Forum OpenACS Q&A: Subject: BBoard Revision: Reply By Email

Adam Farkas started a message on web/db titled: "Remodeling forums for -- input requested" found here:

These *MANY* features will probably come with version 4.0 but I can't wait so I'm looking to code in a way to:

Reply to posts by e-mail

Currently one can only reply by a web form. Some people like only to use e-mail. The web form currently has this code:

(form  method=post action="insert-msg.tcl")
(input type=hidden name="topic" value="BobZ Test Topic")
(input type=hidden name="topic_id" value="5")
(input type=hidden name="category" value="Wicked GOOD")
(input type=hidden name="q_and_a_p" value="t")
(input type=hidden name="refers_to" value="00000R")
(input type=hidden name="notify" value="f")
(input type=hidden name="one_line" value="Response to BBoard
Revision: Reply By Email")
(input type=hidden name="message" value="A response to see Today.")
(input type=hidden name="html_p" value="f")
(input type=hidden name=urgent_p value="f")
(input type=submit value="Confirm")

So, what are the the easiest/fastest/best way to implement DIRECT EMAIL replies?

1)Needed: Encoding of the Forum Topic_id, and Refers_to value.

Code such as: "{TID5:00000R:BobZ} The Subject is yadayada" Could be placed in one of three places in the email:
b)First Line of body
c)Part of email address

We'd require that the stuff in curly braces doesn't change. Is this enough?: the Forum-Topic_ID, refers_to value, and for easy email filtering, the one word version of the forum-topic name.

2)POP3 Email to receive forum REPLY messages. Mechanism to retrieve email from POP3, read encoded {...} and feed it into the database. What is needed? DETAILS!

So I've laid out some general ideas. Any recommendations for how to implement? TIA - Bob

Posted by Ben Adida on
This time of email-to-DB action has been done in the ecommerce/customer-service piece. It is easiest to immediately insert the message into the DB using Perl/DBI on the email receiving end. At ArsDigita, it has been done using Perl/DBI, Java Mail, and Netscape Mail plugins.

The POP idea is not bad, but could get complicated to do POP support. If you could do it well, though, it would be more scalable than a Perl/DBI process and db connection on every incoming email.

One last note: think very hard before you enable incoming email to your bboards. Yes, it's convenient, and because it's convenient, it will lower the bar for content submission, and usually increase the noise on your bboards. We have no plans on enabling this on