PDA

View Full Version : Email Mirror of Web Forum


Daniel Widdis
May 27th, 2005, 02:35 PM
Starting a new thread here, a spinoff of the RSS Feed discussion.

My objective is to get this forum set up as a 'primary' spot for the Dixonary Game, while still allowing users to read/reply to threads via an email client.

I had thought about doing this myself via an intermediate server poasting to a yahoo groups, but there are better options, specifically:

There are vBulletin hacks available to send all posts to email, and fetch email replies from a pop3 server.

NNTP Gateway for Usenet ( Newsgroups ), Mailing Lists (http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=65152) supports sending forum messages to a mailing list.

vB Email Reply 0.7BETA (http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=68113) fetches emails from a pop3 account and posts them.

Now we just need our wonderful admins to install these! (He says, laughing at how easy that sounds and how hard it will probably be.)

Daniel Widdis
May 27th, 2005, 09:54 PM
NNTP Gateway for Usenet ( Newsgroups ), Mailing Lists (http://www.vbulletin.org/forum/showthread.php?t=65152) supports sending forum messages to a mailing list.
Actually, reading more about that, it looks like it does the reading messages as well. And claims to have an automatic installation. :)

Judy G. Russell
May 27th, 2005, 11:08 PM
It's on the list to be looked at this weekend.

Andrew B.
May 28th, 2005, 12:30 AM
It's on the list to be looked at this weekend.I installed this. It wasn't too hard. Set up the email group to talk with it. That wasn't too bad. Then I got sidetracked, and never got to the point of turning the whole thing on. So we never tested it. But it looks like you will be the one to give it a shot.

Daniel Widdis
May 28th, 2005, 12:56 AM
I installed this.Woohoo!

davidh
May 28th, 2005, 02:21 AM
I'm not a dixonary player, but this discussion made me wonder if it might be possible to subscribe to a whole section instead of to a single thread. So that one could get a daily notice by email of the subject of all threads in a section that had had new msgs posted that day? This would be sort of like doing a daily scan for headers in a section in the TAPCIS program.

From my point of view, such notification would not be as convenient as participating in the forum by email, but still better than what seems to be available right now.

I think I saw some indication a while back that AOL groups (sort of like Yahoo groups) did have an option to access such groups by email, in addition to web view. So if AOL can do it, I don't consider it to be whiz-bang high-tech state of the art, etc.

Not that I'm volunteering to write any scripts, mind you ;-)

David H.

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 08:09 AM
I'll be sure to call on you for help in I run into problems!!

Andrew B.
May 28th, 2005, 10:52 AM
I'll be sure to call on you for help in I run into problems!!Heck, I might try to learn from your experience. I ran out of steam, and it just sits there. But maybe this will get me focused again.

Bill Hirst
May 28th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Hey, you've got an avatar. That's the first one I've seen on this forum. It's cool.

Daniel Widdis
May 28th, 2005, 12:28 PM
I'm not a dixonary player, but this discussion made me wonder if it might be possible to subscribe to a whole section instead of to a single thread.
It is possible, and in fact available. I have subscribed to this section and the parlor. This morning the following was in my email in box:
Hello,

You are subscribed to the forum Forum Use and Help, there have been 4 new threads and 5 updated threads.
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=2

The following threads are new:
************
New feature: quick reply
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=50
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: Judy G. Russell
Last post: Yesterday 06:41 AM
************
Please avoid graphics
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=51
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: John Deutsch
Last post: Yesterday 09:53 PM
************
javascript
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=53
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: davidh
Last post: Yesterday 09:30 AM
************
Email Mirror of Web Forum
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=56
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: Daniel Widdis
Last post: Yesterday 10:56 PM


The following threads have been updated:
************
Missing the Reply button?
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=25
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: Judy G. Russell
Last post: Yesterday 09:12 PM
************
RSS Feed?
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=32
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: Daniel Widdis
Last post: Yesterday 04:23 PM
************
Avatar problem
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=42
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: annc
Last post: Yesterday 06:58 AM
************
Edit user name?
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=40
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: Judy Madnick
Last post: Yesterday 02:33 PM
************
Pix with post or just in profile?
http://www.tapcis.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=44
In forum: Forum Use and Help
Started by: dgermann
Last post: Yesterday 09:51 PM


Yours,
Tapcis Web Forums team
The problem with this from a Dixonary game-playing perspective is that game deadlines run 24-36 hours (per the rules, typically around 30 hours). Waiting for a daily notification of a round and then catching it in a daily email pass might cause some to miss deadlines. And it still requires them to log in to the forum to post.

I have a "better" system for notifying players of new threads. The moderators here have activated an RSS feed, and I have the "rss2email" python script running on my server. Within an hour of a new post in "The Parlor" the first message is copied (truncated) to the game's mailing list. Better than a forum subscription, but still not sufficient for game use.

Some of our players do not have access to web browsers, or pay-per-minute for dial up access, and much prefer to use email because of its offline reading ability.

A full post-by-email system which mails all posts in a section to a particular mailing list, and processes replies from players into posts on the board, is needed to keep those players in the game.

Dan

Andrew B.
May 28th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Thanks. :-)

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Between the two of us (and whatever other technical help we can enlist) we ought to be able to get it working.

davidh
May 28th, 2005, 02:46 PM
Daniel,

Thanks for the tip.

I found the forum subscription under "forum tools" at the top of the list of threads in a particular forum (formerly known as section in CIS forums).

David H.

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 03:34 PM
Daniel, is this all you'll need? I don't want to go with more than one hack at a time... (with my luck, I'll break something I can't fix...).

Daniel Widdis
May 28th, 2005, 06:32 PM
Daniel, is this all you'll need?
According to the documentation I can see, yes.

Also, this one is a version 2.3xx something, while the other hack was a 0.7 something... in other words, beta. :)

Note that I have no idea how to configure it... I would presume it comes with its own helpfiles and such when you install it. So you're on your own setting it up. :)

Daniel Widdis
May 28th, 2005, 07:31 PM
Daniel, is this all you'll need?
Judy,

First, I believe that NNTP gateway is all you'll need. The link I posted claims that that hack "Handles both newsgroup posts and mailing lists". We'll be using the mailing list option.

It also says that the software "retrieves messages from a pop3 account and import [sic] them into the forums threaded."

I've set up a brand spanking new yahoo group for you to use. (No, I'm not intending to undercut the Coryphaeus group, but don't want to spam them with testing stuff until we are ready to go live.)

When you're ready to try testing this, point outgoing emails to: tapcisparlor@yahoogroups.com (feel free to join that mailing list to receive and reply to the test messages). I've set that group up to reply to whoever sent the messages, so that should be from whatever pop3 account you'll be using (presumably theparlor@tapcis.com or somesuch?).

The way I *think* the program works is that when any message is posted in The Parlor web forum, it will be mailed to that mailing list. When people on the mailing list reply, it goes to a pop3 account (theparlor@tapcis.com possibly). Then your bulletin board software will periodically fetch messages from that pop3 mailbox and put them on the web forum in the proper place. (And then get sent out to the mailing list!)

Let me know if you need any help testing... not sure how much "install" help I can provide.

Dan

Andrew B.
May 28th, 2005, 08:33 PM
Judy. The vBulletin license allows for a second installation for testing and development purposes. There are specifics about how and where it can be installed, but this could be your test platform, if you want one.

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 09:34 PM
Okay, I'll work on this tomorrow.

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 09:35 PM
I will certainly call on you for testing! Thanks.

Judy G. Russell
May 28th, 2005, 09:35 PM
Aha! That's good to know. Thanks for the info.

woodswell
May 28th, 2005, 11:10 PM
Between the two of us (and whatever other technical help we can enlist) we ought to be able to get it working.
Judy, Finally got some time to register and get in here - now to catch up on messages!

You might find out who the Pets Forum is using for vBulletin Support. They seem to be quick about fixing problems and adding freatures. I'm sure many of the things that are wanted there (colored test, fonts, pictures, avatars and animated smilies) would not be welcome here, but whoever it is seems to be very familiar with the software - http://www.thepetsforums.com/

It's really interesting to see that all the forums leaving CS that I care to follow are going with vBulletin so far...

Anne Wright

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 12:04 AM
I've thought about trying to get the Pets Forum folks and Andrew and I all together for tech support for each other!

Franca
May 29th, 2005, 02:59 AM
It's really interesting to see that all the forums leaving CS that I care to follow are going with vBulletin so far...Yes, same here.

woodswell
May 29th, 2005, 12:06 PM
I've thought about trying to get the Pets Forum folks and Andrew and I all together for tech support for each other!
It might be worth it since all us former CISers are looking for similar features. And just think, then ya'll could offer the service of customizing vBulletin for more CD refugee forums! :p I'm sure there will be more...

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 01:48 PM
Daniel, I can't find the test Yahoo group to be able to join it. I'm close to being ready to test this, but need to join the group. What's the group address (not email address, but group address)? Thanks.

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 02:32 PM
Daniel, Andrew and any others...

I have a test set up and am getting this error message:

Gateway version 2.3.2 1 group(s) gatewayed.
Warning: fsockopen() has been disabled for security reasons in /includes/pop.php on line 40 ()
Can't connect to server mail.tapcis.com
Warning: fwrite(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /includes/pop.php on line 107
Warning: fgets(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /includes/pop.php on line 99
Retrieving E-mails from the 'mail.tapcis.com' pop3 server.
Warning: fwrite(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /includes/pop.php on line 107
Warning: fgets(): supplied argument is not a valid stream resource in /includes/pop.php on line 99

Ideas?

Daniel Widdis
May 29th, 2005, 04:53 PM
I see you've already found it. :)

Daniel Widdis
May 29th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Daniel, Andrew and any others...

I have a test set up and am getting this error message:

Gateway version 2.3.2 1 group(s) gatewayed.
Warning: fsockopen() has been disabled for security reasons in /includes/pop.php on line 40 ()
Can't connect to server mail.tapcis.com
...
Ideas?
The other errors look like cascading results of this one.

I dont' have access to the source for pop.php, but apparently on line 40 you're accessing a disabled function. Can you grep for that function elsewhere in the code and see where it's disabled... and then enable it?

Daniel Widdis
May 29th, 2005, 04:58 PM
fsockopen() has been disabled for security reasons

You need to find your php.ini file wherever your php stuff is installed. If you own the server, this should be no problem. If you're being hosted by someone else, you'll have to ask them about enabling it.

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Can you grep for that function elsewhere in the code and see where it's disabled... and then enable it?
"Grep"? Is that legal? (They didn't teach "grep" in law school!)

And no, we don't own the server; we're hosted. So before I go to the hosting company, see if you can tell me exactly how I find out if this is something we can enable.

Daniel Widdis
May 29th, 2005, 07:17 PM
"Grep"? Is that legal? (They didn't teach "grep" in law school!)It's probably legal in Section 8.
And no, we don't own the server; we're hosted.Thought so. This *might* be a problem. Do you have your own IP for tapcis.com?
So before I go to the hosting company, see if you can tell me exactly how I find out if this is something we can enable.
From my research, I think it's something you would have to enable on the server, wherever they installed php. Most hosts have it disabled for security reasons (to prevent spammers from using the server to send spam, primarily!)

You can look around in your own code for that function:
grep "fsockopen" *.php
But that might only uncover other places where it doesn't work.

Googling the internet seems to indicate that modifying the php.ini file seems to be the correct answer, and that's something the host would have to do.

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 07:27 PM
I think we're okay, Daniel. It was blocked on the hosting company where I have my own website (and where I was testing the hack). But it apparently is NOT blocked here on this host, where these forums are. It should be ready to test shortly.

Daniel Widdis
May 29th, 2005, 07:40 PM
Woohoo!

Judy G. Russell
May 29th, 2005, 07:54 PM
Check The Parlor and the test mail list. It's definitely working. If you'd like, I can set up a test section here so you can send back and forth without limit until you get any bugs worked out. I can also change the settings in that section to import the subject automatically, which may help with threading at both ends.

Guerri Stevens
June 4th, 2005, 01:53 PM
You need a SYSOP forum!

Guerri

Judy G. Russell
June 4th, 2005, 03:25 PM
You know... I've been thinking the same thing...