replies to queries

Peter Rauch peterr at VIOLET.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Jan 18 17:26:55 CST 1995


On Wed, 18 Jan 1995 11:56:06 -0400, Alan Harvey <aharvey at AMNH.ORG>
observed/asked:

>I've noticed that replies to posted messages to the taxacom list by default
>go only to the original sender, not to the group (I assume this is a
>characteristic of the list itself and not of my hardware or software

Yes, this is an option setting of LISTSERV. For example, in your email
message, one of the mail header lines is this:

Reply-To: Alan Harvey <aharvey at AMNH.ORG>

That was inserted into your message by LISTSERV when it re-distributed
your message to the entire subscribership, due to an option set by the
owner of Taxacom. The option is "Reply-To= Sender..." (rather than
"Reply-To= List...").

>  Isn't this a bit counter to the purpose of these lists?

Depends on the purpose and desired dynamics for the particular list.
Your observations about those dynamics, and your suggestions are
quite valid for many lists.

>Alan

On Wed, 18 Jan 1995 12:20:24 EST, John McNeill <john at ROM.ON.CA>
said, in reply to Alan's comments:

>  As I understand it
>the listserver protocol is for enquiries to be posted; those with something
>worth contributing reply to the person posting the query; if the material is
>of general import, he/she then prepares a summary for posting to the entire
>list.

Again, the protocol (intention) you describe is list-dependent. Some
(many!) lists are set up with Reply-To= List, because they wish to
support the discussion dynamic described by Alan. I.e., they want to
facilitate and stimulate discussion by defaulting responses to the list
rather than to the original author.

>John

Cheers,
Peter




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