Please upgrade here. These earlier versions are no longer being updated and have security issues.
HackerOne users: Testing against this community violates our program's Terms of Service and will result in your bounty being denied.
Options

Post By Email

I was curious where you find the Post By Email function on the dashboard or is it a separate add on? I decided to use Vanilla since it described this function in the tour and now cannot seem to figure it out. I see how the forums will email a user on new discussions and posts, but I need them to have the ability to respond from email. Thx.

Comments

  • Options
    hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP

    Post by Email is a hosted feature managed by the .com team. This is the support forum for self-hosted installations.

  • Options
    edited August 2013

    @hbf

    Is there a "self-hosted" option for those of us who need Post By Email:

    Post a new topic by email
    Reply to a topic by replying to email (may be there already?)
    Receive every new post by email, as soon as posted -or- a daily/weekly summary

    Just a thought... It would be great if you could have this feature not just forum-wide (easier to implement), but more granular... user, group, topic, etc... (obviously harder.)

    For instance, in a intra-net situation (closed group), spam wouldn't be an issue (unless you let the e-mail become public, in which case you change it) ... but it would give non-techie ppl easier access & a faster "quick-response" time for mobile users (who just send a new or reply from an email.)

  • Options
    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP

    @PracticalCode said:
    Is there a "self-hosted" option for those of us who need Post By Email:

    AFAIK, this would have to be done with software on the server that parses the email that creates a bridge to something like the Vanilla API to insert comments, discussions, or replies. This is not for the faint of heart and will require significant work.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Options
    R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    To my opinion this feature is good for mods and admins but should be restricted to them if you want a vivid community. But anyway...

    You'd have to have access to cron jobs, or use "poor mans cron" and hook the bootstrap so that everyone who accesses your forum serves as a ticker for your own cron. If you've got few users, you'll have a problem ;-)

    Your plugin would have to

    1. fetch mails from PostByMail@YourDomain.com
    2. check each mail if sender address = mod/admin mail address
    3. parse subject for something like "[discussionid]" or "[CategoryName] at the end of the line
    4. do some magic api stuff to post the message body from 1) as user from 2) to discussion from 3) or create a new discussion in category from 3

    I suppose that formatting might be a problem: if you do not use markdown, quotes will not look like quotes, html mails might be a problem, some proud iPhone users may find a "Send from my iPhone!" signature below their comments, etc.

    I've never done anything with the api, so you might have to check for existence of the discussion and permissions to post there.
    Besides that api stuff that I have zero knowledge about, everything else sounds relatively easy to me.

    So, @PracticalCode, don't be discouraged by @hgtonight (especially as he's very helpful as soon as you start asking developer questions) and go for your first plugin! ;-)

  • Options

    /\
    I sorry @R_J but that doesn't even begin to make a secure system, and it is not how it would implemented.

    I'm afraid most people simply wouldn't have the capability, let alone know-how to implement this. It is a fully fledge SaaS.

    It is not something that is done as a plugin, with a few settings.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options
    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP
    edited August 2013

    @R_J said:
    You'd have to have access to cron jobs, or use "poor mans cron" and hook the bootstrap so that everyone who accesses your forum serves as a ticker for your own cron.

    I never thought about kicking the process off via cron. I just thought parsing from the mail program side when a message comes in would be easier. This is a very interesting idea!

    @R_J said:
    So, PracticalCode, don't be discouraged by hgtonight and go for your first plugin!

    Yeah, I didn't mean to discourage you. Welcome to the community! Feel free to ask questions when you get stuck. :D

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Options

    @hgtonight said:
    I never thought about kicking the process off via cron. I just thought parsing from the mail program side when a message comes in would be easier. This is a very interesting idea!

    This is very inefficient. These POP systems are based on running fully flagged mail servers, and developing in infrastructure on the platform.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options
    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP

    @x00 said:
    This is very inefficient.

    Which part? Processing as mail comes in, or processing every x minutes?

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Options

    @hgtonight said:

    using a cron to check emails, rather than running a mail server an processing the emails directly.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options
    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP

    I agree it is inefficient. It is also an interesting work around.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Options

    @hgtonight said:
    I agree it is inefficient. It is also an interesting work around.

    Any system has to be able tot be secured, it has to be scaled.

    This isn't a plugin only project, or something done out of the box.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options

    The system that R_J is talking about is only used by a few to blog admin to make a quick emergency post to their blog. It is not a robust system for discussions.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options
    R_JR_J Ex-Fanboy Munich Admin

    @x00 : the more features you provide, the better it is to have more servers and processes working on it, I assume. I'm sure it is implemented more professional on the hosted forums.
    But even a poor mans cron could be enough if your running a small board. Moreover, a poor mans cron could be the only solution if you are on a cheap webhost.

    I haven't thought much about the security issue, though...
    It would be better to be only able to reply to postings you've received by mail and which already were sent with some kind of a "response key". But I could not imagine an easy (= user friendly) solution for new discussions...

  • Options

    doing this on a cheap host = bad idea. even with a poor man's cron as you call it.

    grep is your friend.

  • Options
    rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    Allow me to resurrect the issue (since it seems dead since August 2013):

    1. A forum can require that every registered user have his/her email in the profile and that it is verified.

    2. A single special email id can be dedicated to receiving emails into Vanilla.

    3. The solution (whether plugin, Vanilla application, or independent job on thee server) could verify that the sender is a recognized user in the system (#1 above), has the permission to post via email (administrator manages these permissions), and only then attempt to accept the posting. I am not that concerned about spoofing and security -- many large systems work like that (e.g. Amazon send to kindle). Moreover, an abusing user authority to post via email could be easily revoked via permissions.

    4. The post content is the message body (up to the section that includes embedded replies).

    5. Where the post goes is the hard part-I vote for the most intuitive result for the end user:

    5.1 If this is a reply to a post/comment notification, then the post goes as if the user added a comment to the discussion.

    5.2 If it is starting a new posting (I'd allow that) then the subject and the message constitutes the new title and initial discussion content. Some convention must be set to specify the category - perhaps the subject line should be: Category:category name Title:title text

    Such a system would simply recognize the reality that people are on the move, not always finding it possible to interact through the desktop (don't get me started on the lack of mobile app or themes that support all the plugins, etc.).

    I think that a dialog via email conducted via mobile phones would go a long way to increase forum interaction.

    How this is could be done - that's beyond me. I'm not a programmer, I merely state my end user $0.02.

  • Options
    rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    Anybody has any thoughts on this?

  • Options
    hgtonighthgtonight ∞ · New MVP

    I think this is really outside the scope of a Vanilla addon. All the functionality would have to be set up on the mail server which is beyond the purview of most web hosts.

    It should be fairly trivial to use the Vanilla API application by @kasper between your mail parsing software and Vanilla. Developing your mail processing software would not be trivial in any sense of the word.

    Search first

    Check out the Documentation! We are always looking for new content and pull requests.

    Click on insightful, awesome, and funny reactions to thank community volunteers for their valuable posts.

  • Options
    KasperKasper Scholar of the Bits Copenhagen Vanilla Staff

    Adding to @hgtonight‌'s comment, Vanilla API + Postmark inbound mail parsing (https://postmarkapp.com/inbound) would be a great start.

    Kasper Kronborg Isager (kasperisager) | Freelance Developer @Vanilla | Hit me up: Google Mail or Vanilla Mail | Find me on GitHub

  • Options
    rbrahmsonrbrahmson "You may say I'm a dreamer / But I'm not the only one" NY ✭✭✭

    I was thinking that if all users have been confirmed by their email ids, and their forum profile contain the email id, then that email id could be verified as authorized to send posts to a single "catch-all" email id and thus no functionality is necessary on the mail server. Sure, parsing could be done in either ends, but then (1) rejection of emails (by unauthorized senders) would somehow need to be passed back to the email server, and (2) we won't be able to say that Vanilla supports email positing right out-of-the-box.

    That said, I have to defer to and respect those who actually know how to make these things happen;-)

  • Options

    Hi guys,

    just wanted to ask if there is any news regarding the possibility to post via email..

Sign In or Register to comment.