Tech Group Report 30.11.12

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Freegle Tech Report November 2012
Messages 10625-10844
Members 94

If anyone is interested in this, you are welcome to join our group and contribute, trial new stuff or just observe.


‘The Member Plug In’ is being phased out. There is no longer any individual support for groups or members who encounter problems. In six months it will not work at all.

Please take any links off your home page and out of the Yahoo files asking members to download it. If you are on Freegle Direct it is suggested you send members who use the plug in there.

Main Website

Chris added a Direct links bit in the footer of the main webpage and added this page for members who are using the main website but are looking for the local group.

Message Maker

Chris adapted the Message Maker so that members who have joined via Direct can use their normal email address to post if they wish; their message will be sent using the correct FBUserXxxx email address.
The MM was also speeded up in a small way.


Query from some members on the message list not being in the order of newest first anymore. It seems it has not been holding members preferences the same on some group. It can also lose your prefs if you have cleared your cache or used a disc cleaner.
Also Mods no longer have the option of editing an email address in a pending message, Now the only editable fields are subject and contents!
This is due to misuse of the feature by spammers.
Sync-ing from the Yahoo membership list has been switched off since the mass unsubscribes a few weeks ago. Some members have continued to receive mails after they have left. This function has been reworked to make it safer; there is a plugin beta for this which will be released fairly soon. Groups on Freegle Direct are advised to update when it comes out.


The easier it is for people to get their friends freegling, the more we'll grow. To aid this when you're logged in to FD using Facebook, you'll see a button to send a post to a friend. The idea is that the friend then gets led through to join the group and see that post. Can people give it a try please?


1.) There was a widget designed and trialled that shows recent posts for those groups on FD. The widget is some HTML code that can be put on any website,
It contains a list of the most recent posts and some photos along with a Join now button and Facebook "like" buttons.
Members have already been approached on some groups asking if they would like it on any websites they run - and quite a few have. You or your member can go here to obtain the plug in and customise it to some extent to suit them. . Why not put out an ADMIN about it?

2) A member stated he would prefer an RSS feed instead and was given one.
All groups on Direct can get one by going to Name
Group name is as last bit of it appears on your Yahoo group address bar.
3.) It was asked if we could have another widget for the Join Now box.
This would give people with sidebars a slimmer alternative to the wider plugin.
This is also available at

Freegle Direct

Event posting

This was not accepting www. website addresses. It has now been changed so an error message states to put in the correct prefix.
Because it is a busy time of year for community events many of the Christmas ones were not showing up on some group. Edward has made it so that members can now see to the bottom of the list.
Some work has been done to improve the way replies to posts work. Please let support @ know if you see any anomalies
A link for editing or deleting event posts is now available for moderators using their Facebook log in.
I achieve this by logging in at group ID)
and signing in via the Facebook link.


Some enhancements have been made to the way categories work on FD: Previously you could view all or just one. Now you can now select the categories to view.
It will remember these categories (on a per-group basis). Please contact support @ if you notice any problems.


A group had a spammer which joined via FD with a valid email address. There is not yet an option to report it to the spammers list, but you can ban them via the plug in or the FD group settings.

Lost members?

118 memberships were found with no Yahoo group attached. These were removed and Chris emailed the members concerned . If they had posted, their messages would not get through.

Development of new function

Edward and Chris have been discussing and doing some work to enable the smooth operation of the new system which will allow some groups to have a sub group for members just wishing to participate in the exchange of surplus crops and seeds.


Discussion on whether to inflate the groups weight of stuff saved from landfill, as the actual volume is definitely greater than the stats obtained, by just using the taken and received posts.
There was general agreement that we would rather stick to facts which could be proven.


It has behaved pretty well this month. It had a slow down whilst Edward was away which Chris dealt with and did not copy posts to FD for a couple of days early on..

A discussion on how we could make our server infrastructure more robust was started.
We have not enough money to do everything necessary at this time, so will need to approach it is stages.
We will probably start with having two "ilovefreegle" servers. We can then use VPS.NET's DNS failover records to switch from one to the other to handle one of them being down. We can put them in different data centres so that it's unlikely both will be down. We’ve also added some server monitoring to spot and resolve a common problem.
If you have any ideas or skills to contribute please join us and offer them.

New Toy?

Edward has created a new mapping feature showing photos of items posted on a map. Let us know it you can think of a use for it.


A member found using the message maker reproduces his full email address
in the post, which he did not like.
He was told to use Freegle Direct if he does not wish his email address to show.
It was suggested that the Message Maker did not handle some JPG formats. Chris assured us it is safe to use both JPG and PNG

Freegle Tech

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