*HCS* Final Call for Ignitaries!

Mike Brauwerman brauwerm at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Oct 5 12:03:37 EDT 2000


>  > > That article is no more valid now than it was the last four or five
>  > > times we went around on this.
> 
> To be specific, most of the things it cites are implementation defects
> (eg, if you add Reply-To: pointing to the list, any existing reply-to
> header should be promoted to From:) and it's also less than perfectly
> aware of how mail clients actually work.
>

But down at the end, it makes one very good point, and that shouldn't be
ignored because

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Principle of Least Damage

   Consider the damage when things go awry. If you do not munge the
   Reply-To header and a list subscriber accidentally sends a response
   via private email instead of to the list, he or she has to follow up
   with a message that says, ``Ooops! I meant to send that to the list.
   Could you please forward a copy for me.'' That's a hassle, and it
   happens from time to time.
   
   What happens, however, when a person mistakenly broadcasts a private
   message to the entire list? If the message is a complaint about the
   personal hygiene of sender's boss, or the sex life of his or her
   roommate, a simple ``Ooops!'' won't cut it. About all you can do is
   send a followup with lots of retroactive smileys (weak). Or say your
   cat was dancing on the keyboard (better). Or start reading the
   classifieds for a new job/roommate/set of teeth (most likely).
   
   Reply-To munging encourages catastrophic failure modes. 
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Also, not-munging reply-to gives a far better results in the case of
"Unsubscribe me" people, preventing follow-up floods.

mike




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