[Dovecot] Reply-To header [was: Re: quota warning]

Timo Sirainen tss at iki.fi
Fri Feb 16 22:33:40 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-02-16 at 15:16 -0600, Richard Laager wrote:
> I see you've added a Reply-To header later. The canonical response in
> this case is for someone to reference:
> http://www.unicom.com/pw/reply-to-harmful.html

Yes, I've read that page. It says basically that it makes replying
privately to the sender difficult. I'm sure it does, but in this list I
don't think pretty much anyone ever wants to reply to someone only

Except possibly me once in a while when I want some larger logs or
whatever. Perhaps I should drop the Reply-To header from my messages.
Although the current way works well for me, and I'm a bit lazy in
configuring any duplicate-prevention systems.

> > Yes, but even though you want them it doesn't mean that everyone else
> > wants them. That's why I always hit Reply-to-all and if anyone is
> > bothered by the duplicates they can enable the Reply-to-list flag.
> Or get a mail client that eliminates duplicates based on message IDs, or
> use a simple procmail recipe to eliminate duplicates based on message
> IDs, or any number of other solutions...

I don't really like this solution. First of all they all seem to decide
that whatever message is received first is the one that stays. And
usually the private reply is received first and the list reply later.
And because I filter my mails with the List-ID header (the only right
way to do it), this duplication avoidance system clearly breaks.

Another possible way would be to check the message's To and Cc headers
and delete the mail if it contains dovecot at dovecot.org but didn't
contain List-ID header. This way might lose mails, especially if the
person who sent it wasn't joined to the list. So I don't really want to
do that either.

Third and the only really working way would be not to do anything before
both messages have been received, and only then decide which one to
drop. But how should this be done? Should there be a queue where the
messages are waiting before they're written to the actual mailbox? How
long should they stay in the queue? It can't be too short, but too long
is also annoying. Are there any existing solutions that does it this
way? I somehow doubt it.

This all could be solved nicely if there was a header that means "don't
include me in the reply-to-all list". I guess the Mail-Followup-To
header would do this. Hmm. Do enough clients nowadays support that? IIRC
mutt supported it, Thunderbird seems to be supporting it now that I'm
googleing, what about others? If support for it is good enough I could
change Mailman to add that header instead of Reply-To.
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