Reply All

This is primarily intended for people corresponding with me via spambayes@python.org.Those that have will have noticed my signature generally includes these lines:

--
Please always include the list (spambayes at python.org) in your replies
(reply-all), and please don't send me personal mail about SpamBayes.
http://www.massey.ac.nz/~tameyer/writing/reply_all.html explains this.

Here is an explanation of what that means, why I am asking you to do this, and how you can do it. If you don’t understand a term here, please check the list at the end for a definition, or use Google‘s “define” facility to get a definition.

What does this mean?
What this means is that I would like you to send your reply to the spambayes@python.org address, rather than (or in addition to) my own address. I would also like you to send any new queries in the future to that same spambayes@python.org address, and not to me, even though I might have helped you in the past (unless I specifically ask/offer you to do so).

Why should I do this?
There are four main reasons:

  • I get plenty of email, like lots of other people. One way that I manage the volume is to have it automatically filtered into appropriate folders/labels based on a set of rules. These generally work well, and I don’t need to resort to something like POPfile. To help with this, mail to me about SpamBayes should come via the appropriate mailing list, so that it will end up in the right place.
  • I am far from the only person that can help with SpamBayes problems. In some cases (like sb_imapfilter) I’m probably most likely to know the answer straight away, but in others (like sb_filter) I’m very far down the list. If you email the list, rather than me, you will potentially get help from a much larger number of people. This doesn’t just apply to the first response, either – sometimes people will add helpful additions to my responses, which I may not know about or have forgotten.
  • Like just about everyone, I’m very busy. I try to keep up with mail to spambayes@python.org as much as I can, but it’s volunteer work done in what little spare time I find myself with. In addition, I’m in New Zealand, which is several hours ahead of the United States and Europe, where many SpamBayes users are. This all means that it might be some time before you get a response from me. This is especially the case if you haven’t asked a smart question, or if I don’t know the answer to your question, and have to do some work to figure one out. There are many other people reading the mailing list who can help, particularly with simpler questions, and these people are scattered across the globe (and therefore time zones). This means you are much more likely to get a prompt response if you send mail to the list, rather than just me. This applies to follow-ups, too, not just the original question.
  • All mail to spambayes@python.org is automatically archived, and this archive can be downloaded or searched (via Google). People often try to find solutions to their problems before emailing the list (and this ishighly recommended, since it doesn’t take time away from new problems and actual development). If messages go via the list, then other people will be able to read them and use the information therein to potentially solve their own problems. If messages go directly (privately) to me, then that is not the case.

How do I do this?

The simplest possible way is to just click in the recipient (“to”) area of the composed email, and put “spambayes@python.org” (without the quotes) in there, if it isn’t already.

Many mail clients provide such a facility for you, usually called “reply all”, or “reply to all”.

  • Microsoft Outlook calls this Reply to all, and a button for this is usually on the toolbar,or you can get to it via the Actions menu or by pressing control-shift-r.
  • Microsoft Outlook Express calls this Reply all, and a button for this is usually on the toolbar, or you can get to it (Reply to all, here) via the Message menu or by pressing control-shift-r.
  • Qualcomm Eudora calls this Reply all and a button (it looks like an envelope with two arrows over it) is usually on the toolbar, or you can get to it (Reply to all, here) via the Message menu.
  • gmail calls this reply to all and you can click the link with those words to do so, or you can press ‘a’ to do it (if you have enabled keyboard shortcuts).

Terms

In case you are not familiar with some of the terms used above, here are links to some explanations (thanks to Wikipedia):

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One response to this post.

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