Subject: Notice: Default Reply-To is the Forum|
From: Steven J. Coker
Date: July 11, 1998
NOTICE: The Forum Server is configured to use the Forum as the default REPLY-TO address. This means that if the person sending a message to the list did not include a REPLY-TO line in their email program settings, then the mail server will insert a REPLY-TO setting to direct replies to the forum. The server will not overwrite a REPLY-TO if the sender included one. So it is your choice whether to have replies to your messages automatically addressed back to you or to the forum. IT IS YOUR CHOICE. YOU CAN CHANGE THIS FOR YOUR MESSAGES IF YOU SO CHOOSE. All you need to do to override the Forum Reply-To default is to setup a "Reply-To" address in your email program. The server will not change any existing Reply-To settings in incoming messages. You will have to study your email manual or help menus to learn how to adjust the setups for your program. WHAT'S A "REPLY-TO" ADDRESS? ISN'T THAT AUTO MAGICALLY INSERTED? It means just what the name implies. Email programs create "Headers" for all outgoing email messages. The header is like the instructions found on the outside of envelopes in postal mail. Email programs usually hide most of the header information when the message is being read. The header is created by your email program for each message you write. When you setup your email program you probably entered some of this information. It includes items like your name or pseudonym (aka Handle), your email address, and other optional "Identity" type information. Typical header fields include: Subject: Date: From: Reply-To: To: Your email program inserts information into the header using the settings you configured for your computer and email program. It inserts in the Subject Line the subject you entered for the message. It inserts in the Date Line the clock settings you set on your computer. It inserts in the From Line whatever email address you've put in your email settings. And, if you've put an address in your email program for the Reply-To option, then it inserts that into the Reply-To Line. If you leave the Reply-To setting blank, then it will be blank in the header. For example, in Netscape Messenger these items are entered using the "Preferences" option under the "Edit" Menu. Netscape, like other good email programs, allows you to setup both an email address and a Reply-To address. If you leave the Reply-To setting empty, then your outgoing messages will not have a Reply-To line in the message header. This doesn't make your messages unrepliable. Email programs are designed to automatically use the Reply-To address for replies. When no Reply-To address is given, they default back to the address shown in the From line of the header. That is why you usually get replies even if you have no address setup in the Reply-To option. WHY A REPLY-TO SETTING? This option has several potential uses. For examples: 1. You might want replies sent to a different address from your "real" address (e.g. a hotmail box, or your office account). Yet you do want the receiving party to see your real address so they don't reject your messages. 2. You might use the reply-to address to help you filter your mail. You might create a number of slightly different "Profiles" each of which uses a variation in the Reply-To: line. Something like the following: "John Doe Smith"
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