Re: Is an HTML BBS feasible?

Jon Wallis (
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 07:45:09 +0100

At 21:50 25/10/95 EST5EDT, you wrote:
>This subject has not been discussed in the year I have been subscribing to
>this list. I hope it is on target for this group.
>I would like to start a user-friendly, Web-based bulletin board system which
>would allow people to take part in discussions using only their Web browser.
>The concept seems simple enough.
>A person would come to the home (top) page and select a hyperlink to a
>discussion topic.
>Eash topic page would function as a separate forum/newsgroup.
>Is the concept feasible or have I missed something? Has anyone seen something
>like this in practice?

Yes - have a look at CoCoBoard:


The CoCoBoard, developed by Ben Johnson, Paul Walker, and Joan Massó at
NCSA, with great assistance from Rene Quimet, allows a simple and inituiative
email to html interface. Our interface allows users to mail to a single
address, specify a project, and have their mail be posted on a mosaic page.
In this sense, the CoCoBoard filter allows simple 2-level pin it to the
electronic cork board type communications between collaborators, students
and professors, organizations,or anyone else who uses the WWW.

As well as this basic functionality the CoCoBoard allows much more. First,
the CoCoBoard is MIME compliant. MIME is an internet mail standard for sending
images, sound, movies, and other sorts of attachments. Many mailers can
support MIME (notably, Eudora, Pine, ZMail, and MH, but many others also),
so the
facilities are available to a standard user, if their mailers have been
installed by sys-admins correctly. The CoCoBoard will take the incoming mail
and turn it into a small icon with a link to an external image, thus
allowing very rich HTML documents to be originated in EMail. Also, for use
in collaborations, the CoCoBoard will echo any incoming mail on a project to
the other people working on that project. That is, if a project is set up to
allow posting from 7 users, as would be common in a scientific
collaboration, a person would have only to send mail to the projects filter,
and the mail would be sent to everyone on the collaboration; In essence, the
electronic cork board will announce itself to your collaborators if you wish.

The software requires your server be a Unix system with a working
installation of Perl 4 and the Image Magick tools, both available free of
charge. The
maintainer of the page must be able to create an account on your server to
receive the email, and the account created must be able to write into your

<all the above info was copied from the page cited above>


Jon Wallis         Senior Lecturer in Information Systems Engineering
School of Computing & I.T., University of Wolverhampton, UK - WV1 1SB
   Personal WWW Home Page   <URL:>
     University WWW Home Page <URL:> 
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