Mailing List Replies

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Mailing List Replies

Gary Bussiere

Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to reply to a message on Gramps lists?

Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies to just the gramps list.  And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.

So would Reply List be the correct choice? Don't want to create duplicate replies and spam people. Web forums are so much easier.



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Re: Mailing List Replies

Philip Weiss
Generally speaking, "Reply List" is the correct answer. That allows everyone on the list to be part of the conversation.

However, if the discussion or response isn't appropriate for everyone, just "Reply" will be what you want. For example, sometimes helping someone to debug an issue I'll want to work out what's happening in detail without bothering everyone. Or if something is not related to Gramps, like you notice that an example includes the name of a relative of yours and you want to converse with the OP regarding whether you are related.

Phil.


On Dec 20 2018, at 2:20 pm, GaryB <[hidden email]> wrote:

Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to reply to a message on Gramps lists?

Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies to just the gramps list.  And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.

So would Reply List be the correct choice? Don't want to create duplicate replies and spam people. Web forums are so much easier.
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Re: Mailing List Replies

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Gary Bussiere
On 20/12/2018 22:20, GaryB wrote:
> Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to
> reply to a message on Gramps lists?
>
> Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to
> just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies
> to just the gramps list.  And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.

Those three choices are exactly correct.
They let you decide who gets your response.
Many mail user interfaces don't have this flexibility, which is why so
many people have trouble with replies that aren't replies, and threads
which are off-topic.

> So would Reply List be the correct choice?

Yes, absolutely, if you want everyone else to see what you are writing.

> Don't want to create
> duplicate replies and spam people.

Some badly-behaved list software sends headers which result in Reply
doing a Reply-All; and some poorly-designed mail programs always do a
Reply-All be default, thereby sending your reply to the list *and* to
the individual, which IMNSHO is spam.

> Web forums are so much easier.

I *hate* web forums because the responses don't come to me, I have to go
and look for them, one by one, for all the fields I'm involved with, and
then scroll down through miles of irrelevant "me too" responses,
interspersed with useless advertisements. And you can't mine or search
properly, because they are web pages, not actual messages (the search is
usually broken, and the individual messages are not individually
addressable). The stackexchange sites are marginally better, although a
lot of the problems are down to user indiscipline.

But I'm old and cranky like that: I've been using email since forever,
and mailing lists since LISTSERV was written. It's fast, simple,
reliable, works everywhere on every platform, has no advertising, and
*I* get to keep an archive of what was said.

P


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Re: Mailing List Replies

Gary Bussiere
On 12/20/18 6:01 PM, Peter Flynn wrote:

>
> Those three choices are exactly correct.
> They let you decide who gets your response.
> Many mail user interfaces don't have this flexibility, which is why so
> many people have trouble with replies that aren't replies, and threads
> which are off-topic.

That must be the reason why I a few problems with replying and had to
change Thunderbird to use the 'display message threads'. And had to
separate the different lists. Messages and the responses seemed to be
getting mixed up.

And I checked some of the messages and replies. Some don't show a 'Reply
List' option just a Reply or Reply All to send a reply. It sends it to
just the person or to everybody in the tread 'individually' and usually
sends a 'Carbon Copy' to the gramps users list.

I'll have to keep an eye on that if I reply to one of those.

>
> I *hate* web forums because the responses don't come to me, I have to go
> and look for them, one by one, for all the fields I'm involved with, and
> then scroll down through miles of irrelevant "me too" responses,
I only use a few web forums but understand. You have to go to the web
forum to read any replies or new posts usually. But the replies in the
messages stay in order...:) Just have to get used to the way replies
work on the gramps list.
> But I'm old and cranky like that: I've been using email since forever,
> and mailing lists since LISTSERV was written. It's fast, simple,
> reliable, works everywhere on every platform, has no advertising, and
> *I* get to keep an archive of what was said.

Thanks all for the tips...

Gary



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Re: Mailing List Replies

Nick Hall
In reply to this post by Gary Bussiere
On 20/12/2018 22:20, GaryB wrote:
So would Reply List be the correct choice?

Yes.  That is the option I use.

Nick.




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Re: Mailing List Replies

Nick Hall
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
On 20/12/2018 23:01, Peter Flynn wrote:
> I*hate*  web forums because the responses don't come to me

One option would be for us to use something like Discourse which is a
hybrid of a forum and a mailing list.

https://www.discourse.org/

However, we have no plans to start using it for Gramps.


Nick.




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Re: Mailing List Replies

Janusz S. Bień
In reply to this post by Gary Bussiere
On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 17:20 -0500, GaryB wrote:
> Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to
> reply to a message on Gramps lists?
>
> Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to
> just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies
> to just the gramps list. And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.

Interesting. In Emacs Gnus I see no option "Reply List". "Reply" sends
the reply only to the poster, "Wide reply" to the poster and the list,
and "Very Wide Reply" to the list and all persons quoted. Perhaps
answering to the poster and the list was the recommended way in the
early days of mailing list and netnews? Emacs is one of the oldest
programs still in use, and Gnus one of the most sophisticated mail
agents.

On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 23:01 GMT, Peter Flynn wrote:
> On 20/12/2018 22:20, GaryB wrote:

[...]

> sending your reply to the list *and* to the individual, which IMNSHO
> is spam.

In my opinion this is too general and too strong statement.

As I mentioned already some time ago, sometimes it is useful. If a list
is moderated, the post can be delayed or cancelled. If the poster is
subscribing the list in digest form, the post is also delayed.

On the other hand the list owner should be able to force replying to the
list with the appropriate field "Reply-to".

>
>> Web forums are so much easier.
>
> I *hate* web forums because the responses don't come to me, I have to go
> and look for them, one by one, for all the fields I'm involved with, and
> then scroll down through miles of irrelevant "me too" responses,
> interspersed with useless advertisements. And you can't mine or search
> properly, because they are web pages, not actual messages (the search is
> usually broken, and the individual messages are not individually
> addressable). The stackexchange sites are marginally better, although a
> lot of the problems are down to user indiscipline.
>
> But I'm old and cranky like that: I've been using email since forever,
> and mailing lists since LISTSERV was written. It's fast, simple,
> reliable, works everywhere on every platform, has no advertising, and
> *I* get to keep an archive of what was said.

I strongly support this.

I would add that forums usually don't support inline replying, which is
very useful for serious discussions.

I can also give examples of some mailing lists where
the idea of switching to the forum appears from time to time and is
always rejected.

On Fri, Dec 21 2018 at  0:59 GMT, Nick Hall wrote:
> On 20/12/2018 23:01, Peter Flynn wrote:
>> I*hate*  web forums because the responses don't come to me
>
> One option would be for us to use something like Discourse which is a
> hybrid of a forum and a mailing list.
>
> https://www.discourse.org/
>
> However, we have no plans to start using it for Gramps.

I never heard about the site. The same feature has Sympa

https://www.sympa.org/

which is for me an obvious alternative to mailman. I used Sympa some
time ago as a co-administrator and a list owner and was quite satisfied.

There are even tools for migration:

https://www.sympa.org/distribution/contrib/mailman2sympa/

Best regards

Janusz

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Re: Mailing List Replies

Bill Gee
I use KMail on Fedora 29.  My email server is Postfix and Dovecot running on CentOS.

A bit of testing shows mixed results.  On this particular message I used "Reply" and got only Janusz's email address.  When I used "Reply All" I got both Janusz and the group email address.

However, on another message from the list, I hit "Reply" and got only the group email address.  I had to use "Reply All" to get both the group and the original sender.

I think it comes down to how the various addresses are coded in the headers.  For this message the "Reply-To:" field had Janosz's address.  For the other message there was no "Reply-To:" field.  I suspect in that case KMail used the "To:" field as the reply address.  In both cases the "From:" field had the email address of the original sender.

If all that is true, then the result you get will depend on your email client.

--
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On Friday, December 21, 2018 12:54:33 AM CST Janusz S. Bień wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 17:20 -0500, GaryB wrote:
> > Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to
> > reply to a message on Gramps lists?
> >
> > Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to
> > just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies
> > to just the gramps list. And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.
>
> Interesting. In Emacs Gnus I see no option "Reply List". "Reply" sends
> the reply only to the poster, "Wide reply" to the poster and the list,
> and "Very Wide Reply" to the list and all persons quoted. Perhaps
> answering to the poster and the list was the recommended way in the
> early days of mailing list and netnews? Emacs is one of the oldest
> programs still in use, and Gnus one of the most sophisticated mail
> agents.
>
> On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 23:01 GMT, Peter Flynn wrote:





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Re: Mailing List Replies

Janusz S. Bień
On Fri, Dec 21 2018 at  6:54 -0600, Bill Gee wrote:

> I use KMail on Fedora 29.  My email server is Postfix and Dovecot running on CentOS.
>
> A bit of testing shows mixed results.  On this particular message I
> used "Reply" and got only Janusz's email address.  When I used "Reply
> All" I got both Janusz and the group email address.
>
> However, on another message from the list, I hit "Reply" and got only
> the group email address.  I had to use "Reply All" to get both the
> group and the original sender.
>
> I think it comes down to how the various addresses are coded in the
> headers.  For this message the "Reply-To:" field had Janosz's address.

I just checked that I set it this way long ago for a reason I don't
remember :-(.

I have to rethink the setting.

Best regards

Janusz

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Re: Mailing List Replies

Ron Johnson
In reply to this post by Bill Gee
On 12/21/18 6:54 AM, Bill Gee wrote:
> I use KMail on Fedora 29.  My email server is Postfix and Dovecot running on CentOS.
>
> A bit of testing shows mixed results.  On this particular message I used "Reply" and got only Janusz's email address.  When I used "Reply All" I got both Janusz and the group email address.
>
> However, on another message from the list, I hit "Reply" and got only the group email address.  I had to use "Reply All" to get both the group and the original sender.
>
> I think it comes down to how the various addresses are coded in the headers.  For this message the "Reply-To:" field had Janosz's address.  For the other message there was no "Reply-To:" field.  I suspect in that case KMail used the "To:" field as the reply address.  In both cases the "From:" field had the email address of the original sender.
>
> If all that is true, then the result you get will depend on your email client.

KMail doesn't have Reply-To-List?


--
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Re: Mailing List Replies

Janusz S. Bień
On Fri, Dec 21 2018 at  7:37 -0600, Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 12/21/18 6:54 AM, Bill Gee wrote:
>> I use KMail on Fedora 29.  My email server is Postfix and Dovecot running on CentOS.

[...]

> KMail doesn't have Reply-To-List?

Gnus has one but up to now I was not aware of it...

Moreover I have to withdraw my earlier statement about forcing
"Reply-to" for a list: it doesn't seem possible in mailman and it is not
recommended, at least according to

https://www.gnu.org/software/emacs/manual/html_node/gnus/Summary-Mail-Commands.html

Best regards

Janusz

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Re: Mailing List Replies

Bill Gee
In reply to this post by Ron Johnson
KMail does have a Reply-to-Mailing-List function.  I used it for this message and it came up with the list email address in the To: field.  It is possible to add a button to the toolbar for this function.  I have not done that because I have too many buttons on my toolbar as it is.

--
Bill Gee



On Friday, December 21, 2018 7:37:17 AM CST Ron Johnson wrote:
> On 12/21/18 6:54 AM, Bill Gee wrote:
> > I use KMail on Fedora 29.  My email server is Postfix and Dovecot running on CentOS.
> >
> > A bit of testing shows mixed results.  On this particular message I used "Reply" and got only Janusz's email address.  When I used "Reply All" I got both Janusz and the group email address.
> >


> KMail doesn't have Reply-To-List?
>
>
>






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Re: Mailing List Replies

Ron Johnson
On 12/21/18 8:12 AM, Bill Gee wrote:
> KMail does have a Reply-to-Mailing-List function.  I used it for this message and it came up with the list email address in the To: field.  It is possible to add a button to the toolbar for this function.  I have not done that because I have too many buttons on my toolbar as it is.

Hot key?  In Thunderbird, it's Ctrl-Shift-L.

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Re: Mailing List Replies

Gary Bussiere
In reply to this post by Nick Hall
On 12/20/18 7:59 PM, Nick Hall wrote:
> One option would be for us to use something like Discourse which is a
> hybrid of a forum and a mailing list.

No need to consider switching to a new platform. As the saying goes, If
it's not broke...

However I did have to configure Thunderbird to keep messages and threads
organized a bit clearer. Created some folders and filters for my inbox
to shuffle the emails so it's easier to keep track of threads and just
looks better.

GMail kinda sorts them out for you but they only have a 'Reply' and
'Reply to all' selection. The email address has a "via
lists.sourceforge.net" added at the end for 'Reply'. 'Reply to all' just
adds both addresses to the "To:" field. And the hidden one is the 'Reply
to all' button. Go figure.








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Re: Mailing List Replies

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Gary Bussiere
On 21/12/2018 00:43, GaryB wrote:

> On 12/20/18 6:01 PM, Peter Flynn wrote:
>
>>
>> Those three choices are exactly correct.
>> They let you decide who gets your response.
>> Many mail user interfaces don't have this flexibility, which is why so
>> many people have trouble with replies that aren't replies, and threads
>> which are off-topic.
>
> That must be the reason why I a few problems with replying and had to
> change Thunderbird to use the 'display message threads'. And had to
> separate the different lists. Messages and the responses seemed to be
> getting mixed up.

For any serious use of mailing lists, I recommend using a filter (see
Menu > Message Filters) to put all list messages into a separate folder
and indeed use threading to group the conversations together. This is
the normal way of using email.

> And I checked some of the messages and replies. Some don't show a 'Reply
> List' option just a Reply or Reply All to send a reply.

There have been long and acrimonious arguments over decades about
replying to list mail.

"Reply List" is a feature of your mail program, nothing to do with the
mailing list. It just means that your mail program has recognised the
message as coming from a list, and is being helpful to you. Most mail
programs are clueless and don't do this.

"Reply All" is also a feature of your mail program (actually I think all
mail programs do it) which displays only when the mail program can see
more than one From or Sender or CC address (obviously meaningless if the
email just comes from a single person).

> It sends it to just the person or to everybody in the tread
> 'individually' and usually sends a 'Carbon Copy' to the gramps users
> list.
This is one of the variants that is up to the mail program you use, and
also determined to some extent by a setting within the mailing list
server software.

 * Some lists are intended to be Notification-Only — you are never
expected to reply to the list (in most cases you cannot send replies to
the list, as only authorised senders can send stuff through the list),
so any reply gets sent to the original individual who posted the message.

 * Other lists are for Discussion — ALL replies are intended to be
distributed to everyone on the list, so if you only want to reply to the
individual, you have to be careful to click just Reply and NOT Reply-All
or Reply-List.

But some mailing list aficionados maintain that mail programs should
never fiddle with the headers and should always reply to the individual.
 Others feel the reverse should be true.

Peter


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Re: Mailing List Replies

Peter Flynn
In reply to this post by Janusz S. Bień



On 21/12/2018 06:54, Janusz S. Bień wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 17:20 -0500, GaryB wrote:
>> Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to
>> reply to a message on Gramps lists?
>>
>> Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to
>> just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies
>> to just the gramps list. And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.
>
> Interesting. In Emacs Gnus I see no option "Reply List". "Reply" sends
> the reply only to the poster, "Wide reply" to the poster and the list,
> and "Very Wide Reply" to the list and all persons quoted.

GNUS or RMAIL? I think RMAIL follows the belief that replies should
never go to the list alone. This is a philosophical matter.

> Perhaps answering to the poster and the list was the recommended way
> in the early days of mailing list and netnews?

In Usenet News is was certainly a practice, but it dropped off because
there is no requirement in NNTP that the sender's email address is
actually true. Lots of people used made-up addresses to prevent spam.

> Emacs is one of the oldest programs still in use, and Gnus one of the
> most sophisticated mail agents.

It certainly is. But I prefer RMAIL for mail and GNUS for news, so I
haven't tried using GNUS to send mail on a regular basis.

Peter


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Re: Mailing List Replies

Janusz S. Bień
On Fri, Dec 21 2018 at 16:41 GMT, Peter Flynn wrote:

> On 21/12/2018 06:54, Janusz S. Bień wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 20 2018 at 17:20 -0500, GaryB wrote:
>>> Question, I'm kinda new to mailing lists. What's the "proper" way to
>>> reply to a message on Gramps lists?
>>>
>>> Thunderbird has a few options that show. If I hit Reply, it replies to
>>> just the person who made the post. If I use the Reply List, it replies
>>> to just the gramps list. And Reply all, seems to send it to everybody.
>>
>> Interesting. In Emacs Gnus I see no option "Reply List". "Reply" sends
>> the reply only to the poster, "Wide reply" to the poster and the list,
>> and "Very Wide Reply" to the list and all persons quoted.
>
> GNUS or RMAIL? I think RMAIL follows the belief that replies should
> never go to the list alone. This is a philosophical matter.

Gnus, but in my later post I corrected myself: there is "reply to list"
(but for some reason, perhaps a mistake, not accessible from the menu
but only by the command name or the keyboard shorthand).

>> Perhaps answering to the poster and the list was the recommended way
>> in the early days of mailing list and netnews?
>
> In Usenet News is was certainly a practice, but it dropped off because
> there is no requirement in NNTP that the sender's email address is
> actually true. Lots of people used made-up addresses to prevent spam.
>
>> Emacs is one of the oldest programs still in use, and Gnus one of the
>> most sophisticated mail agents.
>
> It certainly is. But I prefer RMAIL for mail and GNUS for news, so I
> haven't tried using GNUS to send mail on a regular basis.

If I remember well, the reason I preferred Gnus over RMail was the
support of SOUP (Simple Offline USENET protocol) which I used
intensively for several years, and later I had no motivation to explore
the alternatives.

Best regards

Janusz

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emeryt (emeritus)
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Re: Mailing List Replies

Gary Bussiere
In reply to this post by Peter Flynn
On 12/21/18 11:36 AM, Peter Flynn wrote:

>   * Other lists are for Discussion — ALL replies are intended to be
> distributed to everyone on the list, so if you only want to reply to the
> individual, you have to be careful to click just Reply and NOT Reply-All
> or Reply-List.

Makes sense now when I read this. Reply to the "Discussion" List or
shorter version, "Reply-List".

Guess Mailing list threw me off. I've never seen the Reply-List button
until now.

On group emails, its only Reply and Reply-All buttons. And in that case
it's bad to send replies to all unless everyone agrees in the list.

Thanks for clearing that up for me.




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