Cannot "Reply All" to From: when Reply-To: field appears in header

RESOLVED WONTFIX

Status

RESOLVED WONTFIX
a year ago
a year ago

People

(Reporter: tanstaafl, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

a year ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0
Build ID: 20170323105023

Steps to reproduce:

1. Started my Thunderbird 52 release version is Safe Mode

2. Sent myself a message from another computer/email account, with an explicit Reply-To set

3. Clicked 'Reply All' to reply to both the sender/From and the Reply-To address


Actual results:

The only recipient listed in the Reply was the address in the Reply-To address


Expected results:

Reply All should reply to both the From and the Reply-To addresses
(Reporter)

Comment 1

a year ago
I created this new bug because Magnus disabled commenting in the original 16 year old bug 77304 that is not fixed, even though he claims that it is.

Comment 2

a year ago
Agree.

I have an email received during the tb council election.

The 'From' email address address is 'person name via <tb-election@mozilla.org>'.
The 'Reply-to' header has two email addresses. 
---The first is a standard personal email address of person who sent email. 
---The second is a Mailing list: 'Closed list for electorate for Thunderbird Council election <tb-election@mozilla.org>'
The 'To' header was a mailing list email address with no preceding text: 'tb-election@mozilla.org'.

Click on 'Reply-List'
Result: - the info that was in the 'TO' field is now in the 'TO' field.

Click on 'Reply- ALL'
Result: both email addresses (ordinary standard email address and the Mailing List email address) that were in the 'Reply-to' field are now in separate 'TO' fields.

Click on 'Reply'
Result: the 'From' email ('person name via tb election email address'.) is now in the 'To' field.
Note:  If 'Reply-to' has only one ordinary email address then the 'Reply-to' is used when you click on 'Reply'.

So, in my example, 'Reply' ignores the 'Reply-to' because one of those email addresses is a Mailing List. It completely ignores the fact that the first one is not a mailing list. Although 'the fix' is supposed to have only effected Mailing lists, I can say it also ignores any other ordinary standard email addresses in a 'Reply-to' header, but only if a second email address is a mailing list. This is a bug in my opinion.


'Reply-All' is the only way to get all the 'Reply-to' info into TO fields to make it work as the sender intended.
'Reply-All' does not include the FROM.  This is a bug in my opinion.

If you really want to reply to all - both the sender 'From' and all mentioned in 'Reply-to' when they are ordinary email address AND mailing list, then you use 'Reply-all' and then manually have to enter the 'From'.

If you want to only the personal email address in the 'Reply-to' field and not the mailing list
You have use 'Reply-all' and then remove the Mailing List.

Nothing is quite as you may expect :)

Comment 3

a year ago
"Only affecting mailing lists" meaning the mail has a List-Post header. 

Let's look at the example:

---

To: <tb-election@mozilla.org>
List-Post: <mailto:tb-election@mozilla.org>
From: Foo via tb-election <tb-election@mozilla.org>
Reply-To: Foo <foo@example.com>, "Closed list for electorate for Thunderbird Council election" <tb-election@mozilla.org>

---

A: reply will go to tb-election (since the mailing list address is in Reply-To).
B: reply-list will go to tb-election (the address in List-Post)
C: reply-all will go to tb-election and foo

Well, you could argue that Reply should go to the Reply-To for case A. But what you desired (only reply to foo@example.com) is not one of the options you would ever get, no matter what. So I don't see a huge win from changing that.

Comment 4

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #0)
> Reply All should reply to both the From and the Reply-To addresses

It should not. That would make life very hard for anyone wanting to use Reply-To.
(Reporter)

Comment 5

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #4)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #0)
> > Reply All should reply to both the From and the Reply-To addresses
> 
> It should not.

Sorry, but that is just plain ridiculous.

Reply All should either mean Reply All (as it has, or had, for a very VERY long time), or...

> That would make life very hard for anyone wanting to use Reply-To.

Reply-To is a SUGGESTION, as has been pointed out more than once.

What you are suggesting is proper is to allow someone I do not know to dictate to me what 'Reply All' means.

If that is really how you feel, then you should be advocating removing the Reply All function completely, not pretending that in this one case, it doesn't mean what is appears to mean, and has meant for many long years.
(Reporter)

Comment 6

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #3)
> "Only affecting mailing lists" meaning the mail has a List-Post header. 
> 
> Let's look at the example:
> 
> ---
> 
> To: <tb-election@mozilla.org>
> List-Post: <mailto:tb-election@mozilla.org>
> From: Foo via tb-election <tb-election@mozilla.org>
> Reply-To: Foo <foo@example.com>, "Closed list for electorate for Thunderbird
> Council election" <tb-election@mozilla.org>
> 
> ---
> 
> A: reply will go to tb-election (since the mailing list address is in
> Reply-To).

But it should go to both, since they are both in the Reply-To.

> B: reply-list will go to tb-election (the address in List-Post)
> C: reply-all will go to tb-election and foo
> 
> Well, you could argue that Reply should go to the Reply-To for case A.

It absolutely should. A simple 'Reply' should always honor the Reply-To.

But 'Reply All' should always 'Reply All', regardless of what is in the Reply-To, and regardless of whether or not it has a List-Post header.

Comment 7

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #5)
> Reply All should either mean Reply All (as it has, or had, for a very VERY
> long time), or...

It never used to reply to both From and Reply-To. This hasn't changed.
If the sender would have wanted a reply to From he would not have set the Reply-To header. That's the whole point of the header!

Comment 8

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #6)
> But 'Reply All' should always 'Reply All', regardless of what is in the
> Reply-To, and regardless of whether or not it has a List-Post header.

It replies to all. But if a Reply-To is set, that is used instead of From.
(Reporter)

Comment 9

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #7)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #5)
>> Reply All should either mean Reply All (as it has, or had, for a very VERY
>> long time), or...
> 
> It never used to reply to both From and Reply-To. This hasn't changed.
> If the sender would have wanted a reply to From he would not have set the
> Reply-To header. That's the whole point of the header!

I'm pretty sure this is wrong. But even if it isn't...

(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #8)
> It replies to all. But if a Reply-To is set, that is used instead of From.

But that isn't what *I* want. This is *my* Thunderbird we are talking about, not SenderX's.

It appears you are in favor of allowing someone else to dictate to me how my Thunderbird works.

Are you also in favor of SenderX being able to over-ride my 'Ignore All Return Receipt Requests' too?

There is absolutely no difference in the two cases.
(Reporter)

Comment 10

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #8)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #6)
>> But 'Reply All' should always 'Reply All', regardless of what is in the
>> Reply-To, and regardless of whether or not it has a List-Post header.
> 
> It replies to all. But if a Reply-To is set, that is used instead of From.

Oh - and that is what the standard 'Reply' button is for.

Comment 11

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #9)
> But that isn't what *I* want. This is *my* Thunderbird we are talking about,
> not SenderX's.

This is not about your desires, because you're not the one impacted by what you propose, the sender is, and he/she already told you what he/she wants by setting the header.

I in fact have one (just one) correspondent who's webmail is mis-configured like you propose. I get duplicate replies for everything, and it's soo annoying.
I strongly believe that this bug should be WONTFIX. If a user has indicated that they would like replies to go to a particular mailbox, we should respect that. For example, if I send a message to 5 of my friends but set the Reply-To to an alternate account of mine, then my friends should be able to hit "Reply All" and send a message to all my other friends and my alternate account, but *not* the account in the From header.

The current behavior in Thunderbird is also consistent with Gmail, so it's not as though we're going against the grain here.

As for fixing this bug, I think this would be better addressed via bug 498448, which would let us provide additional options for people to control the destinations of replies.
(Reporter)

Comment 13

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #11)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #9)
> > But that isn't what *I* want. This is *my* Thunderbird we are talking about,
> > not SenderX's.
> 
> This is not about your desires,

Excuse me?! How can you say that with a straight face? Or, maybe you're not?

This is everything to do with my desire, because it is MY Thunderbird that we are talking about.

> because you're not the one impacted by what you propose, the sender is,
> and he/she already told you what he/she wants by setting the header.

And as has been pointed out, that is merely their SUGGESTION, and if I just click 'Reply', then their suggestion is honored. But if I go out of my way to click 'Reply All', then I expect it to do just that.

Think of it this way: are you also be in favor of removing my ability to set 'Ignore return receipt requests'?

There is absolutely no difference here. The sender has signaled their 'desire' to get a return receipt, so who am I to dare to refuse?

Jim, this applies to your response as well.

But this is all actually irrelevant.

Either 'Reply All' means 'Reply All', or it doesn't. It is that simple.

If however you decide to allow other users to impose their will on me against my will, and force me to have to manually copy/paste to do what I am going to do one way or another rather than just let 'Reply All' do and mean what it plainly says on the tin/label, then just be done with it and change the 'Reply All' label to 'Reply-To', which would be redundant, since we already have one, labeled 'Reply'.

> I in fact have one (just one) correspondent who's webmail is mis-configured
> like you propose. I get duplicate replies for everything, and it's soo
> annoying.

It probably isn't misconfigured, it probably just doesn't have a Reply List function, just like Thunderbird didn't have for a very long time, and users are clicking Reply All, but the lazy ones don't delete the authors address, so you get two copies.

I deal with that too, but that doesn't mean I want to cripple Thunderbird.

I really don't get this.
REPLY ALL MEANS REPLY ALL. How can anyone not see this?

Comment 14

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #13)
> And as has been pointed out, that is merely their SUGGESTION, and if I just
> click 'Reply', then their suggestion is honored. 

If you need to be rude to them, you'll have to do a manual copy paste. This is nothing we would allow by default.

> the 'Reply All' label to 'Reply-To', which would be redundant, since we
> already have one, labeled 'Reply'.

It's not, as Reply-All is From/Reply-To + all the other recipients.

> are clicking Reply All, but the lazy ones don't delete the authors address,
> so you get two copies.

No, it's just that mail clients respect the Reply-To header.

> I really don't get this.
> REPLY ALL MEANS REPLY ALL. How can anyone not see this?

This is how almost all major mail clients work. Outlook, Gmail, you'll have a hard time finding one that doesn't.
(Reporter)

Comment 15

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #14)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #13)
>> And as has been pointed out, that is merely their SUGGESTION, and if I just
>> click 'Reply', then their suggestion is honored. 
> 
> If you need to be rude to them,

It isn't about etiquette, it is about functionality in my email client.

AGAIN - the RFC in question plainly states that the Reply-To is merely their SUGGESTION, and if I just click 'Reply', then their suggestion is honored. But if I go out of my way to click 'Reply All', then I expect it to do just that.

> This is nothing we would allow by default.

Really? That is simply not true, and you totally ignored the example I provided proving so.

So, I'll ask it again...

Are you also in favor of removing my ability to set 'Ignore return receipt requests'? If not, how rude of you to support my ability to ignore the senders very plain 'desire' to get a return receipt.

Magnus, there is absolutely no difference in these two cases, but, by all means, explain how/why you think they are different.
(Reporter)

Comment 16

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #14)
> This is how almost all major mail clients work. Outlook, Gmail, you'll have
> a hard time finding one that doesn't.

Magnus, if I wanted to use Outlook or GMail, I would. I don't. I like and choose to use Thunderbird because it lets me be in control of my email. Please don't start down the road that Firefox developers started down long ago.
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #14)
> > I really don't get this.
> > REPLY ALL MEANS REPLY ALL. How can anyone not see this?
> 
> This is how almost all major mail clients work. Outlook, Gmail, you'll have
> a hard time finding one that doesn't.

Moreover, RFC 2822 indicates pretty clearly that "Reply-To" is meant to *replace* "From", not *supplement* it. While I'm ok with allowing a user to override this behavior (e.g. via bug 498448), following the recommendations of the RFC for the common case (clicking "reply") is the correct thing to do.

(In reply to Charles from comment #16)
> Magnus, if I wanted to use Outlook or GMail, I would. I don't. I like and
> choose to use Thunderbird because it lets me be in control of my email.
> Please don't start down the road that Firefox developers started down long
> ago.

You still have 100% control over your Thunderbird experience. If the built-in behaviors aren't to your liking, you can create an add-on to provide for whatever you like. This is one of the reasons I worked to ensure that the Message Header Toolbar is easy for users (and developers) to customize; we can't possibly account for every user's needs in Thunderbird proper, so having good extension points gives them an escape hatch to do what they think is right. However, I don't believe it's in Thunderbird's best interest to provide built-in prefs for every behavior a user might want, especially when those behaviors go against recommendations in RFCs (as a reminder, I argued against landing the patch in bug 77304 as well, although at least in that case we were papering over a very common abuse of the Reply-To header).

While the title of this bug describes a valid problem (we don't even offer the *option* to direct a reply to the "From" mailbox; once again, see bug 498448 for my preferred resolution here), the description in comment 0 is something I would certainly advocate for WONTFIXing.

Comment 18

a year ago
(In reply to Charles from comment #13)
> And as has been pointed out, that is merely their SUGGESTION, and if I just
> click 'Reply', then their suggestion is honored. But if I go out of my way
> to click 'Reply All', then I expect it to do just that.
> 
> Think of it this way: are you also be in favor of removing my ability to set
> 'Ignore return receipt requests'?
> 
> There is absolutely no difference here. The sender has signaled their
> 'desire' to get a return receipt, so who am I to dare to refuse?

You can do what you want with the return receipt receipt. There is no conflict of interest that can be resolved by the software there, while for the other case there is.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: a year ago
Resolution: --- → WONTFIX
(Reporter)

Comment 19

a year ago
(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #17)
> Moreover, RFC 2822 indicates pretty clearly that "Reply-To" is meant to
> *replace* "From", not *supplement* it.

This is simply not true.

Jim, I'm very surprised at both you and Magnus. You seem to be 'suggesting' that the word 'suggest' in the RFC means the same thing as 'MUST', when you know (or should know) it doesn't.

Here is what it says:

"The originator fields also provide the information required when
replying to a message.  When the "Reply-To:" field is present, it
indicates the mailbox(es) to which the author of the message suggests
that replies be sent.  In the absence of the "Reply-To:" field,
replies SHOULD by default be sent to the mailbox(es) specified in the
"From:" field unless otherwise specified by the person composing the
reply."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but 'suggests' is not even remotely close to 'meant to replace'.

The 'SHOULD' in there - which is stronger than just 'suggest' but still far from MUST, only applies when there is nothing in the Reply-To.

> While I'm ok with allowing a user to override this behavior (e.g. via bug 498448),

Interesting - I say that because, according to that bug, Reply All will behave in the exact same way that I am asking for.

So, why are you responding to this bug as if you are not in favor of it?

> following the recommendations
> of the RFC for the common case (clicking "reply") is the correct thing to do.

I agree completely, but fail to see why you bring that up, as that (what  happens when you click 'Reply') has nothing to do with this bug or what is being discussed (what happens when you click 'Reply All').

> You still have 100% control over your Thunderbird experience. If the
> built-in behaviors aren't to your liking, you can create an add-on to
> provide for whatever you like.

Ahem... your comment would be more correctly stated as:

"People with the skills necessary to develop Addons for Thunderbird still have 100% control over their Thunderbird experience."

> This is one of the reasons I worked to ensure
> that the Message Header Toolbar is easy for users (and developers) to
> customize; we can't possibly account for every user's needs in Thunderbird
> proper, so having good extension points gives them an escape hatch to do
> what they think is right.

And for this, I thank you in more ways than I can count! [OT: Too bad the Firefox developers are going in the exact opposite direction.]

> However, I don't believe it's in Thunderbird's best interest to provide
> built-in prefs for every behavior a user might want,

I agree again.

> especially when those behaviors go against recommendations in RFCs

I agree again, but this bug and what I'm asking for do not violate the RFCs in any way, not even close.

> (as a reminder, I argued against landing the patch in bug 77304 as well,
> although at least in that case we were papering over a very common abuse of
> the Reply-To header).

That bug was hijacked shortly after it was opened. The OP bug report specifically did NOT have anything to do with List-Post headers or List Reply Munging.

The primary hijacker was Boris Zbarsky, when he marked the bug as invalid, referring to RFC 822 section dealing with 'systems that automatically generate address lists', which the OP made VERY clear was not the case. To add insult to injury, Boris also worded his reply in such a way as to claim that the RFC mandated it, which means the word MUST would have been present, but it was not, so even if the OP was talking about list munging or automatd systems, Boris still would have been wrong in claiming the RFC mandated the behavior.

> While the title of this bug describes a valid problem (we don't even offer
> the *option* to direct a reply to the "From" mailbox; once again, see bug
> 498448 for my preferred resolution here), the description in comment 0 is
> something I would certainly advocate for WONTFIXing.

Ok, Jim, then you'll have to explain how you can be in favor of WONTFIXing bug 77304, and in favor of the changes in bug 498448, which very plainly includes implementing the change being requested in both bug 77304 and this bug.
(Reporter)

Comment 20

a year ago
(In reply to Magnus Melin from comment #18)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #13)
>> Think of it this way: are you also be in favor of removing my ability to set
>> 'Ignore return receipt requests'?
>> 
>> There is absolutely no difference here. The sender has signaled their
>> 'desire' to get a return receipt, so who am I to dare to refuse?

> You can do what you want with the return receipt receipt.

In one case, the Sender expresses a desire to have Replies sent to a different address. This is referred to in the RFC as a 'suggestion' (the actual word used). I have made this point numerous times and you seem to be totally ignoring it.

In the other case, the Sender expresses a desire to get a return receipt. This is referred to in the RFC as a 'request'.

I'm sorry, but THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE IN THESE TWO CASES. 'Suggestion' and 'request' are synonymous as used - and I'm yelling because you appear to be intentionally ignoring the very plain and obvious.

Having the plain 'Reply' button reply to the Reply-To address is perfectly logical, reasonable, and is what SHOULD be done. Having the 'Reply All' button reply to all header addresses - note the operative word 'ALL' here - is also perfectly logical. In fact, having the 'Reply All' IGNORE the From header is ILLOGICAL, UNREASONABLE, and SHOULD NOT be done.

> There is no conflict of interest that can be resolved by the software there,
> while for the other case there is.

Au contraire mon ami, the 'conflict' (with respect to the senders desire to receive a return receipt and my desire not to send one) is VERY EASILY RESOLVABLE IN THE SOFTWARE, and you darn well know it. As I already plainly pointed out, all you'd have to do is remove the ability of the receiver to ignore return receipts, forcing them to honor the senders desire to receive one.

It is humorous watching you guys go to all of these contortions to justify what appears to be a simple personal preference - probably based on a pet peeve - trying to twist the meanings of RFCs, and resorting to outright untruths (I'm trying to be diplomatic here) about the fact that my example with regard to return receipts is virtually identical to the case being discussed here.

It is almost as if you were intentionally trying to bait me into screaming obscenities at you so you could close this bug to comments and stick your heads back in that oh so pleasant sand.
Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment hidden (obsolete)
(In reply to Charles from comment #19)
> (In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #17)
> > Moreover, RFC 2822 indicates pretty clearly that "Reply-To" is meant to
> > *replace* "From", not *supplement* it.
> 
> This is simply not true.
> 
> Jim, I'm very surprised at both you and Magnus. You seem to be 'suggesting'
> that the word 'suggest' in the RFC means the same thing as 'MUST', when you
> know (or should know) it doesn't.

No one's doing that. We're saying that we want Thunderbird to follow the suggestions, not that we "must" follow the suggestions. Just because something isn't a "MUST" doesn't mean that we *should* allow the opposite.

> Correct me if I'm wrong, but 'suggests' is not even remotely close to 'meant
> to replace'.

I think it's quite clear the behavior the RFC assumes; just because they didn't mandate it with a "MUST" doesn't change the way they mean for Reply-To behave. While the authors try to leave things fairly open for implementations, it's pretty clear what they expect if you read through a few different sections. Aside from the section on originator fields, the most-relevant part is this:

   Note the "Reply-To:" field in the above message.  When John replies
   to Mary's message above, the reply should go to the address in the
   "Reply-To:" field instead of the address in the "From:" field.

Technically, this is non-normative since the "should" is lower case, but from this, I think it's very clear that the RFC is recommending a certain behavior for (direct) replies. With this bit of info, we have a few facts:

* Direct replies without a Reply-To SHOULD go to the From header
* Direct replies with a Reply-To could theoretically go wherever you want (but it's clear that the authors prefer for Reply-To to replace From)
* Reply All is explicitly unspecified but when viewed as an extension of a direct reply (i.e. "reply directly to the author and also to the recipients of the original"), the current behavior (Reply-To overrides From) is more internally consistent

I interpret the above as a recommendation by the RFC to use this behavior. While it attempts to allow implementations a lot of leeway, I don't think the RFC actually managed to remain neutral in this area.

> > While I'm ok with allowing a user to override this behavior (e.g. via bug 498448),
> 
> Interesting - I say that because, according to that bug, Reply All will
> behave in the exact same way that I am asking for.

Where does it say that? Having read through the whole bug, I don't see any discussion about changing the behavior of Reply All; only changing the labels of the buttons (and allowing a reply - *not* reply all - to the From address).

> So, why are you responding to this bug as if you are not in favor of it?

Even if that bug suggested changing the Reply All behavior (and from what I can tell, it does not), that doesn't mean I'd need to support that aspect of it. Rather, I support listing the actual email addresses in the button's dropdown to make things clearer. Letting people reply directly to the From address is also nice (not Reply All though, since I don't want a proliferation of Reply All variants as I think the distinction would be too subtle to easily explain to most users).
(In reply to Charles from comment #19)
> Ok, Jim, then you'll have to explain how you can be in favor of WONTFIXing
> bug 77304, and in favor of the changes in bug 498448, which very plainly
> includes implementing the change being requested in both bug 77304 and this
> bug.

Just to be clear, I didn't say I was in favor of WONTFIXing bug 77304; I said, "I argued against landing the patch in bug 77304." Likewise, as mentioned above in comment 17, I think *this* bug is WONTFIX because of the "expected behavior" in comment 0, which I strongly disagree with. Specifically, I think the default Reply All behavior should respect Reply-To as an override for From.

I think it's fine to have the *ability* to reply directly to the From field, ignoring Reply-To, just so long as it's never the default behavior. Now, I *also* don't want to add some "super reply all" that replies to From, Reply-To, and all recipients of the original, but as mentioned earlier, that's just because I think the distinction is too subtle to easily explain. (It's not hard to explain for direct replies, since you can easily display the destination address in most cases, but Reply All is typically a longer list, so it'd be harder to distinguish them in a way that was obvious.) If someone came up with a really good UI for "super reply all", I could probably be convinced otherwise, but I'm doubtful that such a UI exists.

Comment 25

a year ago
The explanation of why 'Reply-all' will use everything in a 'Reply-to' even if there is a Mailing list, but not include 'From' because this is what the sender intended by setting a 'REply-to' - they do not want emails sent to the 'From' email address; I can understand the logic. 
Thanks for clarification.

'REply-all will use 'FRom' if there is no 'REply-to', - as expected.

So why not have the 'Reply' actually using the 'Reply-to' anyway just as the sender intended, which was as it used to be.
After all 'Reply-all' still does exactly the same thing - it uses the 'REply-to' including Mailing lists, so clearly this has nothing to do with any regulations etc or inability to still use the information as sender intended. 
It has caused user confusion because in this case 'Reply-all' actually means use 'Reply-to'
'Reply-List' is using the 'TO' header Mailing list not the 'Reply-to' Mailing List.
'Reply-All' is using the 'Reply-to' header Mailing list.

It seems illogical to have to use a 'Reply-all' to actually 'Reply' using 'Reply-to' header Mailing list email address as sender intended.

I've been  informed that selecting 'Reply' should use a 'Reply-to' if it is not a Mailing List (it is an ordinary email address) and this works if there is only an ordinary email address.

So, if 'Reply' is selected, can someone please explain why a standard ordinary email address in a 'Reply-to' is completely ignored IF a second email address (which is a Mailing List email address) is also in the 'Reply-to' field?

I was under the impression it only effected Mailing Lists, but clearly it effects ordinary email addresses in this situation. Was this intended or was it assumed that no one would have a Mailing List and an ordinary email address in a 'Reply-to' header?

Workaround: In this instance you have to use 'Reply-all' to be able to reply to the ordinary email address in a 'Reply-to' and then delete the Mailing List if not required.
So now a 'Reply-all' is actually required to only reply to one email address which the sender wanted you to use because it is in a 'Reply-to' and assuming you did not want to use the Mailing List.


You really have to be very careful clicking on all the various 'Reply' type options else you could end up sending to the wrong Mailing list especially if the TO header Mailing list address varies from the 'Reply-to'header mailing list.

So if you want to use the 'TO' header Mailing List then click on 'Reply-List'
If you want to use the 'Reply-to' Mailing List as sender intended then select 'Reply-All'.
If you want to send to the 'From', note :the sender does not want you to do this then click on 'Reply'.
But strangely you can not send/reply to the 'From' if you use 'REply-all'.

So if sender does not want you to use the 'From', how come 'Reply' uses it when there is an ordinary email address and a Mailing list in a 'Reply-to', but 'REply-all' will not use it.
Do you understand why this is causing confusion ?
(In reply to Anje from comment #25)
> So, if 'Reply' is selected, can someone please explain why a standard
> ordinary email address in a 'Reply-to' is completely ignored IF a second
> email address (which is a Mailing List email address) is also in the
> 'Reply-to' field?
> 
> I was under the impression it only effected Mailing Lists, but clearly it
> effects ordinary email addresses in this situation. Was this intended or was
> it assumed that no one would have a Mailing List and an ordinary email
> address in a 'Reply-to' header?

Can you elaborate on what you mean by "effects ordinary email addresses"? Just to clarify, here's the exact behavior from bug 77304: If there is a List-Post header that looks like <mailto:list@example.com> *and* the Reply-To header contains list@example.com, Thunderbird ignores the Reply-To header when clicking "Reply".

There's a lot of weird stuff here though. One issue I've noticed is that you might have a message like this:

  From: me@example.com
  List-Post: <mailto:list@example.com>
  Reply-To: reply@example.com, list@example.com
  To: list@example.com, to@example.com

If I click "Reply", what should happen? Currently, I get a message to me@example.com and no one else. That seems wrong. Likewise, if I click "Reply All", I get a message to me@, reply@, list@, and to@. I don't think the Reply-To header above is a "munged Reply-To", since those usually look like "list@example.com".

This is one of the reasons I didn't want the patch in bug 77304 to land; while it attempts to clean things up, it's using a very simple heuristic, and we're bound to get things wrong for some messages.
(Reporter)

Comment 27

a year ago
(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #23)
> (In reply to Charles from comment #19)
>> Interesting - I say that because, according to that bug, Reply All will
>> behave in the exact same way that I am asking for.

> Where does it say that? Having read through the whole bug, I don't see any
> discussion about changing the behavior of Reply All; only changing the
> labels of the buttons (and allowing a reply - *not* reply all - to the From
> address).

It is in the illustrations of the buttons, specifically, this one in comment zero:

multiple recipients, w/ reply-to
( reply all | v )________________________
 | reply to sender and recipients       |
 |--------------------------------------|
 | reply only to sender@example.com     |
 | reply only to reply-to@example.com   |
 | reply only to recipients (#)         |
 '--------------------------------------'

Although, my assessment may be wrong, if that first choice below the drop-down is not in fact the 'default' if just 'Reply All' is clicked instead of the drop down.

(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #24)
> If someone came up with a really good UI for "super reply all", I could
> probably be convinced otherwise, but I'm doubtful that such a UI exists.

I think that is silly.

As I said, mys stance is 'Reply All' should either mean 'Reply All', or the label should be changed to reflect that it isn't, in fact, 'Reply All', rather it is 'Reply to all except the From'.

Anyway, I'm done arguing about it, seeing as my opinion is of no consequence.
(Reporter)

Comment 28

a year ago
(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #26)
> If I click "Reply", what should happen?

Reply should ALWAYS honor Reply-To.

'Reply List' should ALWAYS 'Reply List' only.

'Reply All' should ALWAYS Reply to ALL addresses (including From), but it should also de-dupe (if any addresses are duplicated anywhere).

Incidentally, I really like all of the suggestions in bug 498448, and with the above sane defaults, I'd be a happy camper.

Alternatively, maybe a new pref or two could be introduced to allow over-riding the defaults in some cases if the user prefers (ie, if I prefer that 'Reply All' really means 'Reply All').
(In reply to Charles from comment #27)
> (In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #23)
> > (In reply to Charles from comment #19)
> >> Interesting - I say that because, according to that bug, Reply All will
> >> behave in the exact same way that I am asking for.
> 
[snip]
> 
> multiple recipients, w/ reply-to
> ( reply all | v )________________________
>  | reply to sender and recipients       |
>  |--------------------------------------|
>  | reply only to sender@example.com     |
>  | reply only to reply-to@example.com   |
>  | reply only to recipients (#)         |
>  '--------------------------------------'
> 
> Although, my assessment may be wrong, if that first choice below the
> drop-down is not in fact the 'default' if just 'Reply All' is clicked
> instead of the drop down.

"Reply All" and "Reply to Sender and Recipients" would do the same thing. The first item in each of the dropdowns is just there to provide a wordier explanation of what the default action would do. In this case, it says that you'd reply to the "recipients" (everyone in To and Cc) plus the "sender"[1], which is the terminology Thunderbird uses to mean "the Reply-To field if it exists; otherwise, the From field". It wouldn't change the behavior "Reply All" to be what you want.

Another nice thing about bug 498448 is that it would make it possible to avoid reply-to munging (at least for direct replies) *without* the hack in bug 77304.

[1] Technically, this should be "author" so as to avoid confusion with the Sender header.
(Reporter)

Comment 30

a year ago
(In reply to Jim Porter (:squib) from comment #29)
> "Reply All" and "Reply to Sender and Recipients" would do the same thing.
> The first item in each of the dropdowns is just there to provide a wordier
> explanation of what the default action would do. In this case, it says that
> you'd reply to the "recipients" (everyone in To and Cc) plus the
> "sender"[1], which is the terminology Thunderbird uses to mean "the Reply-To
> field if it exists; otherwise, the From field". It wouldn't change the
> behavior "Reply All" to be what you want.
> 
> Another nice thing about bug 498448 is that it would make it possible to
> avoid reply-to munging (at least for direct replies) *without* the hack in
> bug 77304.
> 
> [1] Technically, this should be "author" so as to avoid confusion with the
> Sender header.

I thought that 'Author' means whatever is in the From field when there is anything in the Reply-To or not, and 'Sender' is what is used to distinguish between the 'person' who sent the message (From/Author) and address used by automated systems (ie, this is the address used by Mailman lists to manage bounces, etc).

But I agree, these terms should be clarified, and the appropriate one used when discussing.
If we're following the RFC, "From" specifies the author(s), "Sender" specifies whoever sent the message, and "Reply-To" specifies the mailbox that the *author* would like replies to go to. (That last bit is something that lots of software violates, since a mailing list relay is the *sender*, not the author, so it shouldn't be setting Reply-To.)

Comment 32

a year ago
re :'If I click "Reply", what should happen? Currently, I get a message to me@example.com and no one else. That seems wrong. '

Agree, if someone has set a 'Reply-to' header then 'Reply' should not be choosing the 'From' header.
But it would seem that this is precisely what the call for reopening bug 77304 was requesting - Reply should choose 'From' header regardless if a Mailing List is included as one of the 'Reply-to' headers.

Quote : 
'I want to reopen this bug.  I really think Mozilla should provide an option to
reply to the From: even when there's a different Reply-To:.  The RFC you quote
says that the current behavior is only a recommendation, not a hard rule.

I subscribe to mailing lists that set the group as the Reply-To field, which
means all replies go to the mailing list, no matter what.  I used to use the
MR/2 email client which gave me a choice of sending replies to Reply-To: or to
From:, and this is a very useful feature.  If Mozilla supported it, then I could
send my replies either to the entire group, or to the original sender.'

End of quote.

So, a 'Reply-List' was created just in case people actually wanted to reply using the 'Reply-to' List email as set by author and/or sender. 


re :'Can you elaborate on what you mean by "effects ordinary email addresses"? '

  From: me via <list@example.com>
  List-Post: <mailto:list@example.com>
  Reply-To: me <addy@domain.com>, Closed list for people <list@example.com>
  To: list@example.com

Clearly the person (author) wanted the 'Reply-to' to send an email to themselves personally as well as the list.
Results:
'Reply' uses 'From' header in 'To' field 
'To'= me via <list@example.com>

'Reply-List' puts 'TO' header in 'TO' field 
'To'= list@example.com

'Reply-All' puts 'Reply-To' headers in two separate 'TO' fields 
'To'= me <addy@domain.com>
'To'= Closed list for people <list@example.com>

In this case the 'Reply-to' header contains an email address as well as a mailing list email address.

You would expect 'Reply' to use the 'Reply-to' as this has been set to use.
If the intention by TB was to never select a Mailing List if it is in a 'Reply-to' header, then it is also not using the ordinary non list email address either.

So by this new logic I would expect 'Reply' to use the ordinary email address in 'Reply-to' field, just like it would use it if there was no mailing list, but it doesn't.
And even if this occurred, then the user may wonder why they then had to copy paste the mailing list email address into new Write message assuming they had actually noticed it.

Most people would expect a 'Reply' to use whatever was in the 'Reply-to' if one is set.
People have an habit of not checking the TO fields because they expect it to contain the 'Reply-to' info.
People also develop a natural habit of clicking on 'Reply', so to make those people stop and look at the headers to work out what button they should now be clicking will end up with a lot of emails sent to wrong email address.

But what if you actually wanted to reply to that person and the list. In other words everything in the 'Reply-to' header as the author intended, then you need to use 'Reply-all' to pick up both. This is not what I would call intuitive when it would be expected to occur via 'Reply'.

Notice that the 'Reply-List' button appears to have used the 'TO' list header info and not the 'Reply-to' list header. 
So what could happen if there were two different lists, one used to send out emails (TO header) and another being used to receive emails (Reply-to' header).
You could end up using 'Reply- List' button and the wrong list is inserted.
Whilst, two different lists may not be the norm, I would have thought you would need to assume it could occur from a testing point of view. So that a 'Reply-to' mailing list would be used in preference to a 'TO' header mailing list.


Allowing a 'Reply' button to use a 'From' email address when 'Reply-to' has been set is illogical and not intuitive.
Forcing people to use a 'Reply-List' to get what would be normally expected in a 'Reply' is also not intuitive and illogical.



Suggestion for anyone to consider as a means of resolving this.............

It would be so much easier to use the original method and make an exception to use the 'FRom'.
'Reply' uses 'REply-to' header in 'TO' field if 'REply-to' header is set
Else 'Reply' uses 'From' header in 'To' field.

'Reply-All' replies to all in 'FRom' and 'TO' and 'CC' headers, unless a 'Reply-to' has been set in which case 'Reply-all' will use 'Reply-to' and 'TO and 'CC' headers and not use the 'From' as author intended.

If 'Reply-to' or 'TO' headers are a Mailing list, then there should be the option to 'Reply to From' offering a way to repond without using the Mailing list.
Then everything is intuitive and works as expected and also offers a means of not using the mailing list.
At the moment, the Mailing list is removed be default messing up the 'REply-to' and the 'REply' causing confusion, when  instead it should be offering an alternative to use 'From' thereby removing any need for 'REply-to List' and honouring 'Reply-to' headers.

Thoughts?

Updated

a year ago
Duplicate of this bug: 1368553

Updated

a year ago
Summary: Cannot reply to From: when Reply-To: field appears in header → Cannot "Reply All" to From: when Reply-To: field appears in header

Updated

a year ago
Duplicate of this bug: 1144077
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.