[chandler-users] Making sure new users get replies to questions...

Mimi Yin mimi at osafoundation.org
Fri May 30 12:19:35 PDT 2008


In an effort to make the Users List more accessible as a place to  
find help, we have a policy of not requiring that you subscribe to  
the list in order to post to the list.

This however, means that those of us responding to queries on the  
list need to be extra careful about making sure we respond directly  
to new users, unless we are positive that the sender is a regular  

Currently, the Users-List, like all Chandler Project lists, is set to  
"reply-to: chandler-users at osaf...".

This means that even if you hit "Reply All" on a list message, only  
"chandler-users" will be added to the list of addressees on your reply.

Unfortunately, there is no way to change this behavior to make it so  
that both "chandler-users" *and* the "sender" are by default,  
included in replies *if* the "sender" is not subscribed to the list.

That being said, we have a few options in front of us:

1. Leave the behavior as is and enthusiastically (and most probably,  
repeatedly) encourage everyone to be wary of sending replies directly  
to new people.

2. Remove "reply-to: chandler-users at osaf..." for the Users-List. This  
means that when you hit "Reply", the default behavior will be to  
respond *only* to the "sender". "Reply-all" will include both the  
"sender" and "chandler-users".

My proposal is that we do Option 2 for the following reasons:
- I am concerned about new users not getting replies. It's simply too  
easy to forget to cc: senders directly. For a long while, I was  
hitting "Reply All" not realizing that only "chandler-users" was  
being added to the reply and sending without double-checking to make  
sure the "sender" was getting my reply directly.

- When we *are* certain that a sender is subscribed to the list,  
deleting the "sender" from "Reply All" is easier than remembering to  
add a "sender" (which is what we would need to do in Option  
1...especially because adding "new senders" almost always requires  
typing out or copying and pasting the email address, since the new  
address is unlikely to auto-complete.)

- The worst scenario for Option 2 is less bad than the worst-case  
scenario for Option 1.
-- Some emails only get sent to the sender and not to the list.
-- Sometimes, subscribers get an email twice because they receive it  
through the list and directly to their email account.

As we approach and release 1.0, I imagine that emails from non- 
subscribers will only become more, not less common. This week, we had  
3 people send mail to the Users-List who hadn't subscribed and didn't  
get replies because of our funky "reply-to" behavior.

Does this sound reasonable?

We've discussed creating a "forum" for new users, which would  
probably give us behavior closer to what we want. I'm not sure it's  
the right thing for us at this point, but it's worth discussing.

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