Sum-up: Re-proposal: web forums

Tom Spear (Dustin Booker, Dustin Navea) speeddymon at
Mon Apr 24 06:47:23 CDT 2006

Molle Bestefich wrote:
> Tom Spear (Dustin Booker, Dustin Navea) wrote:
>>> If solution 3 ever takes off, I will gladly contribute with coding.
>>> Realistically, though, i cannot implement something like this all by
>>> myself, especially not in any kind of a timely fashion.
>> I can contrib some code (need to start learning php anyways),
> A single brave soldier.  Not exactly the number I was hoping for.
> On the bright side we won't need a mailing list to communicate ;-).
in response to below, keyword is start learning, I dont know jack about 
php, so we will definitely need more than 2 people, that and I work a 
full time job that doesnt let me do much else, so I can do some small 
things, but as for writing half or even 1/8 of the implementation myself 
(even if i did know php), I dunno
> I wonder about two things right now:
> 1.)
> ===
> Do we agree on the way forward?
> I'll quote in a more concrete fashion what I think would be neat in a moment.
> I have this idea in my head that you'd like a phpBB forum and then
> implement a mailing list on top of each category.  I think that will
> lead to somewhere near zero subscribers on those lists.  Am I
> completely off the track here?
Well, yes and no..  You are right about 0 subs, and I'm not quite sure 
why i even said that, I should have just said we need to make sure 
certain (or all as the demand arises) people can subscribe to an entire 
category, even if they dont actually take advantage of that..  I would 
subscribe to all categories, set my settings up to only send me the 
headers of new topics, and then if the topic is interesting to me, or 
something I can help with, then I click the link to get to that topic, 
and read thru the messages already there, replying if necessary.  Plus 
if I dont read a topic, and someone else does and they think I could 
help out with it, they could just send me the link, instead of me being 
CC:ed and getting new emails for each post
> If we (the two of us, for a start) seem to agree, then we can try
> persuading Mike Hearn to hold the implementation of
> via phpBB off for a while while we try to make something work.
I like the idea of at least getting it started while we (the project) 
write our implementation.  We just need to make sure that we can parse 
the phpbb databases when the time comes, so that we can xfer the topics 
and messages over to the new forums when they go live.
> 2.)
> ===
> Is two people enough to implement the labourious parts, fx. a
> forum-like web interface?
> I don't know.
I doubt it seriously, especially with 1 having no experience in php (me)
>   - Allow posting with your registered email address (automagically
> sets "Reply-To:list" !)
If this is to be part of the forums on top of mailing lists idea, I 
thought of a way we could possibly do it, but it might be more laborious 
than even the web interface
> * Notification daemon
>   - Pick up a list (DB) of which topics users want notifications for
>   - For each new message in DB,
>     - Send an email to interested users (if any)
>     - Flag as 'notification complete'
Make the notification settings user configurable so that if they only 
want to receive 1 email per thread, that is all they get (an email with 
the thread topic as the subject and a link to the thread in the body is 
how I want to set mine up)
> Labor requirements guesstimate
> ==============================
> * 'Register' web page:            Low
> * Forum login web page:           Low
> * Threading and DB import daemon  Medium
> * Notification daemon             Medium
> * Forum web interface             High
> Futureware
> ==========
> The following can be done later, or not at all:
> * Additions to Forum web interface
>   - Keep track of which threads and/or messages you've read (does a forum?)
>   - Rating system, fx. 'Sticky', 1-5 stars or Slashdotish
> * Mail gateway allowing to post with a pseudonym <random>
> * Additions to Threading and DB import daemon
>   - Try to guesstimate category for new list-originated topics
There are actually a couple of ways we could do this, none of them seem 
easy to me..

1) wine-forums at : users subscribe to there to get every 
posting to the forums, only replying to the ones they want, just like 
current mailing lists are but its the forums emailing them instead of 
mailman..  Here is the key to #1.. Each thread has it's own pseudo email 
address that users respond to (instead of responding to the list)..  The 
problem with this is that we end up eating lots of memory on the server 
with all of these pseudo emails when the forums get huge..

2) wine-forums at : same as 1, except different key..  Each 
thread is replied to by responding to the list, and we parse the subject 
to determine which thread the email goes to..  What about when we end up 
with 2 threads named exactly the same?  Should we do 
wine-forums-(category)@winehq instead?  That would cut down on the 
likelyhood of identical thread names, but it still doesnt eliminate the 
problem..  How to fix this issue im not sure..

There is another problem with forums on top of a ml..  The order 
messages are posted, and auto quoting that most clients do..  When 
someone posts to a thread, and then someone else receives it in their 
inbox, they hit reply, the client quotes the entire last message.  The 
forums need to strip that quote out before applying it to the database, 
and then look for a special keyword to mark what should be left in (such 
as [quote] blah [/quote] just like phpbb does but this is in an 
email)...  Then there is when someone doesnt check their email right 
away, and still hits reply....  We need to put something in the headers 
that gets sent with a reply for the forums to determine where to put the 
message on the web layout (so that what would be message 8 looks like 
message 4 in the thread)  If I need to draw a diagram for this one 
(because I know my wording is weird) let me know.

Of course now that I look at all I have said.. I still like the idea of 
forums on top of ml, but it doesn't look very feasible, even for the 
most advanced coders..  I'm still willing to give it a shot, but if it 
doesn't work out, I'd like to fall back to a phpbb at the very least...

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