Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Tue Jul 6 04:59:39 UTC 2010

Felipe Contreras:
>>> Public mailing lists should receive mail from *anybody*; if the poster
>>> is not subscribed, then the message should go through moderation. This
>>> is the truly open way.

>> No thanks.  If you want groups full of spam, there's usenet for that.

Felipe Contreras:
> There's filters for that. If your current filter doesn't work, switch.
> bogofilter maybe?

There's subscription control for that...  It works quite well.

Do you know how many spams a day I get?  About five, and without any
anti-spam programs, at all.  I don't intend to run yet more software
because you're lazy.

>> Subscriptions is a step in minimising crap being posted to the list
>> (whether that be spam, or simply tossers who'll post rubbish to lists,
>> just to spout crap from their fingers).

> Really? So I don't subscribe I'm a looser whose posts are not welcome?
> And if some random guy manages to subscribe (which according to a
> previous post it's easy), then it's post is worthwhile?

I didn't say it was easy, but a few spammers do get in.  If you drop all
restrictions, loads will get in.  Subscription is a simple and effective
way to stop them, instead of playing the losing game of spam management,
with all the false positives and all the false negatives that they all
have, and always will have.

By the way.  Loose - the opposite of tight.  Lose - the opposite of win.
I'm so sick of people getting that wrong.  That's a third year primary
school language mistake.

This is a community not a helpline, we're not all here just to solve the
problems of hit-and-run question askers.  We expect participation.
That's the price that you pay for asking for help.

>> If the list was moderated in the way you propose, moderators would spend
>> all their spare time checking new messages, and it'd be ages before your
>> post got through.

> No, it takes time, but eventually it gets posted. I do this on many lists.

And you were complaining about the time it took to get a message
through?  Seconds or minutes for subscription, versus hours or days for
moderation.  You can't seriously expect us to be believe that's better.

At this point I'm beginning to feel you're trying to get the list opened
up so you can get spam going through it.

>> The list works fine.  Messages go to the list, and the list's address is
>> in the "to" field, where it belongs.

> The initial mail might have the ml is "To", but might also be in "Cc".

I've only seen that where people have posted to the old list (hosted by
Redhat), and they've been forwarded through to this one (hosted by

I can imagine it happening if some dingbat sends a daftly constructed
message to the list, but I don't ever recall seeing that.

> But the later posts wouldn't if the rules were right. I would be
> sending this mail to you, as you were the originator, and the mailing
> list would be kept in Cc.

That's not an automated mailing list, that's a manual one.  And that's
not the spirit of this list (mostly messages in public).  If you want a
list that works in another way, go elsewhere.  Don't romp in as a
newcomer, and re-arrange the furniture to suit yourself.

> This has another advantage. Many clients, like Gmail, do smart thing
> where the user is in the To field (or Cc for that matter), but on
> Fedora lists, that information is lost thanks to the Reply-To munging.

The messages ARE to the list, so there's nothing wrong with the list
address being there.

If you really want CCing, add your address to the reply-to header.  Your
messages will go to the list, and come through with the list and your
address in the reply-to field.  You'll get a private copy, too.

>> Lists that don't put themselves in the reply-to end up with very few
>> posts coming back to the list.  You see a list full of the same
>> questions being asked over and over, because there's no replies being
>> made in public.

> You are speculating, and doing it wrong.

No, I'm not, and not...  I've been participating in mailing lists and
news groups for over a decade.  I described exactly what I've seen
happen.  It's clear the lack of experience is yours.

> Most of the mailing lists I'm subscribed to don't munge the Reply-To
> header, and all the threads are kept in the ml (in fact multiple
> mailing lists as cross-posting works).

Now there's a presumption...  You have NO idea of what messages were
sent outside of those mailing lists.  You can only see the ones that
went to it.

>> You can still reply to the right address.  A default reply will come
>> back to the list, where it's supposed to (for this list).  You can opt
>> to reply to the person by replying to their *from* address, because the
>> poster's address is in the place that it ought to be, the "from"
>> address, because that's where the message came from.

> MUA's don't do that. Reply-To overrides everything. If Reply-To wasn't
> overridden, there would be the option to reply to the person, or reply
> to everyone (including the ml).

The reply-to override is the *default* action.  There's nothing that
actually prevents you from doing something else, other than lack of
understanding on your behalf.  There are clients that give you easy ways
to privately reply, and you can certainly do it manually, if you have

> So if somebody doesn't want to subscribe, you are not interested in
> what they have to say? Well, I'm not interesting in prejudices, I
> would say keep those to yourself.

Hmm, like all opinionated fools, you're utterly convinced that
everything you say is absolutely correct, that everyone must hear and
agree with your prejudices, and that anyone else who feels the opposite
must not say anything out loud.

Geez, but you're going straight to so many kill filters on this list.
Keep it up, you'll be on most of them within a couple of days.

>> That's how most/many mailing lists work.  It's how every single
>> mailing list that I've used over the last ten years has operated.

> You must participate in a very narrow circle then, as all the mailing
> lists in vger don't.

Nup, that's a seriously wrong presumption on your behalf.  And only
shows your lack of experience if you think that lists working the way
this one does is to be unexpected.

>> I've been on lists which had open membership, and they got deluged with
>> crap within a very short period.  They last about a week before the list
>> gets abandoned, or the owner has the sense to close the membership.

> Yeah? So don't be one of those.

It's what you proposed...

>> A mailing list is the wrong place to a demand an answer for your
>> problems.

> So what you are saying is that I should adapt to the system, not make
> the system adapt to me.

Yes.  You don't understand that?  You think that everyone else should
adapt to you, don't you?

No need to answer, the answer's rather obvious, even if you won't admit
it to yourself.  That sort of attitude is rather typical of people
working in this field.  Stuff the conventions, everyone bend to my will.
Stuff the programming rules, I know better than everyone else, and I'll
write programs that crash and require the mangling of standard features,
the removal of other software, etc., etc.

You really don't see what's wrong with upsetting the apple cart, do you?

> All I want is that people can be able to post one mail, and follow
> that thread only.

Well, you can filter for that.  You like filtering, don't you, seeing as
your in favour for letting spam get easily in, and the end user having
to deal with it.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

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