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Add-on [Alpha Testers Required] - Reply to Conversation by E-Mail

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#1
I think this can only be useful to allow users to "reply" to conversations directly by replying the email they receive as notification.
I get dozens of users replying to my contact email because they don't understand that PM/Conversations should be replied inside the Forum.
To be honest, the only reason I would want such a feature on my board would be to let people reply to PC's via email... we've all had them right.. the users who got a PC and then reply to the PC via email to end up in your email inbox.
Same here. I have some users who reply via email. I have to send them and email saying they need to log in to reply. I support reply by email instead of post by email. But then it needs to be secure. :) I don't think it is an absolutely necessary feature now but I would be really happy to see it implemented one day..
Ok so there was a bit of talk about this earlier in the context of posting to the forum by e-mail. I think the general consensus is this wouldn't be ideal, mainly for the reasons posted by Kier:
To my knowledge, no current forum software solutions have this, for several reasons, some of which I'll list here:

1) Authentication. It's all too easy to fake an email authentication token and have spam posted to the forum

2) Use of features. What's the point in spending money on a forum solution that's had loads of work on rich user experience, user interface and interactive features when you delegate all of that experience to an email client?

3) Advertising. Lots of forums make money by running AdSense or a similar ad scheme on their pages. With email interaction, there is no need to visit the forum at all, resulting in zero advertising revenue.

4) Choice of medium. Forums are web-based. There is an email-based medium, and it's called listserv (or various other email-based communication methods). If you really want an email-based solution, why opt for a forum?
However, I think most people would find it useful if their members could reply to their personal conversations by e-mail.
I have a prototype for this :D
So I need a few testers. A few things:
  • There's many, many little nuances that need working out. e.g. E-mails sent via Outlook connected to Microsoft Exchange are Base64 encoded - my add-on doesn't deal with this yet.
  • This isn't an add-on yet. I actually started writing the code directly into the controller of another add-on I'm in the middle of writing.
  • I'm in the middle of working on another add-on with two others planned - this was a spur of the moment type thing, but with my commitments progress may be slow.
  • It may (certainly the alpha will) require manual e-mail template edits.
  • Currently this only supports IMAP. Please only offer to alpha test if your e-mail service supports this (e.g. Google does)
  • This could be the basis for other e-mail to forum communications but ... one thing at a time ;)
  • This is alpha. Don't use it on a live board. Or, if you do, don't blame me if anything breaks!
Let me know what everyone thinks and if anyone wants to test. I will start a conversation with a selection of those interested when I have something worthy of an alpha release.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#5
Okay.

Thank you so far to Slavik who has been helping me test this.

I want to get everyone else's thoughts before I release so initially, please go to my website, http://www.deemit.co.uk to test this.

Feel free to start a conversation with me or each other and we will test replying via email.

Once you receive an email relating to a PM you should be able to reply to it.

There is some text in the emails that say "Replies below this line, Replies above this line" please ignore these and just hit reply and type your reply as you would any other e-mail.
 

Chris D

XenForo developer
Staff member
#17
Chris did you get my pc about this?

I have a client who would like to sponsor this add-on :)
Hey Richard,

Yes, I did. I'm sorry for my delayed response.

You're at the top of the queue, so to speak. I've got a number of things in progress and once I free some of them up I can move on to your request :)