> Seems to me a system where
> *    email ("the list") carries on as usual
> *    All emailed responses are submitted as forum responses
> *    All forum responses are whooshed out to the list as email

>I would whole-heartedly agree with this.  BUT I have never seen such an
>animal in action myself.  I think it's mythical.
>Will

I have certainly been involved in usenet newsgroups that are linked in this
way. I gave an example in previous emails. It has been developed for forums
too, as per my email below, which no one to date has commented on.
Admittedly it is currently in beta, but the forum system it is available on
"phpBB" is very widely used and respected. E.g. the MQseries forum, that I
use all the time - http://www.mqseries.net/phpBB2/index.php uses phpBB.

So will the U2 user group, like to look at this solution? This would give us
both a web and mail list presence and would make ALL of us happy. It will
also show that this community is happy to embrace new technology when it
gives benefits (explained below).

James Hogan
Sungard

-----Original Message-----
From: Hogan, James
Sent: 22 April 2004 09:38
To: '[EMAIL PROTECTED]'
Subject: Re: We need a web based Forum!


I think I have found the holy grail!

http://m2f.sourceforge.net/

Mail 2 Forum joins two separate worlds of internet based communication
together.

Until now, the phpBB web based bulletin board or forum systems existed
completely separately and isolated from existing email based mailing list or
list serve systems. Each system operated independently. Separately, each
system has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Electronic mailing lists are very simple and convenient for the end user, no
harder than using the email he or she already uses. The disadvantage is
there is little history or organization of past discussions. Emails tend to
get lost in time and an email's content is only available to the original
recipients. While some lists servers have the ability to keep a history or
"archive" the email messages, the archiving is usually non-intelligent and
non-categorized leaving the user with a mess of unorganized messages.
Additionally, "archiving" is only uni-directional, meaning you may only go
back and view the archives.

At the same time web based forums like phpBB are very well suited for
organized bi-directional discussion. Users may view or contribute to a
subject by posting to a new or existing "thread" of information in any
category now or in the future. Unfortunately, this requires the user to use
the web based interface, for some this may be less convenient than email.
Although, web based forums and email list serves both have the common
purpose of communication, each system achieves this very differently.

The purpose of Mail 2 Forum is to overlap the functionality of both forum
systems and mailing list systems. Mail 2 Forum gives the user the best of
both worlds.

The initial release of Mail 2 Forum will include the following features... 
Integrates with phpBB (bulletin board/forum software)
Allows posting to a phpBB forum via an email.
Allows a copy of a phpBB forum messages to be delivered via email.
Bidirectional communication is intelligently routed to or from appropriate
forum/thread based on content.
Users may subscribe/unsubscribe to mailing lists via the phpBB interface or
via email.
May be managed via the phpBB interface.
May be used as a new mailing list server/manager
May be used as mailing list manager with an existing mailing list server
(like listserv or majordomo)
Can synchronize with multiple email systems (sendmail, .forward, read files,
read IMAP and POP3)
Simple to use and administer.
Secure and Anti spam features (uses phpbb security features)
Open source code under GNU/GPL license.

James Hogan
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