How can I get the reply key for a specific user+post?

Continuing the discussion from Filter for Reply key under Emails > Sent no longer working?:

Use case: we have an existing reminders program which can send our email on a schedule to a given email address.

Right now, we have these posts going to related categories. But, that’s annoying for various reasons (too much automated clutter) and, also, if we switch from categories to tags… they won’t be tagged.

So, the idea: instead, send them as replies to a topic. That topic could have automatic reply cleanup, so it would just show the current information (and could also use the calendar plugin for a nice visualization).

But… without happening to be subscribed to the first post of the calendar topic… how to get that reply key?

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I think the easy way would be to subscribe that address to the category, get the reply key and then unsubscribe it. You could create the topics in a category just for that purpose and then move them.

Or you can look at the source and figure out how to create a reply key and /or create a plugin that will do it.

The reply key is per user, right? So I’d either have to have each calendar entry belong to to same person, or else have each possible future person ever subscribed to the category before I create the topic…

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I’m fairly certain that it’s per post and user, though I’m not looking at the code. (Otherwise, how would discourse know what post is was a reply to?)

I don’t think I understand your use case.

Sorry, yes, per post and per user. Let me try to explain more clearly. :slight_smile:

Here’s what a calendar for a given group (here, the Fedora Council) looks like on our current system: council - Fedocal. If you click on a particular meeting, you can get details, for example, something like this:

That Fedocal system can also be configured to send email reminders — not on a user-by-user bases, but one email configured for each meeting. Traditionally, those have gone to the mailing list associated with the group, and when we migrated the Council mailing list to a Fedora Discussion category, we kept that the same, by using a category-specific incoming email address on Discourse. So, right now, those are landing as meeting invites in our Council Discussions category, looking like this: [Fedocal] Reminder meeting : Council meeting - Fedora Discussion

But that category is going away, to be replaced by tags. Now, maybe I can use the upcoming Automation plugin to tag these messages automatically. But… or, maybe this is a good time to re-evaluate that process. Old meeting announcements don’t really have a lot of archival value… they’re really better as transient replies than a whole topic. So, my idea is to create an “Upcoming Council Meetings” topic, and configure the automatic messages to land as replies to that topic. This solves the tagging problem (because that first topic post can be created and tagged manually) and I think also will be nicer in general.

But… how to associate the incoming automatic messages with the target topic? I can do as you suggest on a one-time basis, but if I want to recommend this same process to other teams, it doesn’t seem sustainable.

Additionally, if you look back to the first Fedocal link, there are other meetings scheduled under the same group. For many groups, it might make sense for those reminders to all go to the same topic (just like they might go to the same mailing list or category). And with the calendar plugin and a little change to the date format in the text, they could even show up in a calendar in the first topic post.

Does that make sense?

Eventually, I’d like to to actually replace Fedocal with calendaring in Discourse, but the plugin would need a lot of enhancement for that to work (and the “events” functionality is going in the wrong direction for our needs).

That sounds like the problem. Just because you’re replacing most categories with tags doesn’t mean that you have to replace all of them. But I may not understand everything at play.

Well, we certainly could have these meeting invites go to a category designed for them. But then, they wouldn’t be associated with the related team (because there’s no way to tag posts coming in by mail). And getting away from categories-per-team is definitely a goal, because that’s proving to scale badly and has a whole host of other problems (for which we could create a different topic if you want to discuss experiences around that further!).

My current fall-back plan is to have an “automatic meeting invites” category, and ask team members to moderate that and tag posts as they come in. Requiring some manual intervention there isn’t necessarily the worst, because it’ll prevent “zombie” meeting invites — I know some of our mailing lists have repeating weekly messages for teams that haven’t actually met in years. But I think it goes too far to the side of requiring interaction.

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