Sending email into Discourse

(Adam Engst) #1

If this works, it should create a new topic in Discourse.

cheers… -Adam

( #2

Please thank Discobot for the great tutorial. I’ll treasure my certificate.
~ irene

(David Brostoff) #3

I receive Discourse messages fine via email (, 10.13.4), but when I reply via email, I get an error message:

"We’re sorry, but your email message to [“”] (titled Re: [TidBITS] Sending email into Discourse) didn’t work.

None of the destination email addresses are recognized, or the Message-ID header in the email has been modified. Please make sure that you are sending to the correct email address provided by staff."

Am I doing something wrong?

Thank you,


(Curtis Wilcox) #4

Is the From address on your reply the same address stored in your account on Discourse?

(David Brostoff) #5

Yes, it’s the same one I use to log in with.

Also, the error message mentions the destination email address, but it’s the Reply To: address in the email (

(Jolin Warren) #6

I think you have to send to the address, not reply@…

Not sure why that’s not the default reply-to address though, one for @ace I suspect.

(David Tuma) #7

Irene - where is the tutorial?
Thank you.

(Jolin Warren) #8

Click on your avatar (icon, top right) and then on the envelope icon in the corresponding menu:


This takes you to your messages. You should have one titled “Greetings!” from Discobot.

Click on this, and respond to it, that will run you through the tutorial.

(Adam Engst) #9

This was my fault, due to incorrect configuration. I’ve fixed it now, so future messages should have proper Reply-To addresses. They’ll be along the lines of reply+{somekey}

(Seth Anderson) #10

To be clear, if I respond to email like this, a new post will show up at TidBITS, and depending upon my individual settings, I will also receive an email that is the updated version of TidBITS Talk? I realize this is all new, and the details will get sorted out eventually, but I’m a little fuzzy on what actually happens or what best practices are for creating and responding to new (what-used-to-be-email) threads.

For instance, should we top quote? Bottom quote? Remove previous responses from others? Or will Discourse handle this on its own?

Also because I’m still pining for Eudora, and cleanly formatted text email (ha), I do think the Discourse email is a bit cluttered. Perhaps this is because in Apple Mail, I have “Don’t Automatically Load Remote Content” setting, and afaik, there is no way to choose to turn this on/off per a particular domain.

(Adam Engst) #11

I don’t know if you’ll receive a copy of your post — I doubt it since it’s duplicative. But we’ll see.

Some experimentation will be needed, but I ask, just as before, that everyone quote minimally. When in doubt, don’t quote at all, since everyone has seen the previous message.

You could post a screenshot of what you’re seeing — it would be interesting to see how that works via email too — since I can’t really visualize the problem. Here’s what your message looks like for me in Mail. I don’t fight with the remote content setting — I find it too annoying to have to load content manually.

(Jolin Warren) #12

Email a response with a top quote – it would be interesting to see how Discourse handles it!

(Curtis Wilcox) #13

Typically, the only remote content in a Discourse email will be profile pics and the occasional emoji (I think emoji are usually in the form of image files because it’s hard to know what they’ll look like on every platform otherwise). The screenshot was a little weird, it showed the alt text in bold, blue link text, “53%20PM.” I’m guessing that text was a truncation of the uploaded screenshot’s filename.
If one uploads an image in the editor and writes good alt text between the square brackets, it will be helpful to email recipients who don’t load images by default and to people with disabilities who may not see the image.

(Ron Risley) #14

Here’s what I saw from the previous message:

I absolutely must avoid loading remote content, as doing so can verify my email address to potential spammers such as pharmaceutical companies and health care headhunters, who are rabid, ruthless, and without scruples. So the emails I get from Discourse have all this little blank boxes, sometimes with some text in them. It’s not unusable, but aesthetically a bit naff. And the strange box with “53%20PM” expands to the quoted original message. So I’m doing a lot of clicking the “Load Remote Content” button.

I’m going to check to see if it’s possible for Mail to use a rule to load images.


(Curtis Wilcox) #15

Given that in the email, the message is followed by an excerpt of the message being replied to, top quoting is almost certainly the right choice when replying to a Discourse email. I’m top quoting this now to see what happens, my guess is Discourse will be smart enough to remove all the quoted material (I’m writing this in macOS Mail, BTW).

(Adam Engst) #16

Doesn’t seem to be possible. :frowning:

We can encourage people to provide ALT text, but I doubt that will be super successful.

(Curtis Wilcox) #17

Good, my top-quoted message by email did remove all the quoted content below it on the web and in the copy emailed to me. I quite like interspersing quotes and my responses (deleting non-relevant lines), I don’t know if I’d dare do so in an email response to Discourse. Discourse’s web form for commenting is pretty good, I know what I’m going to get when I submit with it.

I read a lot through RSS feeds so I may turn off the Discourse mailing list mode, read the feed, then click through to the web site to reply.

(@lbutlr) #18

I think the days when spammers cared about verifying email addresses are long behind us. They send billions of spams, not one is looking at them for verification. “Legitimate” companies do use tracking images, however (where you may or may not agree they are legit, but they absolutely know your email address is real).

(Ron Risley) #19

It appears as though one can assign a keyboard shortcut to the “Load Remote Content” button via an Automator workflow.

I haven’t tried it yet, but that would certainly mitigate the problem I have with having to switch from keyboard to trackpad when reading through TidBITS Talk – which I was previously able to do with only the keyboard.

Is it even possible to set the Alt text when replying by email?


(Marc Z) #20

Given that in the email, the message is followed by an excerpt of the message being replied to…

Except I’ve turned that feature off as it was terribly confusing.

…my guess is Discourse will be smart enough to remove all the quoted material

It did. I saw no quote in your email and I didn’t know what you were talking about at first.

I’ve quoted two tiny bits of your message – we’ll see if Discourse preserves them (I’m doing this via email, not the web).

Marc Zeedar
Publisher, xDev Magazine and xDevLibrary |