When I said,
T> Blind faith in reply-to-all to do the right thing magically without the
T> user's reviewing its choices is not perfect either.
V> which goes back to previous discussions here that reply needs to be
V> tri-state: reply to author, reply to list, and reply to all.
Quad-state, really: reply to author, reply to list, reply to list and author,
and reply to administrator. Of those, list-and-author is needed least, ex-
cept perhaps on moderated discussion lists or discussion lists with slow dis-
tributions, and never on announcement lists (because the author is usually
the same person as the administrator).
[I had a digest-mode member who had sent his unsub request to the list, as
commonly happened; I replied with sent my form letter explaining that such
things should be sent to the -request address and that I'd be happy to deal
with the matters in his message when it arrived in my admin mailbox. When
he responded to that (its Reply-To: pointed to -request, so he couldn't get
that wrong) he complained that I shouldn't be setting up traps by delibe-
rately directing Reply-To: to a wrong address! Yes, the next time he was
going to write, it was going to be about a subscription service matter, so
in his view all digest issues had to go out to all digest-mode members with
Reply-To: pointing to -request. I explained to him that there are any num-
ber of things that people could think of sending while reading a digest
issue of the list, each with a proper place to be sent to, and Reply-To:
could point to only one.
He reminded me of the AOLer on the list who, the first time he found a di-
gest issue converted into a 2-Kb preview and a downloadable file, demanded
that all digest issues be kept to 2Kb or shorter.]
JCL gave reasons for keeping a list RTL, including:
L> 2) Private off-list discussions would be encouraged,
L> disenfranchising lurkers or non-thread participants.
"Encouraged"? Not true; people have reply-to-all commands. Lawrence's other
reasons might apply to that particular list, but that one just doesn't wash.
How are off-list discussions encouraged? Does a spirit appear over the
shoulder of a member as he or she reads mail from the list, saying, "I'll
give you $10.00 to reply privately instead of publicly"?
An RTL list *dis*courages off-list discussions, no argument there (well, no
argument about whether it's the case, but perhaps an argument about whether
that's good or bad or mixed); but to say that an RTS list *en*courages them
is not equivalent.