What does BCC do?

On SitePoint, what is the distinction between when you “PM Recipients” versus “BCC Recipients”??

And, yes, I know what BCC is. However, I do not understand the distinction as far as…

1.) Are things stored differently on the back-end between the different scenarios?

2.) Is there a different experience for the Recipient?

I’ve never sent a PM to multiple people, nor have I received a PM from multiple people, nor have a ever gotten a BCC PM, so I don’t have any point of reference to go off of…

Please help me understand how all of this would look in the database as well as what users would see.



In a standard PM to multiple folk, you’d see the usernames of everyone it was sent to, while you wouldn’t see that list in a BCC PM.

Is a “Standard PM to Multiple Users” stored differently than a “BCC PM to Multiple Users”?

Seems like its rather complex logic…

One has to show the “TO:” list while the other is almost like a series of separate PM’s…

Also, how beneficial is offering both to Users. (I am starting to feel like PM Features have become a “black-hole” in my development!!! :eek:



Not that you know of :wink:

I rarely use “blind”. The only times I can think of is when sending the same PM to members that shouldn’t know who else is also getting it.
eg. disciplinary “play nice” PMs

“front end” the only thing different is the names shown in the “to”.
I imagine this is handled in the “send the PM” code more than it would be a database thing.
I don’t know how vBulletin handles the distinction, and I’ve never bothered to look to see how other apps do it.
But if I was developing my own and I thought it necessary to keep the Bcc info I think I would just have a Bcc true/false field in a table somewhere


So if it wasn’t offered you’d survive?

Or does having the ability to PM Multiple Users without also having BCC defeat the purpose?!

On second thought, I guess this applies to both, but if you send a PM to 5 people, then when you go into your Sent Folder, what do you see in the “To” column for that PM?

To:		Subject:		Date:
----		---------		------
DoubleDee	Re: Your Question	2013-11-26
FancyFran	Re: Hi			2013-11-25
Ruby123		Re: Call Me		2013-11-24
DoubleDee	Will be in touch...	2013-11-23



I wouldn’t miss it much if I didn’t have Bcc

It’s usually nicer to make them more personal anyway by putting at least their name instead of “hi everyone”. Though I do this sometimes for “generic” PMs to the Team for something like “don’t forget to vote for the Community Awards” reminders etc. those are Cc not Bcc since I don’t care if they know I sent the same to all of them

In my PM table here, it doesn’t show the “to” but if I’m looking at an individual PM that is Cc-ed I’ll see a list of names in the “Recipient Users:”
Else there is no “Recipient Users:” shown at all.

Imagine you are in your email and looking at the Sent Folder…

What would you expect to see under the “To:” column in your Sent Folder if…

a.) You sent a Message to 5 People (regular)?

b.) You sent a Message to 5 People (BCC)?

c.) You sent a Message to 1 Person (and CC’d 4 People)?

d.) You sent a Message to 1 Person (and BCC’d 4 People)?

e.) You did one of the choices above but sent the Message to 100 People?!

(When you start to think about all of these little nuances, it is very overwhelming!!!) :frowning:



:d’oh: no, my previous post was the inbox.

In my sent box I do see a list of those I’ve Cc sent too, but I already knew who I sent it to anyway, the list only reminds me. I’d need to do some major hunting or experiment or wait until I need to do it to see if Bcc is the same, but I imagine it is. No need to have it be “blind” for me if I’m the one that sent it. The only concern is to have the recipients not be able to know who else got it.

Here there are only two Recipient(s) inputs. For a single member the name goes in the first input, for Cc a list of names goes in the first input. Any Bcc (again a single name or a list) goes in the second input.

I forgot the exact limit but I know it’s much lower than 100 for any combination of Cc or Bcc

All in all, if you’re writing your own PM code and are worried that some might mass SPAM (not that they couldn’t single SPAM) I don’t think not having a Bcc option would be a big loss - except to SPAMmers and perhaps moderators on rare occasion.

I did a test in my Gmail account and created two separate e-mails…

The first was to 4 pseudo people, and the second test was to the alphabet of pseudo males… :slight_smile:

(screen-shot here)

First off, I think Google’s E-mail UI sucks!!

Based on my test, it looks like Gmail truncates the Distribution List after maybe 15 characters…

Could there be just one input box along with a check-box as to whether it should be a “BCC”??

I am thinking of limiting things to 5 users for just that reason.

As far as the BCC thing, I dunno.

Honestly this whole Private Messaging thing has turned into a NIGHTMARE… :mad:

I am really starting to appreciate all that goes into properly designing the back-end, as well as all of the logic needed in the application, and even the extra details needed in the UI to create a robust Private-Messaging System?! :eek:

BTW, to my first question in my OP…

After looking at Gmail, it appears that if I send a Message to several people, there is still only ONE Message, but MANY Recipients.

(Versus there being a batch of Multiple Messages to Single Recipients.)

This seems to be a very important consideration as I design things…



With emails each is sent separately regardless of whether the name appears in To: CC: or BCC:

For PM in your database each to whether listed or bcc should have their own row in the database indicating the message sent with who to, who from and whether visible or bcc with just a message number as the rest of the data. The actual message would be in a second table with the message number as the key.

You shouldn’t be placing multiple names in the one field.

Wrong board? I fail to see how this discussion relates to PHP - sorry.

Admittedly a meandering thread, but if you read my OP, you’ll (hopefully) see I am trying to understand both the a.) Application Design, and b.) PHP to MySQL interplay…


But I was asking from the view of the Sender.

What I observed in Gmail is that if I send an E-mail to 26 people, I do NOT see 26 E-mails in my “Sent” folder. I see ONE E-mail sent to 26 people.

Follow me?

Now, yes, obviously there were 26 physical E-mails sent out - 1 E-mail for each of the 26 people. But from the view of the Sender, it is ONE E-mail.

So I assume the logic should hold for how I design my PM’s… (Following me, siteguru?) :slight_smile:

Right, I have a PRIVATE_MSG table, and I have a PM_RECIPIENTS table.

So in my example above, my application would create ONE PM and stick it in the PRIVATE_MSG table, and then it would create 26 Recipient records in the PM_RECIPIENTS table.

MEMBER --||-----|<-- PM_RECIPIENTS -->|-------||-- PRIVATE_MSG

The Sender would only see ONE PM in his/her Sent folder, and the 26 Recipients would each see 1 PM from the Sender (although it appears I need to tweak my PHP and make it so each Recipient would see that he/she was part of a larger distribution list of 26 people.

Does anyone have any problems with how Gmail displays an E-mail sent to multiple people. (See my screen-shot above in Post #9.)



I see it, but it’s very tenuous. It’s only in post #13 (AFTER my post) that you actually make it clear that you’re talking about YOU implementing a PM system - until then you’re just talking about SitePoint’s PM system. :wink: