit "reply all" and the person they are replying to
complains that he/she has received two emails.

So non-munged headers create more problems that they are worth.

More information about the users mailing list