Freegle Tech Report 18-10-31

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Freegle Tech Report October 2018
Messages 25978-26376
Members 113


The first month without Yahoo. Considering a few groups were moved hurriedly with little warning to their members, they seemed to have coped very well.
Now we are turning attention to changing the platform of our working groups. We are comparing Discourse and on Tech and are voting on which it will be. We hope some Central members have joined in. Other than this it has been a quiet month with Edward away a fair bit, and doing server work.


The main problem for those groups whose moderators have not been using Modtools regularly is that their membership lists have not been synced. This results in members who have left Yahoo some time ago, finding they are receiving our direct emails. Also those who had not been receiving the posts from Yahoo may get those from Direct. These members if not on any other groups can have their data purged. If they just want to leave some groups probably best to give them the link
Some members complained of posts showing twice on their My Posts. This was a bug which is showing the draft, as well as the one sent. Changes being done will show more clearly that these are draft posts, and give the option to Delete them (like Withdraw) or Resume editing them (like Post Again).


Q. Why are there so many members using the bounces+67257 id? I had a complaint about a member/no show using this id, but support tools brings up lots of them
A.It looks like they're different members with the same name. I'll fix that and create replacement names for them.
Q. I wanted to send someone a link to our volunteering page on Freegle Direct. I brought up the app, but couldn't see a way of sharing the link to the page. i.e. Is there a way to do that from the app?
A.Apps don't have a generic share function (because not all apps use Web pages under the covers like this one does). We have share buttons on the screen for some things, like messages, but in this case I'm not sure we'd get people sharing the whole page often, so it would be screen clutter. Sharing from a browser is probably the way to go.
Q. Modtools reminders are appearing in my email with FD logo. Is that correct? It's just that I liked having them separate to help prioritise what needs action
A. That image isn't added by our side - it's what your email client is putting in for the email they come from.

Group mods have been getting a fair bit of spam lately, to the owner address. At present this is not filtered out to avoid situations where members cannot reach the volunteers to complain about spam because their mail is blocked for being spam.
These are annoying at the moment though and we will do something so that they aren’t out by email, instead send a message saying there's a spam mail with a link for you to check it.

Shortlinks You can now use https with shortlinks, e.g. This was broken when we moved our Admin stuff to Direct.


I (Chris) have released a new version 1.4.5 of the Freegle app for Android with the Google login fixed and other improvements.
I've also released version 0.2.5 of the MT app for Android.
I'm doing the iOS apps now.
A few problems for a few members like drop downs covering reply boxes. Hopefully these have been fixed now and a new update has been issued.
The notification icon on some iPhones has been failing to appear until the app is opened. This is a problem with main coding and Edward is fixing it.

Server Code Changes

"'This is an automated list of the changes to the client code which may affect members
Icons missing from chat list - broken in earlier fix.
Speed-up: fetching chat messages, especially chats with many users
Blocked chats reappearing
Story can overflow page on mobile. if it contains something like an URL. Mobile error helpfully reported by Google.
On small mobile screens, dropdown item suggestions can cover the description box. Scroll down to make sure some of it is visible.
Explore group layout is messy on mobile
Withdraw button shows Withdraw Withdraw
Photos huge on desktop
Can get messages in My Posts which miss the OFFER/WANTED and Location.
Improve layout of Explore page on mobile, prompted by Google's mobile search notifications
Remove reference to Yahoo Terms of Service from our terms, since we are no longer hosting groups on Yahoo
Cross to close a zoom on photo should look more clickable

and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice:
Add donate button in Help
Recent fix meant chat messages in group discussions all a bit too right wing.
Speed-up: chats
Asking to confirm affiliation for unpublished groups
Remove reference to late December 2016 which is now history
Change PayPal donate links to a shortlink
Various changes for using PHP 7.2; switch to NCHAN for chat notifications
Speed-up: issing a POST per chat on page load, which is bad for people with many groups
Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/master'
Fix JS error
In Support Tools, search for user should return postcode
Fix MT dev build
Upgrade to Webpack 4
Speed-ups: Minor FD page load changes
.Speed-ups: more for people with many chats; reduces getting list of chats from around 2.5s to 0.25s.UT fixes
Move last Freegle groups from Yahoo
Old spam messages need purging
UT fixes
Speed-up: processing of Facebook group linkages for people with many groups
Speed-up: improve collection of group information for people on many groups
Add pagination to fetching chat messages, as preparation for a reverse infinite scroll in chat (rather than the current approach of fetching the last 100 messages).
Prediction code is recreating an empty chat
Blocked chats reappeared
Improve comment
App broken by server changes
Show groups in Discourse
Switch to using NCHAN for chat notifications.
Remove error logs
Add ads.txt for Google and LiveIntent
Expand shortlinks when looking for spam
Remove package-lock.json
In Support Tools, search for user should return postcode
Fix small location areas
Speed-ups: Explore and Newsfeed pages
Counts wrong for held/spam messages/members)
Reply count missing in summary
Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/master
Speed-ups: further work on listing chat rooms for people with many chats
Coverage - Facebook group pages; quick message delete; user export; Facebook posting & attachments

Tech Chats

Lori J @Liz the problems with mail cycle thru a few different providers. Posts should reach MT's if sent via the site or mailed directly.
Those warnings are about sending to those domains. Mail from those domains should still reach us.
David Question/Info from member: Hi. I don't know if anyone else is experiencing this problem, but often when in Outlook on my PC and I open the daily update I get, Outlook is forced to close (but then usually reopens itself). I delete the group emai,l as it usually does the same if I try to open it again. I don't experience this problem with any other emails, including these update emails from other Freegle groups, so conclude that something in the Henley update emails is tripping Outlook up.
Ooops! Just realised that no browser is involved when I open the email - just Outlook (Office Home and Business 2010).
David I found the solution is to view it in plain text and it doesn't crash outlook. Seen this before in Support and occasionally on my own old Microsoft outlook 2003 when I am trying to reply. .they are slow to fully open too and sometimes have crashed it... something about the email formatting that makes outlook explode but not sure what lol
Edward Hibbert Ask him to forward a mail that crashes to you. Then ask on Tech for someone on Outlook 2010 to try it, and forward it to them. If we can get it happening then I can look at it via TV.
Liz Bit strange I have people who've been members since day one and post regularly but checked one and it says they've only offered 3 items Checked a few other regulars and it's the same?
The number you're probably looking at is the number of "recent" posts, i.e. last month. It used to show total posts
Edward Hibbert I don't think so, it's been like that for ages.
Elaine, I seem to be seeing a lot of spam emails coming in with a message containing a site - I seem to have had about 10 over a week, making up all but a couple of the spam I have seen! Is there ever any legitimate need for this site to be quoted?? Can we just block at source?
Saira I think it's a shortlink for google or something so could be used legitimately
Elaine, That is a pity. They all seem to have the same "suffix", and are going to members with no prior contact with the sender. I tend to view such messages as Spam. I'm not brave enough to try it out blind on my pc to see what happens!! I hope I'm not blocking a legitimate member message, but if I am, why would they send it to so many different members?!
Ruth If it's being sent with no prior contact I'd mark as spam. If it was part of a conversation I'd check further.
Edward It's on my list to see if I can block these.
Hi! Just curiosity, but why am I listed as a member of groups 7860 miles apart? Lands End to John o' Groats is only 874 miles...! Thanks to anyone thinking about this! Ed is only 7858 miles! Who has the largest score???!!!
Are you on any of Edwards test or playground groups as they have weird locations sometimes
Ah, yes. I get playground messages regularly.
Maggie im having problems with ilovefreegle site and here on modtools, they are very very very slow, im getting twirly thingy for ages but still dont send messages, or takes twice or more to send. anyone else having problems or is it just me, ive checked other pages and they are loading fine.
Wanda me too... not been on the FD site but MT's is slow with some actions but ok with others. Have to keep clicking buttons to make them work. Started slowing yesterday I think.. always does it when Ed is going to be away, maybe it doesn't want him to go so it has a sulk... lol It needs a kick but as Ed is away this weekend maybe Chris can kick it ;)
Edward Hibbert Seems fine to be. Restart browser / kill the app and see if that makes a difference.
Maggie.It was 2 different times it was happening on MT, this morning and then again this afternoon, PC had been shut down inbetween, dont know how it is at mo, cause it was mainly the messages that would not send and when clicking on members list took a bit of time too
. grrrr, just gone onto ilovefreegle/mypost to mark some stuff as taken, and the pop-up window just sits there! click again and sometimes it goes, sometimes have to clcik again, taking ages to mark some stuff as collected :(
Maggie S I just checked my tablet and found a pending message sitting for 2 hours with not notification on phone app or email notification :) MT defiantly not well
Edward Hibbert Email notifications are after four hours by default I think - check what your Settings are on here. App notifications are working for me but I know some people have had problems, so might be worth removing and readding the app.
Maggie S i had my setting on immediate but i'll check and i'll try re-installing the app , will see if it improves :)
yep, Moderation Notifications (Active) had changed to 4 hours, ive put it back to immediate again :) thanks edward
Claire I’ve had similar delays in sending mod messages (on android phone modtools). Noticed yesterday 3 identical mod emails were sent, maybe me being heavy on the send button. Today I sent a modmail & it has been sent by email 5 times. Both just appear once in these chats though. Anyone else had similar?
MaggieSyes modmails taking their time to send, sometimes appearing twice because i had to hit the button twice before it sent. on desktop pc.
Edward Hibbert Claire, Maggie, is this purely with the app, or if you use a browser too?
Maggie S im using desptop pc browser, modtools on firefox and ilovefreegle on google chrome. i only ok post on mobile phone app, mobile phone is too small for using anything else but approving messages.
Claire, I was using the browser on my Android phone
Edward Hibbert Have rebooted the web servers. Let me know if it makes a difference.
David. Hi Re thumbs up/down I just had a member say this does not seem to be working as they want to give a thumbs up to "karen hartley" but when click on thumbs up her rating stays at one thumbs up (member is on Reading called garrett) or am I missing something
Maggie S if they have already gave her a thumbs up, dont matter how many times they click, they wont be able to give her any more thumbs up (just a thought that this might be this problem) i think it is a blue thumb if you have click thumb before and green for any other thumb numbers
Maggie Sive had 2 new titles appear in my modconfig settings drop-down list. they are called UT Test and TestConfig, cant understand where they come from,
Edward Hibbert Ignore them - they're test ones for me.
Elaine If you need test victims....err, Volunteers, you can use me. I usually use the live version, but I can go onto dev if you need me to!
Lorraine, I have noticed members logs showing joining and leaving but still on the group. How can this happen.
Edward Hibbert Lorraine, I think this is a hangover from Yahoo days, where you could have multiple memberships for the same user on the same group. If you check your membership list they will probably still be on there, so you can remove them again. I don't think this would happen very often, and not for new memberships.
David Re deleting old configs: I cant seem to delete some old (yahoo based) configs from my list ie a couple marked Old for Yahoo Thames Valley and one marked Old YAhoo (note capital A) To be honest I have always had probs removing unused configs
David, I've zapped those for you.
Saira If I'm merging two memberships I know that the second in the box is the one which is kept BUT do I need to use the real emails eg gmail and or do I need to use the ilovefreegle emails? THanks
Maggie S i always use the email address rather than the ilovefreegle one,
Edward Hibbert Use the real ones. You're less likely to put the wrong one in.
Peter I have these entries is the logs which are rather meaningless. It would be helpful to know who is taken off the membership list. Purged User #{} Removed by moderator *** #33810820 I assume the following is a spammer Deleted User #36973587 #36973587
Edward Hibbert That thing is a bug, I'll fix that. It looks more like someone who has requested that they be removed, perhaps directly to Support.


The link to our wiki broke with the server code changes but was fixed as soon as it was reported.

Working Group Platforms.

We discussed what we needed from a platform: Email, and a Forum, what we would like and what we could afford We decided to test IO and Discourse. Discourse has a paid and unpaid version. We could afford the paid for one, and it would be independent of other groups, the free one seems like it may do enough though. We could run these on our own servers or if there were objections to us having control could be used independently.

Freegle Tech Report
October 2018

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