Freegle Tech Report 15-11-30

From Freegle Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Freegle Tech Report November 2015
Posts 16271-16455
Members 106


  • Edward was busy transferring stuff over to a new server earlier this month. This caused a few small glitches but they were fixed quickly and it was on the whole a smooth transition.

We should now have more capacity and both Modtools and the new app will be hosted on this sever, enabling full integration. As part of the new platform, there is a rewrite of ModTools ongoing - you should expect to start seeing an early version of this, which will be FREE for Freegle groups, late this year/early next.

  • Sub groups which were introduced so that moderators who wished to provide a single category group could do so, have not proved very successful. Few groups incorporated them. They were meant to encourage those who would not like to be in a general group but may be interested in a single category to join us. They have not worked properly since FD v2. It has therefore been decided to stop supporting these as separate groups, although they may re-emerge in some form in the new platform.
    Members can still choose to see single categories of posts if that is what they desire.
  • Other groups which offer free stuff.

There is a proliferation of these starting up, but we were wondering how well they are actually doing. They usually also allow buy, sell, swap etc. If you have any experience and can give an indication of how many posts, and members, and how successful the gift economy is elsewhere compared to your group we would be interested.

Mobile App

  • A discussion was held on having push notifications. This is viewed as being useful but needing work and money. It was agreed to wait until
    funding is available. Also it will have to be rewritten to fit in with the new Direct platform anyway.
  • It was pointed out that there was no way to view All posts on the app and so check that your taken/received has been approved and published.

The phone app has to leave out several things to keep it simple and uncluttered. Phone apps have to be kept as small because phone are small and so are their memories compared to computers.

  • Stats on the mobile app are here:
Total downloads are 14,077 though this doesn't include installs for iOS version less than 8.
The average rating is 4.21 over 52 ratings - and a retention rate of 52% on Android which is actually quite good.

  • Chris is looking at in-app purchases to enable members to easily make a donation (and so remove the footer bar asking for a donation). He has provisionally opted to use these names

Bronze supporter £1.49- *Silver supporter £2.99- *Gold supporter £4.99
The iOS in-app purchase system seems to work OK but he had had difficulties getting the Android system working.

  • Problem with mobile photos.

There appears to be some problems with photos. Sometimes a message says ‘ It could not send’ but it still often go through. Some work has been carried out to try and fix this but the message is still popping up.


  • Q. If you delete a message from a group would it delete from twitter as well if the messages went to twitter as well.

A. No. Just go on Twitter to delete it if you wish to, although all links will stop working once it is removed from Direct.

  • Q. member said that they could not see their message in My Posts on FD. I searched for and found it and I wanted to give them a link to show them that it is there. Is there any way that I can get a URL for a post on FD?

A. Not easily but if it shows on Twitter the link in the post on there can be given.


  • Message makers no longer work for Yahoo only members and so you should remove it if you don’t have Freegle Direct or if the majority of your posting members use the Yahoo interface to post. If you need help to do this just contact Jean at and she will do it for you. Any recommendations to use it should also be removed from your files.

For groups which have been on Freegle Direct for quite a while, then most of their active members have been issued with an FBuserid so they can still use the message makers. It is still recommended that they be removed though as they may cause new members to be confused.

  • Links

We have been informed that Yahoo are no longer including links to post directly to the group in their digests. They have also stopped adding a link to contact moderators. It was suggested that we include a contact link in our Digests. However it was felt that they have lots of links in already, and it add confusion and the use of the wrong link. It is easy for Direct members to find the contact moderator link on the main website.


  • It was pointed out to a group owner that the photo settings in the control panel should be set to plain text as opposed to the html
    attachment setting otherwise people are going to have problems.
    ("Yahoo Mail services are notoriously broken; they do not enable genuine W3C compliant HTML-based email and they do not handle attachments correctly, using the proper MIME types in the correct manner.”)
    This could result in attachments being stripped out completely depending on the members system it seems.

The recommended setting we use is HTML - Include Attachments as links. This seems to work fine for us and most members are more bothered about function than interpretation, and ours works for most of them

Problems Sorted.

  • It was reported by a member that when they click on the 100px picture in the posting details nothing happens and they can only view the picture in its o reduced size. Edward has agreed to add something to allow this.
  • Some messages had been arriving for moderation containing just the member's email address. This is hopefully now fixed, but if you see one please report it.
  • A few bugs were introduced in migrating the servers. They have all been fixed once reported. Please do report if you find something.

Questions & Answers

  • Q. A members post on FD just wasn't making it to the board.

A.Yahoo is rejecting it. We're seeing a few of these per day, where Yahoo wrongly thinks that a mail is spam
(it looks like they are more aggressively rejecting mails now). It’s unlikely that we can do anything about this.

  • Q. On the 'pending messages' page of Modtools we have a very easy way of reporting potential spammers. Some asked if we could have a similar thing on 'Pending Members' which would enable us to report highly suspicious applicants?

A. This will be looked at in the rewrite.

  • Q. A member's posts are not getting through neither are those of his wife who has also tried.

A.This turned out to be because of a dodgy link they were including in the post which Yahoo were blocking. Edward will look at whether we could do any checking for dodgy links ourselves.

  • Q. We had a query as to why "all the information in my posts does not show up on the MyPosts tab. For instance the FOP.

A To save space, we assume that members don't need to read their yourself. So we remove most of the information members posts on the My Posts tab.

If you wish to join this group just send an email to Media: stating which group you moderate for.

Any queries or need help!

Send an email to who will be able to deal with it or know someone who can.

Tech Report
November 15

Back to Freegle Tech Report 15-10-31  Forward to Freegle Tech Report 15-12-31