Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(August 1995)

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Subject: Re: Appending "Reply-To" in Outgoing Mails
From: Gess Shankar <gess @ knex . mind . org>
Organization: |<><>| Knowledge Exchange, GA, USA |<><>|
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 95 08:39:08 EST
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <199508171730 . 2413 . gyda . ifi . uio . no @ ifi . uio . no>
Reply-to: gess @ knex . mind . org (Gess Shankar)

Kjetil Torgrim Homme <kjetilho @
 ifi .
 uio .
 no> writes:

> [Chip Rosenthal]
> |   I've thrown together a *very* rough draft of a page on this topic,
> |   entitled ``Reply-To Munging Considered Harmful''. It is available
> |   at <URL:>. I welcome
> |   any comments.
> Great, Chip! All you who advocate munging Reply-to must read this. I'd
> be interested to hear you refute what Chip's saying.
I see the point about minimal munging, but the reply-to-evil document
which accuses List Admins of arrogance is arrogant itself by assuming
that users have control over what mail agent they run. Online service
subscribers will likely form the majority of many lists and things
like "r" and "R"s mean nothing to them.

Compuserve appears to present the envelope From_ as the address to
send to, when the users push the Reply button (and there is only
one reply button to push). AOL ui probably has a similar interface.
Any amount of quoting RFC822 and other RFCs will do no good with
these faceless corporations. They may change eventually, but in the

Recently a list I subscribe to  had to revert to Reply-To munging due to
hue and cry from the subscribers. This... despite incidences described
in Chip's document... private mail sent to list accidentally. And most
of them software developers with "smart" mailers (I presume).

I do set Reply-To: to one of the lists I run to the list address. The
list is moderated and consists of large number of online service users.
I had to take this tactic, because posters' mailboxes were getting
flooded with responses (flames, me too etc.) and good contributors
started leaving the list or stopped contributing.

Unless there is a universal standard on how headers are treated by
the various MUAs, especially by services like AOL, Prodigy, msn et al I
am ambivalent. Most AOL users won't know how to post to this list, for
example and will reply only to the original poster.

Gess Shankar      |<><>|Internet: gess @
 knex .
 mind .
 ORG                    |<><>|
Knowledge Exchange|<><>|::::::::::::<scientia est potentia>:::::::::::::|<><>|

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From: Chip Rosenthal <chip @ unicom . com>
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From: dattier @ wwa . com (David W. Tamkin)
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