Forums » SEPHP Feature Requests

Add Text Only Mail Templates

    • 626 posts
    June 9, 2021 5:28 PM EDT

    *Issue Title* = Add Text Only Email Templates To Edit Templates Area

    *Issue Description* = The Following:

    The other day, I started browsing through my admittedly less than professional email templates because I wanted to make them stand out more, and use language targeted towards a more tech savvy audience. I checked out the mail templates area of admin panel  and was happy with the choices I saw there.

    What I wasn't happy with, was the choices I didn't see there.

    I was even confused by the additional settings which make no sense.

    First of all, the help document is nowhere to be found. This One explaining the addition of Language files to edit. Which it states there's more than one language within my community, but there isn't.

    Second, I'm not happy with the member levels settings. What's that doing in mail templates area? I guess if different member levels see different mail templates? that's extremely weird. I guess that is a feature one could implement better use of if you created a placeholder for member level title.

    But anyways, I was able to alter some of my HTML settings for mail template design. Like the footer, the header, and custom invitation messages. You know, things like the welcome email among others which makes sense because your first impression is in emails. And I want it to be something enticing. Otherwise, why would members hang out or join right?

    So, I waited until emails started coming in with the new template. And I realized, they're not coming in with my template as text only versions. Which some email programs do display. That made me look like an embarrassment because one version of the email is saying one thing. And the other is phrased completely different. Which got my emails sent straight to the spam folder. Thank you Google, Microsoft and Yahoo reputation policies.

    So, I had to use the online Demo of Social Engine to reinstate the default email text for everything that I altered. I couldn't find the text templates for mails to be sent in language editor. I'm upset that I can't change both versions. And that's also true if I want to broadcast a message to someone. I can't alter the text version of those messages either.

    So what's going on with templates? I would have assumed in Social Engine, text is taken from the formatting of the HTML version! But no, it's not. Further more, it's just as corporate and impersonal as ever. In actual fact, I'd sooner edit the text version of emails than HTML because people click on the first Icon they see in the HTML version and don't really read it.

    So, that prompted me to write this feature request up to do the following.

    *Current Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to Admin Panel > Settings > Mail Templates > Choose Template

    2. Look for something personal like the Welcome email.

    3. Edit it and just put some test characters in there if you want.

    4. Save changes.

    5. Create a test email and sign up for your network.

    6. Depending on the welcome email you edited, you should've picked the one that responds to your situation. Whether or not you have member approval turned on or email verification required. But the important thing here to keep in mind is, that email is your first impression.

    7. Compare the text only and HTML specific versions of that email and note the differences. The text only version remains unchanged from the original. The HTML is the one that is changed using mail templates.

    *Expected Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to admin panel > settings > mail templates

    2. Select what template you want to edit. In this case, pick the welcome email.

    3. Select which version of the welcome email you wish to edit. Text only, or HTML.

    4. Edit your desired version and click on save.

    Thank you for considering my request.

    • Moderator
    • 5919 posts
    June 10, 2021 5:32 AM EDT
    ElsharaSilverheart said:

    First of all, the help document is nowhere to be found. This One explaining the addition of Language files to edit. Which it states there's more than one language within my community, but there isn't.

    What is wrong with the tutorial that we have for it which appears in the tutorial list as the name of the setting? https://socialengine.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/SU/pages/5112052/SE+PHP+-+Mail+Templates

    • Moderator
    • 5919 posts
    June 10, 2021 5:42 AM EDT
    ElsharaSilverheart said:

    *Issue Title* = Add Text Only Email Templates To Edit Templates Area

    *Issue Description* = The Following:

    Second, I'm not happy with the member levels settings. What's that doing in mail templates area? I guess if different member levels see different mail templates? that's extremely weird. I guess that is a feature one could implement better use of if you created a placeholder for member level title.

    This was a feature request by many clients. Not all settings will please all clients. Some clients only want specific member levels to get some emails.

     

     

    *Current Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to Admin Panel > Settings > Mail Templates > Choose Template

    2. Look for something personal like the Welcome email.

    3. Edit it and just put some test characters in there if you want.

    4. Save changes.

    5. Create a test email and sign up for your network.

    6. Depending on the welcome email you edited, you should've picked the one that responds to your situation. Whether or not you have member approval turned on or email verification required. But the important thing here to keep in mind is, that email is your first impression.

    7. Compare the text only and HTML specific versions of that email and note the differences. The text only version remains unchanged from the original. The HTML is the one that is changed using mail templates.

    *Expected Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to admin panel > settings > mail templates

    2. Select what template you want to edit. In this case, pick the welcome email.

    3. Select which version of the welcome email you wish to edit. Text only, or HTML.

    4. Edit your desired version and click on save.

    Thank you for considering my request.

    Regarding this request, it seems interesting and necessary but I'm not sure how it would work with the language manager. Something to consider.

    • 626 posts
    June 10, 2021 12:25 PM EDT
    Donna said:
    ElsharaSilverheart said:

    First of all, the help document is nowhere to be found. This One explaining the addition of Language files to edit. Which it states there's more than one language within my community, but there isn't.

    What is wrong with the tutorial that we have for it which appears in the tutorial list as the name of the setting? https://socialengine.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/SU/pages/5112052/SE+PHP+-+Mail+Templates

     

    Nothing's wrong with that article. Apart from one key fact. It's not linked in control panel. So I didn't know it existed until now.

    • 626 posts
    June 10, 2021 12:31 PM EDT
    Donna said:
    ElsharaSilverheart said:

    *Issue Title* = Add Text Only Email Templates To Edit Templates Area

    *Issue Description* = The Following:

    Second, I'm not happy with the member levels settings. What's that doing in mail templates area? I guess if different member levels see different mail templates? that's extremely weird. I guess that is a feature one could implement better use of if you created a placeholder for member level title.

    This was a feature request by many clients. Not all settings will please all clients. Some clients only want specific member levels to get some emails.

     

     

    *Current Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to Admin Panel > Settings > Mail Templates > Choose Template

    2. Look for something personal like the Welcome email.

    3. Edit it and just put some test characters in there if you want.

    4. Save changes.

    5. Create a test email and sign up for your network.

    6. Depending on the welcome email you edited, you should've picked the one that responds to your situation. Whether or not you have member approval turned on or email verification required. But the important thing here to keep in mind is, that email is your first impression.

    7. Compare the text only and HTML specific versions of that email and note the differences. The text only version remains unchanged from the original. The HTML is the one that is changed using mail templates.

    *Expected Issue Behaviour* = This:

    1. Go to admin panel > settings > mail templates

    2. Select what template you want to edit. In this case, pick the welcome email.

    3. Select which version of the welcome email you wish to edit. Text only, or HTML.

    4. Edit your desired version and click on save.

    Thank you for considering my request.

    Regarding this request, it seems interesting and necessary but I'm not sure how it would work with the language manager. Something to consider.

     

    As far as member level settings goes, I still think that's the wrong place for it. We have a place holder for default notifications and default emails. So member level settings should end up there. It's confusing for me to go into mail templates and see a member level settings area because nothing explains what I'm selecting.

    As far as language management is concerned, just add any text fields with "[header]" in them. That should in theory solve this problem. Then all you would need to build is the filter to select which field to change.

    I suppose now is as good at time as any to mention that I was able to find where the text only emails chose to hide out in my community. But I wasn't sure what placeholders still applied to make them dynamically as useful as possible.

    • 626 posts
    June 10, 2021 1:52 PM EDT
    Donna said:
    ElsharaSilverheart said:

    First of all, the help document is nowhere to be found. This One explaining the addition of Language files to edit. Which it states there's more than one language within my community, but there isn't.

    What is wrong with the tutorial that we have for it which appears in the tutorial list as the name of the setting? https://socialengine.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/SU/pages/5112052/SE+PHP+-+Mail+Templates

     

    Rereading that article, something jumped out at me.

    "If you have more than one language, please be sure to translate every template for each language. If a template has not been translated, it may throw an error when the system tries to send out that notification email. This could break your mail queue which would end up in a bottle neck of emails as well as tasks run in your Task Manager."

    Is that right?! So if the system detects not all phrases are translated, or thinks they aren't even if they are. Emails translated or improved upon fails to send at all even though the background mailer tasks succeeds.

    What is this?

    Basically you're saying that if I translate my templates, mail refuses to send. Because the text part of the email is different and not translated from the original. Or if that gets changed, then some other original reference point doesn't. As I discovered when I looked under /home/elshara/public_html/application/language/en/module_name.csv

    So just where do all of these language files get stored then? It's got to be in the database as well. One thing I did try to do, is export the language file, edit a few phrases and reimport it to get around having to scroll in the language manager. When I reuploaded the language pack in language manager, it didn't upload as English. So I did remove it. Because that was the only way I could find the text headers through trial and error. I did find them in there, and a search for "[header]" reveals that they're deeply buried in the csv files of the individual modules. This just gets more complicated by the minute. So if you don't translate everything, but even if you do, and the system thinks you haven't, you don't get emails delivered of whatever phrase you wanted to translate.

    Yeah. I'm already starting to see that bottleneck issue on my community. I just wanted for instance, to rename blog entries to blog posts. And I figured if I started with email renaming, that would help. But then blog comments don't send if I edit the text and html templates. It's also confusing because the language manager literally hides entire pages on you if you edit one phrase and save the changes. But it does this intermittently. Like if you want to save your changes but aren't quite finished editing all the times "blog entry" appears. But you then naturally browse or search to find that phrase, and even though it's English you're editing, the actual phrase itself says it's edited from the original. Even though it isn't. Because the blog.csv file says otherwise. Even if I enable the performance array which by the way, prevents editing of language management. So this whole template and language manager issue is essentially an edit at your own risk experience. And you can't safely alter the template. Or even restore the original by importing it.

    Social Engine has an extremely complicated back end more so than I ever knew. It's all based on one fault. And that is, you can't edit something once and have it changed everywhere it's referenced. Because sometimes you can only reference one thing, but have it placed in several locations to the point where the entire system is a bottleneck even when it's working.

    Which brings me back full circle to documentation. I don't know what's a dependency when I go and try to do something simple.

    • Moderator
    • 5919 posts
    June 11, 2021 4:51 AM EDT

    Elshara, we are doing the best we can to improve. V6 will have a zend update that'll allow us to do more. You write a whole lot here to read and try and figure out what the feature request boils down to. We appreciate all the effort but I am now confused as to what is needed. As feature requests are ONE item, please let me know in simple terms what is needed here. Forget the fact that we allow admins to set the member level on each mail template. Please let us know what you need for the plain text version. Thank you.

    • 626 posts
    June 11, 2021 5:40 AM EDT
    Donna said:

    Elshara, we are doing the best we can to improve. V6 will have a zend update that'll allow us to do more. You write a whole lot here to read and try and figure out what the feature request boils down to. We appreciate all the effort but I am now confused as to what is needed. As feature requests are ONE item, please let me know in simple terms what is needed here. Forget the fact that we allow admins to set the member level on each mail template. Please let us know what you need for the plain text version. Thank you.

     

    I know. I keep thinking ahead and it confuses me. I get confused because I have a lot on my mind. I know you do what you are able and I'm glad there's improvements coming. I'm patient, but I am introverted. So I over think things when I realize complications are added into a mix I thought I grasped already as being more simple to understand the full scope of what I'm interacting with.

    All I'm asking for the feature request, is this. Essentially just add all [header] text fields to the mail templates section. That would solve the issue of text only emails.

    • 626 posts
    June 11, 2021 5:42 AM EDT

    Ok that didn't come out right. And I can't edit what I said.

    Where ever [header] and [footer] text exists in language manager. Place a version of that to edit under mail templates. That covers all mail templates, both html and text.

    • Moderator
    • 5919 posts
    June 11, 2021 5:44 AM EDT

    Thank you!