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Re: [T3] Reply-To: headers.

I beg to differ.  As someone who's written email list
software, there are some simple solutions to the

In any conforming email header, there is a From: line.
 The From: line MUST match the actual domain the email
originates from.  Email receiving software is supposed
to enforce this (although it often isn't).  The
Reply-to: line is optional, and was originally
intended for cases where you want mail to come back to
someplace other than where you sent it from.  An
example of this would be if you send email from work
at a work-related address (and therefore the From:
line is from that work domain), but want the reply to
go to your home address, which is probably in a
different domain.

When emailing lists came along, the Reply-to: became a
convenient way to redirect replies back to the list,
rather than back to the original sender.  This is
generally the correct behavior.  Any decent email
software will give you the option, when you send a bit
of mail, whether you want the mail to go to the From
address or the Reply-to address.  Unfortunately, there
is a lot of, uh, indecent email software out there,
that doesn't provide you with this option explicitly. 
Most of it sends it to the Reply-to, if present, and
the From if there is no Reply-to, and doesn't bother
asking you which one you want.

The list software has 100% control over all of the
email headers sent to the list, so it can always solve
the problem and enforce the solution 100% of the time.
There are three ways of solving this problem in the
list software: always strip out any Reply-to lines in
the received header and send out a Reply-to back to
the list, which makes the default to reply to the
list; always strip out any Reply-to lines in the
received headers and put back nothing, which ensures
all replies go back to the original sender (a
variation, allow the Reply-to if it's not the list);
have a switch for either behavior, settable by the
user at subscription time, which can be reset later,
if desired.

Personally, I prefer the first option, as mailing
lists are supposed to be places for open discussion. 
People can reply "off-list", but they have to take
some special action to do so.

--- Greg Merritt <gregm@vwtype3.org> wrote:

> 	Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed universal
> solution to 
> this problem, given the variation in behavior
> between e-mail 
> programs.  (There are also additional possible
> conflicts between 
> poorly-behaved vaction response systems and
> Reply-To: headers that 
> can make loop bombs.)
> 	This is a classic problem with mailing lists that
> has been 
> known for a long time, and has been debated a lot.
> 	Regardless, one should *always* check headers
> before sending 
> off an e-mail message.  Bad, bad, embarrassing
> situations can result 
> if messages go where they're not intended...
> -Greg
> List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list |
> mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org

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