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Q: Integrated Mailing List/Web Forum Product (similiar to Yahoo Groups) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Integrated Mailing List/Web Forum Product (similiar to Yahoo Groups)
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: jlb0001-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 26 Jul 2003 10:37 PDT
Expires: 25 Aug 2003 10:37 PDT
Question ID: 235379
I am looking for alternative products which have essentially the same
feature set as Mailgust (from  An alternative
MUST be a single integrated package that combines both a mailing list
interface with that of a web forum.

Wrong answers would be FUDforum or M2F for phpBB, because those
products are bridges that require a separate mailing list product. 
Those products also require the subscribers to subscribe to both
packages, require double the administration, double the traffic,
double the space and have other integration problems that result from
not being a single product.

Yahoo Groups is an example similar to what I'm looking for because it
has both a traditional listserv/mailing list interface as well as a
web interface for viewing and posting messages to the list.  However,
I do need a web interface that has the more modern web forum interface
such as phpBB.  The mailing list should correspond to a single forum,
just as it does with Mailgust.
Subject: Re: Integrated Mailing List/Web Forum Product (similiar to Yahoo Groups)
Answered By: kyrie26-ga on 27 Jul 2003 17:16 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello jlb0001-ga,

Thank you for your question. After some searching, I found many
related software packages, but those that were as close to Yahoogroups
as possible were narrowed down to the following list. It would seem
that the key to what you're looking for is pretty much a message board
with mailing list integration. Here's what I found :


Alternatives To YahooGroups - KAOrg Collaborator - Groove Workspace -
Online Collaboration and Exchange - MasterMind Issue24


Groove Workspace

Review article at above link.


KAOrg Collaborator

Review at :



Phorum PHP Message Board

" What is Phorum?
Phorum is a web based message board written in PHP. Phorum is designed
with high-availability and visitor ease of use in mind. Features such
as mailing list integration, easy customization and simple
installation make Phorum a powerful add-in to any website. "


DigiPosts - Bulletin Board Software for your Web Site

" DigiPosts™ is a totally new way to look at discussion board
software. DigiPosts' enterprise-level message board technology is
priced so affordably that any web site can benefit. With our totally
unique and rich graphical user interface (GUI), complete DigiChat™
integration, and fully integrated mailing list (listserv)
functionality- DigiPosts is designed for sites that need serious
community building tools. "


Google Search Terms :

yahoogroup OR yahoogroups equivalent OR alternative software OR script
OR scripts

"mailing list" web forum software OR script OR scripts

"mailing list" discussion OR bulletin OR message board OR boards
software OR script OR scripts

Other search :

HotScripts_com  PHP Scripts and Programs  Mailing List Managers (PHP
Mailing List Managers Scripts and Programs)  (unsuccessful)

I hope any of these products are what you're looking for. If anything
is unclear or needs further clarification, please do not hesitate to
post a Request For Clarification and I will be glad to assist.

Thanks, and have a great day.


Request for Answer Clarification by jlb0001-ga on 28 Jul 2003 06:20 PDT
The answers given were:

Groove Workspace - This does not have an integrated forum and mailing
list interface.

KAOrg Collaborator - According to the features page on that product,
there is no integration between a listserv and the "online mailing
list".  If you check out their demo, that "mailing list" is just a
contact list. [] - Unfortunately, the wording on their main page may be
misleading.  According to the usage doc, the mailing list integration
is simply a mailing list bridge:  "Mailing List Address: If you would
like all forum messages to go to an email address, supply it here.
Mailing List Return: If you would like all emails sent from forum to
come back to a specific address, enter it here." - Now this advertises what I need.  However, in order to
get the integrated listserv, I'd have to fork out $2500!!! ... and
that is just the first year.  Their annual support contract is an
extra $500 per year.


My response:

OK ... so now what?  Now I'm wishing I had qualified my request just a
tad more!  I don't mind spending money for a product but $2500 for the
first year is a bit out of my league.  Ideally I would find a product
that is opensource, in either PHP or Perl.  In any case, the solution
must run in a Linux/Apache environment and be less than $500.

While I should have listed this requirement earlier, there is one
technicality which I'm going to rest my case for wanting a better
response.  I did say that "I am looking for alternative products" ...
that's with an "s".  So, is there any chance you can give it another

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 28 Jul 2003 10:56 PDT
Hi again jlb0001-ga, 

Rest assured that I am working on this right now. Hopefully we'll find
you something that is satisfactory. Are you willing to consider a paid
service (i.e. remotely hosted, like Yahoogroups), and if so, at what
maximum monthly rate?



Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 28 Jul 2003 12:29 PDT
Hi again jlb0001-ga,

Have a look, this one is interesting :

Web Crossing : Integrated Collaboration Tools & Services

Features :

The 1-seat license is priced at $295 (limited-time offer). Compared to
the Express version which is free, this licensed version includes the
email list feature.

There is a technical documentation page here :

Web Crossing Sysop Documentation

Of interest is this : 

"Each folder in the database can be defined as a newsgroup, so that
newsreaders can access the discussions and messages in a folder. Each
folder can also mirror an external e-mail list server, so that the
folder collects and archives all of the list messages, and also
forwards posts to the Web Crossing conference to the e-mail list."

I wasn't able to determine what language it was written in. Apparently
it is available for Windows, Linux/UNIX and Mac OS.

I'm not too sure if this is what you have in mind... let me know what
you think. In the meantime I will keep on hunting for the ideal



Request for Answer Clarification by jlb0001-ga on 29 Jul 2003 19:26 PDT
Unfortunately, Webcrossing is also a bridge because it only "mirrors"
an external e-mail list server.

My annual overhead can be as much as $200/yr (w/ unlimited sites).
However, I much be able to host the list myself without relying on a
3rd party service.

After throwing in a considerable amount of personal searching into the
mix, I feel that this request is simply going to remain "unsatisfied".

I have resolved to accept that a traditional listserv is adequate for
my needs.  Do you think you can find the PHP counterpart to Python's
"Mailman"?  If you accept this alteration to the request, then I would
be quite satisfied with this transaction.

Assuming that you accept this request, I am looking for a PHP-based
mailing list program that has a popular following.  If all else fails,
how about some simple alternatives that I can load in a linux web
hosting environment without having access to a shell.  (That's one
reason why I'd like to stick with PHP.)

Please let me know what you think of this offer.

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 30 Jul 2003 10:55 PDT
Hi jlb0001-ga,

Accepted, I'll look for what you requested. Thanks for your patience.
I should have this for you soon.


Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 30 Jul 2003 12:11 PDT
jlb0001-ga :

I did a search on "listserv" in and found this Perl
script. Since you mentioned Perl earlier, you may be interested in
this. Based on the description, it may be closer to the "yahoogroup"
idea than the traditional listserv idea.

Mailing List WWW Gateway (LWGate)

The LWGate is a CGI script, written in Perl, which tries to merge the
technologies of the WWW and mailing lists by: Presenting information
about mailing lists to WWW users, Assisting users in executing mailing
list commands though a user-friendly forms based interface, and
Automatically generating a hypertext interface, on-the-fly, to list
archives available on the local server. With the LWGate, people
browsing the WWW can read a description of a mailing list, subscribe
to a list, easily search a list's message archives, browse the
archives in a hypertext format, search for other mailing lists, and
much more. The LWGate supports mailing lists provided by LISTSERV(TM),
List Processor 6, Majordomo, and SmartList servers.

Let me know your feedback on this one. I am still looking for other



Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 30 Jul 2003 13:23 PDT
I just realized that I may have posted another "bridge" product. Can
you tell me what was lacking about Mailgust? That may give me more
clues. Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 30 Jul 2003 13:25 PDT
Also, if you could let me know the places where you have been
searching, that would help me focus my search and not duplicate the
effort. Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 30 Jul 2003 14:10 PDT
Hi jlb0001-ga,

Have a look at 1-2-All at :

It looks remarkably close to Yahoogroups, you can assign "send
message" privileges to members, so that they can also post (this
differentiates it from all the other mailing list scripts that are
only admin-to-all).

Try the demo at :

This is a commercial product, and falls within your budget. Pricing
info is here :

Let me know what you think of this.


Request for Answer Clarification by jlb0001-ga on 30 Jul 2003 20:35 PDT
Mailgust is still young (less than 6 months old); there is only one
developer working on it (and he is not open to having other developers
get involved); and the most recent release is still in "beta"
condition in terms of working sometimes but not others.  I do believe
that Mailgust will be a viable product in another year or so.

Regarding where I have searched, I have used every keyword set I can
imagine on Google (and a couple times on AllTheWeb) and also on

kyrie26-ga, I'm going to let you have one more shot at it and I will
then retire this question.  I will rate you fairly regardless of what
you come back with.

This is a tiring endeavor and it seems so strange that there is not a
viable product that meets my needs.  It seems clear, with the
thousands of YahooGroups lists out there, that a product would fill
the vacuum for those like me that wish to host their list/forum on
their own servers.  (At $2500 a license, there is clearly a large
vaccuum that exists.)

Maybe you and some of your deveveloper friends would be interested in
forking "Mailgust" and fixing all its quirks under a SourceForge
project, no?  You could make plenty of money just from paid-support on
the product (and charge a lot less than $2500).

Thanks for all your research time ... it will not go unappreciated.

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 31 Jul 2003 14:43 PDT
Hi jlb0001-ga,

Let's revisit the problem definition for a moment. You are looking for
a product that integrates :

1. a mailing list (one to many) 
2. a listserv (many to many) with a email subscription commands.
3. a web-based archive of the messages
4. a web-based interface for subscription

That's 4 items, and so far it looks like we've only gotten as close as
3. I wonder if the problem lies in the listserv component. This is
usually a server in itself, with the common products being Listserv
and Majordomo. It sounds like a script would not be complete in
itself, because it would still have to interface with the listserv.
Hence scripts like LWGate, for instance. So I wonder if it's the
nature of the setup that prevents there being one complete solution.
It would seem that some kind of "bridging" on your part would still be

To put it another way... I can easily write a PHP script that
announces my message to the members of a mailing list - I submit my
message on an online form and the script uses PHP's mail() function.
But for me to announce to my mailing list using
"", I would need a listserv-type server. Not
something I can just write in a script.

What's your input on this? I appreciate your patience, maybe by
rehashing the problem we may have better ideas.

Don't worry about my time as a researcher, I am prepared to work with
you until we find a satisfactory solution.

There's also an interesting article you might like to read, comparing
Yahoogroups with its alternatives, albeit based on the monthly service
model :



Request for Answer Clarification by jlb0001-ga on 31 Jul 2003 19:06 PDT
You have raised a good point that I will clarify on.  That is,
unfortunately, the word "mailing list" has been used interchangably by
many with that of a "listserv" style discussion list.  It is in that
sense that I have used the term as well.  I agree with you that its
most commonly associated connontation is 1-to-many.

With regard to a listserv functionality vs a web forum, there are
definately classic differences.  However, between you and I, we have
found two products that have completely merged the concepts.  For each
forum in a web board (such as phpBB), a mailing list (wups ... I mean
listserv) can be associated.  Each member of the forum (ie, the
subscribers) would receive a message when it is posted to the forum
and vice versa.  The direction going from the forum to the list is
trivial in that the forum has the members in a database and can easily
rip through it and send out the message to each member.  Going the
other direction, from the list to the forum, requires a cron service
to call the PHP script every minute or so.  In the "cron.php", the
script would check the list's email address for new messages to post
to the associated forum.  If message queueing is enabled, then a PHP
script could easily handle a couple thousand subscribers without
needing a super fine-tuned setup.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about and researching the concept
and it seems clear to me that the two ideas are in not conflict with
eachother.  The lack of products out there seems to be a reluctance to
take on an additional dimension in forum projects which have already
become more of a drain than the developers may have originally
intended.  There are SO MANY web forums that I would have long given
up on developing yet another bulletin board.  At the same time, this
is an ideal way to uniquely identify a product within the forest of

Mailgust is on the right track.  However, the one developer working on
it is unable to meet my needs in a timely manner (ie, fix a couple
bugs in his beta software).  If there were a group that could either
fork his product, or study the issue and design a new one from
scratch, I'm certain that the product would take off like wildfire. 
Mailgust has already gotten a lot of coverage and has only been out a
few months.  It's problems result from either not being a paid product
or being supported by a community of developers willing to get the job

I do appreciate your persistence on the topic.  What direction do you
want to take from here?

Clarification of Answer by kyrie26-ga on 31 Jul 2003 19:51 PDT

This has been one of the most interesting questions I have worked on.
I've heard it said somewhere before that "in every failure or
disappointment lie the seeds of even greater reward or opportunity". I
think we have struck a gold mine - you are wise to recognize the vacum
in the market for such a product. I can't imagine that it would be
difficult to build what you have in mind...

To summarize this product... take a listserv, add a forum, get the
forum to read off the listserv's database when sending broadcasts, get
the forum to periodically update itself from the listserv's database,
build a Web interface for subscription management of the listserv...
simple enough! All those components exist out there but other than the
(less-than-ideal) ones we've found, there isn't an integrated

Definitely a gold mine. By the way how did you guess that I'm a
developer? You are correct. My experience has been mostly with the ASP
(Application Service Provider) model, with sites like JobsVolution ( ) for instance - so I don't have any
experience developing open source products - but what you're saying is
really giving me some ideas. In fact, PHP owes its success to the fact
that its creator, Rasmus Lerdorf, made his source code a community

Are you a developer yourself, and have you considered spearheading
such a venture? I would do it, but unfortunately at this time I am
facing resource constraints. Perhaps when the right window appears I
may revisit this idea.

In any case, for the purposes of this thread we should conclude that
there isn't such a product, and there is definitely market potential
for it. I hope this exercise hasn't been too much a drain on your
time, and I will be sure to post here again if I come across anything
interesting down the road.

Thanks for your time!


jlb0001-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
kyrie26-ga really gave me everything possible to get the answer I
needed.  I would definately recommend this researcher to others that
needed research assistance.

Subject: Re: Integrated Mailing List/Web Forum Product (similiar to Yahoo Groups)
From: johnc10-ga on 27 Nov 2004 10:43 PST
I am also looking for this and cannot believe a product doesn't
already exist. My reason is to try and move LUGs (Linux Unix Groups)
on to web based service, but they still want listserve availability.
I'm currently trialing geeklog and seeing whether their mailing list
can update the forum. I'll update this if I get it working or find a
better one.
Subject: Re: Integrated Mailing List/Web Forum Product (similiar to Yahoo Groups)
From: prayas-ga on 12 Mar 2005 20:36 PST
Hi - 

there are a number of such products. and under GPL (for free) as well
as otherwise. I researched this topic for a long time and am
developing something like this for a friend...

Basically what we need is a Mailing List Manager (MLM) with web
archives and web based subscription etc.

1) Sympa (
2) MailBoxer (for Zope) 

maore later...

maybe this will be helpful. regards, prayas

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