Freegle Tech Report 16-02-28

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Freegle Tech Report February 2016
Posts 16746-16952
Members 107


The main discussions this month have been around the new version of ModTools as it was being trialed and later went live. All groups using Freegle Direct or Yahoo can now use Modtools for free. If they go to and log in with their Yahoo username they should find their group already there.
For the first time you log in:

  • Make sure you install the browser plugin (click on the Firefox/Chrome icon on the bottom left)
  • Please wait for a few minutes for it to do an initial sync (you can see how it’s getting along by clicking on Background Work).
  • Please use the Settings tab to set up your preferences and if you need a set of emails to start you off, just ask. I am sure someone will provide one.

Modtools does have its own discussion group so now it is live it is better to ask any questions or look for answers on where there are several people keen to help.

Freegle Direct V1/2

A member had not received any emails since Christmas.
Logs were checked and they were being sent out and accepted by her email provider. In the new version this type of information will hopefully be available to group moderators.

  • Adding alerts on FD no longer seems to work
  • Duplicate posts coming through.
  • Weights.

Some weights are wrong. The coding is not good enough to differentiate between say a toy tractor and a real one. These problems are unlikely to be fixed until the new platform is done.

Modtools. (Iznik)

This will be work in progress probably for the whole year, as the moderation tools are being integrated with our new Direct interface.
We are seeing the work on Modtools first so that Edward does not have to maintain two systems. It started out pretty flaky as it was picking up various configurations for moderators, depending what they had been logged into. But with much work it settled down as the month went on, and problems were sorted until it was good enough to come off development and go live.
Please do try it now and report any problems you may be having, with as much information as you can provide. The more that use it the quicker bugs will be found.
Queries on Iznik.
Q.I put a comment on the old modtools and it has not been transferred to the new one.
A.The comments are migrated over from time to time but they aren’t sync’d so it may take a couple of days.
Q.I put some information about a member on one group he was on, and on going into another group see they are on there as well.
a.Comments are per member not per group, so you will see the information from all groups they are on. Those groups you mod on you should see a button so that you can remove the message or amend it. Please let Edward know if that is not the case.
Q.We always delete the original 'offer' text from 'taken messages, by doing so we believe that we make the digests a tad briefer. Is there any way that it can be skipped by modtools please?
A.Not just yet.
Q.I keep being informed that something is wrong with the subject line when there isn’t.
A.I think the problem is in the regular expression you have you your modconfig, it had the upper case versions. So that's why it was coding them red.
Q.Looking in the group log I seem to have deleted a few messages from the group, could this be something modtools has done as I certainly haven't done?
A.These are very old message numbers, I will have a look.
Q.The new modtools is suggesting a scouts group as the area for a post. It... seems odd that it is mapped to a scouts group.
A.It'll be the location of their hut. Use the dropdown arrow and you can tell it not to suggest that location again.
Problems outstanding. Duplicates
There seem to be lots of duplicate messages coming through, and this is being looked at .It'll be a lot easier for groups which aren't hosted on Yahoo, because we no longer have to have multiple different messages on Yahoo which are still in some sense the same message.
Edward intends to put a tool in the new Modtools to enable groups to see and adjust the weight if the suggested one it incorrect.
Problems fixed
Messages were not being be removed from FD when we delete using Modtools
A record in modtools contained two members details.
Digests were not getting sent out on time because of server capacity. Edward has tweaked stuff and they should be okay now.

Message Maker.

We were told that someone has used the FOP, and it was not showing up in My Posts (or in the mobile app). Can you check that has not been stripped accidentally?
The problem was found and has been fixed and the next version of the app will just say ‘Fair Offer Policy applies’ with a clickable link to the full text.
Q.Please can you remove the footer which says “this post was sent via the message maker” as now Yahoo users are unable to use it, it could be confusing?


Event notifications were getting dropped by Yahoo, so Edward has done a work round which sends them to any moderator email address it has for the group. This may result in some of you receiving multiple verification emails, but you just need to verify one. The events will eventually be tied into the new interface.
There was initially a problem as moderators of several groups could not tell which group they were on, so the groupname was added.

Mobile App.

Various stats on the mobile app are here:
Total downloads are 19,362. The average rating is 4.08 over 62 ratings.
There have been 7 in-app purchases this month.
Some minor tweaks ready for the next release.
There have been queries about the ‘donation’ option, the price and not being able to upgrade by paying the difference.
The parameters of donations (in app purchases) are set by Google and IPhone and there is no provision for members choosing to pay the difference. This is a trial to test the water, and will be looked at further in the future.
It was also mentioned that recycling symbols may be better than hearts.
The Freegle logo was tried first but was not distinguishable.


The main problem is emails not getting through to the -owner address. It is likely that most groups do not receive many emails sent by its members.
Many of the responses from joining emails will be among them, so maybe consider having open membership.
A moderator on two groups did a test on sending emails to the owner addresses and found those sent from her work account, and those from the email she uses to moderate the groups, did not arrive.
Only those from her gmail account which she does not use for Yahoo did so.
As many of us know this has been going on for some time. Edward has found someone at Yahoo to ask to look into it, but it’s not getting much attention. Andrew (Trash Nothing) has offered to use a test group to get the information needed.

We were asked if it would be possible for each group to have an account . However it isn’t possible as we are only allowed a limited number of accounts free from Google.


Q. is bouncing on my group.
A. This was owned by Nigel. It no longer exists so you can delete the member.
Q. I have a member who says " Hi! I was receiving loads of Freegle emails until the new year . I have received these recent emails from you (handbook and disclaimer) but nothing else. Do you know why this has happened? "
A. They are using a business email and it is probably blocking them.
Q. I am not very technical, but whenever I try to follow the links quoted to trash nothing photos, I come across a lot of rubbish, adverts etc., but never see the photo. Can you help please?
A. You will have to ask for the link and click on it to see what you get.

Support and Info

A tool has been created to allow them to contact group volunteers using personal emails, to deal with the current problem with the Yahoo owner address not working very well. This will let them send a mail to a specific individual group, from either info@ or support@.
It will not divulge their email address (unless it gets a bounce, which would tell them it wasn't a valid email :-).

Freegle Tech Report
February 2016

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