Email access?

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Email access?

Postby thatkeith » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:05 am

Great to see this development! One question, from an email junkie...

Is there any way to subscribe to the forum by email? I rarely have the brainspace to visit web-only forums. :-(

k
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:15 am

Hi Keith,

That is certainly an issue. The answer is yes and no. Forums (and individual topics) can be subscribed to; in which case you will receive an email with a link to any new posts. But you can not post via email. Take a look at:

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2

for more info.
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Re: Email access?

Postby S. Leys » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:08 pm

thatkeith wrote:
Is there any way to subscribe to the forum by email? I rarely have the brainspace to visit web-only forums. :-(

k



Add my vote to this !
I would REALLY like to have a mailing list just like the "old" Yahoo list.

S.
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:31 pm

Well... nobody said we're cast in stone on this at this point. If too many folks feel this way we can scrap this. But consider the following:

You can search with AND/OR with wildcards in titles, bodies, or both, and for author (also including wildcards)... and by time.

You can log in and with one click see all new posts or unanswered or active topics since your last visit.

Files can be uploaded with full text messages and ensuing discussion threads (again the same search capabilities are present).

You can receive emails with links to all (or any chosen) topics when posts are added.

You can bookmark posts you wish to reference.

No email harvesting from spammers.

There are so many advantages here (many more I have yet to mention) it is hard to believe that having to open your web browser to respond to a post would be a deal breaker.. but I will leave the decision as to whether to pursue this with the users.
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Re: Email access?

Postby johnjohnston1 » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:42 pm

Hi,
I can see advantages for both, a tips or FAQ section could be built up easily on a board.

I think phpBB may have a RSS addition, could that be turned on? I am getting a bit of an RSS habit and NetNewsWire is open nearly as much as mail here.

In Leopard Mail handles RSS so that could get the forums in folks mail apps if they want. They would still have to visit the web to post.

you can also go back into a post here and edit it, which could be handy when posting an example or FAQ.

Being able to add images and screenshots might help too.
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:40 pm

johnjohnston wrote:Hi,
I think phpBB may have a RSS addition, could that be turned on?

It could if I knew of one John. I know I have seen one for version 2. But this site is based on version 3 and I couldn't find one at phpbb.com. I am also not certain this will address to their satisfaction, the folks that want to maintain doing everything through email as there is no email to board gateway.

I would also point out that this forum doesn't have to replace the Yahoo group. I know that in the past I have been less than willing to fragment this audience. But now we have over 1200 members at Yahoo and it is still growing... yet only a small fraction of those folks post. And in evaluating the membership, only about 10% are actually receiving individual emails. So... most are their to have access to files, search the messages (which is practically useless), or some other reason I can't figure out. I can't help but think that some of the lurkers are there simply to harvest email addresses. I know for me, in creating a new address just for the SuperCard group, I had spam being sent to it within a week.

So we'll see how things go for now... and keep all suggestions in mind. As I get more of a feeling for what folks feel about this we'll ask for some more feedback (both from folks here and on Yahoo).
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Re: Email access?

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:08 pm

Sueprcardus wrote;
>Forums (and individual topics) can be subscribed to; in which case you will receive an email with a link
> to any new posts. But you can not post via >email

and later:
>There are so many advantages here (many more I have yet to mention) it is hard to believe that having
>to open your web browser to respond to a post would be a deal breaker..

and later:
>So... most are their to have access to files, search the messages (which is practically useless),
> or some other reason I can't figure out.

I'm sure there are advantages to the proposed format.

But I subscribe to the Supercard Discussion List at Yahoo primarily because it offers me DIGEST FORMAT;
ONE E-mail (more or less) a day with all the messages in one place accessible with one click
and a scroll.
How many of the 1200 Yahoo! users requested Digest?

The Index page of this proposed forum is nice if I were to check it every day but it does not provide
me with a-text-document-a-day written to my hard drive that I can view anytime with or without the
internet and which, if I'm gone for a time, I can view to monitor the day-to-day history of this forum.

Of course in addition to the Digest,
I also have learned to appreciate the ability to use, alternatively, whenever I want, a browser to
to access the 'real time' Supercard message stream to rapidly communicate back and forth.

Perhaps, the best solution, from my point of view, would be if the developers of this tool could
incorporate the daily digest dump of all forum transactions to us via E-Mail.
(easy to say not so easy to do).

With regard to the concern of writing to this new forum via a browser, I did learn as I composed this
message within Safari 3.1.2 that use of two (or more) tabs (tabbed windows) allowed me to easily
copy/paste from the forums archive into this message.

-Dan
Daniel.Kelleher@umassmed.edu
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:43 pm

Hello Dan,

Let me try and address some of your concerns.

KelleherD wrote:I subscribe to the Supercard Discussion List at Yahoo primarily because it offers me DIGEST FORMAT; ONE E-mail (more or less) a day with all the messages in one place accessible with one click and a scroll.

Browsing to the forum and clicking View new posts will show you everything since your last visit.
How many of the 1200 Yahoo! users requested Digest?

More than those getting individual messages... but the total of digest and message recipients is still a very small percentage of the whole.
The Index page of this proposed forum is nice if I were to check it every day but it does not provide me with a-text-document-a-day written to my hard drive that I can view anytime with or without the internet and which, if I'm gone for a time, I can view to monitor the day-to-day history of this forum.

Granted. I am not saying there isn't a new work flow here. But for me, managing the info in digests on disk is a huge pain in the butt. Here, all posts are already entered into an SQL database on our server, with wonderful search functions already mentioned. Yes you have to go online to access it, but all of the work to easily access it is already done.
Of course in addition to the Digest, I also have learned to appreciate the ability to use, alternatively, whenever I want, a browser to to access the 'real time' Supercard message stream to rapidly communicate back and forth.

Yes... but browsing is one thing, finding what you are looking for is quite another.
Perhaps, the best solution, from my point of view, would be if the developers of this tool could incorporate the daily digest dump of all forum transactions to us via E-Mail. (easy to say not so easy to do).

Yes... but we are looking into the possibility of implementing an RSS feed in the future; which I believe would address all of the concerns you have presented.
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Re: Email access?

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:59 pm

Thanks Scott.
I guess a change will be good for me.
-Dan
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Re: Email access?

Postby ghenne » Mon Jul 07, 2008 1:15 am

I like the option of having an email interface. The SC messages come in with the rest of my workflow. I look at email every day, several times. I do not need to visit more web sites to keep up with what is going on.

The email option pushes the info I need to me. I don't think I will bother to visit the website very often.
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Re: Email access?

Postby vinnie-bob » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:59 am

I have a sneaking suspicion that email users will not be happy with this switch. Being a website user, I love the new board. If there isn't a workable RSS or email alternative, then you might consider using a little applescript. There are a few options:

    • save the applescript below as an applescript application and set it to run at login
    • use launchd to run the applescript applet every 1-2 hours while you are on (additional scripting to check whether the web page has changed will prevent unnecessary notification...I have some applescript code which can be adapted to do this)
    • save the applescript application with a very unique name like "xxSCforum" and use Leopard's Spotlight to launch whenever you like (type cmd-spacebar, wait a few clicks for "xxSCforum" to be listed as the top hit, then just hit return. This will also work with Tiger, but spotlight is a little slower there and you will need to hit cmd-return to select the top hit and run it.) I use Spotlight so routinely for launching applications and to run small utility scripts (which I call "Spotlight Buddies"), that I have stopped using Quickeys altogether.

Here's the applescript you can use just to open the web page:
Code: Select all
-- this is applescript
-- paste into Script Editor and compile as an applescript application
open location "http://www.supercard.us/forums/search.php?search_id=newposts" with error reporting


Let me know if anyone wants the applescript to compare the web page to the previous time it ran (basically it just downloads the page to disk and then uses a unix command to compare the two).

hth
------
vince
------
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:54 am

ghenne wrote:I like the option of having an email interface. The SC messages come in with the rest of my workflow. I look at email every day, several times. I do not need to visit more web sites to keep up with what is going on.

The email option pushes the info I need to me. I don't think I will bother to visit the website very often.

Hello George,

I took a look at your account... you joined the Yahoo group in March of 2006. Since then you have posted one question; and responded to zero. Aside from your one question 16 months ago, what do you do with the emails you get from the group? Do you read every one? Do you save all of them in case there is some pearl of wisdom in there you'll need later? If so, how will you find it?

I am trying to understand the work flow here. I know these emails have just been coming in automatically over the years with no action on the part of the subscriber, but I am not sold on the value of this compared to logging in from any computer and being able to accurately and quickly search it all for what you're looking for... or post the occasional question, and be notified by email anytime someone responds.
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Re: Email access?

Postby sctell » Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:54 am

Hi,

My vote is for the new arrangement.

I find the presentation a lot better.

I usually check the Yahoo group periodically during the day when I am in the office and have found accessing Yahoo compared to this forum much slower (our office internet is not very fast).

When you are finished with the forum then that's it, no adverts as with Yahoo.
(Scott, there won't be adverts will there?).

I can understand those who want the old e-mail arrangement because that encourages those who get individual emails to respond to questions raised in an ad-hoc manner whereas you will now have to make a deliberate effort to visit the forum, "I will visit the forum now to see if there are any questions I can answer".
I think as a result the time it takes to get a response to a question will increase. It is pretty quick as it stands, almost immediately sometimes.

Will RSS resolve this email issue, how will it work?

Nevertheless, my vote for the ***NEW*** remains.
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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:22 am

haden_young wrote:(Scott, there won't be adverts will there?).

No... I don't think so. 8-)
you will now have to make a deliberate effort to visit the forum, "I will visit the forum now to see if there are any questions I can answer". I think as a result the time it takes to get a response to a question will increase. It is pretty quick as it stands, almost immediately sometimes.

Note that you can subscribe to the forums that are of interest to you. There is a link at the bottom of each forum page. Click it and you will receive an email when a new topic or post is added. You won't see the contents of the post, but you will be informed of the forum and topics names, and be presented with a link to go directly to that post.
Will RSS resolve this email issue, how will it work?

The details are sketchy as this point, but from what I have read so far the content of the forums will be posted to an RSS feed that you can subscribe to in either Safari or Mail (or some other feed reader).

If there are any PHP gurus here with experience in adding this Mod to version 3, I am all ears. The files I am currently looking at are from the Full Syndication Suite 1.0.RC1 written by a guy in Germany named Schumi.
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Re: Email access?

Postby Dave_Higgins » Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:48 pm

I'm a member of several boards that use this type of forum, with one using the exact same software. Most of the others are similar enough to call them "the same thing".

I rarely use the features you mention about email notifications and all that, but I have a feeling that I'll put them to use here. I think if used properly, the "code" insets that this forum offers will come in handy seeing the nature of the forum.

My vote: This forum.
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Re: Email access?

Postby thatkeith » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:19 pm

supercardus wrote:Hi Keith,

That is certainly an issue. The answer is yes and no. Forums (and individual topics) can be subscribed to; in which case you will receive an email with a link to any new posts. But you can not post via email.


Not being able to post by email is a shame, but not a super-critical issue for me right now as I've not been much of a poster for a while. What *is* an issue for me is whether or not I can receive actual messages by email. Notifications about new posts to forums is pretty useless in a healthy, busy setup - not only would it not contain anything other than a prompt, I'd be pinged too regularly for it to be meaningful!

I've been pretty absent for quite a while due to massive workload shifts, but I've been receiving SC list emails as always, and reading them as I've been able. It has helped me keep a feeling of connection, of being a SC user. This forum site looks good, but I must say that if there'd been just a web forum I wouldn't be here now.

I know the Freewaytalk list used a phpBB forum for a while, and that used an email plugin that worked reasonably well. In the end they moved to a completely hand-rolled setup, written from scratch to act as a web forum but be a full email mailing list behind the scenes. Would it help if I gathered info on that phpBB plugin?

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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Tue Jul 08, 2008 7:26 pm

Keith,

You can now RSS feed to your Leopard based email for new topics or all posts. You'll still need to follow the read more… link to answer, but even an iPod has Safari now-a-days. :shock:
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Re: Email access?

Postby thatkeith » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:58 am

Still using Tiger on my MacBook Pro - I'm going to have to ditch the college-managed setup if I hope to see Leopard before next year! :-(
This means Mail can't do RSS. But from what I've seen of RSS in Mail in Leopard, it is a relatively lightweight feed reader and offers none of the email-standard features such as thead sorting, post marking/colouring, etc.

I would welcome the integration of something like m2f (http://mail2forum.com/) with arms so wide I'd probably dislocate both shoulders!

From the mail2forum site:
m2f v1.2 is a free and open-source PHP software initially written specifically for phpBB 2.0.x forums. What it does is extend phpBB functionality in order to be able to post new messages on the forum by sending an email to a specially configured mailbox - and also receive new posted messages by email.
m2f is really good at merging communities together where some people dislike forums or rather prefer them over mailing lists. It supports just about every type of content available for phpBB messages, i.e. attachments, templating, smilies, quoting, and so on. We have taken care so that both the email and the forum post look as much alike as possible.


k, briefly uncrossing fingers to type this note
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Re: Email access?

Postby S. Leys » Wed Jul 09, 2008 3:49 am

thatkeith wrote:What it does is extend phpBB functionality in order to be able to post new messages on the forum by sending an email to a specially configured mailbox - and also receive new posted messages by email.
m2f is really good at merging communities together where some people dislike forums or rather prefer them over mailing lists.


It seems that this is exactly what we need !

S.
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Re: Email access?

Postby johnjohnston1 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:00 am

Stephane Leys wrote:
thatkeith wrote:What it does is extend phpBB functionality in order to be able to post new messages on the forum by sending an email to a specially configured mailbox - and also receive new posted messages by email.
m2f is really good at merging communities together where some people dislike forums or rather prefer them over mailing lists.


It seems that this is exactly what we need !

S.

Looks like it is only available for phpBB version 2 and Scot said this is version 3.

If you do not have Leopard maybe you could use http://www.sendmerss.com/ or some such service to send rss to your inbox.

Cheers

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Re: Email access?

Postby Scott » Wed Jul 09, 2008 6:19 am

thatkeith wrote:I know the Freewaytalk list used a phpBB forum for a while, and that used an email plugin that worked reasonably well. In the end they moved to a completely hand-rolled setup, written from scratch to act as a web forum but be a full email mailing list behind the scenes. Would it help if I gathered info on that phpBB plugin?


Hey Keith,

I find FreeWayTalk's current setup painfully slow to use, has poor searching, posts are not editable, and no facility for file uploads. I actually feel a Yahoo group would be a step up based on the level of service that is there now.

Re: the plugin, if you're referring to m2f I am afraid that is not an option at the moment as it is not compatible with 3.0.
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