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More than a group, different from a forum

by sgbotsford / February 11, 2013 6:23 AM PST

I'm looking for open source forum software that allows email subscription.

* Multiple nested subforum.
* Threaded messaging. (You can see who replied to who)
* Members can subscribe to a subforum or a thread, and get all new posts emailed to them.
* Message format supports large set of html and css tags. If a member is willing to take time, he can style his message anyway he wants.

The intent: Monthly newsletter goes out. Each article in the newsletter becomes a thread starter in the forum. Members can then reply, rebutt, discuss, slander or make jokes on each newsletter topic.

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All Answers

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(NT) So, what about phpBB?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 6:32 AM PST
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No good.
by sgbotsford / February 11, 2013 10:27 AM PST
In reply to: So, what about phpBB?

1. phpBB has very limited html support. You cannot AFAIK use CSS. In particular you cannot create liquid layouts; use DIV's to organize images with captions, have text flow around the image.

2. I don't know of a reasonable way for a user to say, "Send me an email whenever there is a new post in the Trees -> Propagation subforum."

3. I don't know of a reasonable way to send an html formatted email to phpBB and have it appear as a new post in the appropriate forum, nor respond to an email notification and have a reply show up in the appropriate post.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 10:52 AM PST
In reply to: No good.

phpBB is very extensible. Since HTML is just text, any code you write can send what ever you want.

-> I'm guessing you do not write code and must have a system that is exactly click and play.

Add those requirements. I am not offering any programming services but when I read "reasonable" I think that's your code for "I won't write php code."

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by sgbotsford / February 11, 2013 2:18 PM PST
In reply to: Odd.

I am primarily a farmer, not a coder. Best I can claim is a bit of perl. phpBB while extensible, it's not really trivial to do so. If I can find a turnkey solution I will do so.

I'm asking for 4 pretty extensive mods for phpBB
* Email subscription module to send the appropriate notifications.
* Email processing module to turn replies into posts.
* Arbitrary html+css code embedding.
* Anti-spam module (a common problem with list servers.)

In addition: what about race conditions? Thread is posted to sub-forum A, notification goes out, thread is moved to another subforum, reply comes back.

Each one requires a configuration screen.
The subscriptions module also has to have a user configuration segment for the user to manage his subscriptions.
My suspicion is that the code for these would run thousands of lines.

If you do a search for the terms forum, email, integration, you get a TON of hits, all looking for this, with, (so far) no solutions.

I have found:

email list servers with additional web based interfaces.

forums with limited rich text editors

so far:
* Have not found forum that supports full range of embedded html+css
* Have not found forum that supports email interface other than notification of a followup message to a single thread.
* Have not found list server that supports any sort of html in messages.

For those that do have some features of both, the ultimate categorization I make as follows:

List server:
* primary agency is email.
* no hierarchical structure.

* primary agency is web.
* has hierarchical structure (folders, sub forums...)

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Good luck in your search.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 3:12 AM PST
In reply to: Lazy...

I rarely find anyone find anything when they want exactly this, that and such.

Race conditions are just what they are. For free software we accept that such will happen. You should encounter the perfectionist and for those you tell them to dig in and change the code behind the scenes to do it they way they want.

There are fine phpBB forums that you should visit and ask this same set of questions.

As a programmer I only know so much. But for what you wanted, you may have to get it made if nothing comes close.

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