On Friday 11 August 2006 16:57, Felix Miata wrote:
"Demolished" is mere opinion, not fact.
OK, I'll expand. It is vital for any system that its
subsystems conform to its standards.
Electricity: BS1362 and BS1363 for the physical connector to
the wall (in the UK), CENELEC 230V 50Hz for the signal (in
much of Europe).
Ethernet: IEEE 802.3.
The internet: Internet Protocol.
Packets on the internet: Transmission Control Protocol or
User Datagram Protocol, amongst others.
Email: IETF RFC2822.
British roads: drive on the left and follow the highway
Failure of any actor in one of those systems to conform to
the standards is at best troublesome, and at worst
catastrophic. I expect my own behaviour and tools to conform
to the standards when interacting with any of those systems,
and I expect the rest of the system, including the tools
used by other end-users and the people running the system
itself, to conform to them too.
That cite omits discussion of two key characteristics
public discussion lists:
1-Subscribers don't receive messages from
receive messages from listservs.
Wrong. They receive messages _from_ authors _via_
listservers (and relays). The originator of a message is
unique; there may be any number of systems which relay /
resend / transmit it between its original sending and its
2-The principle of least surprise dictates that
messages automatically receive public replies in the
absence of special handling by those who wish their
message to go someplace other than from whence it came.
Again, the message came _from_ its author, _via_ the list
The principle of least surprise dictates that when I use the
command "reply to author" in my email client, the reply is
addressed to the author. If the list has altered the
Reply-To address to be the mailing list address (or has
added it when it was not originally present), that is
unlikely to be the case, since the message headers now
erroneously declare that the originator of the message
wished replies to be sent to the mailing list. The
originator of the message made no such declaration.
Reply-To is an "originator field", described in 3.6.2 in the
RFC. As such, it must, if present, contain information about
the originator (author) of a message, not about one of the
systems which processed it subsequently. It's not a "resent
field" or a "trace field", both of which may be added by
systems performing onward transmission of the message.
To quote, "When the 'Reply-To:' field is present, it
indicates the mailbox(es) to which the author of the message
suggests that replies be sent."
Note, _the_author_of_the_message_. So, any mailing list user
has the right to place the list address in the Reply-To
field, if he or she wants to. The mailing list server does
not have that right.
If a list server should have the right to make a statement
automatically on behalf of the originator of a message, then
why shouldn't one of the other systems which transmitted it
during its journey from originator to final receiver also
have that right? Clearly absurd.
The message each subscriber received did not come
from any author, and consequently it should not be
expected to go directly back to any author.
I assume "it" should read "replies to it". (Apologies if
Put simply, a "reply to author" should go to the author
(potentially impossible if Reply-To set or modified by list
server). A "reply to list" should go to the list.
The behaviour of a generic "reply" command, if present in a
given mail client, when the message being replied to
contains mailing list headers, should be configurable by a
user according to personal preference. It might be addressed
to the list, to the author, or to both. Nobody other than
the originator (author) of the message has the right to add
the Reply-To header, and, furthermore, any system which does
so potentially prevents recipients of the message from
replying to its originator, should they wish to do so.