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

From: Gerald Oskoboiny (
Date: Wed Mar 28 2001 - 16:13:10 PST

On Wed, Mar 28, 2001 at 04:18:09PM -0500, Stephen D. Williams wrote:
> Strata Rose Chalup wrote:
> > 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.

also, using "forward" to reply breaks threading.

> 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.

Yes, reply-to: munging is evil, cf.

(btw, subject:, to:, from: and message-id: munging are evil too)

> 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
> without.
> How do you avoid these problems? A 'Reply to Destination' would work
> for FoRK's setup.

This problem is solved by the Mail-Followup-To: header,
implemented in Mutt and other fine MUAs.

> 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.

Yup... some people have suggested that Mail-Followup-To isn't needed
because List-Post: (RFC 2369) allows for a "post to list" function,
but List-Post doesn't work in the cases you mention above.

Gerald Oskoboiny <>

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri Apr 27 2001 - 23:15:08 PDT