Freegle Tech Report 15-05-31

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Freegle Tech Report May 2015
Posts 15033-15408
Members 102


A lot of activity in the first half of the month, luckily Edward was away for the latter two weeks so it slowed down.
The mobile app for iPhone/iPad, Android and Kindle Fire is being tested on many groups, and Chris has made various fixes - updates on iPhone/iPad take around a week to appear.
Members seem to be finding the new Freegle Direct much easier, if the decline in queries is a good indicator. Obviously some hiccups, and bugs found from the changeover, most only affecting a few members or groups. No major problems or downtime though.
Edward heard back from BT . They say that over 10% of the 900 emails from us they tested were flagged as spam by the email content scanner and discarded. A further sample was flagged similarly. They were sending the examples of those that were flagged as spam for further analysis which should lead to a higher rate of messages being accepted.

Mobile app for phone/tablet

This is being tested on many groups, but not promoted to all groups yet. Please test on your group if you wish. The link to the app is
Sample Admin is available here.
[Chris adds: I hope have another round of fixes in version 0.66 before going live nationally.]
Bugs and changes due in version 0.66
Bug fix: on some older iPhones logging in with Facebook causes the app to hang up; fixed in 0.66.
Enhancement: "Post again" option to be provided on My Posts (if appropriate).
Bugs to be fixed: Doesn't remove "Please wait" if search not found, then keeps repeating "No messages found".
Android & Kindle Fire
Version 0.65 of the app is now available for Android and Kindle Fire. New features are a Withdraw post option and accessibility helper text. Bugs fixed in May include saving Settings, getting an email if not supplied on Facebook signin, and signing you in correctly on first use of Facebook signin.
On some older Android 4.0 devices, Google Play says that the Freegle app isn't compatible with your phone - when it actually runs OK. No solution for this yet, apart from providing a manual install option.
Version 0.64 of the app is available on iTunes. There are workarounds for problems in this version listed here:
It takes around a week to get each new version approved by iTunes. Version 0.65 has not been submitted for approval. Changes for version 0.66 will hopefully be ready soon so that will be submitted.

Questions asked.

Q. Will there be a version for Linux (ubuntu)?
Unlikely, but if someone sends Chris a phone he will have a play.
Q I have a Windows phone, will you do one for that?
Only 3% use these at present, but Chris has got hold of one, and thinks it won’t be too hard to get it working - though there is a cost for a Microsoft Store account.


  • Some members trying to post an event had a problem posting as it did not send, and some got the date of 1899 on the pop up calendar and could not change it It was found that members were getting this error when they clicked more than once on the date box or tried to fill it in without clicking. These bugs should both be fixed now.
  • Links in emails received to take members in, to post an event and those within FD for event were not working, but have been fixed. Moderators were getting multiple verification emails, and getting them for every day an event was scheduled for. Edward limited the time an event could be scheduled for and has dealt with some duplications. At some point events with multiple dates will be in a single verification mail.
  • Being able to delete events is now connected to the email you use on modtools and not the Facebook admin. You use the Events tab on the top to amend and not the events on the side bar.


  • Many of you know that Facebook have made it hard to auto-repost content on pages. It is possible that the upcycling ideas may also stop being auto-reposted soon. It would be possible to work around this by FD prompting people (mods? members?) to manual post things of interest from the main site or others- in effect prodding people to do a bit of social media activity. If we could come up with a good set of what that should be, then something could be coded at some point. Several groups I know do publish their posts on their page, via a Twitter link, others may have found better uses for it already. Has anyone any good ideas?
  • The ‘offer/wanted box’ link on Facebook pages, used to join up members or taken them through to the Freegle app broke, but has now been fixed.


It is going well, with surprisingly few of the usual questions from members of the ‘How do I post a taken?’ How do I change my emails? type, so they are obviously finding the website much easier to navigate round than the original.
A button to show/hide replies, was added to the My Posts, to simplify that page a bit.
You can now unsubscribe your FB members using this link
Some members started getting emails who hadn’t had them before or stopped them ages ago.
Intermittant problem with Yahoo log in as they don’t always return email for the ID. Can’t do anything other than a decent message to the member when it happens.

Problems Sorted.

  • Name change not sticking. This was because it was set to automatically update from Facebook when a member married etc. We decided it was better to allow members to use any name they wish.
  • Pause emails broken and fixed.
  • A member posted but couldn’t see his post. Moderators could see them and he could when signed out of the group.

This was traced to several groups having duplicate settings pages and two of them having some members on both. This could be caused by starting off with Freegle Direct and then getting a Facebook page attached. This was not possible once without doing the settings again from scratch but is possible now.

  • Reminder emails Links did not work for Yahoo members as they required signing in. That requirement has been lifted.. This fix created a bug which saw content on reposts from reminders replaced with 'this post is only visible to members' This has also been fixed so you should not see them any more..
  • Problems with various privacy blockers were found to cause many instances of members being unable to use FD2 . Edward has he thinks, found a cure for Facebook, Google and Ghostery, but there are many others which may cause this. Worth asking members to turn off any extensions, and try again if members report nothing happening when they try to log in. Please let us know which browser and extension if one is found to be the cause.
  • Fix to set time code applied to prevent the time going out by one hour .
  • The alert changes were not sticking even when clicking save
  • A bug  in the repost link, caused them to post to the last group posted on instead of the group that the original message was on.

Q.A member said they have changed their e-mail address, and wanted to know if the new one came through okay. But they are using trashnothing, is there a way to confirm that they are using the correct one?.
A.They should change their email address on the Profile page at
And it should be evident to them when the email address is changed (the Profile page will show them which email address is the primary address). It's only on the TN side that emails are forwarded to a new address so we can’t tell..

Outstanding Problems
  • Unsubscribe Links in emails. Not working or requiring the members to sign into Direct. This is a problem for those Yahoo members who get the emails but have never been on Direct.

    Part of this problem is that there was a security issue with anyone being able to unsubscribe or change a members email settings from a              However groups do usually opt for their Yahoo members to get the Direct emails, if they choose, and they do this without the need to join up to Direct, but now are unable to stop them without signing in.

  • One moderators post was returned Email failure: "Suspected guidelines violation" from Yahoo. This is probably because the members direct account is tied to their Yahoo one, and when posting from Direct the message uses the Yahoo account details. Please report any similar complaints from members so that we can see if it is a problem which needs fixing.
  • Repost Option. This now appears for any group you are on only after the time the original group is set for reposts. It should appear for each group at the time set by them for reposts from other groups.

Questions answered

Q. Just sent a couple of Admins to my group but noticed I can't see them on FD. As it shows all the other posts I'm wondering why not Admins?
A. No one sees them on the FD web, but everyone gets it by email. They aren't stored in the message database.
Q. We've had a member give us an e-mail address of another member who was clearly trying out the courier scam, how do we report their e-mail so that other groups on FD can be aware?
A. You can report their email address to the spammers groups, but also send any information you have to Jacky at as she is doing all the co-ordinating on this.
Q When replying to an offer I have been asked: " to use at least 30 characters" Why? This is often impossible
A. It's to stop people sending blank, accidental or useless replies. "Can I have this?" is short but unhelpful, and is often interpreted as rude. A placeholder to encourage people to send the right kind of replies has been added.
Q A members’ post has been put in the wrong category, how do I change it?
A. Sorry this function has not yet been added.
Q. I went to My Posts, it said "No Messages". so i am unable to mark mine as taken.
A. Check which email you’re signed in with under Menu>Settings
Q. I made an offer of a telephone answering machine. You have taken the word "machine" away and put it after my location. You have also messed up the parentheses. Why do you do this?
A.Subject autocorrect on Modtools changed it.

Help for Moderators about member's issues with using Freegle Direct is also available from

Freegle Tech Report
May 2015

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