Re: [PATCH] Restore original keybinding ('r' = reply-to-all)

Subject: Re: [PATCH] Restore original keybinding ('r' = reply-to-all)

Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2012 08:02:44 +0100

To: David Bremner, Jameson Graef Rollins, Carl Worth,


From: Mark Walters

On Thu, 28 Jun 2012, David Bremner <> wrote:
> On Wed, 27 Jun 2012 10:55:53 -0700, Jameson Graef Rollins <> wrote:
>> On Wed, Jun 27 2012, Carl Worth <> wrote:
>> > Since the beginning of time, the emacs interface provided a keybinding
>> > of 'r' to reply to a message, (and originally, all recipients).
>> >
>> > Then, before release 0.12 the emacs interface acquired a new
>> > reply-to-sender only feature. In commit
>> > f02b475fa781bb5df3358c73213e7633a99f016e the new feature was put onto
>> > the original keybinding, (and reply-to-all was moved to 'R').
>> >
>> > This restores the original keybinding and uses the new keybinding for
>> > the new feature.
> My bias is probably apparent in that I pushed the original patch...
> I think the there is potential for unfortunate mistakes with either set
> of bindings. On the one hand sending replies to unintended people can be
> very embarrassing. On the other hand, forgetting to reply to the group
> can also be problematic.  The latter is easier to correct, _if_ it is
> detected.
> When we discussed this earlier, there were people who supported both
> options as default. I broke the tie based on my experience with other
> mailers, and the fact that apparently I worry more about sending things
> to too many people than to too few. Obviously Carl would have chosen
> differently.
> It would be easy enough to add a customization variable to swap the
> outcomes of r and R; iirc this is what wanderlust (or maybe VM) does. It
> seems that would not really make people any happier, since the complaint
> is not that it is hard to do the keybindings, but that the bindings
> changed.
> I do worry that by changing back, we annoy a whole new set of
> people. I'm not worried for myself; I can add the equivalent keybindings
> to my .emacs. I do (hypothetically) sympathize with people who just got
> used to the new behaviour and are surprised again.


I agree with David on all the above and I do think that the fact that
most other mail user agents (in my experience) default to reply to
sender is a point in favour of the status quo. 

Of course, it is not my project so I am happy to go along with whatever
choice is made.

On a practical note to help with Daniel's point that it is easier to
remove recipients than add them: would it be possible to add a key
command to message mode to add the other addresses? Or put the other
addresses into the kill ring so they could be pasted into a cc line?

Best wishes