Freegle Tech Report 17-05-31

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Freegle Tech Report May 2017 Posts 22430-22565 Members 115


Edward and Chris both had their holidays this month which always results in a quieter time on Tech. Edward took care not to implement changes which could break stuff before going, and we have had a fairly trouble free time.

Mobile App

A couple of bugs appeared this month.
The Google sign in option stopped working on the app on an iPad, Freegle Direct was sending an error message and there were also reports of no post box on the app when signing in with Yahoo. A quick fix was done by Chris, who was away for Android devices but iOS had to wait until he got back.
On the app on Android, a postcode came through with the wrong subject ie (Bow E3) instead of (Leytonstone E11). It was fine on FD web. This was a bug which needed an update.


There has been a technical change to the way we send emails (to use a 2048-bit DKIM key rather than a 768 bit one, which was unintentionally below the recommendation of 1024). It's possible that this will suddenly stop or start emails being delivered (in some systems which dislike the short key, which some do).
If there are any changes you notice let us know.

Q. A member complains that she is now only able to upload one photo. Are members supposed to be able to post multiple photos?
A Yes you can upload multiple photos.
Q. Member has posted to ask how he can post a taken message as there is no taken button.
A If there is no taken button I would check how he posted the message and what email he used to post it from if you are sure a Taken has not already been sent. Sometimes they make the original post via Yahoo, or using a different email or have left after posting then rejoined.
Q. Marking things Taken doesn’t work well for multiple items e.g. plants as it can match off the wrong one.
A It needs over 90% the same to match off an item so it can do this for posts marked plant 1 plant 2 etc.
A Promised will stop them being reposted and they can wait until the items are actually collected before posting the takens.
If they get more emails after promising the items it won't matter, the other members will all get an email saying the item is gone when the taken is eventually posted.
Q. I have just had a member ask why he can see his name showing in the ‘Whats New’ digests and not what is in his settings (what other freeglers will see bit) I just looked at one of his chats and it shows his name as Brecon as per his settings.
A This seems to be a case of a member seeing his name but it is not visible to the rest of us.


While working on getting rid of some of the current wave of spam messages, I found there are quite a lot of chat messages which have been waiting for review,, which means that some groups mustn't be looking at these regularly. I've added something so that:
After 48 hours, we'll mail the group (via or -volunteers@...) to ask them to take a look. It'll cc Mentors, so that they can see which groups might be in need of help.
After 7 days we'll automatically mark them as rejected. That means some real messages just won't get through, but it's better than sending on spam.
This is similar to the mails Yahoo sends sometimes to remind you about pending work, and I will probably add others like that.

Q. I received a chat message asking me for a carpet I had put on Freshers. I don't think we should be sending messages to members before the join up process is complete. It's a spammers dream.
A It is a bug but Edward feels his spam checks will spot and block any attacks.
Q. A member says when she replies to a member it is coming to me and not the member. A I have checked her chat and it has gone to the member and is on the members chat. If she is replying to a post on a digest you may now get the odd one where they have replied to the owner instead of the member. These now come in to the volunteer address so that you can spot them and let them know.


Q. The target figure in our donation stats has increased by £10 from £140 to £150 will it do this as the donations rise?.
A The target figure should stay the same, but the thermometer may rescale if you exceed it. However as of mid-June, when the per-group target is reached, we’ll switch to showing the national target.


These vacancies will now go out by email once a week; as usual there's an option for members to turn them off by email or in settings. I will also do something to ask people about opportunities which don't have dates (June update - added), to confirm they're still active, but a bug where they still showed on the site has now been fixed.

Q. A member asked us to edit her event for volunteers today. She needs people to help on 26th May and 16th June. I tried to set the date to start on 26th May and end on 26th June, but it just saves as a one day thing and chooses the end date rather than the start date. For now I'll ask our member to add hers as two separate volunteer opportunites, but if someone wants a volunteer for a couple of weeks we could do with being about to show that!


Green Dot
Those of you with support/admin rights will have noticed a green/orange/red indicator which shows whether the system is well or not. If you click, it takes you to a status page, which you can also reach via . The info on this page is of most use to geeks. If you notice the light go orange/red, then it's worth clicking it. If you notice problems with the system and the light is still green after a minute or two, then let them know as well.
Settings Facebook. Some relinking of Facebook pages was needed and sometimes an error message occurs. Advice is just ignore it and keep trying.
Twitter has added some more anti-spam detection which has caught some of our accounts and locked them out, so that posts aren't getting tweeted. You will now see a warning that the account is locked on modtools. You will then need to log in to your Twitter account, which may force you to reset your password. You may (not sure yet) then need to reauth the Twitter account afterwards, in which case you'll also see a message saying that. This is tedious, but you can understand how accounts like ours which pump out lots of messages might get caught.

Spam I've made a change so that when the same person has sent messages which have been manually reviewed as spam often, and they've not sent any which have been manually reviewed as not spam, then we'll mark all subsequent messages from them as spam. That's zapped quite a lot, though there will be some spam that has got through to members in the mean time.


Q. I moderate a Native hosted group, and want to remove people from moderation as soon as possible. Most members are shown as 'moderated' in modtools. The only other option is Group Settings, but I don't know what that means.
A Group Settings means unmoderated. You're right that it is a silly name for a native group. I'll do something about it.
Q. I'm getting ready to change my groups over to native hosting . The only thing that was useful to me with Yahoo was the monthly post totals on the About page.. Is there another place where I can find the monthly stats for my groups? I like to be able to monitor how active my groups are over time.
A You can see the overall numbers for all of Freegle at https://www.ilovefreegle. org/stats . Each group also has a stats page available in Modtools and on the Direct Platform. I will put it on my list to have a look and see if I can improve it .
Q. My Group is native hosted, but today a posting came in to ModTools from Yahoo email. I am wondering how this happened and if it is because we still have modtools@... as a moderator on the group. If so, should we remove it?
A I have seen this happen up to a month after switching to native and it was down to Yahoo being very slow and passing on a message that was sent before switch. So ignore and/or check the original date on the message if it is only the odd one. You don't have to remove Modtools but it is not used on Native Groups.
Q. My group is natively hosted. When I look at a pending message on the Modtools app it shows if they are moderated on FD, but also if they are moderated on Yahoo. Is there some kind of syncing I haven't done, or is the app not picking something up?
A. The app shouldn’t show this will check.
Q. I am mentoring a new mod on a Native Group who uses the app to moderate. She is logged in to the app, but the app says she is not logged in to Yahoo. Is the app browser specific ? If not what do we need to do It really needs a fix to stop it needing you to log in ? A Just ignore the 'not logged on to Yahoo' for now it's only there for those that still have a yahoo group and you can still edit Native group posts. I need to liaise with Ed to see it the message can be avoided on Native groups.
The mobile app is like a separate browser so you need to sign in using the app. What you've done in Chrome, Safari etc is irrelevant. The MT and Freegle app Yahoo sign in process is slightly convoluted technically speaking and it seems to vary between devices.


I've tweaked what happens after you post so that there is a popup encouraging you to share, either to Facebook, or by copying the link of the message to your clipboard. The aim here is to encourage more shares, which result in more new members from within the social circle of the person who posts.
Also we now will nudge members who've logged in using Facebook but haven't freegled for a while. They'll get a notification like this: We miss you! We'd love you to give something, find something, or just have a look what's happening. We're just a click away.

If you have a problem with a member, need something checking or information please ask.
If you need holiday cover, some extra help with moderating or have noticed a neglected group they will be happy to hear from you.

Freegle Tech Report
May 2017

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