Ben Koot asked "Is there any progress in adding a releable webmail service to ACS?" at the end of a thread over a year old:
I want to share my experience and what I see as important for serious improvements to the OpenACS EMail System.
We have a community of 2000 paying members and 22000 *free* guests. We typically send out 3 messages a week to both groups. This is an openacs 3.x system on Postgresql and Postfix. We use NO pop3 but do provide forwarding (alias) for about 20 team members.
I have customized the tcl scripts that send out messages by going through the pg database. Users who sign up are asked to verify their email by going to a verify webpage by way of URLvars for their user_id and getting a big number using 'epoch' from their registration date. I use the same process in all emails we send for "unsubscribing" ie, instant verification of unsubscribe and a way to instantly subscribe again if they didn't really want to unsubscribe. These webpages do not require cookies so it doesn't matter if they 'tossed their cookies'.
This system works well BUT it is NOT intuitive to the small but growing group of users who don't or can't read!
"Please Do not click Reply. To unsubscribe, click on this link...."
Many Click REPLY and demand "Please unsubscribe me NOW". This group is an obvious pain because I have to look'em up and mark their record....
My Mailing flag in pg keeps track of people who are:
- UNVERIFIED: Either they are new or changed their email address. An email is automatically sent to new people and those who change their email address.
- VERIFIED: They clicked the link in the email or an admin did it for them.
- USER UNSUBSCRIBED: They unsubscribed by clicking the link in any one of our emails.
- BOUNCED: The message bounced because their mailbox doesn't exist anymore, or is full or....
Currently I use a timeconsuming process of taking all the bounced email, separated from the ocasional good "reply to" messages and run the bounces into one file where I have scripts to parse out the email addresses and create individual sql statements to look for that email address and mark that record in the user table as a bounce.
AUTOMATION IS NEEDED
I want a system that can accept email replies to a mailbox, and stuff 'em into the database.
Then, have a script read the messages (every few hours) looking for subjects that start "Undeliverable Mail... or "Returned mail: user unknown" or any of the many variations that mailservers use and go and mark the database as Bounce. The script would also mark for messages that say "mailbox full" or "out of office until January 2004" and other autoresponses.... And when the script hasn't seen the message before, forward it for a humanoid to review and addition to the script if appropriate.
I would like to do this with PostFix which is currently working well and not with qmail due to biases....
I see rough specs appearing here to make this a "Community Bid" (Thanks Malte) and at this point we can commit the small sum of US $100. and more later....
Let us build on this Please... any suggestions?
PS, for those interested, this .comUnity is www.greatestnetworker.com and to sign up as *MY* guest, go to www.greatestnetworker.com/is/bob/guest