locked Re: Preventing Reply to Group/Sender mixups

David P. Dillard

Thanks so much for the positive feedback to this post.

I think a great deal in terms of this mistake being made depends on what each individual does in handling email. Keep in mind that many of the people posting to discussion groups reply from their email message and not from the web discussion group online. The owners on the discussion group network can control what is seen by someone replying to a message on the website of in this case Groups.IO. I do not believe the same owners control the message that comes up when a poster uses the reply mechanism within an email from a group within the inbox of their email account.

I am using Alpine, the newer version of Pine out of the University of Washington that Temple University makes available to users of the corporate Gmail account provided to students, faculty and staff at Temple.
This is what I see here is this message in my Alpine box.

Use "Reply-To:" address instead of "From:" address?

Since Alpine email is text based, no images, icons or the like, I will not see any colored dots.

I must chose here between the two options and then the software formulates my message and I can change the recipients and modify the message until I send it. No colors here. If I use TU Mail (Gmail) instead, I can click on the word REPLY and that is my only reply option. I will need to change my recipients manually if I do not want those that Gmail selects. In other words, I suspect that any changes that Mark makes may only completely effect replies made from the web page on Groups.IO for the discussion group in question. That said, if Mark can get Gmail to return your Groups.IO messages to your account as incoming mail that lands in your sent mail box, I would not be surprised by anything he can do to make systems work better for Groups.IO users. In thinking this over, Mark could embed these options in the email message that comes into my box from a Groups.IO list. However, he may want to include a text based version of the same reply method as well as the color coding as the use of color for system commands is not ADA compliant as visually impaired, color blind and blind users cannot interpret the colors, making their use in such a context a violation of the ADA (Americans with Disabiliies Act).

Therefore there is much more to this than ability to read plain English. Users in a hurry may not read the plain English at all and act without knowing what their action is doing. They may be seeing variant instructions from on the web in the email message itself, unless they are clearly in the text of every group message received by email. Also without the word only, reply to sender is ambiguous. The user may assume that this link will add the sender to the list of recipients in the case where the sender has a no mail restriction for group email and not a restriction to send ones reply to the sender and no one else. This is not English reading ability, this is perception of a statement that is somewhat ambiguous. The bottom line is that anything one can try to reduce the occurance of these errors is worth trying, but it is unlikely that these mistakes will stop cccuring completely. Everyone enjoy this longer holiday weekend.



David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584

On Sat, 2 Jul 2016, J_catlady wrote:

I agree with all of this. As for this:
On Sat, Jul 2, 2016 at 06:21 am, David P. Dillard wrote:

It may happen a few times a year,
 In my group of only 150 members, it is happening several times a month (conservatively).

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