Mailing List Etiquette, was: Re: RTTP-- any comments?

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 13:18:09 PST

Strata Rose Chalup wrote:
> I didn't want to prejudice anyone toward thinking, "hmm, it looks like
> crap to me, but if Braden forwarded it I must be missing something..."
> FoRK seems to lack a lot of mailing list etiquette, most notably that
> where folks reply only to the list-- no problem with your msg, Mark, but
> the huge spewing replies to the MS/AOL/TLA thing have had huge headerlists.

I have always used 'Reply All'. Current and past generation mail
readers have, as far as I've seen, 'Reply' and 'Replay All', along with
'Forward'. Forward's not as useful since you have to retype addresses.

Mailing lists usually either leave the from/to headers alone, in which
case the list is the 'To:' and the sender is 'From:' or add 'Reply-To:
LIST' or otherwise map replies back to the list. The problem with the
second case is that it can be a lot of work to privately reply. The
problem with the former is that the only quick, sure way to get a reply
to the list is 'Reply All'. The main problems with this are multiple
messages if you don't have a setup (like procmail) that can filter that,
along with header bloat. Mailman supports both using Reply-To: and

How do you avoid these problems? A 'Reply to Destination' would work
for FoRK's setup.

There is one other reason to use 'Reply All': if someone is added at
some point in a conversation and they aren't on the original list, they
can continue to be part of the conversation if everyone uses 'Reply
All'. This also works to bridge lists for a topic. I happen to desire
this when it happens usually, but I'm sure that others differ.


> Old bits seem to be the only thing folks get routinely wruffed about here.
> Keyword being "routinely".
> _SRC
> --
> ========================================================================
> Strata Rose Chalup [KF6NBZ] strata "@"
> VirtualNet Consulting
> ** Project Management & Architecture for ISP/ASP Systems Integration **
> =========================================================================

Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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