Jud Dagnall Photography Blog

Photography, technology and occasional rants!

Simple forums with FUDforum and mailman

Posted on January 23rd, 2005 in , , by jud || No Comment

I set up an online forum and mailing list for a class I’m taking. I used FUDforum, which was easy to install and
configure (it’s php). One of the other things I wanted to do was to set up a mailing list that would serve as an alternate entry point for users: mailing list posts would be copied to the forum, and forum posts would be copied to the mailing list. Using mailman and procmail, this was relatively simple. After downloading and installing fudforum, I installed mailman from RPM using the yum package manager. Following the instructions in the docs, I created a mailing list and added some test names.

After setting up the mailing list, I configured FUDForum to post to the mailing list (using the mailing list options), and got it to remove the title of the mailing list when copying to forums. This was slightly tricky, since the regulur expression should be [ListName], not [ListName].

Then I added procmail entry that pipes any list mail into the FUDforum mailinst list script (scripts/maillinglist.php). I had to fiddle with the permissions a bit since the web owner wasn’t receiving the mail, but a set of directories with a special group, and group write/set permissions did the trick. I did have much more trouble with the procmail recipeit since it wasn’t clear when mail should be copied to the forum. Because mailling list mails are sent via BCC, the recipient doesn’t show up in the header all the time (I tried using a special mailing list email address). In the end, I had to for mail with the mailing list name as the recipient, which seems to work most of the time,. However, I just discovered that if someone BCCs the list, the mailing list doesn’t even show up in the To: field.

However, the forum is now up and working, and students can post to the list, or the forum, and everyone sees the messages.

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