Freegle Tech Report 19-01-31

From Freegle Wiki
Revision as of 20:36, 7 March 2019 by Dorothyjeanquinn (talk | contribs) (→‎Tech Chat: dfsdf)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigationJump to search

Freegle Tech Report January 2019
Messages 26694-26792
Members 115


We have problems getting emails to some members using some email providers. Edward is going to try a new approach which we've talked about in the past. We can check our servers using a reputation site like, and we score 85 out of 100. That isn't bad - for example Olio gets 81. Freecycle scores 97, so it could clearly be better. You can also check your mail reputation using Google Postmaster Tools. Everything on there looks excellent except our IP reputation, which is medium.
Once a member has been inactive for a year, we will now stop sending them digest emails (of messages/events/volunteering etc). They'll still be members of the group if they come back to us, and we'll still handle replies/chat messages. We're just not sending regular mails to them. There are a few reasons for doing this, but the main one is spam filtering. Some servers use "honeytraps". Often old or recycled email addresses which are no longer attached to real people, so if we mail this kind of address we are liable to be labeled a spammer. There are various services which will verify your emails for you, but we've tried them, and they're not that great.


One thing that crops up from time to time is that there is no good way to see what else someone is offering/looking for. Someone might be interested in multiple items, especially if it would only require one trip. Of course some people might choose to spread their stuff around. A similar point comes up on the newsfeed. You can see people talking about stuff, and then asking questions, because they can't see what someone is offering, or looking for.
We’ve now got a first version of this (on dev, not live). On someone's popup profile, you now see a new button. It'll have red counts where people have outstanding active posts.
We’'ve never been entirely happy with 'News' as the name for the newsfeed section of the site. It would be nice to call it Chat, but we need Chat for what we would otherwise call Messages if it wasn't that people are used to thinking of posts as messages when they're not called posts. We have and are discussing alternatives which are short and gets across what it's about. Cafe is short but makes no sense to a lot of people. Present suggestions include Chit chat, Discussion, and Natter.


Q A member of St Albans says they have been unable to post for a few weeks. He gets a message to Come back later. I've asked for a screenshot, but thought I'd ask if this is a known problem.
A.This has popped up from time to time, but we need to do a Teamviewer with someone while it is happening.
Q. Have a message stuck in Edit mode. It's not clear what is required. If I Save the message will it show the new subject line above or the one below where it shows "item" and full postcode?
A. I think you have a problem which I have just fixed have a look now.
Q. I marked a message as Taken. Below the Taken option, it states that "Your comment will be public." But I never saw the Taken message in my mailbox. So where does one view this public message?
A It shows on the happiness tab but we reserve the right to make more use of it in the future.
Q. A member edited the body of the text in her post and then edited the subject line and it broke the photo links. Tested and doing the edits the other way around works fine.
A Okay I will have another look at this.

Further/ to problems getting emails to some members Our score started to vary and get worse in the final stages of moving groups off Yahoo. That's what we'd expect - we started sending mail from our servers to a lot of older email addresses which are probably no longer active. It's generally been improving since the end of December, when I made this change. Hopefully it will continue to climb back up to the upper 90s. The number of spam traps we're hitting has dropped from ~350 to ~15, which is also encouraging. One clear way we could tell it's worked is if our senderscore or Google Postmaster score improve. If it doesnt work then our traffic will dive, and we will get a massive number of complaints from people not getting mails. If it does work, we could look at going a bit further, e.g. downgrade members to daily or weekly digests based on inactivity, or remove members entirely after a longer period (which would be good for GDPR).
Q. Volunteer opportunities are turned off for our group - because we don't want our members to receive emails they never signed up for. I assumed that turning off volunteer opportunities means that our members don't get any volunteer opportunities emails - but it seems that I was wrong. This one sent out Nationally should not have been sent to my members.
A.I agree in principle but it will need some work and discussion with local groups, so can’t do it yet.

We have a bunch of problems with photos having black borders, and also being rotated the wrong way. These are caused by resizing the photo before we upload it. This is being disabled. It isn't ideal - it means photos will take longer to upload. People view photos more often than they upload them, and if the photos look rubbish then we look rubbish, whereas if photo uploads are slow their network looks rubbish rather than us. As part of this, I've restructured the code so that all the photo uploading goes through the same place. This will make it easier to replace the current photo uploader we use with something better if we find it.
Chris and I are both looking for something better. So if you see any problems with photo uploading, please let me know asap. This includes seeing the raw white "Choose file" button, rather than that our buttons (usually green "Add Photo").

Mobiles & Tablets

Not all moderators are seeing the message counts on their phones and tablets. Seems to be Android ones.
It's worth noting that a recent Android change means that when you clear notifications from the notifications bar it also clears counts on the icons, even if you've not clicked to view the notification.

Mod Tools.

I am struggling to delete a config, I created . I want to replace it with a more up to date clone of the default config. I’ve tried 3-4 times on both dev and live and the pop up comes up asking me to confirm, I click that, the page flashes and then briefly the settings section displays then goes away and just get green blank page. So I hard refresh, select Mod configs and there it is, still not gone.
Q. Please can someone tell me the name of the moderating app. I got the Freegle one from but it seems to be designed for members to post, not moderators to moderate ......... or am I missing something due to my rapid learning curve with a smartphone.
A .Just put in modtools as one word, in the search in your app store.


Q. I've just had a message from a member saying: "Somehow I have been linked now to Bury & Newmarket but I live in the Ipswich area. How do I correct this?" So - he must have done something today (but what?) that signed him up to a different group.
A.He posted without signing in probably. In these cases it will send the post to what it considers is his nearest group, and also join you up or put in pending members. He can remove himself from the other group at or he can remain and when he next posts change the group shown on the bottom of the first page. This will then be the default. This area mapping is being looked at by GAT just now, but as where he lives has not been assigned to any area as yet it will choose automatically the one with the nearest boundary,


This is an automated list of the changes to the client code in the last month. If you have any questions about them, please reply to this mail.
Here are the more important ones which would affect members:

  • Recent speedups broke Unpromise button in Chat
  • Add profile page for users
  • Disable client-side image resizing, which is leading to black borders and badly rotated photos
  • On mobile, clicking on a post photo should expand it, as it's not obvious and it's fiddly to click just on the subject line to expand.
  • Phone number not showing in Settings
  • Improve notification text for newsfeed activity
  • Count of freeglers who have replied can be wrong
  • Invalid message ID passed from client to server can cause failure to save message error
  • Default events to be an hour long
  • Chat counts lost from navbar at the top when you move from page to page

....and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice:

.Remove Savoo from the website - we get no income
Tweak export warning message, remove console log
Empty about me text messes up styling
In MT, add warning when exporting membership list about GDPR responsibility
Improve disclaimer to add something about physical safety
Just rely on canedit field returned from server rather than having other logic
In MT, show when a modconfig is in use and prevent you trying to delete it (which would fail in a weird way
Edit button not showing correctly
Exhortation fix
Make template more robust
EditHistory problems.
Chat review from user id wrong
Fix to MT edit history
Add ability for a group to turn off editing
Allow edit of subject line from Approved Messages
Add button into Chat Spam to review original email even when not blank
Add info for events
Volunteering/Community Events per-group pages broken
For national volunteering opportunities, flag them in MT for more careful review to avoid them going out by mistake
Edit of message then of subject loses changes
.Show active offers/wanteds on user profile page
More photo uploading changes
Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/master'
Add info for events
Add new Bytemark logo
OCR returning duplicate text
CORS header of * added twice
Remind people to log in to renew volunteer requests
Add more control over when people can edit
Tweak notification text
Edit review counts should be count of messages not count of edits
Improve subject line for newsfeed notifications
Add ability for a group to turn off editing
Don't send email to inactive members
Move ask for story into new email template format
Add per-group Community Events and Volunteering pages to the sitemap so they get crawled
Send "clear" notification to stop notifications stacking up in the app
Weird read receipt making it into chat
Message subject edit losing photo attachments
Don't add links to images into the text body of messages
Edit of message should cause notification of new work

This is an automated list of the changes to the server code in the last Month. If you have any questions about them, please reply to this mail.
  • Remove duplicate schedule messages from chats
  • Edit button not showing properly

and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice: Don't relay autoreply messages on from email replies to chat API error when logged out Sending volunteer events to groups which have them disabled
Server changes to allow user profile pages
Notification title can contain
Remove another TN signature
Add script to exhort active users to do something via onsite notifications
Update schema)
Add user notification type for encouragements to vote etc
Remove warning
Filter another mobile signature out of chat
Add another spam filter
Another spam text
Replies missing from My Posts
Not notifying mods correctly for incoming messages by email
canedit field not returned correctly
Work-in-progress for Elasticsearch.
Return who is using a modconfig
Return who is using a modconfig
Joining with Support rights is making people mods
Here are the more important ones which would affect members: NIL

Tech Chat

Q.Elaine Message counts aren’t showing .
Maggie S I agree elaine, but to be on the pc and not notice a message is sitting there for you :( ive just turned on my tablet before bed and there was no notification on the icon (as before) that there was unread messages here, so not sure whats going on. as your message elaine shows as an hour ago but no number showing on the blue banner above again
I'm sure Ed will sort it, whatever "it" is!!
A.Edward Hibbert It's a difficult one. Both Chris and I are struggling with it. Maggie S its not doing it all the time, like this morning it was showing a count, so a bit up and down Elaine I know that an intermittent problem is about 25x harder to pin-point and fix than a total breakdown, andI'm sure we all appreciate all the efforts and time that our Tech Elves are putting into resolving this annoying, but realistically minor, Niggle. Elaine Can anyone tell me where I can see how much my group has kept out of Landfill? We have been going just over a year, and it would be nice to see! A. David
A.Edward On the Explore page for your group there's a More stats link.
David ust go to bottom of page above after you have put your group name in . The link above is from when you explore one group
Q. Liz This just in from a member I've checked her mail status its on every day? "I’m not getting my mail for items Iv asked for which means I’m letting people down when they let me know i can have stuff. but I don’t get it for a few days. Regards Margaret
' A.Liz, may not be the answer to her problem at the moment but she is also a member of Hertford and has two different log-ons and email addresses. I seem to remember she may have had problems in the past because she posted on one of these and then checked the other - with nil result! Is it worth checking if she is also doing this on your group too?'
Q. Susanbanderson We have a member who receives SMS message reminders of new chat messages. She would like to stop this because of the cost to Freegle, but she cannot see how to turn them off. I don't know how to do that for her either. How is it done please?
A Saira I'd guess if she goes into her settings, deletes the phone number in the "text alerts" section at the bottom of the page and saves ... they should stop. susanbanderson Yes of course Saira - no other reason for her number to be in there. Thanks. :-) A. Wanda @susan There isn't a way to for membranes to stop them right now, Ed can remove the number manually. I think he's working on a fix so members can stop it themselves. Let Ed know the member info and he'll sort it for you. A Edward Hibbert It's supposed to show a button there to delete the number, but there's a bug. I've fixed that but it's not live yet.
Q. Jacqui Can someone help please? member cannot find how to post a taken. She sees nothing obvious in trash nothing. Likewise she sees no offers in Freegle. What’s going on?
Saira If she's a Trashnothing member doesn't she have to go through Trashnothing??? I have no idea really - just guessing. A. cqui.... she has a gmail address with her name and area - tell her to log into Freegle using that and she'll find her posts :)


If you have a query on an individual member you are probably better going through support and supplying them with the email address and details to prevent their email being put out there on the internet. Support can then check their logs , accounts, chats, and see any logins and actions which the member has done. Anything we can't sort we forward to IT anyway. They can also made small changes on the mapping.

Freegle Tech
January 2019

Back to Freegle Tech Report 18-12-31 Forward to Freegle Tech Report 19-02-28