Reply to all default is not ideal

8 views
Skip to first unread message

John Flood

unread,
May 24, 2021, 4:28:58 AM5/24/21
to mblaze
I have been using mblaze for a certain number of weeks after using mutt (still installed) for several years.  I am still getting used to it.

I don't know if there is a better way of raising my issue, but I would just note that from my point of view, the default action of mrep, which is "reply to all" has the result that, unless one is vigilant, as we all know, one may end up sending messages to many people that may contain information intended for only one or a few.  As a result, one may unintentionally end up offending some, causing division in a group or simply spreading information that is better kept confidential.

So, I am just expressing the wish that there was a way for one to make a more deliberate choice to "reply to all" in order to avoid inadvertent mistakes.  With vim as an editor, it is, of course, very easy to delete all Cc: addresses, but occasionally we all do things in a hurry or when distracted and some people even make the mistake when there is a deliberate choice as in Gmail itself.

I am not a proficient programmer, but when I saw that the mcom script was a bash script, I just hacked it and added an echo command to create a warning which has ended up appearing at the top of the draft when it opens and which I then need to delete before sending, but, at least it's a reminder.  So, I'm just wondering whether it would be all that difficult to make an alternate command like "mgrp" that would replace the current "mrep" and a new "mrep" that would not reply to all.

Thanks,

John Flood

Leah Neukirchen

unread,
May 24, 2021, 11:46:36 AM5/24/21
to John Flood, mblaze
John Flood <jflo...@gmail.com> writes:

> I have been using mblaze for a certain number of weeks after using mutt
> (still installed) for several years. I am still getting used to it.
>
> I don't know if there is a better way of raising my issue, but I would just
> note that from my point of view, the default action of mrep, which is
> "reply to all" has the result that, unless one is vigilant, as we all know,
> one may end up sending messages to many people that may contain information
> intended for only one or a few. As a result, one may unintentionally end
> up offending some, causing division in a group or simply spreading
> information that is better kept confidential.
>
> So, I am just expressing the wish that there was a way for one to make a
> more deliberate choice to "reply to all" in order to avoid inadvertent
> mistakes. With vim as an editor, it is, of course, very easy to delete all
> Cc: addresses, but occasionally we all do things in a hurry or when
> distracted and some people even make the mistake when there is a deliberate
> choice as in Gmail itself.

I disagree, in 99% of cases, Reply All is what you want, and as you
say, the adresses are shown and furthermore, it's easier to delete
messages than to look them up and add them manually.

So mrep will definitely keep Reply All as default, but
this does not mean we can't add "reply directly" command or flag.
I think this just needs to toggle the Cc: generation.

Try this:

diff --git a/mcom b/mcom
index 057a998..50b48cb 100755
--- a/mcom
+++ b/mcom
@@ -110,6 +110,7 @@ defaultc=e
hdrs=
resume=
noquote=
+nogroup=
case "$0" in
*mcom*)
hdr=to
@@ -217,6 +218,9 @@ case "$0" in
-noquote)
noquote=1
shift;;
+ -nogroup)
+ nogroup=1
+ shift;;
-??*)
hdr=${1#-}
shift;;
@@ -357,10 +361,12 @@ fi
to=$(mhdr -d -h reply-to "$1")
[ -z "$to" ] && to=$(mhdr -d -h from "$1")
printf 'To: %s\n' "$to"
- printf 'Cc: %s\n' \
- "$(mhdr -d -A -h to:cc: "$1" |
- notmine |grep -Fv -e "$to" |
- ouniq |commajoin)"
+ if [ -z "$nogroup" ]; then
+ printf 'Cc: %s\n' \
+ "$(mhdr -d -A -h to:cc: "$1" |
+ notmine |grep -Fv -e "$to" |
+ ouniq |commajoin)"
+ fi
printf 'Bcc: \n'
printf '%s\n' "$hdrs" | awk '{ print }' |
msed "/body/d" -


hth,
--
Leah Neukirchen <le...@vuxu.org> https://leahneukirchen.org/

John Flood

unread,
May 25, 2021, 4:53:53 AM5/25/21
to mblaze
Thanks very much!

Not being a "professional", I had to google a bit in order to be sure of what to do.  I think I'd done something similar once or twice.  So, after saving your suggestion as a patch and using "git apply" in the local mblaze repository and then recompiling, when I reply with "mrep -nogroup", it works and eliminates "Cc:" completely!

So, thanks very much for that option!

However, we can still "agree to disagree", in that, although they may exist, I don't know of email programs with "Reply to all" as an automatic default and, if I was knowledgeable enough I would make a patch for a "-group" flag to force the group reply with "nogroup" as the default!  Or, otherwise, cause mrep to require one of the two flags and give an error if flagless!  My post to the group was prompted by a recent mistake have a somewhat embarrassing email go to someone's relatives when it was meant only for the individual.  It was not disastrous, only embarrassing!  Hopefully, "Once bitten, twice shy"!

Whatever the case, I am grateful for:
1. Your provision of mblaze
2. Your prompt and practical response!

Sincerely,

John

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages