The new digests extension will include an ACP interface that will allow the admin to manually run digests. Previously this had to be done by specifying a URL. Mostly it is for initial testing of digests or for occasional troubleshooting. However, you will also use it to manually send digests for days and hours that might have been missed, such as when the cron job was down, using the option to create digests in the past. I have the front end done and am working on the backend code. Take a look:
This option will also let you write digests to files on your server to see them via a URL as HTML or text. They will hide in the extension’s cache folder. This potentially allows a static digest to be created showing, say, all public posts on the forum for a particular day or week. Such an interface might get more thoroughly thought through later. Right now this is mostly for testing and troubleshooting. Email clients can ignore HTML markup, but by writing digests to a file you can see it in a browser. Of course writing it to the extension’s cache folder also makes potentially private content publicly accessible, which is why the interface will have a way to clear this cache folder too.
On the backend, since mailing will be done via phpBB’s cron system, mail_digests.php goes away as a standalone program. Instead it will be invoked through a run method on a mailer class for the extension, which will hide in the extension’s cron/task folder.