Forum Notifications



About Notifications and Subscriptions

The TWUUG Forum notifications are based around Email messages. You might not want Email notifications if you plan to monitor the web site manually regularly, or if you follow the site regularly with a "feed" reader (some of which also contain alerts and notifications). Fortunately, the TWUUG Forums allows you a great amount of flexibility and control to meet your specific needs (see the following sections).

Notifications are sent to your registered Email address for things which you “subscribe”. A “subscription” to a forum or topic means you want the forum to send you notifications on new or reply postings. Alternatively, there is a setting in the user control panel that will send you notifications for EVERY posting on the board, without having to subscribe to anything explicitly and this is the default for new users.

Unlike many other forum boards, the TWUUG Forums always sends you the entire message posted to the forum in the Email notification! Plus the notification contains http links to allow you to jump to and/or reply to those postings quickly on the web site.

Notification Emails are sent out as soon as the person posting returns to the topic listings for the forum he/she posted in, not when the message is actually posted. There are times it can be delayed quite a while, if the user does not return to the index after posting. If the posting is edited AFTER the notification is sent, another notification is not sent out, so it is possible the contents of the Email notification might not match the posting on the web site.


Notification settings in the User Control Panel. Click for larger view

As a new user, you are subscribed to everything automatically and will get notifications for all new postings, regardless of forum or other settings. However, you can change these settings in many ways to meet your specific needs. To do this, go to the "User Control Panel (UCP)" and select the "Board Preferences" tab, then the "Edit post notification options" on the left of the screen. You will see the following options

  • >Send me notice of all posts, even where I am not subscribed to the forum or topic: YES /or/ YES but only once between visits to the site /or/ NO
    • If you say "YES", you will get notifications for EVERY message on every forum for every topic, regardless of any other setting on the system, even if you are not subscribed to anything. This will essentially make the next two options meaningless (Forum notification, and Topic notification settings). "YES" here is the default for all new users.
    • If you say "YES BUT", you will get a notification for the first posting (from anywhere on the board) but that's it- only one notification. All further notifications from anywhere on the board will be suppressed until you visit the board website.
    • If you say "NO", then this super-global feature is turned off and the next two settings will be enabled/valid (Forum, Topic). (If you do turn this off, we strongly recommend you leave the next setting on "Yes" and subscribe at least to the "Announce" forum)
  • >When I subscribe to a forum, send me notice of all posts in the forum: YES /or/ YES but only once between visits to the forum
    • If you say "YES", you will get notifications for EVERY message on every forum FOR WHICH YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED, regardless of any other setting. By default, you are subscribed to no forums at all.
    • If you say "YES BUT", you will get a notification for the first posting on every forum FOR WHICH YOU HAVE SUBSCRIBED. All further notifications from the forum will be suppressed until you visit that forum on the board website.
    • There is no "NO" option. Just subscribe to no forums to make this an effective "NO".
  • >When I subscribe to a topic, send me notice of all posts in the topic: YES /or/ YES but only once between visits to the topic
    • Exactly the same behavior as the previous option for forums, but just for topics (threads) instead.

Reminder again- If the first option is selected to YES, the other two options don't matter, because they are overridden.

The other two options have no "NO" option, because they work in concert with your actively subscribing or unsubscribing to forums. By default:

  • You are not subscribed to any forums. (!!! We highly recommend you at least subscribe to the "Announce" forum if you don't plan on visiting the web site regularly !!!)
  • You are not subscribed to any topics (threads).
  • If YOU post a new topic, you will be subscribed to it by default (but you can turn that off at time of posting or at a later date/time) (you can also set your defaults for this behavior in the user control panel).
  • If YOU reply to a topic you didn't create, you will be subscribed to it by default (but you can turn that off at time of posting or at a later date/time).

You might have to play around with the settings to get the behavior you want depending on how you want to use the site. Also, your preferences might change over time depending on how many messages are posted, by whom, on what topics, and how often you plan to visit the site in a web browser.

Notifications are not sent to you for your own postings, ever.

Notification Email Format

The TWUUG Forums (unlike most other forums) copies most of the information contained in posted messages into the Email notifications (because we added significant modifications):

  • SUBJECT of the EMail contains "[TWUUG Forums]" and the Topic
  • Forum and Topic (subject) of the posting
  • Author (login name of the person posting the message).
  • The entire body of the message/posting.
  • The poster's signature, if any.
  • A long separator line
  • An explanation of what type of notification was sent and why
  • Links and instructions, which are context sensitive, with at least the following:
    • One that will quickly take you to the new/unread messages in that topic (or topic in that forum)
    • One that will allow a one-click reply with quotation
    • One that will take you to a page to change your notifications preferences
  • A TWUUG Forum message signature

This is very convenient for some users, because it means you are not forced to visit the forum to see what was said, by whom, or when.

Email is plain text, so some of the formatting will be changed or lost in the notification Email messages. For example, quoted text will look a little different, smiley faces will show in brackets, and other "bbcode" will be lost. Here is an example:

Sally wrote:
Can anyone tell me when Firefox was first released to the public?
I must be crazy but I can't seem to figure it out! [Smile]

November of 2004

Quotes are limited to just one level (the system will automatically strip out nested quotes). Users are encouraged to "quote and trim" when replying to posts on the Forums, since it will aid Email readers in following conversations.

Addressing, Headers, and Bouncing

Here is the current addressing/header scheme:

Return-Path: <>
Received: from
From: "TWUUG Forums" <>
Reply-To: <>
Sender: <>
X-PHP-Originating-Script: 0:functions_messenger.php
X-phpBB-Origin: phpbb://

Replying to notification Emails is not productive! The received replies are immediately bounced back to the user. This is useful so the user knows they made a mistake.

If the notification Emails sent to YOU are bounced, the notifications will bounce back to the system administrator. If this continues to happen AND you don't ever login to the website, either your notifications will be turned off or it might be assumed you no longer exist and your login might be removed.

In the Email, the "to" address and "subject" line in the Email are both UTF-8 encoded.

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