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Feature Proposal: Provide a way to send emails to Users and Groups

Motivation

Now that emails are stored in htpasswd , there is no way for registered users to contact each other. Even site administrators must manually read htpasswd to be able to contact a user.

Most portal-type packages provide a form for sending emails to other members (so as not to reveal their email address in the process).

While we're at it, it would also be nice to provide ability to send emails to TWikiGroups, of course, incorporating appropriate restrictions.

Description and Documentation

Basically, I envision the following design:

  • Provide an html form for composing the email with a field for entering a user name.
  • A script looks up the user's email address in htpasswd and send off the email.
  • With appropriate authority, a drop-down list of groups is visible to allow members of TWikiAdminGroup (or other designated groups) to send emails to groups.

Examples

Impact and Available Solutions

Implementation

I'll be glad to design the html form for composing email (although, of course, that's the easy part).

-- Contributors: LynnwoodBrown

Discussion

-- LynnwoodBrown - 08 Jun 2006

That is a sensible and useful enhancement.

-- PeterThoeny - 08 Jun 2006

It would be good to have a way to contact registered users. People should have a chance to say whether they want to be contacted, at least with a public site, as that is generally considered good practice. We also need a utility to change passwords, since currently the only way to do it (using htpasswd) wipes out the email address.

See http://www.clickz.com/experts/em_mkt/opt/article.php/3498726 for a discussion of opt-in practices.

-- MeredithLesly - 08 Jun 2006

I too would be interested in this feature smile

-- TraceyMaule - 21 Jun 2006

Basecamp (which we use as project extranet) has this feature where each project has a group of users. Actually 2 project teams: client's and ours. Each time you add an attachment you can check checkboxes for the users you want to send a notification to ("all" or individually), with optionally a comment. They will receive a standard e-mail with that comment inserted.

-- ArthurClemens - 21 Jun 2006

Discussion topic AddingOptIn deals with subscribing individuals - or better: with the protection of individuals from spamming. But many situations (intranet, extranet) require the subscribing of a group (or multiple groups) of people (see Basecamp reference above). In such cases "opt-in" do not come into play.

-- ArthurClemens - 22 Jun 2006

If it's not a public site, it's not an issue. Or, more accurately, if it's not a company site, where you're not allowed to opt out, as much as you might like to.

-- MeredithLesly - 22 Jun 2006

Take the case of RamBabu: I wanted to email him privately to point out that he should experiment in the Sandbox web not Codev.

Since email addresses have gone from private topics there is no mechanism for me to accomplish this.

-- MartinCleaver - 23 Jun 2006

What we need is to expand the feature of %USERINFO.

Currently it only shows the email address to the user himself unless {AntiSpam}{HideUserDetails} is off.

The feature should be extended. There are 3 ways from simple to advanced.

  • Also show the details if you are logged in and belong to TWikiAdminGroup
  • Also show the details if you are logged in and belong to a UserInfoGroup
  • Also show the details if you are logged in and belong to one of the groups listed in a TWiki Variable called USERINFOGROUPS which is defined in TWikiPreferences as a FINAL setting.

The idea is then that trusted users can see the information. Spammers and new users not yet trusted cannot.

If we implement some formmail type application in TWiki it will be hard to protect so it does not become a security hole as partly open mail relay. And spammer can send spam using the feature.

-- KennethLavrsen - 24 Jun 2006

Well, I would also like to have the possibiity to write a mail to all users in a group. So I would be happy with a button in the NameGroup template that shows up in every new created group.

Alternatively I could imagin a simple mailto tag with groupmembers in a list to be generated..

Maybe as %EMAIL{group="group" }% variable that renders to UserA@b.c , UserB@ePLEASENOSPAM.r, UserC

-- AndreasNagl - 17 Jul 2006

Ping. This came up again in Support.AdminEmailingATwikiGroup.

-- PeterThoeny - 27 Nov 2006

At work a few years ago we had a request related to this one: we wanted to make use of TWiki to keep receivers groups up to date.

the idea was that when sending email (here I mean with your email client, not through a TWiki page) to an address like TWikiDevelopGroup@ourdomainPLEASENOSPAM.com, the group definition in the TWikiDevelopGroup would be used to deliver the message to all members. I'm writing about three years ago, I didn't work personally at the solution and the solution we found was not satisfying and is not in use any more.

If TWiki would be able to retrieve email information from its database (it doesn't need to show it on its pages), it could also be used for cooperating with some mailing list manager and become a sort of web based interface for it.

-- MarioFrasca - 01 Dec 2006

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Topic revision: r14 - 2006-12-01 - MarioFrasca
 
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