Freegle Tech Report 15-08-31

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Freegle Tech Report August 2015
Posts 15816-15982
Members 107


A small server hiccup when the disc became full.
Edward and Chris continue to work on Direct 2 and the Phone app. in their spare time.
Yahoo seems to have changed nothing for a month neither does Facebook or Twitter.

Mobile App

Cumbria County Council have offered to pay for a couple of pop-up banners to promote the Freegle mobile app.
Penrith hopes to get some artwork done this week and the banners produced in time for the Festival of Thrift at the end of September
and their local Give and Take on 3rd October

Various stats on the mobile app are here [1]
Total downloads are 6,510 though this doesn't include installs for iOS version less than 8. The average rating is 4.29 over 31 ratings.

In the last month version 0.69 was released which added community events and other reuse option listings.
Version 0.70 will stop events being posted on groups that have opted out of events.
Other features I'd like to add are.

  • "Push notifications" so you get alerted on your phone eg if there are new posts, new alert matches or if you have replies.
  • Keeping track of conversations where you've replied to someone else's post; currently, as in FD, you cannot see what you said or the subsequent thread. Both these are more work in the app and require more work from the server side. So will not happen any time soon.
  • The "Thanks" page has always had a link to our main website donate page. The option to send an SMS text to donate has not been taken up by anyone recently - the amount received in our Just Giving account has stayed the same at £10. Is it beyond the pale to have a permanent nag at the bottom of the mobile app screen asking for donations? There could be a mechanism to remove it if you have donated.
  • Looking at producing a Windows Phone 8+ version of the mobile app. I've only got a Lumia 620 Windows 8.0/8.1 phone. Have you got a different brand of Windows phone and be willing to do some beta testing? Windows 10 for phones isn't generally available yet.

We are still getting occasional crash reports automatic mails (from Android/Kindle) which haven't yet been tracked down.

Freegle Direct


Some work has been done on locations. The initial changes caused some confusion and were reversed. It should be better now, but it would be appreciated if you could have a look on [2]: and test and comment as changes are considerable. Posts will go through to groups though.

  • The autocomplete is gone (for now).
  • When you enter a location it will try to map it, first using location data from the group (all those corrections you did) and failing that via Google.
  • It will prompt you if it's not mappable, or it it seems to cover too wide an area.
  • There's a thumbnail map that shows where you've chosen, to encourage you to fix it if it's wrong.

Please could people try it out, both logged in and logged out, with a variety of locations, on different groups?
Note that it tries to map locations to those within the groups of which you are a member - so if you're a member of many groups
across the country, then the location mapping will probably work less well.

There will be some further changes to the way the Find Me button works.

Members Alerts

These have not been sending out very well for a while so some fixes have been made to improve them.

Community events

Function has been added. It now has a better date picker, members and moderators can just select one group at a time to look through,
and they are now shown in date order.
We and members are also able to edit events, change the time, even the Group.

Search boxes

The unsubscribe link and modtools will now strip any whitespace out to make the result more reliable.
It is often inadvertently included when copying and pasting email addresses.

Problems reported and solved

A Member said he is unable to login or register as he gets error message when signing in to FD.
This often happens when a members initial contact with FD linked them to a Yahoo username registered on the Yahoo group which they have subsequently left or been removed from. In this case the members email was banned from the Yahoo group by the moderator and later unbanned.
However you can if you have made sure that their Yahoo ID has been removed from your group send an email to and ask them to remove all traces of the member from our database. They should then be able to rejoin easily.
Members comments were coming in several times
This was a bug and promptly fixed. However the same comment received by a member will be sent to each group they have joined. Members were unable to delete their personal alerts/ and new ones weren’t sticking
Fixed at once.
Members Delivery Settings not changing immediately
Again fixed at once.
Entering events on IPhones despite entering the correct time, came through incorrectly.
This was sorted out once reported.
Members reporting that they are unable to post replies
We saw several reports of this, and it turned out to be a problem with people who have apostrophes in their names. If you've been seeing that, you could let members know it should be ok now.
Groups disabling of events was not working. This is the tick box on the Group Settings.
It has now been sorted.

Questions answered.

Q Members comments are in a long string and are not wrapping.
A That's up to your mail client.
Q. Direct members email address was registered slightly wrong so she was not receiving her emails.
A If a member does join with an incorrect email, then you can pop a note to and ask them to correct it,
or suggest they join again with the correct email.
Q. I joined with Facebook but now wish to uninstall it. Can I use FD entirely by POP/SMTP?
A You can only use Yahoo entirely by email. Without a Facebook account you may need to be removed from the database and rejoin
Direct unless you have another log in you can use like Google or Yahoo
Q. When I choose to sign-in using Freegle direct, it does not give me a choice of previous usernames. I use a different one for
moderator or when posting.
A.It will be improved someday but it is not an easy fix.
Q I was asked about signing up for Give as you Live when I first joined. We do not seem to be asking now.
A That would have been FD v1; we don't ask them in FD v2 We are trialing donations instead.
Q Why on the mobile app if you click on the option to withdraw does it post a Taken message?
A Because that is the only way to remove the offer at present. It is not counted a success in the group stats though.
Q Had a member wanting to leave today, who is suspicious of clicking the unsubscribe link in an email. Can you remove him please?
A Done! However Moderators can use this link or if their group is on modtools they can remove
them there.
Q.A member was trying to reach our website today and kept getting this message. ‘Sorry, there was a problem with this link: You can now continue to this website, or go back to the page you were on before. Remember:
Only follow links from sources you trust.’
A.This happens if the member has a Facebook blocker on his toolbar or occasionally when they have a poor internet connection. Q. An offer and identical taken post were not matched.
A Check that the email addresses are identical. Just signing in differently may connect to a different email address or username. Also was the offer posted twice and only one removed?

Useful email addresses, to report scammers. Please try and send with any emails and information you have. Any questions or comments about Freegle Direct, Facebook, Message makers or Mobiles.

Freegle Tech Group

Sept 2nd.

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