Not Solved [Mail] How to post and reply to forum by email
#1
Not Solved
I migrated my forum www.nzarchitecture.nt.nz from an old Yahoo Groups email chatlist, and in the process have lost the active participation of many of my users, who find the need to open a browser, let alone log in to anything, too much of a bother.
(this is mostly from an older demographic, who's crowning IT achievement seems to have been the mastery of email back in the 90's)

There is also strong disappointment expressed that the ability to spontaneously reply to a forum post at the same time and in the same way that they would respond to any other email message has been lost, and they lament that they cannot have all subsequent responses appearing conveniently in their inboxes in real time - they have to log back in every time because any follow up notifications are suspended until they do.  

In a nutshell, they tell me there has been a loss of spontaneity that defeats the purpose for them.

I commissioned a private developer to make a plugin that emails a digest summary of all recent posts at regular intervals, which partially addresses notifications - but there is still not the immediacy and familiarity die hard email users want.

Under the current version of MyBB, has anyone come up with a way to achieve the best of both worlds? - i.e. without sacrificing the management benefits, searchability etc of an online forum,  also providing an email chat list option for those who only want to  to interact by email?

There was an old plugin that purportedly did this , but it was abandoned long ago as I understand it.
Paul King
MyBB version: 1.8.21
Forum: www.nzarchitecture.net.nz
Webpage: www.prime.net.nz
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#2
Not Solved
This requires an involved solution. You need to redirect email to a server-side program that parses the email header and body to determine the user, forum, thread, and post title (if any) then stores all that in the proper MyBB database tables and refreshes MyBB's cache. One sticky point is how to authenticate the user (hint: it's trivial to spoof return email addresses).
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#3
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(2018-06-26, 02:34 PM)laie_techie Wrote: This requires an involved solution. You need to redirect email to a server-side program that parses the email header and body to determine the user, forum, thread, and post title (if any) then stores all that in the proper MyBB database tables and refreshes MyBB's cache. One sticky point is how to authenticate the user (hint: it's trivial to spoof return email addresses).
Sounds hard.  Though some other forum platforms seem to offer plugins that do exactly this (Buddy Press, BBPress etc)
Paul King
MyBB version: 1.8.21
Forum: www.nzarchitecture.net.nz
Webpage: www.prime.net.nz
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#4
Not Solved
There is a plugin for this but I guess it is outdated => https://community.mybb.com/thread-169539.html
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#5
Not Solved
(2019-12-19, 12:04 PM)SvePu Wrote: There is a plugin for this but I guess it is outdated => https://community.mybb.com/thread-169539.html
Yes, apparently even when it was still working, it created a new thread with every emailed reply - though maybe someone who knew what they were doing (i.e. not me) could develop it further, making it compatible with the current MyBB version, and adding the ability to detect replies to existing threads from email contents , and only adding new material to the thread in MyBB database rather than whole email (such as by using a thread code and 'Post reply above this line' in notification email messages)?
Paul King
MyBB version: 1.8.21
Forum: www.nzarchitecture.net.nz
Webpage: www.prime.net.nz
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#6
Not Solved
This will be a complicated thing. Maybe you hire someone to build a custom plugin for you as you want it.
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#7
Not Solved
(2019-12-19, 12:27 PM)SvePu Wrote: This will be a complicated thing. Maybe you hire someone to build a custom plugin for you as you want it.
I would dearly love to - but I can't find anyone interested
Paul King
MyBB version: 1.8.21
Forum: www.nzarchitecture.net.nz
Webpage: www.prime.net.nz
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#8
Not Solved
I think it's possible to make the plugin working with MyBB 1.8.x, but the trouble will be to add messages in an existing thread: the mail' subject must contain a unique conversation ID, easy to find. If it doesn't exists, it will be hard to do, because of the subjects modification (most clients add "Re:" or any other string when replying).

And if the group is moderated, messages can appear in a different order than the original posting date.

Another small trouble: you must have a dedicated mailbox (with IMAP) for the forum.
[MyBB 1.8 mods] - Offer me a coffee
Do not ask me help through PM
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#9
Not Solved
(2019-12-19, 01:43 PM)Crazycat Wrote: I think it's possible to make the plugin working with MyBB 1.8.x, but the trouble will be to add messages in an existing thread: the mail' subject must contain a unique conversation ID, easy to find. If it doesn't exists, it will be hard to do, because of the subjects modification (most clients add "Re:" or any other string when replying).

And if the group is moderated, messages can appear in a different order than the original posting date.

Another small trouble: you must have a dedicated mailbox (with IMAP) for the forum.
There may be clues / strategies to be gleaned in parsing email replies in reply-by-email plugins used by other forums? - I know that Discourse does this, and BBpress and BuddyPress  also both have something similar I think.  Presumably Yahoo Groups and Google Groups have cracked it as well...
I have seen one approach where the reader is invited to type any response above a line in the email -  might filter out some issues if non compliance results in nothing being posted, and the user getting an auto response telling them why.
Maybe the conversation ID can be embedded in the body text of the email?  After all there needs to be a disclaimer and unsubscribe link etc appended at the end anyway, so if the ID is always at the bottom it should be easy to find?
Paul King
MyBB version: 1.8.21
Forum: www.nzarchitecture.net.nz
Webpage: www.prime.net.nz
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#10
Not Solved
I won't be able to look at this until january, but you can PM me some example of emails from yahoo groups, I'll have a look on how they manage the ID (I'm sure they have one).
Try to give me 4 or 5 mails from 2 conversations.
[MyBB 1.8 mods] - Offer me a coffee
Do not ask me help through PM
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