[LAU] Goodbye ReplyTo munging...

Florin Andrei florin at andrei.myip.org
Tue Aug 14 20:09:14 EDT 2007

Marc-Olivier Barre wrote:
> On 8/14/07, Florin Andrei <florin at andrei.myip.org> wrote:
>> If I set the list to remove duplicates, I only receive the private
>> reply, which depends on the email client of the sender, which may or may
>> not do the right thing. Therefore, filtering is less reliable, because
>> it depends on all those email clients out there to do something.
> The private reply will contain a cc: field which will _always_ contain
> linux-audio-user at lists.linuxaudio.org.

Well... maybe, if the mail client does the right thing. If the user hits 
the right button.
There's just no way around that - if Reply-To is not set, you rely on 
the client, which may be well-behaved, or not. :-/ Not to mention the user.

I love de-centralization and whatnot, but sometimes you just have to 
impose certain things.

> You might not have seen last weeks thread announcing the change. I
> gave a link to this page
> http://woozle.org/~neale/papers/reply-to-still-harmful which contains

What can I say, I disagree with almost everything in it. :-)

"Anyone who gets any spam at all knows how to delete email" - great, now 
I have to deal with more spam, from the mailing lists. :-(

> a part named "Getting two copies of the same email". You will find
> here a second method to remove duplicates based on the Message-ID
> header.

But it's not a "method" - it just says "I hope your email client behaves 
in a certain way, otherwise tough luck".

Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating Reply-To munging per se. If all 
mailing lists servers and all mail clients were well-behaved, then it 
wouldn't matter - some kind of list identifier would be set by the 
server, and all clients would dutifully add it to replies going to the 
mailing list. So then the reply could be sent directly, not through the 
server and everything would still work.

The reality is, this is a world far from perfect. Reply-To munging is 
the only way to keep things consistent across the board, no matter 
what's the client or the server. If things get better (more 
standardized) with email software then fine, stop tweaking the stupid 

Florin Andrei


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