Tech Group Report 2012-01-31

From Freegle Wiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Freegle Tech Report
January 2012

Present membership 80

This is a report for the activities on the Tech group [1]for January 2012. It covers messages 6629 to 6999.


Discussions are in progress about achieving the best usability of our Website, Facebook and Freegle Direct, particularly in relation to the sequence and number of actions needed to join a group.


Tech has identified that a mobile app would be the next logical step in making Freegle as accessible as possible.

a. Julie (Bolton) is the contact point for interested people to design an app; groups are encouraged to ask if they have any willing volunteers who could help.

b. Chris has investigated ibuildapp as a possible tool to use, but it is deemed unsuitable for the complexities of the app we will need.

c. A Freegle-Mobile working group has been set up to coordinate the app development.


More needs to be done to promote Freegle Direct to our own groups. Discussion is ongoing on how best to make it available to groups as a stand alone option, whilst making it clear that the preferred option is to have it tied in with a Facebook page and Twitter account.


A substitution string for a group short name was discussed.


Edward is developing a facility for the republisher to estimate weights of goods that have been listed as Taken or Received. This will give more meaningful figures than we have at present for publicity purposes.


Julie asked for volunteers to man the support@ mailbox for techy queries and problems.
Please contact her ( if you have sufficient knowledge of, Yahoo, Facebook and Freegle Direct and would like to help.


A suggestion that Message Maker warns when someone enters the same subject line and email address within a short period of time is being considered.Chris thinks it is possible to stop it occurring in the same browser session.
Chris as usual has customised the message maker locations to suit individual groups; he is happy to do this for anyone who wishes it.
If you have the old message maker or none at all, do please get in touch with Jean( who will be happy to send you the code or do it for you.She can also request the official tags which enable you to have it embedded on your main Yahoo page.It is much more reliable than the old one, and will inform members if their post has failed for some reason, (usually using an email address that is not a member of the group).


Edward has a permanent surgery dealing with republishing issues, assisted by Jean. During January the following issues were dealt with

Edward improved the app by introducing:

- Improved function on the plug in to tie in the republisher app and synchronise the memberships so old ones get removed and don't receive emails.
- Displaying the real email address of FB and FD members
- New statistics showing a groups estimated weights saved from landfill.

Mods requested the following changes which Edward made:

- A subject link on Automated messages
- Better wording on reminder emai
- Better formatting on chase up email
- Multiple copies of the same email (changes to the message to prevent multiple clicking)
- Subject line on automated messages

Questions were asked and answered on:

- Turning digests off for the group.
- Regularity of republisher permission emails.
- Missing statistics.
- Joining groups by liking the page
- Undesirable members on Facebook and Direct.
- Length of time messages are displayed.
- Mapping location anomalies.
- Delay in posts appearing.
- Facebook unsubcribes.
- Messages appearing on Facebook but not on Yahoo
- Delay in Admin posts.

There were also a few issues which Edward worked tirelessly to sort out:

- Faulty links
- Spiders in the server
- Incorrect links in posts

Items raised and still to be done:

- Like button in Facebook /Freegle emails.
- Synchronising posts with Yahoo so those removed by moderators come off Republisher.
- Messages with no subject which have been corrected, missing them on resubmission.
- Republisher splitting location names.


Chris keeps the mapping functions up to date, on the app and on our main website. He has been tweaking it as usual to make it easier to understand as we have many groups changing position in regard to where they want those looking for a group to land, that it was looking a bit straggly. Also the regional lists have been tidied up and now look much better.


Chris reviews statistics produced by Google to see where and how much traffic there is that relates to Freegle, and posts an analysis on Central each month.


Freegle’s entry in WIkipedia is checked and updated weekly by Jon.


The task list on Tech is out of date and not used.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for any techy type jobs (or any others!) please contact Julie on and she will be able to let you know what is available and what it involves.


Back to Tech Group Report 2011-02-28

Forward to Tech Group Report 2012-02-29