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Re: reply etiquette
On Sep 29 2004, Keith Moore wrote:
> it's very simple. if you reply in a public forum to a message that
> someone sent, it's common courtesy to send the author of the original
> message a copy of the reply.
> for a variety of reasons, merely sending the message to the public
> forum is not sufficient, unless the author has explicitly indicated
> that this is sufficient.
I'm not sure if this was discussed in the big reply-to thread of the
past few weeks, but it seems to me that what you're asking for is
properly the mailing list software's job.
Individual list members are in no position to predict the preferences
of other list members, but the mailing list knows who's who, and
can accept (or should accept, I think) preferences as easily as the normal
Here's how a mailing list server could behave to accomodate everybody
(I don't know if some servers do this, but I would not be surprised)
>From the point of view of a subscribed list member, the server should
offer a command to select preferences such as:
1) for general incoming list messages, whether to trim extraneous
mailboxes from the various destination fields, keeping only the list
address. That would prevent MUAs from replying to any other address
but the list address, making one type of courtesy automatic.
2) for incoming list messages, whether to send a second copy to a second
address as well if the message is a direct reply to something that the
list member posted. That would make the other type of courtesy automatic.
>From the point of view of a non-member of the list, who just wants to
send a single message without subscribing, the list server can have the
following default behaviour:
1) if a new list message is a direct reply to the non-member's email, it
should be forwarded to his address, possibly with instructions on
how to disable this feature if he wishes.
The great advantage of keeping this functionality in the mailing list server
is that there is no need to change MUAs or people's behaviour. A mailing list
server should be able to emulate by proxy any well defined reply policy,
individually for each user of the list, whether member or non-member.
A member could choose preferences, while a non-member would get defaults
which simulate one-to-one email conversations.
Just my two cents. Flame away ;-)