[zeromq-dev] Reply to list?

Martin Lucina mato at kotelna.sk
Thu Mar 11 13:02:41 CET 2010

avbidder at fortytwo.ch said:
> I personally don't like lists that set a reply-to since they break list-
> aware MUA (like kmail and presumably mutt, probably others.)  

Adrian, you're one of a dying breed ...

> The default "reply" action in these clever MUA is to use the list address 
> (all the necessary mail headers are available.)  And then, there's the 
> "reply to author" function, which I regularly use when reading lists and 
> actually do want to send an answer to the author only and not to the list.  
> Now if the list sets the reply-to header, "reply to author" will use that 
> address.

I've been using Mutt for years and I have it set to ask me where to direct
the reply if I hit 'r' (reply to author) and a Reply-To header is present.
So, for lists that set Reply-To, hitting 'r' will ask "Reply to
somelist at lists.example.com[y]?". If I hit 'n', the reply goes to the

> Sadly, knowledge about mailing lists and how to deal with them is getting 
> lost with the prevalence of dumbed down mail clients (web based or not) and 
> web forums.  That Google is trying to unify the concepts of newsgroup, 
> mailing list and web forum doesn't help either...

I completely agree, *but*: The mailing list should serve it's users, and as
far as I can tell from e.g. the long thread on Multi-part messages, quite a
few people are having problems because they just "Reply" (whatever that
might mean in their mail client) and the message they wanted to go to the
list went to the author only.

The downside of setting Reply-To is that it will break the other way round;
people with the same dumbed down mail clients now won't be able to easily
reply to an author privately.

However, from a user interaction point of view, the majority model
for *this list* is that everyone wants their reply to go to the list, so
I'd be inclined to set Reply-to to the list so that the right thing "Just
Works" for most people.

This is getting off-topic so I'd rather not continue the discussion here.
If anyone has strong arguments why the zeromq-dev list should *NOT* have a
Reply-to header set on it, please contact me privately. If I don't hear
enough complaints by Monday I'll change the current behaviour to set a


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