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Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:03:42 -0400
From: Rich Felker <>
To: Felix Fietkau <>
Subject: Re: Mutt group reply

On Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 07:48:36AM +0200, Felix Fietkau wrote:
> > Reply-to headers should not override the 'reply to all' feature in a
> > mail client. If they do, this is a bug. What use is 'reply to all' if
> > it behaves the same as plain 'reply'?
> Thunderbird isn't the only Mail client that's affected. As far as I
> know, Apple Mail and GMail are affected in pretty much the same way.

GMail's mishandling of threading makes it pretty much completely
unusable for working with mailing lists (albeit more convenient for
most non-list email usage) so I don't think its behavior is all that
relevant. Not sure about Apple Mail.

> I consider lists using Reply-To to be badly broken. Is it really worth
> breaking often used regular features (like either replying directly to
> the author, or reply-all) with several popular mail clients, just for
> the sake of preventing a few accidental off-list emails from people who
> click the wrong button? I don't think so.
> I think this is spot on:

I'm quite aware that this is a controversial topic with a long
history, and I've read all the arguments plenty of times before. To
answer your specific questions, if the intent is to actively prevent
off-list replies except when someone goes out of their way to do one,
then the Reply-to header added by the list is simply doing its job.
That's why I like it. Certainly there are a few special situations
where it's appropriate to take a reply off-list, but they're the
exception not the norm. (And the result reminds me of what happens on
IRC when users start private queries with the first person who
indicates they might have knowledge on a topic rather than keeping the
question in the channel. :-)


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