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Author Topic: [Declined] postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)  (Read 155644 times)

assad

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[Declined] postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« on: April 26, 2004, 04:33:24 PM »
I have a yahoo group (groups.yahoo.com) and I was thinking to move all the member to my own forum.
The SMF has a lot of excellent features but But I see some gaps.

1. One of excellent feature Yahoo groups has is the email postings. Once registerd you get all the posting that are posted on the board in your email box (if activated in personal preferenece, you can choose 1.no emails, daily digest and email sent by administrators only). Also, the member can reply the mail and the email gets posted on the board.

Is there any thing like that in SMF?  If not, I think this is something I would love to see.

2. Is there any way I can add a mass number of members without filling add member form for 600 members of my group.


Regards,
Assad.

Offline [Unknown]

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2004, 04:36:44 PM »
As to emailing posts, I have looked at this many times and the biggest problem is I can see no way to prevent spoofing and/or spam.  Don't you get virus emails every now and again from people you know, when they didn't send it?  I'm not sure how one would prevent the emails like those from becoming posts.  It just seems like a security problem to me.

Currently, there is no way to add a "mass" number of members through an interface, but it could be done with a script if you have a comma separated list of their details ;).

-[Unknown]

assad

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 04:53:05 PM »
Yes you do get some emaisl that may contain a virus but it can be prevented if email postings have some restrictions. Its doesn't happen very often.

Here are few suggestions:

1. The feature only accepts emails from registered members
2. All members who need this feature activated need to be verified via email before it’s enabled.
3. All messages that arrive via email are not allowed to contain any attachments; the attachments are removed.

As far as the Spam goes; If some registered member is posts the Spam, he/she can be banned. (i have to this activity on my yahoo group but its like once in couple of months and maybe one or two cases)

Regards
Assad.

As to emailing posts, I have looked at this many times and the biggest problem is I can see no way to prevent spoofing and/or spam.  Don't you get virus emails every now and again from people you know, when they didn't send it?  I'm not sure how one would prevent the emails like those from becoming posts.  It just seems like a security problem to me.

Currently, there is no way to add a "mass" number of members through an interface, but it could be done with a script if you have a comma separated list of their details ;).

-[Unknown]

Offline [Unknown]

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2004, 04:57:49 PM »
But sometimes emails are spoofed without the owner of the emails knowledge or consent - how do you prevent that spam?

Yes, I agree those options (the first two are already options, which would have to be enabled.) but I'm not sure about the attachments issue.  I know that there are some yahoo groups - even those such as my friends work in - that are centered around graphics, and very often have images as attachments.

But, one thing that could help is that this should be optional in people's profiles; they should be able to say, "I don't want to be able to email my posts in."  This would help prevent spam from those who wouldn't even use the feature.

-[Unknown]

assad

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2004, 05:35:00 PM »
I would agree, the spoofed without the owner of the emails knowledge or consent issue. But I guess what we can do for that is:

The admin or moderators get additional button when viewing messages and instead of banning the member, the  account status is set as deactivated. On deactivation member get a notification that if the account will not be active unless they comeback to website and reactivate the account (again the activation email process).
If the the SMF get an email from a deactivated member account, it does not accept the mail and instead send a reply back that the account needs activation.

If the number of mails exceeds the limit of email messages received by smf from the deactivated user, The reply emails are no longer sent back to reduce the server load.

secondly, as far as the attachments go, users can still post them through web, also this could be part of admin setup to allow attachments or not.

So, shall I hope to see this enhancement in the comming releases  :)

Regards,
Assad


Offline yaronkretchmer

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Re: postings via emails
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2004, 12:34:12 PM »
if spam is not an issue ( tightly controlled environment where emails will not get though unless they're from a registered user), any ideas on how I can implement an email interface?

Thanks much

Offline Anguz

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2004, 10:50:50 PM »
on the point [Unknown] mentions regarding spamming using a member's email address, I think that it could be handled with a verification string, like the human verification ones where you type what you see in a graphic

the profile could have an extra field where the member chooses his own verification string and when posting via email, the verification string should be at the beginning of the subject line or somewhere, so that SMF knows it's actually sent by the member
Cristián Lávaque http://cristianlavaque.com

Offline tovlakas

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2004, 12:38:55 PM »
sorry to bring this topic back from the dead... but I am desperately in need of this ability, as I am switching my fraternity from a yahoo group to SMF, but they don't want to switch till they can get posts/post via email.  Is there any news on this feature?  is anyone creating it?

Offline karldied

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2004, 05:53:27 AM »
I, too, am desperately seeking a board with the features originally mentioned:

1. user option to receive all posts (subscribe to forum)
2. be able to submit posts by e-mail

Yes, peoples' machines can get infected, and send a spam e-mail to the board. My suggestion is: allow the admin to accept this if the trade-off is worth it.

It can be mitigated by a number of suggestions listed above:
1. Only allow e-mail posts from registered verified users
2. Strip attachments
3. Admin option to only allow e-mail with certain subj line codes
4. Admin option to only allow e-mail with subj line that is a reply

My suspicion is that those of us who need this feature are running smaller community boards where people don't visit the board every week to check for new posts.

And yes, it obviously requires some mail program set-up to redirect the e-mail to a module.

Thank-you for considering the addition of these features!

-Karl

Offline Neol

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2004, 07:18:53 AM »
I think this is a great idea! This could be the first forum with mailing list features :)

Offline jjmckay

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2004, 07:42:57 AM »
The way I see it, spam or spoofed e-mail isn't as much of an issue as it might seem.  The spammer would have to know a valid originating e-mail address to succeed in the spam fowarding into the group.  This is a significant hurdle.

If a spammer mined a mailing list forum and found one, then yes he could use that to enter the list.  I don't think any e-mail mining bot is programmed to do this currently.   If one did, the forum administrator could then set the web interface for reading only by logged-in users so that a bot could not mine addresses from it.

On YahooGroups, my one popular group occationally had bots register the system and send a spam.  YahooGroups is really good because it letting me set new registrations to be 'approved' before they can post at all.  This is a door that a spammer can't unlock in YahooGroups, unless then know an address to spoof already.  Also, YahooGroups has a form for new list applications to fill out.  If the applicaiton is 'get your free drugs here' then *delete*.   I've not seen one yet, though.

Also, a reverse DNS MX (mail exchanger) entry on the originating SMTP connection attempt can be done to see if the originating domain name is valid.   If someone claiming hotmail.com as a originating e-mail address tries to send from their cable modem for example, a reverse MX entry on their DNS entry will show it's not valid.

One other idea is to implement some sort of basic key system into the forum to lock spam bots out.  A phrase with something like  **KEY**, anywhere in the e-mail, would be seen as a valid key and then forwarded to subscribers.   No bot will know the key and it would be best if the key was removed from the web based mirror of the list (in the forums) so that no anonymous person (or spam bot) would know it.   Any e-mail, even from a subscriber, without the key would be bounced back with a request for the key.

My $.02.

Cheers,
JJ

Offline Tobias Eigen

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2004, 11:45:42 AM »
Hi all,

I'm psyched to see this new thread on email/mailing list/forum integration. I also am obsessed with this issue (and just posted another message on a very similar thread that went nowhere back in 2003!). To me, YahooGroups functionality is really important, largely because the people I'm working with are in Africa and need to be able to quickly use their webmail to share information and participate in discussions.

This discussion about spam and viruses is really an unnecessary distraction, in my view, and not a serious problem. There are many ways to configure systems so they can safely be used via email or the web. Mainly you'll want to have a mailing list processor in between (like Mailman, which we use) so people can participate both ways.

Some examples of work being done in this area:

1) FUD Forum: http://www.fudforum.org

2) m2f for phpbb: http://m2f.sourceforge.net

FUD Forum is actually already perfectly integrated with my mailman maiing list server, in my view, and m2f is very far along (beta 3 and actively being worked on).

While I'm amazed by what these OS developers been able to achieve, my problem with this work is that FUD and phpBB don't have the wealth of functionality that SMB offers, and are not as well integrated into Mambo, the CMS we have chosen for our system.

Here's a link to a topic at m2f with more on FUD and m2f:
http://m2f.sourceforge.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=4476

Cheers,

Tobias 
Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
http://www.kabissa.org

Joomla Website, Mailman mailing list server, seeking SMF/Mailman integration a la Fud Forum (http://www.fudforum.org).

http://del.icio.us/tobiaseigen/mail2forum

Offline Oldiesmann

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2004, 02:20:04 PM »
That's a pretty advanced script they've got there. It doesn't require much modification to phpBB, but there is a lot of backend stuff. If you can convince them to convert that to SMF, then go for it.
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Offline gsbe

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2004, 06:56:20 AM »
This is the perfect chance for SMF to become the dominant forum software by adding a mailing list backend. With the latest acceptance from the Mambo dev community SMF is poised to take a leading role by helping make true bi-directional communities a reality. Give it some thought. We could really change the world. I would donate to specifically fund this type of development.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2004, 07:02:51 AM by gsbe »

Offline [Unknown]

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2004, 02:16:02 PM »
There are so many problems, though, that people just ignore.

Yes, you want emails to make posts, and be sent out and all that.  Do you want to do all of the technical configuration in your control panel that is even a pain for people with expertise to do? (note that these configuration steps, which can easily be mis-done, cannot be done by any installer.)

How about deal with the many different SMTP servers and how they each handle little things differently? (they're different enough when sending, which uses a standard... this would be doing something that has no standard.)

Yahoo! controls their server.  Its theirs.  They have a specific server, and they can configure it... and, no worries.  What you don't want me to tell you, but what is also the truth, is that a large portion of hosts simply do not support this and cannot either.  It is literally impossible for a large number of SMF's users.

-[Unknown]

Offline Tobias Eigen

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2004, 09:37:00 AM »
Hi all -

Happy holidays.

I'm happy to see this thread being picked up on again. I'd be glad if more people could speak up in support of this yahoogroups type functionality, which is essential for us. Let's see now - how can I address [unknown]'s concerns...

1. We're talking about an advanced feature, no doubt. Even if not all hosts can offer it, it's still a feature that is well worth the effort. Why not enable smf admins to replicate and improve on yahoo groups using their own servers? This is very much what Kabissa would like to do for the African nonprofits we serve.

2. Again, why limit admins because it is complicated? Most people are not going to need this functionality, but those that do will be glad to take the time to figure it out and configure their lists/forums to suit their needs. For some of us this functionality is incredibly important.

3. The 'problems' you describe are not insurmountable - as evidenced by fud and phpbb.

4. Fud's maillist integration is production ready and very stable (we've been using it on an active list for half a year now with no problems). Fud does alot of very exciting things very well (i.e. importing whole mbox files, adding users automatically, command line handling of lists for mailman or .qmail files etc, attachments support, non-english character set support, keeps topic threads, filters out list headers/footers/subject info, etc etc). The admin interface is not sophisticated and is relatively easy to figure out. Setting up outgoing mail is easy too, via various options. Incoming mail is handled via the maillist.php script and requires ssh access (or at least is pretty easy to do via ssh). Fudforum's developer is very responsive to setup questions and has added functionality at my request (the command line options in particular for mailman usage).

5.  m2f, the phpbb addon, is in beta and very messy as they lead up to version 1.0 - hopefully soon. It's very feature rich and has a correspondingly overwhelming and confusing admin interface. I'm not sure the developers "get it" as far as the way to most neatly handle the configuration of postings going both ways, but they are making tremendous progress. I've been asking them to add functionality to make it work with my mailman system, and they have been very responsive (i.e. command line options, adding users automatically). It does support handling incoming mail through a pop mailbox, which makes it possible to configure without ssh access. Does not yet support attachments.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if there are any other issues/questions - downloading and installing fud forum would be a good way to learn how mailllist/forum integration can work incredibly well.

Kabissa would also be willing to contribute to the development of this functionality for smf.

Cheers,

Tobias
Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
http://www.kabissa.org

Joomla Website, Mailman mailing list server, seeking SMF/Mailman integration a la Fud Forum (http://www.fudforum.org).

http://del.icio.us/tobiaseigen/mail2forum

Offline Tobias Eigen

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2004, 10:16:53 AM »
BTW - just posted two threads to Fudforum and m2f forums alerting them about this thread:

http://m2f.sourceforge.net/forums/viewtopic.php?p=4767
http://fudforum.org/forum/index.php?t=msg&goto=21911

-T
Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
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Joomla Website, Mailman mailing list server, seeking SMF/Mailman integration a la Fud Forum (http://www.fudforum.org).

http://del.icio.us/tobiaseigen/mail2forum

Offline Tobias Eigen

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2004, 11:46:58 AM »
FUD Forum core developer not interested in helping us.

My assumption is m2f will say the same, until version 1.0 comes out and a smf developer decides to take it on and supports it.

FUD Forum is GPL, however - perhaps its maillist.php script could be adapted for use in smf.

Cheers,

Tobias
« Last Edit: January 12, 2005, 12:52:36 PM by Tobias Eigen »
Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
http://www.kabissa.org

Joomla Website, Mailman mailing list server, seeking SMF/Mailman integration a la Fud Forum (http://www.fudforum.org).

http://del.icio.us/tobiaseigen/mail2forum

Offline gsbe

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #18 on: January 14, 2005, 03:05:28 AM »
There are thousands of PHP apps that can send mail, including SMF. Most provide a few choices for sending email selectable in the admin. This is such a popular feature that giving examples would be a waste of space.

A bigger issue would be keeping spam out of your forums when you open up email posting. Manually cleaning up spam until filtering agents were developed would be a good problem to have compared to not having this function at all. Of course spam and mailing lists has been addressed before.

I don't understand why there is such reluctance to bi-directional communication features in forum software. The net grew up on email listservs and is not ready to give them up. Many strong communities dish out their dose of daily listservs in digest format - subscribers like reading and replying to the discussions in their email app. I don't consider them legacy users and wouldn't want to take this comfort away from them. Once users experiment with a forum-based system I think they would quickly warm up to it but this is only my opinion.

One of the greatest benefits of this feature would be a searchable archve of the listserv's posts. There is a wealth of knowledge stored in old listserv, mailman and majordomo digests. Having a tool to thread this data into a forum like SMF would effectively be opening the door into years of untapped knowledge. groups.google.com has been more than effective in proving this with "Web's most comprehensive archive of Usenet postings (more than a billion messages)." Cheers again, Google.

This spirit is alive and well in the open-source community and here at SMF. This thread provides links to most of the existing open-source projects. Most are are in advanced beta development stages or first alpha releases. What can we as SMF users do to catalyze this development?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2005, 05:42:18 AM by gsbe »

Offline Tobias Eigen

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Re: postings via emails (yahoo! groups!)
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2005, 10:32:21 PM »
Hi gsbe -

I'm very happy to see your supportive message.

I join you in being very surprised there is not more support for bi-directional communication features in forum software, and agree completely regarding supporting "legacy" users. I also love the idea of bridging the communities and seeing what amazing things might happen, and see tremendous benefit myself in participating via e-mail but knowing there is a very useful archive online that I can access any time I like to browse/search past postings via keyword or topic thread.
 
What can we do to bring this functionality to SMF?

Best wishes,

Tobias
Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa
http://www.kabissa.org

Joomla Website, Mailman mailing list server, seeking SMF/Mailman integration a la Fud Forum (http://www.fudforum.org).

http://del.icio.us/tobiaseigen/mail2forum