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Re: [tlug] Yahoogroups replacement

I felt just a little bit like top-posting a reply to Stephen's email,
but I resisted...... (Real reply below, of course.)

On Wed, 2 Dec 2020 at 15:37, Stephen J. Turnbull
<> wrote:
> Jim Breen writes:
>  > The option is normally hidden (grrrr); you have turn on an
>  > "Advanced Options" button at the top of the group control panel
>  > then scroll way down umpteen pages to find than some extra choices
>  > have arrived. (I wonder what smart-arsed dweeb decided that was
>  > good form design?)
> Jon Postol, I suspect.

Come, come. We can blame Jon for a few things, but not
over-Javascripted forms, surely?

> <rant>
> There's a long history here.
> Reply-To is for author's use.  It is not intended for list use.  It
> never has been, and that has been reaffirmed at least 4 times (RFCs
> 822, 1123, 2822, and 5322, and maybe 733 as well -- I don't recall if
> Reply-To was standardized before 733).  There's a perfectly good
> alternative (Mail-Followups-To) which is standard for Usenet, but
> standardizing it for mail gets killed every time by the folks who
> abuse Reply-To to direct replies-to-author to lists rather than
> authors.  If they had just bit the bullet in the mid-90s when Jamie
> Zawinski (IIRC) proposed it, and got MUA maintainers to implement it,
> we'd all be in a better world now.[1]
> Mail-Followups-To does have the problem of all too often directing
> private messages to public fora, but at least it wouldn't also screw up
> authors who have sufficient discretion to use private mail when
> appropriate and/or know how, when, and why to use Reply-To themselves.
> In the same way, all of the mailing list software in the world has
> been forced against its better judgment to implement this misfeature,
> and so MLM developers occasionally get complaints that private
> messages have inadvertantly been sent to public fora.  It's pretty
> annoying, since we wouldn't allow it if we had a reasonable
> alternative.  (Mailman added it because so many sites had a patch for
> it that we got bombarded by people complaining that their patch was
> getting overwritten by updates, more so---and far more persistent---
> than the misguided folks whose dicpics got published to the Internet
> at large.)
> So we end up implementing it, but doing what we can to discourage it.
> </rant>
> I've come to the conclusion that for many lists like TLUG it's
> reasonable to direct traffic to the list (although personally I have
> often found it painful, eg, when someone like Curt Sampson goes off on
> oddball languages like Haskell and Commodore 64 retrocomputing, I'd
> rather embarrass myself to only one person by asking questions).  But
> I don't have to like using Reply-To to do it. ;-)  See also
> for a similar take on top-posting.
> Footnotes:
> [1]  Getting MUA maintainers on board is probably not so hard as
> advocates of Reply-To munging would make it seem. MUAs-for-the-rest-
> of-you could simply make a one-line change to treat Mail-Followups-To
> exactly the same as Reply-To.  MUAs-for-those-who-know-how-when-and-
> why could then take advantage of both Reply-To and Mail-Followups-To,
> as a few already do (and get screwed up by lists that hijack Reply-To).

Very interesting. I must admit I was almost totally ignorant of the
Reply-To vs Mail-Followups-To issues. Quite  a saga.
Anyway, it all seems a bit of a lost battle now. As with most things
to do the with Internet (the *real* Internet; not mis-attributed WWW)
I'm ever amazed it works as well as it does.


Jim Breen
Adjunct Snr Research Fellow, Japanese Studies Centre, Monash University

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