[OT] Confusion with mailing lists

Hey guys,

I realize this isn’t the place to post this but I can’t figure out a better place. I just had a really quick question.

Sometimes I notice that mail I receive from this mailing list was never directly (through To: or CC:) sent to the mailing list. For example, say there’s two people communicating:

foo1@…1800…
foo2@…1800…

Usually when foo1 sends a mail to foo2, foo2 will receive a mail like this:

To:
foo2@…1800…

However, in one case I found that the mail was never sent to matplotlib-users. However, somehow the list.sourceforge.net mailing server intercepted it and sent it to the other person via a ‘bounce’ email address. How does this happen? What are the different ways one could send an email to a mailing list?

Thanks, and again apologies for the off topic post.

···

From: foo1@…1800…
CC: matplotlib-users@lists.sourceforge.net

Robert Dailey ha scritto:

What are the different ways one could send an email to a mailing list?

On a related note, I *hate* that hitting "reply" uses the mail address of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?

m.

···

--
Massimo Sandal
University of Bologna
Department of Biochemistry "G.Moruzzi"

snail mail:
Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy

email:
massimo.sandal@...898...

tel: +39-051-2094388
fax: +39-051-2094387

This is apparently a configuration option of mailman that has been purposefully set for the matplotlib mailing lists. I don't have strong opinions about this, but you may be interested in this thread:

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/message.php?msg_id=903323ff0708220749r82f9650i7338e63a56d6094d%40mail.gmail.com

Cheers,
Mike

massimo sandal wrote:

···

Robert Dailey ha scritto:

What are the different ways one could send an email to a mailing list?

On a related note, I *hate* that hitting "reply" uses the mail address of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?

m.

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Michael Droettboom
Science Software Branch
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Space Telescope Science Institute
Operated by AURA for NASA

massimo sandal <massimo.sandal@...898...> [2007-12-04 09:18]:

On a related note, I *hate* that hitting "reply" uses the mail address of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?

The list follows RFC 2822. The Reply-To header is intended to be
created by the originator of the message. List software that
overwrites the Reply-To header destroys the function it's intended
for.

There's an excellent essay on this at:

http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful

Mailman implements RFC 2369, which is intended to address this
issue. If you want replies to go to the list, I suggest that you
use a mail client that follows RFC 2369. If you choose to use old
software that doesn't recognize the List-Post header, please don't
complain about software that follows RFC standards.

-rex

rex wrote:
> massimo sandal <massimo.sandal@...898...> [2007-12-04 09:18]:
>> On a related note, I *hate* that hitting "reply" uses the mail address
>> of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy
>> and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more
>> properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?
>
[...]
> If you choose to use old software that doesn't recognize the List-Post
> header, please don't complain about software that follows RFC standards.

If you happen to use Mozilla Thunderbird, there is an extension [1] that
enables Reply-To-List.
This works with a patched version of Thunderbird, which is included in
several major distros.

[1] http://alumnit.ca/wiki/index.php?page=ReplyToListThunderbirdExtension

···

--
Random number generation is the art of producing pure gibberish as quickly as
possible.

rex ha scritto:

massimo sandal <massimo.sandal@...898...> [2007-12-04 09:18]:

On a related note, I *hate* that hitting "reply" uses the mail address of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?

The list follows RFC 2822. The Reply-To header is intended to be
created by the originator of the message. List software that
overwrites the Reply-To header destroys the function it's intended
for.

There's an excellent essay on this at:

http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful

Mailman implements RFC 2369, which is intended to address this
issue. If you want replies to go to the list, I suggest that you
use a mail client that follows RFC 2369. If you choose to use old
software that doesn't recognize the List-Post header, please don't
complain about software that follows RFC standards.

Thanks for the article. I read it, and I must say I disagree. This is the tricky part:

"Your list software is not "the author of the message", so it must not set or in any way meddle with the Reply-To header. "

That's what I think is wrong. When interacting with a mailing list, I assume I'm not interacting just with you or others. I'm receiving mails *from the ML* and sending mails *to the ML*. Not receiving mails from Alice and sending mails to Bob.

In other words: A ML, in my experience, is not different from a public forum. When I hit "reply" on a forum, the post goes on the forum, not on the mailbox of the previous poster.

I'm all for standards and for consistent behaviour and I understand the logic behind that article; what the authors of the RFC got wrong, in my opinion, it considering a mailing list just as a gigantic CC: by disconnected people instead than of a forum-like object. The fact both use the mail protocol doesn't change the fact they're different objects.

But of course that's only a philosophical problem. Thanks to the article I also discovered that "reply to all" sends mail both to the ML and the original sender (Never bothered to try, my fault). Although I find it a little funny.

m.

···

--
Massimo Sandal
University of Bologna
Department of Biochemistry "G.Moruzzi"

snail mail:
Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy

email:
massimo.sandal@...898...

tel: +39-051-2094388
fax: +39-051-2094387

I feel we’re getting a tad bit off topic from my original inquiry. Does anyone have an answer for me? Thanks.

···

On Dec 5, 2007 8:42 AM, massimo sandal < massimo.sandal@…898…> wrote:

rex ha scritto:

massimo sandal <
massimo.sandal@…898…> [2007-12-04 09:18]:

On a related note, I hate that hitting “reply” uses the mail address
of the parent poster, instead than that of the mailing list. The scipy

and the gentoo mailing list (two other examples I know) behave more
properly. Is this a sourceforge quirk?

The list follows RFC 2822. The Reply-To header is intended to be
created by the originator of the message. List software that

overwrites the Reply-To header destroys the function it’s intended
for.

There’s an excellent essay on this at:


http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful

Mailman implements RFC 2369, which is intended to address this
issue. If you want replies to go to the list, I suggest that you
use a mail client that follows RFC 2369. If you choose to use old

software that doesn’t recognize the List-Post header, please don’t
complain about software that follows RFC standards.

Thanks for the article. I read it, and I must say I disagree. This is

the tricky part:

"Your list software is not “the author of the message”, so it must not
set or in any way meddle with the Reply-To header. "

That’s what I think is wrong. When interacting with a mailing list, I

assume I’m not interacting just with you or others. I’m receiving mails
from the ML and sending mails to the ML. Not receiving mails from
Alice and sending mails to Bob.

In other words: A ML, in my experience, is not different from a public

forum. When I hit “reply” on a forum, the post goes on the forum, not on
the mailbox of the previous poster.

I’m all for standards and for consistent behaviour and I understand the
logic behind that article; what the authors of the RFC got wrong, in my

opinion, it considering a mailing list just as a gigantic CC: by
disconnected people instead than of a forum-like object. The fact both
use the mail protocol doesn’t change the fact they’re different objects.

But of course that’s only a philosophical problem. Thanks to the article
I also discovered that “reply to all” sends mail both to the ML and the
original sender (Never bothered to try, my fault). Although I find it a

little funny.

m.


Massimo Sandal
University of Bologna
Department of Biochemistry “G.Moruzzi”

snail mail:
Via Irnerio 48, 40126 Bologna, Italy

email:
massimo.sandal@…898…

tel: +39-051-2094388
fax: +39-051-2094387


SF.Net email is sponsored by: The Future of Linux Business White Paper
from Novell. From the desktop to the data center, Linux is going
mainstream. Let it simplify your IT future.

http://altfarm.mediaplex.com/ad/ck/8857-50307-18918-4


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