Selective mass emails version 1.0.9 (Release Candidate) released

Only minor changes were made, but it is tested on phpBB 3.3 and works on that and phpBB 3.2. Details here.

It can be downloaded from the GitHub branch or from the extension’s page. If downloaded from GitHub, make sure to disable the extension first, remove the old filed and place the files in the /ext/phpbbservices/selectivemassemails directory.


Selective mass emails extension version 1.0.6 released

Made a mistake in version 1.0.5 that facilitated my testing, I just forgot to correct it. It’s related to the new feature to count unapproved posts. It was counting approved posts instead, which was much easier to test than creating an account and setting up a bunch of unmoderated posts. Happily, it was a one line code fix

It can be downloaded from the extension’s page or on GitHub.

New extension under development: selective mass emails

So far I’ve developed two extensions, Smartfeed and Digests. Another one is now under development, Selective mass emails. You can read about it on the topic here which includes a download link.

I wrote Smartfeed and Digests as mods for phpBB 3.0. Digests even has a version for phpBB 2.0. So I pretty much had to turn them into extensions when phpBB 3.1 was introduced. Unfortunately, both are rather complex extensions, so to the extent I had time to work on them, it was a long and complex learning curve. It took about three years to turn digests into an approved extension.

Selective mass emails extends phpBB’s mass email function. Mass emailing is an administrator privilege only. It’s available in the Administration Control Panel: ACP > System > Mass email. The built-in function is pretty basic. It allows administrators to send mass emails to exactly one group or to a list of individual users whose names you have to type in. Only text emails are sent.

I was asked to consider developing this as a paid extension. After looking at the work involved, which was not much (and given that my schedule is not busy at the moment) I decided to develop it for free.

So it’s a simple extension. Moreover, now that I have a couple extensions under my belt, creating a relatively simple extension that is not too complex is pretty straightforward. Now I know what I am doing. So I’m becoming more willing to develop custom extensions since I find them less intimidating. If you have one you want me to consider developing, you can send me a service inquiry and we can discuss my comfort level and a cost range.

The extension will evolve but you can see version 1.0.1 in development mode:

Selective mass emails (version 1.0.1)
Selective mass emails (version 1.0.1)

Basically, the extension refines the mass emails allowed to be sent. By using core and template events built into the phpBB code base, I was able to add fields to the form. The number and placement of these events is also something of a limitation. For example, mass email allows you to send all emails to one group, and only one group. I can’t change that because I can’t tie it to one of the available events.

The extension can be used to do things like send reminder emails to people who haven’t posted in a while, for example. You can also use it to send emails to inactive users, users who have posted more (or less) than a specified number of posts, or have more or less than a specified number of private messages. If you use ranks, it will also allow you to send emails to people with the ranks specified.

As this is a development extension, it should not be used on a real board. At some point I will create a GitHub archive for the extension. You might want to take it for a spin, but on a test forum only for now.