From: Randy Kramer (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Dec 20 2002 - 09:28:32 EST
I just want to be on record as saying I disagree with what's written in
the FAQ, specifically this:
Why not set the Reply-To: to automatically go to the mailing list?
If the Reply-To address is automatically set to go to the mailing list
there is a risk that people will accidentally send mail to the many
many people subscribed to the list, the alternative may mildly
inconvient to some but it is the right thing to do and is the best
anwser for the most people. Some of the more advanced email clients
have features that allow you to indicate that certain email address are
mailing lists and your email program will automatically change the
address so that Reply-To will go to the list.
Clearly, I'll abide by it (what choice to I have ;-) ), and won't make
an extensive argument if it is truly the consensus of the leadership of
this project, but I do think it's totally wrong:
* A mailing list is a place for "public" participation /
collaboration -- by default your replies should be to the "public".
(You chose to join the list -- no one forced you.)
* Three recent posts were sent to someone privately affecting a
subject I brought up on the public forum. It wasn't until I forwarded
one of those private replies back to the list that the right person
(Hub -- who knew how to solve the problem) realized the problem and
addressed it (voting was not enabled for "AbiWord" future).
* More generally, when someone doesn't want something to go to the
list, I may become suspicious of their motives. Are those replies
confidential?? On an open source project?? Are they criticisms that
are best done in private??
Aside: I think that off-list criticism sometimes is appropriate to a
certain extent, but if, for example some undesired behavior is
mentioned on the list but only criticised off list, a perception can
arise that the undesired behavior is acceptable. Maybe that means in
some cases that if a behavior is criticised off list, a post should be
made to the list something of the nature "I responded to Mr. _______
off list to explain that his suggestion is not the kind of thing we
want to encourage on this project".
Aside: I guess there is room for confidentiality on an open source
project -- I think it should be the rare exception rather than the
rule, and people that want it kept confidential should be responsible
to keep it confidential -- I know there is one open source project that
I won't remember (don't even remember what the product category is)
where the product is dual licensed and sold under one name and open
sourced under another name with the intention of keeping many of the
purchasers unaware that the product is available for free as open
source. (It's not as underhanded as I've made it sound -- the concern
is that a certain class of customer does not trust open source, so they
are happier kept unaware. (I learned this from a post on the os-bus
mail list (IIRC), and no one raised an outcry that this was in any
sense a violation of open source policy or ethics.))
Anyway, one of my Wish List items is to create (or find, or modify) an
email client where I control what reply to does -- one that I can set
to reply to the list regardless of the list settings. (I suppose there
can be some problems -- for lists that do that by default, I'll have to
set it differently so duplicates are not created.)
PS: I'm certain Alan is right, this subject has been discussed before.
Although I am not suggesting that we have another debate on the subject
now, it certainly can be considered again some time in the future.
On Thursday 19 December 2002 08:42 pm, Mikey wrote:
> On Thu, 2002-12-19 at 20:17, Alan Horkan wrote:
> > Definately Not.
> > And i am fairly sure i explained this in the FAQ. This has been
> > discussed several times before.
> My bad, haven't checked the FAQs in month or two.
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