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Reply to sender, Reply to list (was: policy around 'wontfix' bug tag)

Richard Hector <richard@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:

> On 06/02/18 02:11, Vincent Lefevre wrote:
> > On 2018-02-05 01:53:02 +1300, Richard Hector wrote:
> > You should set up a "Mail-Followup-To:" for that.

For reference, this refers to one of two proposed (but never
standardised) fields “Mail-Followup-To” and “Mail-Reply-To”

> I could do that, I'm sure (though I'm not sure how) - but I'd rather
> that someone intending to send me a private reply didn't send it to the
> list by mistake. Having to (in my case) click 'Reply to List' helps me
> not send to the list by mistake.

That's correct. The recipient isn't in a position to guess the intention
of the person composing the message; the responsibility is on the person
composing the reply, to choose “reply to sender” or “reply to list”.

If you, when composing a reply, mean to reply to the sender, use that
command in your mail client. It will go to the “Reply-To” address, or
(if that's not present) the sender address.

If you, when composing a reply, mean to reply to the mailing list, use
that command in your mail client. It will go to the declared mailing
list address (either that, or your mail client is broken for not
recognising the mailing list address in every mailing list message).

> > This is entirely your problem.
> The behaviour and policy of this list, when followed, does what I
> want.

Right. In particular the current list behaviour – don't alter or set
Reply-To – and Richard's messages – absence of any custom field
“Mail-Followup-To” or “Mail-Reply-To” – leaves the default behaviour,
and the default behaviour is what Richard wants.

There is often a call for changing the mailing list program so that it
manipulates the header fields for redirecting replies to sender. This is
simply a mistake, as explained in several places, e.g.
<URL:http://marc.merlins.org/netrants/reply-to-still-harmful.html>. I
didn't see anyone so far call for that alteration, but it pops up in
these discussion too often so the above document bears repeating.

As I understand it from this thread, Richard (and I, for what it's
worth) do not want to alter the default behaviour of either “reply to
sender” nor “reply to list”. Those MUA commands, if implemented per
existing standards, will each compose a message to the correct address
for the chosen function.

So the default behaviour, of the *command chosen by the person composing
a reply*, matches the reply behaviour of Richard, and I, for each of the
reply commands. This does not need any of us making any special
alterations to any message header fields.

The person composing a reply is the only one in a position to know
whether they want the “reply to sender” or “reply to list” command. (And
if they don't have one or both of those commands available, it is only
in their power to choose a better MUA.) Don't expect the mailing list,
nor individual posters, to second guess you on that.

This has all been hashed out here in the past many times, but it is good
to refresh the references and facts again.

 \     “I thought I'd begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then |
  `\     I thought ‘Why should I? He never reads any of mine.’” —Spike |
_o__)                                                         Milligan |
Ben Finney