Thanks - trouble is there are loads of 'managed' forums out there that do precisely this but you end up with advertising in each email. SmartGroups is one such forum (www.smartgroups.com
) which is free and pretty full featured. The disadvantage is that you can't set up a hierarchy of boards on the same forum - you have to set up totally separate forums.
One of the nice things in this forum software is you can restrict access to sectioin forums and not others, so I can set up a private 'club members' area within my forum structure and an even more private 'committee' forum within that.
I went over to SimplyMachines support forums and there does seem to be a lot of demand for full email support, but the developed working on it is reluctant to give a full blown interface because he argues configuration would be too difficult for administrators and too open to spoofing and other forms of abuse causing spamming, virus and other malware problems.
As you say the new beta has a mod which allows posting replies from email, but you can't globally set notify me by email for each user, and you would need to go to the website to set notify on individual threads - which rather defeats the object of mail based access.
Personally I can't see why it shouldn't be possible to allow a 'secure' type of posting in the form that:
- Only registered emails can be used to post
- No attachments by post
- Only pure text messages by post
- For each user during sign up a 'pass phrase' could be set up which would have to prefix every email subject, but is then stripped by the server. That way spoofing would be pretty difficult
If you are interested shall we head over and start badgering for this to be implemented?