Reply-To munging summary (was: Bug in mailing lists; unfriendly to non-subscribers)

Kwan Lowe kwan at
Fri Jul 9 16:03:18 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 9:54 AM, Patrick O'Callaghan
<pocallaghan at> wrote:
> I also agree with the rest of your post (and see no reason to quote it
> in its entirety :-), but I wonder if we're all just rearranging the
> deckchairs on the Titanic when it comes to mailing lists. I have the
> impression that the whole ml thing is actually a poor man's Usenet,
> invented because everyone has mail. Years ago I tried to promote a
> (local) News structure in my University as a medium of discussion, and
> there was just no way I could get people to use it. The old saying "to a
> guy with a hammer, every problem is a nail" applies here. Alternative
> mechanisms such as bboards etc. also just didn't cut the mustard because
> people are *very* reluctant to learn a new tool unless the benefit to
> them (not to the institution) is immediately clear.

I think there are benefits to both,  but I admit that I stopped using
Usenet some years ago. Targeted lists such as this one work for me
because the volume of mail is manageable. At the same time, I do
notice that mailing lists tend to make silos of information. This is a
benefit for certain specific information (e.g., purely CentOS related
discussion) but for more general information there is a lot of

I've always for some method of aggregating multiple mailman lists into
a custom list. Not certain how it would work, but perhaps a keyword
header would do the trick. I use RSS for some sites, but it would not
work for the volume of mail in a typical list.  Right now I am
subscribing to multiple lists and using keywords in the Google mail
client to create topics for my interests (e.g., Xen/KVM, image
editing, etc..).  But that means I need to keep thousands of messages
from the dozen or so lists to which I am subscribed.

> So now we're having to consider Facebook, Twitter, you-name-it. Yech.

More information about the users mailing list