Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

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EXreaction
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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by EXreaction » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:33 pm

That's not necessarily true. Taking a look at the ModDB for examples, the latest approved mods are: captcha plugin, similar topics, syntax highlighter, digests, welcome pm, newspage, and more. Of those, similar topics and digests I could argue would be helpful to all users regardless of the board content.

The argument I am trying to make is that these features are things that benefit users, not administrators. Administrators are required to install extensions and their needs are not necessarily aligned with what their users would like.

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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by diego898 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:16 am

I dont think making the argument that something is useful in the core because it reaches more people is not valid, simply because it applies to all core features. I think thats its valid because it applies to core features.

As the poster said above, an abstract key management tool and including post content in an email notification could/are useful for other things as well.

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DavidIQ
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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by DavidIQ » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:54 am

It detracts almost all attention from the forum itself. Most forum administrators wouldn't go for that, which is why the MOD wasn't that popular to begin with. If it's in the core it's in the core, but my feeling is it'll be as popular as the birthday feature in Olympus.
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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by bantu » Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:50 am

EXreaction wrote:Github supports this and it seems to work fine from my usage of it.
Yes, it seems to be working properly now.
EXreaction wrote:I think this would be very useful to a large number of users if it were implemented in the core,[...]
I don't know what you consider a "large number of users", but because this requires mailserver configuration, shared hosting users probably won't be able to use it. This is in my opinion way out of "a large number of users".
EXreaction wrote:The argument I am trying to make is that these features are things that benefit users, not administrators. Administrators are required to install extensions and their needs are not necessarily aligned with what their users would like.
Administrators have to configure their mail servers to support this anyway, so this point is moot.

A first step would be implementing a proper posting API.

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EXreaction
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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by EXreaction » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:17 pm

It would only require pop access to an email account, right? I would assume most people have access to that.

If there would be interest in approving this feature for the core I'd be willing to check into it for 3.2.

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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by Frug » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:43 pm

DavidIQ wrote:If it's in the core it's in the core, but my feeling is it'll be as popular as the birthday feature in Olympus.
Heh.

If it's in the core, wouldn't that make it more prone to people searching for exploits/security holes than if it's a mod? I mean if it's something all phpbb forums have, people will go after it like flies to poop. But if it's a mod that only a few forums here and there use, the number of people looking for exploits falls dramatically, as does the damage if one is found.

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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by Oleg » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:37 pm

Accepting email replies as anonymous posts seems straightforward enough.

Accepting new topics via email can be technically implemented with not much more effort and it would still technically make sense, but it ought to be tricky to use. In mailing lists, there is one email address for the entire list. Boards have forums, therefore new topic emails must be sent to specific email addresses, there are multiple to choose from and keep in mind that they are not going to be localized like forum titles may be.

Allowing users to claim posts made from their email address seems (security-wise) innocuous enough. UI for this can rather easily be cumbersome.

Automatic assignment of emailed posts to users is getting into questionable territory.

Then there is the server configuration part, incoming email handling is not what I expect shared hosts to provide at all.

I don't really see this as a core feature.

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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by bantu » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:26 pm

Existing implementations used by major sites probably work as follows:

When sending an email:
1. Generate a random string R
2. Persistently store R and tie it to the receiver and other information (probably at least topic id in our case)
3. Use an email-address containing R as the reply address and send the notification to the user.

When receiving a reply:
1. Check whether address is a valid address, i.e. check whether R is a valid key.
2. Recover receiver and other information from persistent storage by using R
3. Post message body to topic as notification receiver.
4. Mark post as "received via email".

This is what I meant when I said "properly implemented".

Using a POP account sounds like it would involve polling, which might delay the message quite a bit, depending on how many POP accesses you're allowed to make. Nevertheless, I'd like to here more about this idea.
Edit: With a catch-all address and a POP3 account, you could probably already do what I described above. Maybe we could then provide SMTP server support for bigger sites with server access and POP3 polling for Shared Hosting. Nevertheless, I don't think this should be a core feature.

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EXreaction
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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by EXreaction » Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:42 pm

That sounds right to me, but we may not want to check for an email address matching with the user's profile as many people use forwards that would cause this to not work in that case.

I'm not too familiar with POP or other ways to access emails sent to a server, but in an ideal environment they could setup a pipe to a script we build (not sure how common that ability is however).

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Re: Post/Reply by Email - Integration With Email Lists

Post by Pony99CA » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:29 am

Frug wrote:
DavidIQ wrote:If it's in the core it's in the core, but my feeling is it'll be as popular as the birthday feature in Olympus.
Heh.

If it's in the core, wouldn't that make it more prone to people searching for exploits/security holes than if it's a mod? I mean if it's something all phpbb forums have, people will go after it like flies to poop. But if it's a mod that only a few forums here and there use, the number of people looking for exploits falls dramatically, as does the damage if one is found.
This sounds like a perfect feature for my "officially supported extensions" concept. It would be developed and maintained by phpBB developers (for security purposes as well as to guarantee the function continues to work in new releases) but not shipped as part of the core.

As for the need, I've seen several people request such a feature on phpBB.com. Here's a search for topics containing "mailing list" or "listserv". The usual response is either that phpBB is a forum, not a mailing list, or that bulletin boards were designed to replace mailing lists.

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