Reply-to netiquette (was [META] please start To: with gnupg-users at

Jerry jerry at
Tue Jan 31 14:05:09 CET 2012

On Tue, 31 Jan 2012 13:22:43 +0100
Peter Lebbing articulated:

> On 31/01/12 00:09, John Clizbe wrote:
> > On the Netiquette part of this thread, I too set a Reply-To header
> > that seems at least one person regularly ignores. Please don't CC
> > me on list replies. One copy is enough.
> Well, I don't know if you refer to me, my apologies if so. I know how
> that comes about when /I/ reply to a mail you write.
> Thunderbird doesn't show me your Reply-To: header. Not even if I
> press "View->Headers->All"! It took me some time to find the
> circumstances under which this happens. It turns out that if To: and
> Reply-To: have the same e-mail address, Reply-To: is silently
> dropped. And this is exactly the case with your messages.
> I just press the button "reply all", and Thunderbird addresses a CC:
> to you. Remember I haven't seen your Reply-To header, so I can't take
> a decision on what it means myself, only Thunderbird gets to do that.
> If this dropping of Reply-To: is a bug, and fixed, then hopefully
> I'll notice it and remove a CC: if the person I'm responding to has
> "Reply-To: gnupg-users..." set. But it's still something that can
> easily be overlooked.

The Thunderbird bug was fixed I thought awhile ago. I did not notice the
version of Thunderbird that you are employing. You could try the latest
version, V.9.0.1 and see if that corrects the problem.

> If I press "reply to list", even people who would want a CC: when I
> reply to their message will not get one. I was under the impression
> "reply to all" was the convention here on gnupg-users. Isn't it?

This is an "OPT-IN"list. Some lists, like FreeBSD are open, but not
this one. Therefore, the use of a CC is neither required, nor in many
instances, appreciate. In actuality, it serves no purpose at all on an
"OPT-IN" mailing list.

> I read Dan J Bernsteins words on Reply-To and his propositions,
> Mail-Followup-To etcetera. I'm going to be blunt here: it's a pity
> DJB came up with these, because I think a less controversial person
> would have much more chance of getting it into an RFC. I don't want
> to spark a pro- and contra-DJB discussion here, so please take a few
> breaths before you reply.

> There should be mail headers for:
> - List customs: reply all/reply list
> - Personal preferences overriding list customs: do you want CC:'s?

The net is littered with ideas from people who were well liked and
respected whose ideas never made it into an RFC. The "Reply-To" works
well for those who use it. Unfortunately, some MUA's have just never
gotten their head around the concept. Filing BUG reports and basically
making yourself a "pain in the ass" to the developers of those
applications can work wonders.

> Either that, or we should all exclusively use Usenet ;). Do away with
> the concept of mailing list altogether.

I have used Usenet for many years. Like any other form of
communications, it has its advantages and drawbacks.

> PS: I'm running Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-GB;
> rv: Gecko/20111114 Icedove/3.1.16, as you can see in the
> headers ;). On Debian wheezy.

Jerry ♔

Disclaimer: off-list followups get on-list replies or get ignored.
Please do not ignore the Reply-To header.

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