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 Post subject: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 32
I like many things that a forum will bring; separation of topics, easier to access, and more permanent.

However, I know that I will not consult the forum except very occasionally, unless there is a very strong connection to my emailer. Ideal would be if

1) every posting here (for the main topics I sign up for) also got sent to me.

2) every posting got sent to an email list (forum@unicode.org) that people could subscribe to, for people that want the old way.

3) If I reply to an email, then it gets posted as a reply to the topic in the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 32
By the way, the announcement had:

"One question people frequently ask as is how they can get an e-mail alert on a topic they want to watch. This can be done by visiting the "subscribe forum" link at the top left of a forum page. To get an alert for only a single topic you can visit the "subscribe topic" link at the top of the page for that topic."

The subscribe forum link is way too small and hidden. One should not have to play Find Waldo to get to important functionality.


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 Post subject: Re: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:13 pm
Posts: 32
It is also way too tedious to subscribe to all the fora; there needs to be a top level button to subscribe to all, and then you can unsubscribe where necessary.

(The email alert could also contain a link "to unsubscribe to this forum, visit XXX").


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 Post subject: Re: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Earth
This might help. To subscribe to all fora as a newsfeed...

Click on "Smartfeed" at the top of the main forum page.

In the list, all of the fora are checked by default (that's a board setup option that I turned on). So you can subscribe to feeds for everything without further effort of clicking each box.

Lower down on the page make sure to answer YES to the question:
"Reset my last visit date on news feed access"
Barring race conditions or other potential bugs, that should effectively allow you to get all postings pulled into your feed reader or mail client. It will pull everything new each time you "get news" or whatever in your client, then reset your "last visit" date.


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 Post subject: Re: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Earth
Quote:
> Ideal would be if
> 1) every posting here (for the main topics I sign up for) also
> got sent to me.


I think that can be arranged, as explained in a previous posting. At least with Smartfeed, everything will go into the feed. That seems to work for me with Thunderbird.

Quote:
> 2) every posting got sent to an email list (forum@unicode.org)
> that people could subscribe to, for people that want the old way.
> 3) If I reply to an email, then it gets posted as a reply to the
> topic in the forum.


Either or both of those are possible, given programming. They would definitely require non-trivial custom programming in PHP, with probably C or Perl scripts to glue together with sendmail. I don't know how it would work, but it would need to be designed, tested, etc.

Forum software isn't typically written to work that way. The board interaction is what they are about, and the e-mail notification features are a convenience to cue people that they need to go visit the forum because something has come up in their area of interest.

I think that's the wrong way to go anyway for other reasons.

E-mailing into a forum, i.e., by mail to forum@unicode.org or whatever getting auto-posted into the forum would set us up for spam to get injected into the forum. We could program around that, e.g., by having a secret archival address that is subscribed to the forum mail list or something. We do that to get our mail lists posted to the hypermail archives. Again, it would need to be designed, etc. The backend of the forum is an SQL database into which these e-mail messages would need to be injected. This raises lots of questions about format, quoting, character sets, attachments, etc, in the stuff that gets injected into the SQL database. I don't think we want to do that much customization. It would lead inevitably to a significant maintenance burden.


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 Post subject: Re: Email connection
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:29 pm 
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Engineer

Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:14 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Earth
Quote:
The subscribe forum link is way too small and hidden. One should not have to play Find Waldo to get to important functionality.


This size is embedded in the theme's stylesheet, and I slightly raised the pointsize of that text class, so it is now larger. At the same time, I raised the size of the "Board index" header(s) because someone else thought those too small as well.


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