[OS X TeX] Lobbying for Reply-To as it used to be

Will Robertson will at mecheng.adelaide.edu.au
Tue Mar 23 18:24:31 EST 2004

Apologies to those uninterested for the continuation of this discussion!

Ross Moore wrote:

> Aren't you now arguing against yourself ?
> I thought that the *old way* only made it easy to reply to the list
> --- to reply to the OP requires searching through the email (headers?)
> to locate the address for a personal reply. Hence this one
> is the "destructive" way which should be avoided.

If you choose to define it that way, you are correct. So in a way, yes, 
I AM arguing against myself the way you express it. And I'm beginning to 
agree with you (in principle for now).

> The *newer way* is the one that allows your email software to provide
> both options, each at the click of a button, or with a modifier-key.
> That is certainly the way it works for me, using Apple's  Mail.app.

I agree the new approach gives more flexibility.

> Nevertheless, others feel differently, for reasons which I suspect
> are related to software *usage* rather than *capability*.
> If the consensus is to return to the old way, then I'll be one of those
> that have to work a little bit harder whenever I feel that a personal
> reply seems more appropriate --- presumably so also for most other people.

OK. You've cracked it. I suspect the way most people feel about the 
conversations on this list is that private replies are generally not 
necessary and to be avoided so the archives are as complete as possible.

Your argument has convinced me that ideally it's better to have the 
setup this way. I'm not convinced that it works in practice, but my 
principles are such that I believe in ideology. The Reply All button 
exists for a reason, so people should learn to use it.

> (The argument about the original poster perhaps receiving
> a duplicate copy of the email is quite immaterial --- especially
> given the high level of spamming and other spurious postings
> that arrive every day.)

I disagree that it's immaterial. But I'm prepared to live with it.

> Other issues:
>  * a reply intended as personal, but sent to the whole list,
>    can be embarrassing and perhaps damaging
>    --- though hopefully any personal message that might risk
>     such mis-direction will be civil, if not just esoterically
>     technical;

Well, most people would argue that replies to all messages are generally 
always appropriate to the list. But I've said this already.

>  * a reply intended for the whole list, but sent to one person
>    only, can be recovered from the "Sent Mail" and redirected
>    to the list at a later time when the mistake is discovered.

This is true, but it makes archiving of the list more likely to be 
incomplete, since it takes effort to discover that you've made the 
mistake and yet more to fix it. People are lazy/busy.

In conclusion, I now support the new way of doing things if people learn 
to use the Reply All button to "Reply" to "All" of the list. If a 
significant amount of information is lost (from the archive) in this 
process, however, then it seems clear to me that it is a less effective 
setup than before.

I know see why people say these discussions are pointless!

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