[RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

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DavidIQ
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by DavidIQ »

*Daniel wrote:I would rather see this as an extension and whoever does write one better put in the option for members to select plain text version if they want it. I read a lot of my emails on my phone and that can't display HTML or anything like that due to the way gmail works.

In fact I just dropped out of a newsletter not long ago because they went to HTML only and not providing a plain text version.
You're not wanting HTML because of preference or inability to read HTML emails on your phone, not because it's a "security issue". Now that you mention cell phones I had brought up before the fact that some cell phones don't render links as clickable items, even in their full version as is the case with the topic reply notification emails, because the emails are sent as plain text. The same applies to the Windows 8/8.1 default email program. The only way around this limitation on Android phones is to root your phone and use a ROM that supports linkifying URLs and the only way around it on Windows 8/8.1 is to use a different email program like Outlook. There is some sort of patent hold on this by Apple. I haven't verified but it's possible that sending the emails at least with the HTML indicator would be a way around this.
*Daniel wrote:And will members get the choice in what email format they want to get?
If that is needed then it would just be an option for the user in their UCP to get email in either plain text or HTML format. phpBB Digests does this.
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Danielx64
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Danielx64 »

DavidIQ wrote:
*Daniel wrote:I would rather see this as an extension and whoever does write one better put in the option for members to select plain text version if they want it. I read a lot of my emails on my phone and that can't display HTML or anything like that due to the way gmail works.

In fact I just dropped out of a newsletter not long ago because they went to HTML only and not providing a plain text version.
You're not wanting HTML because of preference or inability to read HTML emails on your phone, not because it's a "security issue". Now that you mention cell phones I had brought up before the fact that some cell phones don't render links as clickable items, even in their full version as is the case with the topic reply notification emails, because the emails are sent as plain text. The same applies to the Windows 8/8.1 default email program. The only way around this limitation on Android phones is to root your phone and use a ROM that supports linkifying URLs and the only way around it on Windows 8/8.1 is to use a different email program like Outlook. There is some sort of patent hold on this by Apple. I haven't verified but it's possible that sending the emails at least with the HTML indicator would be a way around this.
Well the only good thing that I can say that some but not all links get displayed, the one that do are the ones that start with http:// and don't have any test set for then.

Example:

http://www.bigbrother.com.au/blog.aspx? ... ments=true <- That will work

Christmas Presents! <- That will not work.
DavidIQ wrote:
*Daniel wrote:And will members get the choice in what email format they want to get?
If that is needed then it would just be an option for the user in their UCP to get email in either plain text or HTML format. phpBB Digests does this.
Yep that is good enough IMO.
Danielx64
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Danielx64 »

Ok,

I just discovered that mailchimp put both plain text and html emails in the same email, not sure how it work, but it is neat as. But I would still leave the UCP option in though.
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Mess
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Mess »

DavidIQ wrote:The suggestion that this should be an extension is overkill. There would only ever be two options here: use HTML or not.

And continuing to say that allowing HTML in emails that the administrator sends and that this would be ignoring a security issue is giving this idea too much credit. To send the email out as HTML would take a single change anyways :roll:

I think a ticket should be created. Are BBCode buttons and/or smileys or other items needed? (Color swatch?)
+1
Also, I would like to see the full editor.
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Kamahl19
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Kamahl19 »

Master_Cylinder wrote:You're missing the point, I've already posted links that show that html mail is a bad idea and some people want to ignore that. I don't.
What links? Do you mean that opinion of somebody from 2006? Are you serious? :D And the second article only says about fixed security bug in 2007. That is your proof that html emails are insecure?
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DavidIQ
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by DavidIQ »

This ticket is relevant to this discussion/RFC btw:
http://tracker.phpbb.com/browse/PHPBB3-11932
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Alien_Time
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Alien_Time »

Okay, at the moment, I am using the Mass email HTML mod created by ksar. But the issues with this mod is, (1) Its been abandoned as the mod author havent updated this mod for years (2) It has a few bugs that are unresolved (3) This will definitely will not work for 3.1 unless someone else rewrites this mod. But there are certain aspects of this MOD that I like and I would love to see these ideas included in phpbb. Here are my suggestions:

First, let me add a screen dump on how this mod works atm so I can explain the features I like in it.

Mass HTML Email Section in ACP:
Mass_HTML_Email.jpg
(77.15 KiB) Downloaded 1595 times
Email Editor Box:
Mass_HTML_Email_Editor.jpg
(61.94 KiB) Downloaded 1595 times
HTML Source Editor Pop-up:
Mass_HTML_Email_Source_Editor.jpg
(40.43 KiB) Downloaded 1595 times
Ideas we can adapt from this mod will be:

1) Having a separate section for Mass HTML email in ACP. I like this since it separates the text based mass emails from html emails. Also in the future, if we were to add more features for this HTML email, we can group them together easily. (This is optional. If the same feature can be combined into one Mass email where we can choose between text or html should be fine too)

2) Editor: The editor used in the above mod is a bit more than what is really necessary. We can cut down on the options in that editor and have a much simpler one. For instance, I never used any options in that editor since I always create the HTML email first in a text editor and I only copy and paste the source code in it.

3) Ability to paste HTML Source and Preview HTML Email inside Editor: What I do like about the editor is, it has an HTML button and when its clicked it opens a HTML Source editor as a pop-up where we can paste the HTML code in it. Once its pasted, it then shows the live view of the html email inside the editor. I like that and also serves purpose.

4) Newsletter Page: This is optional and this can be added in the later version too. But it will be handy when sent emails are actually stored in the database which can be accessed via Newsletter.php page or something like that. If that is possible, then another setting can be added in the ACP where admin can choose which emails to be listed in that page and which not to.


Other than the above ideas, we can use a lot of features that are already available in phpbb since it already has the ability to send mass emails to users. Some of things we can use will be:

a) Able to select specific groups to email. Default will be all users if none is selected.

b) Since its sending emails directly from the board, I am assuming that emails will not be delivered to the users who have unchecked the option to receive email notifications in their UCP. This UCP setting is handy since I always mention it in my emails so users can unsubscribe by changing this setting in their UCP. That is also the benefit of setting email directly from board as it will respect this setting when sending mass email.

These are some ideas from the MOD that I think we can use if we are adding it to the core. I am not a coder so would love to hear your views on the possibilities.
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DavidIQ
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by DavidIQ »

I think the editor needs to be trimmed down a bit. Once we have a working WYSIWYG editor integrated we can circle back around and add it in. A central BBCode tools function would be beneficial for this replacement later on and make that integration easier.
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Alien_Time
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by Alien_Time »

I agree. The editor is a bit too much and it has more than what is really needed.
*Daniel wrote:I just discovered that mailchimp put both plain text and html emails in the same email, not sure how it work, but it is neat as. But I would still leave the UCP option in though.
I read that this can be done by MIME. Anyone has any experience with it?
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EXreaction
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Re: [RFC] Mass HTML email option in ACP

Post by EXreaction »

Plaintext and HTML can be sent together in one message so clients can choose which they'd like to display. This would however require we strip HTML from the email the administrator creates OR add a second input area where they enter the plaintext version themselves. The former would result in some ugly emails I'm sure while the later is more work.
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