Request of the Management
- To: Synoptic List Management
Presenting: A Request
I realize this has come up before, but complications are still occurring,
and thus it is that I again implore the Synoptic list managers to convene
and reconsider the current choice of Reply options for the list. It is
currently set so that "Reply" messages go to the person posting, and only
"Reply All" messages go to the whole list. Why is this a problem? I will
1. It is a problem because nearly all lists choose the opposite setting (so
that "Reply" goes to the whole list), and that habit gained elsewhere
continually trips up people using Synoptic.
2. The problem is not new. On dipping back into previous discussions
involving Karel Hanhart in particular, the other day, I noticed "Oops"
messages, where people have pushed the wrong button, and then have to take
up yet more bandwidth apologizing for the result. It has been a continual
3. We list members can of course school ourselves to remember that, uniquely
with Synoptic, we must push "Reply All." But . . .
4. . . . that involves technical problems for a significant number of us. If
I do it, for instance, in replying to Ron Price, my message is refused
because for some reason unknown to science Ron's computer rejects my
address. I then have to go back inside the message, delete Ron's address
from it (where it was placed by "Reply All"), and resend it. This I can do,
but time is piling up, and my time is worth *something.*
5. Karel Hanhart separately reports to me that for some reason, and I will
quote just this much of his latest message to me, "The Yahoo people exclude
me automatically from my contribution to "reply all", although I had checked
that button. They keep on doing this." End of quote.
6. Karel thus asks me, as he has asked me before, to please post his
material for him. My famous good nature makes me quite willing to oblige a
colleague in this way, but again there are problems. Among them are: (a) the
resulting message will appear on Synoptic as from me, not from him, thus
confusing everyone who consults the archive or their own mail program, and
(b) before doing so in the latest instance, I will need to edit out from the
end of Karel's message what look like personal questions meant for me, and
not for the list. To be sure I get this delicate decision made right, I will
of course verify the edited version with Karel before actually posting it.
More time passages, more editorial work is required from myself, and nothing
has yet been contributed to discussion. My famous good nature, ready as
always to meet all challenges human or mechanical, is entirely intact and
fully functional, but the Synoptic discussion as such is surely not being
7. It thus now seems that the "Reply All" requirement, which previously just
took an effort of memory, is now not even technically available to all those
who *do* remember it, for what look like software reasons. The software
complications, whatever they may be, are not user serviceable. They are
without cure in at least one case.
Very few people now use Synoptic as a forum. A significant proportion of
those who do still use it have had trouble with the "Reply All" requirement,
and the trouble is getting worse, not better, than before. Might it not
therefore make sense to oblige the small number of current users, and to
facilitate what is left of the discussion, by pushing the other button on
the list settings?
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
[Moderator of six E-lists, none of them problematic]
- Sounds good to me. I have no particular dog in the fight. I think it
was set up that way originally because of the well-known embarrassment
of people accidentally sending personal emails to the whole list.
BTW, the list is still called "Synoptic-L" and not "Synoptic". The
new yahoogroups address, firstname.lastname@example.org, was simply done out
of necessity because they would not allow us to merge the old archive
with the new. All best, Mark
Mark Goodacre Goodacre@...
Department of Religion
Gray Building / Box 90964
Durham, NC 27708-0964 USA
Phone: 919-660-3503 Fax: 919-660-3530