Freegle Tech Report 15-12-31

From Freegle Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Freegle Tech Report December 2015 Posts 16458-16599 Members 107


At the end of 2015 Freegle Tech group is starting to look forward to the development of the new platform, what it will be capable of doing, and what we moderators would prefer.
We are still finding glitches in the present systems and some long standing ones, have proved easily fixable, once reported. If you have a problem or know of something you would like improving, then join us, and ask!


Various stats on the mobile app are here:
Total downloads are 15,272 though this doesn't include installs for iOS version less than 8. The average rating is 4.15 over 55 ratings - and a retention rate of 49% on Android which is still actually quite good.
I expected the retention rate to drop even more this month as the latest version include a request for billing permissions to make
in-app purchases. New versions for Android and iOS have a footer bar asking people to support us by making an in-app
purchase to help Freegle (and remove the support us footer). So far there have been very few such purchases so only minimal income so far.
App hat
New version 0.71.0 to Google Play was released to fix the photo upload problem.It also has (hidden away) an option to do a
Bronze, Silver or Gold supporter in-app purchase.
Clicking on the wee button with a heart takes you to the "Support us" purchase page.
Once you have done an in-app purchase the footer disappears and the header changes colour to gold.
On the home screen header you get one or more green hearts depending on what you'd bought. You get one heart for £1.49 bronze,
two for £2.99 silver and three for £4.99 gold - so the maximum you can get is 6 hearts.
A new version of the IOS mobile app has just been approved, unfortunately the app gets stuck in landscape mode on many devices which makes it much harder to use. A fix which will hopefully solve the problem has been done - but it will take a while to get uploaded and approved.
You can solve the problem by tilting the phone one way then back again.
If you have the phone locked to portrait orientation then you can't do this - unless you unlock and relock once the app has rotated.

New Platform

The first phase is to produce a new version of ModTools, which will be free for all Freegle groups. This will initially have similar function to the existing ModTools, but behind the scenes will be implemented quite differently and as a basis for a new platform. A beta of this will be available in January.

The second phase will be to get the current FD interface working against the new backend platform. This will give us a basis and infrastructure for analysing, making changes and testing the effect of them.

The third phase will be to allow groups that choose to do so to be hosted purely on the new platform. For groups that choose to continue on Yahoo, FD will be much more robust against Yahoo being unreliable.

There will be periodic updates on Central, but please join Tech if you wish to take part in more detailed technical discussions. Discussions have included- Is the way we show the most recent posts the best way to display them to users? How should we report our stats - Co2 emissions, Money, landfill etc. How we most prefer locations to be shown on posts. More customisation on a per group basis. Realising that younger people are turning away from sending emails, and how we need to make the whole process of posting through to collection easier, to keep us relevant to them.


It has been noticed that Yahoo does sometimes have a long time lapse in sending out messages, so any changes may take time to stick.
More members are receiving DNS messages as their posts fail to get delivered, “ due to a suspected guidelines violation.”
This is a Yahoo issue. Starting a month or so ago they seem more likely to reject messages as spam, and catch things that are perfectly innocent.
There is not much we can do about it.

Problems Fixed

Posts were being received from FBusers without spaces in.
This was found to be because the coding was stripping them out and was fixed promptly.
When anyone navigated to group from our main website, it was impossible to navigate back using the same tab.
This also was fixed easily, once our geeks knew about it. has now been fixed.
Problem with the $groupname links not always working on the member plug in was traced and fixed.

Questions Answered.

Q.I thought the MM didn't work any more? But we have received an email sent from ours?
A It works fine if you don't have a Yahoo or Hotmail or AOL account. There maybe a couple more like rocketmail and talktalk too. However as so many members who use the one on Yahoo have Yahoo emails it is not recommended you have it on the front page .
Q. I want to help a member change their registered email on FD. I wanted to give them this link in order to login. If they previously logged in with a gmail account and now wish to change it to another (say their existing BT email address), how would they login? With the gmail option or with the yahoo id option? They already have a yahoo id and associated email on the group which they would prefer to use so getting registered with the gmail account was in error.
A They would need to log in using the email they registered with. Then from the more menu, select settings and they will find the option to change the email address. From then on they would use the newly registered email to log in.
Q. I got two community events for the same thing, One was only partially filled in. I approved one and deleted the other. Neither appeared.
A If you neither approve nor reject an event, it will mail you again during the night to remind you. It is possible that it was the same event in which case rejecting one would prevent it going on. If she just deleted the first notification mail, and accepted the event then it should appear.
Q. I invited the republisher email addy to a group. How long it does it to be accepted?
A Usually just a few minutes you need to keep refreshing. If it hasn’t arrived in 30mins then invite it again as sometimes there is a delay sending them out, receiving confirmation, or putting them on the members list.
Q. When I go to the group setting page to set up a new group, it is blank apart from the Freegle logo.
A Until you fill in the details, save and verify them, it is blank.
Q. When a post goes on without the location, it displays squarely in the middle of the group. We can ignore the email but it is a bit annoying. Can anything be done.
A Not in the current version, will see if it can be fixed in the new platform.
Q. My question is about categories. How are those selected because the user is unable to select any specific category? One member recently remarked how the default category for his item that appeared when the message went live in FD was just so wrong.
A They were originally sorted from a list available for recycling stats, added to by changes made by moderators. This was another thing which broke when we had to get Direct2 running before it was finished. However it was found that members choosing their own had a lower success rate than the automatic system.

Want to join Tech? Then just send an email to giving your group.

Freegle Tech.
December 15

Back to Freegle Tech Report 15-11-30  Forward to Freegle Tech Report 16-01-31