[nycbug-talk] mailing list protocol

George Georgalis george
Wed Mar 9 14:49:30 EST 2005

On Wed, Mar 09, 2005 at 11:39:18AM -0500, G Rosamond wrote:
>On Mar 9, 2005, at 11:37 AM, Jan Schaumann wrote:
>>Dan Langille <dan at langille.org> wrote:
>>>On 9 Mar 2005 at 10:34, G. Rosamond wrote:
>>>>MW has put up a short how-to on the site about mailing list protocol.
>>>>Anyone have any comments?  I think he did a good job.
>>>I disagree with option 7. Replying to both the person and the list is
>>>what should be done.  It's standard and expected procedure on all the
>>>FreeBSD lists I use.
>>You can drop option 7 altogether.  Every user can easily modify this 
>>themselves by setting Mail-Followup-To, reply-to or whatnot.  And each
>>person receiving can easily filter incoming mail and create or discard
>>duplicates as they see fit.
>There's also the 'no me too' setting in mailman everyone can set for 

 Avoid duplicate copies of messages?

 When you are listed explicitly in the To: or Cc:
 headers of a list message, you can opt to not
 receive another copy from the mailing list. Select
 Yes to avoid receiving copies from the mailing
 list; select No to receive copies.

 If the list has member personalized messages
 enabled, and you elect to receive copies, every
 copy will have a X-Mailman-Copy: yes header added
 to it.

I don't want to drop posts to from the list, I just don't want
duplicates of list conversations I participate in. Nor will I get wrapped
up in a debate about it, but I would like to point out there hasn't been
a reason posted why duplicates should be sent, let alone a good reason,
only that it's what all the lemmings do.

Also there is a problem with the duplicate filters most commonly used,
certain malicious bots/people (broken clients?) quickly reply to list
postings with a message id of the op. Since as subscriber you are not
guaranteed to get the op message before the reply with dup mesgid, you
may be dropping the op message. This has been reported recently on a
large list (lkml I think).

If people send responses directly to me in addition to the list, the
resulting thread has no continuity because I don't bcc myself for list
postings (I do have an outbox, and I can expect my message in the list,
don't need 3 copies).

Personally I would prefer the people use mail-followup-to and/or
reply-to and have the list software respect those fields and place
list address in reply-to _adding_ any non-list address from op
mail-followup-to and/or reply-to, to the distributed message reply-to.

All said (everyone), one thing remains, you can control what you do but
not what anyone else does.

Maybe a better direction for this thread is how can both preferences
be addressed? I do use mail-followup-to but people don't honor it. To
satisfy my end I could reject messages to lists I subscribe to which are
also to/cc me? That does provide a sender with a "a copy of your message
has been dropped" notice (least the other disappears and recipient
never sees the response). While I see that as good protocol and don't
see it as any more obtrusive as reply-to-all responses; I do find it
hypocritical to my opinion. ...I don't want unnecessary mail, do you?

// George

George Georgalis, systems architect, administrator Linux BSD IXOYE
http://galis.org/george/ cell:646-331-2027 mailto:george at galis.org

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