Re: Reply-To (was Re: Proving a point)

From: Stephen Turner (
Date: Mon Dec 17 2001 - 04:24:28 PST

On Mon, 17 Dec 2001, Anton Cox wrote:
> I think it is a very bad idea. The second link provided (the one in
> favour of reply-to) suggests no reason that is not far outweighed by the
> arguments in the first link.

I'm firmly in the reply-to-useful camp.

On most lists, including this one, the normal behaviour is to reply to list,
the abnormal behaviour is to reply to author.

Without reply-to (and for most mailers), the abnormal behaviour is easy, the
normal behaviour is hard.

With reply-to (afmm), the normal behaviour is easy, the abnormal behaviour
is hard. This is a desirable state of affairs.

Replying to both list and author is always easy, so people tend to use this
instead of the hard behaviour, even though it tends to be annoying. If the
hard behaviour is also the normal behaviour, this is bad.

However, on the other side, the cost of accidentally using the easy
behaviour when you wanted to use the hard behaviour is usually low without
reply-to, often high with reply-to. The argument seems to boil down to
whether this rarer but substantially higher cost is worth the extra
inconvenience. I don't think it is, but others differ.

It seems to me that most geeks dislike reply-to, whereas most normal people
like reply-to. I don't know why this should be though, as I'm an exception.

Stephen Turner, Cambridge, UK
"This is Henman's 8th Wimbledon, and he's only lost 7 matches." BBC, 2/Jul/01

Rule Date: 2001-12-17 12:24:51 GMT

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