Freegle Tech Report 16-08-31

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Freegle Tech Report August 2016

Posts 17850-18296 Members 107


Two new mods joined us last month and as we get into the last month of trials for FD3 we hope even more of you will pop on and try out the new interface. The more bugs we find before we go live the less problems our members will have. Also if there is something you don’t want or like you can have your say and maybe get it changed.
A trial started of suspected spam sent through the website to members, being checked by the group moderators. It was stopped pending legal advice on the point of accessing private emails.
It has been ascertained that BT are still blocking our emails and Edward is still trying whatever methods he can of getting them to do something about it. Because of this members with BT email addresses that are trying to join us are being advised check for replies online at FD - or to use a different email address.
Delays in both members and Direct receiving Yahoo emails them have been a recurring problem throughout the month.

Direct v3

Events These will be controlled from modtools when we switch over and the possibility of members posting on adjacents groups also if it felt relevant was discussed and will be implemented if possible.
Admins The question of sending out Admins was raised and a button has been provided for this purpose. Admins sent via modtools it was decided would only be sent out to Direct members. These admins would not appear on the Post tab.
An email to send out to all moderators when FDv3 launches was drafted and discussed.
Future members will get an email address in a format similar to Trash Nothing members so part of their real email address will be included. Hopefully this will be less confusing to members. Depending how a member arrives at the process they could be issued a random email address or one containing the first part of their email address.
Some function has been added which will allow members to edit their posts and return them for moderation.
What will happen is:
User posts a message - it does into Pending and appears in ModTools.
Mod decides it's not right - and rejects the message with an explanation.
User sees that explanation - plus a button to Edit and Resend.
They can click that, make changes to the message, and submit it again.
Then it appears in Pending again.
This will be a help to users, rather than them having to retype from scratch or copy and paste.
‘Interested In’ messages have started to go out from FDv3 so please let us know if you see problems with them.
Whether to have different levels of access was discussed and the majority were in favour of two levels, but to omit references to ‘owner’
Photo uploads Photo’s will now be resized in the browser in Chrome (which wasn't true before) and should therefore be a bit faster to upload. It will now upload in the background, so you can fill out the other boxes while it is doing it. This is quite a sizeable change, so it would be good if people could test it (at on a variety of devices and browsers.
Automatic Reposting
Sending out reminders for reposting has been fairly successful in FD2 FDv3 will take this a step further. We will mail them and let them know we're going to repost it - but if it's no longer active (either because it was TAKEN/RECEIVED or because they've given up) then they can let us know. 24 hours later, it will automatically repost - so it will go out again by email, and move up the list of messages to become more recent Show them on My Posts when messages will become due for reposting After 90 days, stop doing this - so that we don't get posts that never ever die. Effectively, then, we keep "advertising" a post for a reasonable time period until we're told it's no longer available. Later on, I may extend this to post on neighbouring groups - again, after a configurable time period.
All of this only applies to users who joined via FD - we can't repost for other domains because of DMARC.

Problems Fixed.

It was finding and sending replies to other email addresses the poster may own because the part of the DB which should hold the prefered email wasn’t updating..
A problem with the keeping of mail settings in sync between FDv2 and FDv3 (which sends the mails) was found and sorted..

Questions & Answers.

Q. I'm confused about how to log in. I used to use Facebook but then had to use Yahoo for modtools. As I will be turning Yahoo off for my group and none of my accounts match the email address used for Yahoo how will it recognise me as a moderator?
A It now tries hard to link accounts which are coming from the same person so try it and see!
Q. I just put a post on via the app but I did not get the option to share to Faceboook.
A The Facebook Share Button code does NOT tap into the Android native share option. However if you are signed in to Facebook within Chrome, then the share box does pop up on top of the current page to let you share. So: if you do sign in once, then subsequent shares will be much neater.
Q. I joined with a new email and found this member for approval alingumbere-30031798@l. Is the name semi-random?
A It depends a bit on how you sign in. Sometimes it will use some of the email address. But often it's random. This is to avoid asking people for a name. You can change it later in Settings.
Q. Can we still have footers on emails, and could we have something like random tips put in them?
A FDv3 will strip out as many footers as it can - because most of them are specific to some particular way of using the group and won't make sense otherwise. The tips idea isn't planned, though there is some newsletter function that with some work would be available for individual groups to use. However many of the things we do as tips are because we haven't had the ability to either help people get it right, or trap scams. So most effort will be on improving that. That way members don't have to remember things.
Q. Where will the MM shortlinks land?
Q. Shouldn't people be prompted to set a password having done a post?
A It mails you a password when you sign up. Given that (hopefully) it remembers your sign in, it means an easier first experience for the member...
Q. Is there an equivalent of the Yahoo owner address to give to members who want to contact the volunteers for a particular group?
A Not yet though probably will be once we have a stand alone platform.
If a member uses the help/contact form on the site, then queries will get put in as messages in a chat window on ModTools between the member and the group mods. This means that there is a record of the conversation which can be seen by all mods, and the system will know whether a query has had a reply or not.
Members can also reach the mods, Yahoo permitting, by mailing the -owner address.
There is a function in the Support Tools section of ModTools for contacting groups, which Support and Mailbox can and should use. That mails the Yahoo owner address and optionally any personal addresses we have, so it's more reliable than the -owner address.

Mobile App

I am hoping to be able to port the new website code to the mobile app, but that it is not certain. Even if I can, it is unlikely to be ready for the changeover date, so the app will not work for the duration.
Existing users will see a message at startup. For users on the latest version, it will only show a message and a big button to go to the website; for users on older versions, the app will show a message but try to communicate with the server and will probably show some error messages.


Groups with a Facebook page or Twitter account can now publish the Freegle main groups posts onto their pages. This is a way to publicise your group for nothing so please click on the publicity button on the left side of Modtools and see if there is a button for your group. If there is you can simply choose any you want and publish them.
If there is no button then check on the settings tab that it is linked. You need to be an Admin on the page with the email account you are using or will be recognised by the app to link the account but once done you can just click on the material provided to publish it on your page. Once it is linked any moderator can publish the individual posts. If you have any problems ask.
Of course, you can post things on your group's Facebook page yourself as well!

Facebook To be able to get away from Yahoo Groups completely we had a poll on hosting a trial group on Facebook for the Tech group. As a significant number said they would not join the idea was dropped.

Freegle Tech

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