Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers

Felipe Contreras felipe.contreras at gmail.com
Wed Jul 7 10:00:15 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM, Patrick O'Callaghan
<pocallaghan at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 2010-07-05 at 20:13 +0300, Felipe Contreras wrote:
>> Fact: the current system doesn't allow cross-posting
> Nothing in the current system prevents cross-posting. It's explicitly
> discouraged by the list Guidelines, but as we know some people do it
> (and usually get jumped on).

It's not totally prevented; but it's basically impossible.

When you sand mail to say 10 mailing lists that munge replies; each
person that replies to the mail would have to manually change the
munged recipient the the 10 mailing lists.

This obviously doesn't happen; in practice and each mailing lists ends
with a different thread, and sometimes the threads get messed up when
a person is multiple mailing lists and replies properly to all of

It is just a huge horrible mess; no wonder it's discouraged.

But if you don't have reply munging, nor require subscription;
cross-posting Just Works. People do that regularly on linux-kernel,
linux-omap, linux-arm-kernel, etc.

> The rationale is that you should decide
> where best to send your query and send it only to that list.

mails != queries

> Cross-posting makes it all but impossible to keep threads coherent when
> multiple replies appear from different lists, and not everyone is seeing
> the same conversation.

Everything's coherent if the replies are not munged.

When I send a mail to 3 mls (linux-kernel, linux-omap and
linux-arm-kernel) any time *anybody* replies to any of those lists,
the reply will be posted on all 3 lists. If there's a second level
reply of a person that's not subscribed in one of those lists there
would be a slight delay when the mail is moderated, but the person of
the 1st level reply would receive the mail immediately anyway because
he remains in the Cc (not munged), and the 3rd level reply would
appear to everybody again.

This works just fine.

Unless replies are munged and mailing lists are subscriber-only, then
yes, it's a horrible mess.

Felipe Contreras

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