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RE: (now OT) cygwin processes and system'ed processes using 100% CPU
- From: "Dave Korn" <dk at artimi dot com>
- To: <cygwin at cygwin dot com>
- Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 13:17:46 -0000
- Subject: RE: (now OT) cygwin processes and system'ed processes using 100% CPU
> -----Original Message-----
> From: cygwin-owner On Behalf Of Brian Dessent
> *sigh* No, that's how mailing lists are supposed to work.
> Lists where the ML software forces the Reply-To to the list
> address are broken. See
Without having much opinion myself on how things should be done for the
cygwin list, I'll just observe that that article is not a balanced review
but a one-sided polemic based on a false dichotomy.
The author of it presents and contrasts these two options, "Reply to
everyone" and "Reply to just the author", and demonstrates how reply-to and
reply-to-munging interacts with those.
In doing so, he completely ignores the *third* option, "Reply to just the
list" - in fact, such an option is not mentioned once anywhere in the
Yet in real life, people are *always* saying "Don't Cc me, just reply to
the list"; the author of that article skates entirely over the issue that
his "Reply to all" option spams the original poster with pointless
duplicates if the original poster is a list subscriber.
He also only addresses the one case of munging, where a Reply-to header is
blindly added to mails, overwriting any Reply-To that might already be
there. He doesn't consider the option of only adding one to mails that
don't already have one.
IMO, most of his objections become automatically invalid given the simple
proviso that the list only sets the Reply-To header if one hasn't been
supplied by the original poster. Having two different methods as the cygwin
list now does, one of which munges and one of which doesn't, seems to me to
give the ultimate combination of flexibility and respect for the original
poster's wishes. Let me address just his summary:
1>It violates the principle of minimal munging.
Not if it's only under control of the original poster. As he himself
agrees, sometimes munging is reasonable.
2>It provides no benefit to the user of a reasonable mailer.
Simply untrue; as pointed out above, "Reply to just the list" is as
difficult the way he suggests doing things as "Reply to just the author" is
when doing things the way he doesn't like. So which of those two do people
want to do more often? I'd bet quite a lot that wanting to reply to just
the list is what people want to do more often than replying privately to
just the author by a factor of hundreds-to-one or more.
3>It limits a subscriber's freedom to choose how he or she will direct a
Again, I'll agree that munging shouldn't be automatic, and shouldn't
overwrite any *existing* Reply-to header.
4>It actually reduces functionality for the user of a reasonable mailer.
This is the same as 2> above, and untrue for the same reason.
5>It removes important information, which can make it impossible to get back
to the message sender.
This problem is also solved by my response to 3> above.
6>It penalizes the person with a reasonable mailer in order to coddle those
running brain-dead software.
This is just another repitition of 2 and 4, combined with a bit of elitist
snobbery for added flameworthiness.
7>It violates the principle of least work because complicates the procedure
for replying to messages.
As pointed out above, he completely ignores the "Reply to List only"
option and the fact that it is by far the more common choice than "Reply to
author only" or "Reply to author AND list".
8>It violates the principle of least surprise because it changes the way a
First he complains about brain-dead mailers. Now he's complaining about
mailers that correctly respond to RFC822-standard headers. That's just
silly. It doesn't change the way a mailer works, which is and always has
been to reply to the Reply-To header if present, else the From: header.
9>It violates the principle of least damage, and it encourages a failure
mode that can be extremely embarrassing -- or worse.
I think this is the real point of the entire article. The guy has
publicly embarassed himself at some point and his humiliation has driven him
to write this emotionally-driven massive over-reaction.
10>Your subscribers don't want you to do it. Or, at least the ones who have
bothered to read the docs for their mailer don't want you to do it.
How does he know what subscribers to random lists want or don't want?
Different lists have their own different cultures, traditions and standards.
He attempts to make his statement true by only counting the opinions of
those who agree with him and dismissing everyone else as lazy people who
can't be bothered to read mailer docs. This is a well-known fallacy.
I think there's plenty of good material in that article, but it's
overwhelmed by the guy's personal emotional bias. I don't think that the
article deserves to be treated as one of the standard pieces on netiquette
and pointed at as some kind of authority. And I think the cygwin list by
providing the posters with every kind of option gets it most right of all.
Can't think of a witty .sigline today....
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