Mailing List Manager

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The Mailing List Manager admin control panel allows the administrator to define mailing list rules that allow FUDforum to archive messages from a mailing list as well as allow the forum's own messages to be sent to the mailing list.

Contents

Configure a new mailing list

Enter the following fields to configure a new mailing list and click on the "Add Mailing List Rule" button when done:

Mailing List Email

The E-mail address of the mailing list. If you specify that messages posted in the forum are to be sent to the mailing list as well, those messages will be sent to this email address.

Mailbox Server Name

Mailbox from which to load and delete E-mail messages. Enter a server name and optional port where the mailbox is located. For example: imap.gmail.com:993

Important Symbol IMPORTANT: These Mailbox settings are only available if PHP's IMAP module is enabled. Leave them empty if you intend to pipe messages into the forum (recommended for heavy duty processing).

Mailbox Username

User name to login to the mailbox.

Mailbox Password

Password to login to the mailbox.

Mailbox Type

Is this a POP3 or IMAP mailbox? Pick TLS for Transport Layer Security or SSL to use the Secure Sockets Layer protocol. Available choices:

Forum

Choose a forum, which will be associated with this particular mailing list, meaning that messages from the mailing list will be imported into this forum.

Important Symbol IMPORTANT: You can only assign 1 mailing list per forum, therefore the forum select will ONLY show you the forums that are not yet associated with any other mailing lists or newsgroups.

Moderate Mailing List Posts

This option specifies whether or not the moderator(s) will be required to approve messages imported from the mailing list before they are made visible on the forum to the general public.

Synchronize Forum Posts to Mailing List

Whether or not to forward messages that were posted on the forum to the mailing list. If selected when a user posts a message, the forum will send the messages to the mailing list on behalf of the user.

Important Symbol IMPORTANT: Many mailing lists will require people to be signed up before being able to post to the list, which is most often done to prevent spammers from spamming the list. Therefore, the user unless already subscribed, may receive an email from the list asking them to subscribe as a prerequisite to their messages appearing on the mailing list.

Moderate Forum Posts

Whether or not moderator(s) of this forum will be required to approve posts made by forum members before those posts are synchronized to the mailing list.

Allow Mailing List Attachment

If enabled, ANY file attachment attached to a message on the mailing list will be imported into the forum regardless of any limitations imposed on file attachments within the forum.

Allow HTML in Mailing List Messages

If enabled, HTML contained within mailing list messages that are imported will not be stripped. This is not recommended because it may cause layout problems if the HTML is not valid as well as other issues that result in allowing HTML, such as JavaScript, etc.

Complex Reply Matching

Certain mail clients do not send the necessary headers to determine if a message is a reply to an existing message. If this option is enabled, and the normal reply headers are absent, the forum will try to determine if the message is a reply by comparing its subject to subjects of messages in the forum.

For example: if an E-mail message with subject Re: xyz is received, FUDforum will look for a forum topic with title xyz (without the Re:) to add it to.

Create New Users

When importing messages from the mailing list, should a new user be created for every mailing list author, who cannot be matched against an existing forum user. If this option is set to 'No', then all imported mailing list messages who's authors can not be matched against existing forum members will be attributed to the anonymous user.

Skip Non-Forum Users

When importing messages, should the messages posted from users who cannot be matched to existing forum members be ignored.

Fixed from address

E-mail address to use as the "From" address when sending messages to the mailing list. If left empty, messages will be sent to the mailing list with the user's e-mail as the "From" address.

E-mail address supplied Mail flow
Yes Mail will be sent from this fixed from e-mail address -> mailing list's e-mail address.
No (default) Mail will be sent from the user's e-mail address -> mailing list's e-mail address.

This option is available starting from FUDforum 3.0.3.

Subject Mangling (optional)

Some mailing list prepends a special string to the subject of every message so that it is easy to identify the messages coming from the mailing list. In the forum environment those are quite useless, this option allows administrator to specify a regular expression that will be applied to the subject, allowing the administrator to change and/or filter certain strings from the subject.

The replacement is performed by PHP's preg_replace.

  • Replace mask:
The string you wish to alter and/or replace. The smaller text box on the right allows the administrator to specify various regular expression flags to be used, such as 'i', 'm', etc.
  • Replace with:
Replace the string that matches above regular expression with this.

Body Mangling (optional)

In most cases mailing lists will append some sort of a string to the bottom of the message, this usually contains information on the mailing list itself as well as how to subscribe/unsubscribe from the list. In the forum that text is not really needed, so you can use this option to use regular expression to remove and/or change this or any other data from the message body.

The replacement is performed by PHP's preg_replace.

  • Replace mask:

The string you wish to alter and/or replace.

  • Replace with:

Replace the string that matches above regular expression with this.

For example, to remove everything after "---" (the signature), enter

Replace Mask: "/---.*$/"
Replace With: " "

Custom Headers

This field allows you to specify custom headers, that will be appended to any existing headers sent by the forum when posting a message to the mailing list. To avoid problems, enter each header on a separate line and do not place blank lines.

Forum Signature

A string of text to append to the end of every message sent from the forum back to the mailing list.

Edit existing mailing lists

At the bottom of the control panel there is a list of existing mailing list rules. Each entry shows 3 pieces of information about the mailing list:

  • Mailing List Rule, which an identifier of the rule - the email address of the mailing list represents the value of this option.
  • Forum the name of the forum associated with this mailing list rule.
  • Exec Line this field contains the execution line to use to pipe messages into the forum.

Options are presented to either edit or delete each of the listed mailing list rules.

Import messages

E-mail messages can simply be piped into the maillist.php script to load them into the designated forum. For example, on Windows systems, one can simply run the following commands from the command prompt (Start -> Run, cmd, OK):

type 0471.msg | c:\lamp\php\bin\php.exe maillist.php 1

and on Linux/Unix systems:

cat 0471.msg | /usr/bin/php maillist.php 1


Important Symbol IMPORTANT: maillist.php is a PHP script, that requires you to have a PHP binary (cgi/cli). On most Linux systems, this binary can be found in /usr/bin/php. If your PHP binary is not in /usr/bin/php, you may need to change the first line of the maillist.php script from #!/usr/bin/php to #!/path/to/your/php/binary.

Troubleshooting

Please monitor the Error Log Viewer for problems (FUDforum 3.0.2 and later releases). Users running older releases can view the errors/.mlist/error_log file for problems (this file was moved to errors/mlist_errors in 3.0.2).

Also note that invalid messages that could not be loaded will be copied to the forum's errors/.mlist/ directory.

If you use cron (or any other system scheduler for that matter), ensure you write the errors somewhere. For example, append this to the crontab line:

>>/tmp/mlist.log 2>&1

If you get an error "Certificate failure" and you are using unsecure pop3, change the line 122 in the maillist.php script like this (will be fixed in FUDforum 3.0.3):

$flags = '/novalidate-cert';

Also see

  • FudBOX.php, a helper script that can be used to pipe an mbox file with E-mail messages into a forum.
  • Newsgroup Manager, control panel for loading USENET posts.
  • XML Aggregation, control panel for loading XML feeds into a forum.
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