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Post via email

edited February 2008 in Vanilla 1.0 Help
I found a previous discussion [1] which started out addressing this issue, but in the end seemed to settle on emails notifying of an update. What I'm looking for, and what some of the comments in that discussion discussed is the ability to post a comment, or even start a new thread via email. That means never using the browser or visiting the site. Everything is done via an email client the same way as mailing lists. The forum would simply serve as the archive for the list and a secondary way for users to post comments etc. That way the 'old-school' people feel like they're using a list and the 'new-school' (??) people use the forum and the difference is transparent to each set of users. Personally, I started off using forums and have went 'backward' to lists, so when a newbie to a list asks for a forum and the seasoned users resist (unless they can post via email - see they are not totally unreasonable), I understand. Then again, I suppose all the crud in most forum packages has prejudiced them (as it did me - well, at least that's mostly what scared me away). With such a nice clean system like Vanilla and the option to not change their work patterns (works like a list) some of those people (myself included) might be more prone to adapt. And then, after they come to the forum to edit a few errant emails they fired off to the list/forum, they might even make a few more concessions. Interestingly, I found a plugin [2] for phpBB [3] that does just this. Of course, I have no desire to use that forum package for the same reasons I like Vanilla. Although I did note that expanding the plugin to work with other forum packages was listed as one of the planned additions to the project. Maybe someone could look into using their code as a base for an extension. I'd tackle the thing myself, but my time is already spread pretty thin and I haven't played with Vanilla as of yet (although I've read some of the docs and it looks promising - I think I might just borrow from the Object Factory concept in my own work - brilliant). Any other takers? [1] [2] [3]


  • Hmm, I drafted the above yesterday and registered to post it. Then, in the interim, someone else posted a similar request here: After I got my email telling my my account was activated I came strait in and posted the above. Only after did I notice the other discussion, which, interestingly enough, hints that something mysterious is coming that has to do with chilled fruit drinks and may address this very need. Must. Wait. Patiently.
  • Um, so far as i'm aware, lemonade wont allow you to post to the forum. its more to manage mailing lists and subscriptions and the like. i think.
  • Mark hs given no indictation that Lemonade will do this. This was my suggestion, that we may wish to wait, and see if Lemonade and Vanilla share a similar framework/ API, so that we could LINK them and use them TOGETHER. Unless Mark tells us differently, Lemonade will NOT do as you require. This would have to be handled by an extension.
  • I would *think* the man would make his projects able to work together.
  • I am sure he was going to call it the Lussumo Framework or something like that. Indicating that they will work together. But it is best not to assume anything. Not until we hear it from the horses mouth.
  • indeed nathan. I'm sure the two apps will link somehow, but i fail to really see what a MLM (if that is what he's making afterall) has to do with being able to post to a forum. Lets break into his darkroom with a UV light and steal his notes!!
  • *removes safety from pistol
  • edited September 2005
    Thanks for the clarification guys. So it may, or may not adress my needs, but I would think it would certainly be easier to make that MLM work with Vanilla than any other. Either way, starting on an extension wouldn't be a waste of time then. If you notice, the Mail2Forum plugin for phpBB works any one of three ways, one of which is integrating with a mailing list. The other 2 methods simply use the forum and a single mailbox. To really make this extendable, I'd think we would want this to offer all those options as well. And if it's to be adopted by already existing lists, is needs to work with those list managers as well, not just Lemonade
  • cmicmi
    edited October 2005
    Funny enough: 1st: I really LOVE Vanilla 2nd: This is the reason why I asked for this extension allready 3rd: looks like I am not the only one - BIG need around! --- so again: I would support such an extension by BETA testing it and putting some money on the table ! Anyone out there? Hello?
  • Right. Since everyone seems to be desperate for this idea, i'm gonna make a basic start on it. The actual part of getting it to email someone isnt difficult. What i'm not sure how to do (and i'm hoping mark or lech will be able to give me a hand on this) is to get the data about the discussion they're posting in - obviously i need the discussion title and the user who posted it etc. I suspect its all a standard object but i'm not sure which object it is and how to access these details. If someone can hook me up i'll try my best to get an extension like this going.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    I think your biggest task is going to be retrieving pop3/imap dynamicaly, else suffer with it being a cronjob every x sec/min and threading it to the appropriate category. I don't dare wish to mess with that kind of threading task. Personally, I think this would be a rediculous extension for the most part, because if you're online and have a browser, why go the extra yard and make it work with a mail client? seems rather backwards, doesn't it? I think you're also opening up a world of unwanted security holes if it's done rather wrong and accepts email from anyone to post to and from the forum. Thats just my two cents. Hell tho, in the spirit of inovation and challenges, give it a try. I'd think it's at least worth the attempt before it can be ruled out.
  • I have a module that does this same thing on a different system (cms) mini. If you want the code, let me know.
  • they use cron though.
  • Hold on, i meant to post that in the email from forum category which seems a much more wortwhile cause. I have no real desire to make an email to forum extension as it would be a whole load more work and as lech says, it's pretty silly really.
  • So lech, do you have any idea how to grab the username of the poster and discussion information if i was to write an extension so the forum mailed someone to update them? I've had a little dig but i'm not getting very far...
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    In pseudo, you would want to match up the users email address, username and password from the email you're recieving, then take the body text of the email and post it to the appropriate category. I presume you might be able to do this either via subject line or headers. And as far as that is concerned, I wouldn't know.
  • no no, you're reading me wrong. I'm attempting to build the 'user posts something into a "subscribed thread" and vanilla emails the people who subscribed with an update' extension, not a 'user emails vanilla and it posts for them'. Obviously making it work when people post is easy enough, but i need details such as the username of the person who posted, the discussion title, etc. Presumably theyre all available through some classes but do you know which?
  • I'm attempting to build the 'user posts something into a "subscribed thread" and vanilla emails the people who subscribed with an update' extension, not a 'user emails vanilla and it posts for them'.
    Lol, I think an easier way to say it is "email notification on reply".
  • yeah, but i thought i had that covered and lech continued talking about the reverse. Serves me right for talking about the complete opposite of the aim of the discussion and being really unclear i suppose.
  • lechlech Chicagoland
    oh, in that case I don't think you'll need to cronjob it. You'll just have to store the users subscribed to that thread somewhere and attach their emails to id's and as soon as the thread gets posted to have it simultaneously send out a message saying "hey jackass! your thread just got posted to!". In which case you'll also want an "unsubscribe" feature as well, but that shouldn't be too difficult. I'd seriously wait until mark releases the next version of vanilla to attempt any of this because mark is creating a specialized "extensions" table just for this. Which might make things easier for extension writers so they don't have to serialize all this data.
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