Email mode config improvements

(Greg Sharp) #1

Dear all,

I humbly submit that I dislike the new e-mail list.
(No offense intended. But I cannot tell a lie.)

See attachment for what it looks like in html e-mail (Outlook).
The topic content is overshadowed by heavy-handed formatting.

In txt e-mail (Claws) the content/formatting ratio is better.
But the excerpt feature does not work. Also, there is no way
to access images from a text e-mail client since they are
neither attached nor is there a full URL link.


PS: How can I see which e-mail is tied with which sub-forum?

Initial presentation
(Andras Lasso) #2

You can configure in the preferences (, Email section) what you would like to get in the notification email.

(Isaiah Norton) #3

@gcsharp thanks for the feedback! I’d rather we hear it now than have disgruntled users or less participation. Hopefully there are enough knobs available to make some of this better. I made a few tweaks that I hope will improve the situation – let me know how this looks to you by email.

I’m including the changes here, so I can remember what I did (and others can change/revert if needed).

  • “Takes up way too much space”
    • email posts context -> 0
  • “Only 10 characters visible” -> shorten the title:
    • email prefix -> “Slicer” (instead of defaulting to title, which is “3D Slicer Forum”)
  • “Stupid and redundant”, “Redundant. I already know the sender”
  • removed the following from “User Replied” “User Posted” “User Mentioned” “User Quoted” email templates (in admin settings):


  • “Image should be attachment or link”
    • I don’t quite know how to deal with this right now, unfortunately. Images are linked out to remote resources (and stripped from very short messages to avoid spam filter). Will investigate.

PS: How can I see which e-mail is tied with which sub-forum?

Email title. After the tweaks I think it should look like [Slicer/Forum feedback] (“Forum feedback” category), [Slicer/Support] (“Support” category), etc. We could potentially shorten names to get closer to the traditional [slicer-users] / [slicer-devel] length people are used to (unfortunately we can’t use the category “slug” in the title yet:

(Isaiah Norton) #4

(another test for me to view on my test account)

  • try using %{topic_slug} in the email subject setting

(Isaiah Norton) #5

(Oops, well that was ugly :slight_smile:, reverting)

(Andras Lasso) #6

The current [Slicer[Development] ] subject line prefix does not look nice: spacing is inconsistent, many square brackets, etc.

It would be also nice to be consistent with subject line prefix of GitHub notifications. For example, this is an email subject sent by GitHub:

Re: [Slicer/Slicer] WIP: Use header metadata to initialize volume scalar range (#702)

I think [SlicerForum/Category/Subcategory] would be a short and consistent subject line prefix, for example:

[SlicerForum/Support] Some subject abc abc
[SlicerForum/Development] Some subject abc abc

(Isaiah Norton) #7

It would be also nice to be consistent with subject line prefix of GitHub notifications.

I agree, I tried a few iterations to get there but realized that the brackets around the category name are hard-coded in the template. So I reset it to [Slicer][Development] as the least-bad option. If the PR I linked above is merged and deployed then we’ll have more flexibility: it allows using the category short name (“slug”) and does not include brackets.

The other option would be to rename some categories, for example we could call Development slicer-devel and tweak the email subject template to only show the category name. It would look exactly like the old emails.

(Andras Lasso) #8

I think [Slicer][Development] or [SlicerForum][Development] would be good for now and [SlicerForum/Development] or [Slicer/Forum/Development] in the long term. The old slicer-devel is not the best as we can have many more categories now and it’s also not consistent with how we name organizations and projects (for example, we use SlicerRT and not slicer-rt).

(Greg Sharp) #9

Wow, much better. Thanks Isaiah! I didn’t know this was possible.

These settings are only available for admins, not for users, right?

(Greg Sharp) #10

Agree old-style is not necessary. My 2 cents: make as short as possible, so recipient can focus on content. So “Slicer” > “Slicer Forum”, and “Dev” > “Development” etc.

(Greg Sharp) #11

It seems the “Include an excerpt of replied to post in emails” function is no longer working.
Is it possible to get the excerpt without the fancy excerpt header?

(Isaiah Norton) #12

Yeah, but squeaky wheel gets grease to the extent that tweaks are possible.

How’s this now? I put %{context} back, so 1 reply is included again, and leaving out %{header_instructions} appears to control the fancy formatting in the footer too.

As far as images: there are no options for attachments and/or inline Content-ID references. This may be intentional, to cut email cost (bulk, high-quality remailer isn’t free). So, hopefully images can be solved client-side. Technically the image URL is there in both the HTML and text versions, it’s just an <img> tag with no <a>. I realize these have minor downsides, but my suggestions:

(Greg Sharp) #13

I should have been more clear. The problem is that the < img> tag is a relative link. For example:

< img src="/uploads/slicer/original/1X/5ba5eb12ead7aa7295b5d2cada1c3c504730005d.png" width=“690” height=“456”>

Outlook works fine. But I don’t know how this can work in text e-mail, there is no reference to the server in the header.

(Isaiah Norton) #14

I see. That does seem wrong, and there is no option that I’ve found to change it. I posted a message to the Discourse support site asking for help:

(Isaiah Norton) #15

@gcsharp unfortunately, in the short term (1-2 months), I don’t think there’s going to be a solution to this. It appears to be a bug that no one paid attention to for text/plain emails (I would guess because “text mode”). The fix looks simple, but even if they change the code soon, it will likely take some time before such a code update would be deployed to the production servers.

One possible temporary solution is to apply a filter locally to messages from to prepend the full URL:

(Greg Sharp) #16

Thank you Isaiah, the URL is not a show stopper, as I can switch to web
browser to see images, but I really appreciate.

The “Include an excerpt of replied to post in emails” seems to no longer
work at all. (I have never seen an excerpt in text, but now also missing in
html). Any idea what is happening?

(Isaiah Norton) #17

Hi Greg,

Maybe I’m misunderstanding. Would you mind to forward me a few messages (inorton @ bwh)? Do you see a “Previous Replies” section with 1 previous message quoted? It seems to be working correctly on my test account for both the text/plain and text/html sections – here’s what I get on my test account (which is in mailing list mode) for this message:

So thanks to you (and your older self from 6 years ago

Fair enough!

If it turns out you need to solve the other problem, for example extracting rendered 3D views from a headless Slicer I checked and a docker image that exposes a vnc connection for Xdummy works for me (you don't need to connect to it, just running the server seems to be enough).

Previous Replies

Thanks very much for the advice. Unfortunately, my project requires the linux machine to run automatically without a VNC connection to it. However, you did help me find a solution using a different method through an old post you made:

I think that approach is going to work. So thanks to you (and your older self from 6 years ago) I think the problem is solved! I'll keep you updated on my progress.


Posted by mike_i on 04/19/2017

(Andras Lasso) #18

A post was split to a new topic: Whole heart data set