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The Geek 03-27-2007 08:17 AM

Hey Liz, thanks :)

All it will take for that extra integration is a simple module. I am not currently planning on creating additional modules right now. Maybe for release I may do one for polls and for gars, but not sure about vbblogetin yet :)

acers 03-27-2007 01:25 PM

hey geek, can you show us the admincp side screens :)
dying to have a look at how this looks from the backend.

DerTobi75 03-27-2007 03:27 PM

Will only HTML Mails possible or can users choose if they like to get HTML or Text mails?

The Geek 03-27-2007 03:37 PM

Plain text or HTML

The Geek 03-27-2007 04:34 PM

14 Attachment(s)
Just so everyone knows:

The private beta testing team have provided phenomenal feedback and are actively participating in taking the project to a whole new level. IMO The project could be bug fixed and rolled out pretty quickly, however the testing team have proposed a lot of great ideas that will make it a substantially better product that is simpler for non technical admins to use. Implementing these ideas will result in a more delayed release - however it will result in a far superior product which I think is a very worth while trade off.

My primary aim is to continue working on my core products and supporting my customers, my secondary aim is to implement the ideas put forward by the team. Therefore it will take a little bit longer for this project to see general release - but at least it won't be at the expense of working on GARS, GAL and GAB. The good news is that very talented private testers (i.e. Kirby) are taking a very active interest in the project and have already contibuted loads from a coding perspective!

Hang tight all, I am sure it wont be terribly long before you see more from this project.

Here are some current screenies to satisfy the cravings for now:

Note that its all phrased and such in this current incarnation - but there are already plans on making it far better so these can be seen as alpha screen shots and will change.


Attachment 750

This screen allows you to set most of the global settings for the system. You can choose the style and such to send from. It looks like this will be further improved to end up using the users style and language settings!


Attachment 749

This is where you can create multiple newsletters to send out (i.e. a weekly, monthly, yearly or one focused on certain aspects of your site). newsletter is NOT what is sent out. What is sent out are issues which belong to newsletters.

Right now, the newsletter is little more than a category like area. It looks like some settings (i.e. the recipients qualifiers) will be located as options here

Attachment 748


This is a list of the issues for the selected newsletter. Each newsletter goes out in 'issues'. Users can also browse back issues (not shown). Note that currently, the user selection process happens on a per-issue basis. That will be moved to the newsletter as the project develops

Attachment 746Attachment 744 Attachment 745


A generators purpose is to make 'issues' and is primarily run by a cron job (though this can be manual as well). It is a 'boiler plate' for issues therefore many of the options in issues are also found in the generator.

Attachment 740Attachment 739 Attachment 738

Note that many of these options will be moved to the newsletter area


Any of you familiar with GARS knows my almost obsession with modules. A module is an external file that generates content. Modules are to gars and GAZ as hooks are to vB. It allows the admin to 'layout' their newsletters in any way they see fit without having to change the coding or architecture of the system. Currently, there are 4 modules; text (which allows the user to display custom text eg A navigation menu), Info (shows a 'news' like block of information that can use the issues bbcode/html/plain text messages to display relevant information. This is usually used as an issue 'overview' or 'introduction'), statistics (shows the top statistics like newest member, thread count, etc...) and threadblock. The threadblock is the key module that allows you to format snapshots of your forum(s) in a variety of ways. Most blocks of information are threadblocks in a variety of different configurations.

Note that in the HTML configuration, there are 5 'slots' to put 0 or more modules in (top, left. centre, right and bottom). You use the same modules to layout the plain text format, however this only has 1 view (centre column) because you can not have 'layouts' in a plain text email.

This gives you the ability to customise the plain text and HTML portions of an issue.

Modules are combined into a 'set' which is then applied to an issue. Therefore you can create additional 'sets' for subsequent issues or newsletters to meet your needs.

Here is a bunch of screenies of the modules in action:
Attachment 747

HTML configuration:
Attachment 741 Attachment 742 Attachment 743

Plain text:
Attachment 751

Anyhoo - much of this will change thanks to the team. Feel free to make suggestions, etc... but please note that it is impossible to determine an ETA, or what the final price will be (though I think it is fair to say that none of my projects are very pricey)

That is about all I have to say on the subject for now other than: Thanks again to the small group of private testers I have and thank you for your interest in the project.


nexia 03-27-2007 05:52 PM

and i can say i'm not part of that great deal of testers... not that i do not want, but i had other things in hands these last 3 days that were not planned... (kids, you know!)... and an election here... (more than 6 millions visitors on my main site in the last 36 hours!)

and i started bother Samuel about some other feature i wanted for the Mart... THANKS A LOT for your availability Samuel !!!

btw, i'll be more than happy to deal with the GAZ in the next days... if i'm not bothered by my kids again... LOL LOL

acers 03-28-2007 04:08 AM

1 Attachment(s)
wow the modules look great and imo it should be real easy to extend this for anything :) thank you geek.
I have some more questions and some suggestions :D

1) I am noticing that the mail you sent out uses the vb stylesheets for styling. Plus you are not using inline style statements. That would work on desktop clents(actually only on desktop clients will it work perfectly), but on say gmail, there seems to be major problems in rendering.(see attachment) thw whole stylehas been discarded. On phplist i tend to avoid using css as far as possible for styling and instead use tables and inline css. see this article(
notice that outside of body everything will be stripped.
well so the mantra is inline css, avoid divs and floats(again hotmail, gmail hate both)

Anyway this is on simpler styles. If you have a custom style on board, then there are even more problems.(yes you can create a simple style for newsletters) but it still won't fix the css issues.
So point being a template for newsletter is very essential. Uses tables to render. A basic template with variables for module and header and logo insertion (say {gaz_modul1}at top for 1st module and so on defined within the template.,) That way the overall structure of the module will be available to the user to change(although it would be a mean ask :) )So you can have templates defined for this as (gaz_main - as the master template, gaz_module1 as say module template and so on and by default use table positioning and inline css.)

2) Also i didn't quite see this in screenshots but is this feature present? I would want that if i code a custom module, i should be able to see the that its rendering or picking up per newsletter before i send. Love the modules approach though :)


The Geek 03-28-2007 07:31 AM

Hey man,

I didnt test in gmail, but I tested in hotmail with similar results. The inline styles seemed fine, but I had to click an almost invisisble link for the system to download the css and apply it (which it did fine afterwards). Hardly intuitive and desired.

Your link will prove very helpful - however at first read, it doesnt appear that there is much that can be done in some of the browsers. For instance, that article states that GMail strips out anything from the header AND it strips out any style attribtutes. So even if we went all inline with styles, it would still look the same as above :(

I havent finished the article yet - but I will spend more time on it and see if a clever approach can be taken :)

As it stands right now, each element of the issues have their own templates (header, navbar, content, footer) so you will be able to customize these any way you see fit.

As to your module question, what you would be able to do is add it to a set and preview an existing issue (or generate a new issue) to preview until you like what you see - then finalize it... so basically... yes :)

acers 03-28-2007 08:47 AM

yes thats the drawback of inline styles i faced too.
but for the sake of cross email site stability, its unfortunately the only way i could find. case in points:
Link 1 to see
link 2 that reinforces the point

umm i have had success with some style attributes inline on gmail(there is terrible leave one space proble in <td> tags there. I think bg colour and basic attributes would work(umm see the first article.

here is some more food of thought :) For the image attachments, i think you can try(ofcourse the practicality you can decide) this method. When you make a new template, scan the template for image code img tag and ask the user to upload in next stage the images.(pedestrian approach copied from phplist as usual :D ) but that way for the lists going out using simple attach classes, the images can be attached in the mail. It will do two things. 1) it will stop a user warning for external images(which many users still think means a spam mail) and 2) it will stop making the mails go to spam itself.

Nikke 03-28-2007 06:29 PM

I'd love to beta test it. I run a community at with 3000 users!

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