Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 19:44:59 UTC 2010

On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 10:29 PM, Tom H <tomh0665 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM, Felipe Contreras
> <felipe.contreras at gmail.com> wrote:
>> The problem is not in the system.
> The sender has to realise that he/she has sent a private email! LOL

Yeah, so? It's a user mistake, it's up to the user how to deal with it.

> It is much less problematic for "reply" to reply to the list,
> especially if changing that behavior is solely meant to help those who
> don't want to subscribe to it...

No, as I said before, the Reply-To problem is *orthogonal*.

See, I'm _subscribed_, right?

When I search for 'list:users.lists.fedoraproject.org
to:felipe.contreras' I don't find anything (well, I actually I see one
mail because Alan Cox ignored the Reply-To header).

OTOH 'list:linux-kernel.vger.kernel.org to:felipe.contreras' works fine.

Also, what happens if I choose to stay subscribed, but decide to turn
mail delivery off? Well, I can send mails, but I will not get the

So no, the drawbacks of Reply-To munging are not limited to non-subscribers.

>>> 2. Many people hit "reply all" and the person they are replying to
>>> complains that he/she has received two emails.
>> That's because either they are stupid or their system is stupid, and
>> their MUA is not right.
>> In Feodra's case mailman is used, which has the option:
>> "Avoid duplicate copies of messages?"
> When someone sends an email to a person and to debian-user and that
> person is subscribed to debian-user, two emails are received, one of
> which does not go through the list server so its settings don't come
> into play.

And that's the only mail the person will receive. The list server will
see, oh, that mail was sent directly, so I'm not going to do it again.

Did you even read the description?
Avoid duplicate copies of messages?
When you are listed explicitly in the To: or Cc: headers of a list
message, you can opt to not receive another copy from the mailing
list. Select Yes to avoid receiving copies from the mailing list;
select No to receive copies.

If the list has member personalized messages enabled, and you elect to
receive copies, every copy will have a X-Mailman-Copy: yes header
added to it.

>> You seem to have it on by default. Problem solved.
> I think that you mean "the people who complain have it on by default"
> because I have never received duplicate emails, nor complained about
> them.

No, the people who complain (if the ml uses mailman (not everyone
does)) have it *off*.

Fedora mailing lists (or at lest this one) has it on by default;
that's why you would not see this problem (in case somebody overrides
the Reply-To header).

Felipe Contreras

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