Freegle Tech Report 19-02-28

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Freegle Tech Report February 2019
Messages 26793-268.48
Members 113

== General ==
We were still discussing the new name for the News feature all month. It had to be short, describe what it is, and please everyone. We finally settled on ChitChat this will be live next month. Despite this, this months posts were the lightest for years.
It was pointed out that Freegle Direct and Facebook buttons are missing from the Yahoo front pages . Edward fixed it quickly. He also worked some more on speeding up our servers.


Volunteering Opportunities.
A bug caused these to go out to all groups instead of just relevant ones. This should now be fixed.
Moderators had a problem with spam this month, which lasted a week before it was fixed.

Q. I've got a member who is cross because she is still a member and doesn't want to be. She says its becoming a GDPR issue. I've removed her from the group, she doesn't belong to any other groups. Is there anything else I need to do?
A . Get her to forward a mail to you. You often find that the email address shown at the bottom is one she's forgotten she has. She may get her mail forwarded, and be unsubscribing from the wrong email address. If you are unsure you can ask Support to help.
Q. A complaint I am seeing a lot is, 'I gave a thumbs down by accident, how can I cancel it' I tell them to give a thumbs up, but that doesn't cancel the thumbs down . It would certainly save time in answering how to cancel out a wrongly pressed button.
A The thumbs up does cancel the thumbs down but the first one on either side does not show.
Q. I am sure that I had previously added something in the About You text box, but it was empty, so I added some new text and clicked Save. A few minutes later I returned to the settings page and found the text box was empty. So my question is, is the "About You" text still saved somewhere or do I need to add it again?
A. It is showing now.


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

  • Not showing who replied in messages on My Posts
  • Add council comms toolkit
  • Click to mark all notifications as read scrolls randomly around the newsfeed
  • Don't open chat popup windows on the Chat page itself by default
  • Improve formatting of multiple photos when posting
  • Rework message display some more
  • Add a page to show the shortlinks including stats on clicks, and allow you to create your own
  • Improve photo layout on story in newsfeed (6 days ago)
  • Make photo sizes more consistent, especially on mobile, and improve the message display a bit.
  • Add more protection against accidentally creating systemwide volunteer opportunities* Signing up to the site flashes an error message briefly

...and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice:
More tweaks to message layout
Add link to About to councils.
Add Why? to council toolkit
Change Media Team into email addresses for people who haven't got mail clients configured correctly.
On mobile, show the higher resolution photo for a message rather than the thumbnail, because it is full width and looks blurry otherwise
In MT, still can't chat to user from stories page
In MT, can't open chat to member from story review
Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/master'
Correct grammar
Add link to Wokingham bulky waste
In Support Tools, allow modification of CGA/DPA to allow GAT to set them
Clarify that introducing yourself shouldn't include what you're giving/seeking
Reapply "Not showing all info on My Groups after recent fix" More edit fixes
MT subject edit for platform messages not working correctly
Not showing all info on My Groups after recent fix
Change Chat to Chats on menu bar
On MT, don't show link to full profile as it won't work
On MT, change photo zoom code to reuse same code as FD, with the handy advantage that this works better
Can't delete last photo image

Server code changes in the last Month

This is an automated list of the changes to the server code in the last 7 days. If you have any questions about them, please reply to this mail.
Here are the more important ones which would affect members:

  • Don't send SMS notifications of your own messages even if you've asked for them to be mailed to you
  • Profile is showing a count of messages even if they are still in Pending
  • Can't keep a chat open if it is is an old chat with no recent messages

...and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice:
Update schema
Group stats not running
Missing some spam checks
Merge remote-tracking branch 'origin/master'
Add active flag to logos table
UT fixes
Change exhorting for user stories not to ask people until they've been a member for a week
ModPlugin broken by recent Chrome changes
Newsfeed digest mails have a double double quote
Travis is working again, back out workaround
On MT, can't delete photo
Travis fixes
Fix Dockerfile for geoipupdate build changes
Be more careful about tweeting newsletter stories
Can't delete last photo image
Speed-up: We can stop PDO returning numeric keys and therefore don't have to filter them out
Support Tools showing duplicate group names
Add councils to sitemap
Not always choosing the closest group
Speed-ups: use UNION to speed up chat fetch some more
Speed-ups: use more temp tables to speed up chat roster processing
Improve comment
Should be able to view shortlinks logged out
Tweeting unreviewed stories
Not returning groupid for story
Previous fix for duplicate group names not working
Return more info for shortlink
Add call to get individual shortlink info
Add ability to create a shortlink
Add click history to shortlinks.
Return groupid for reviewing stories
Not always finding correct group after DPA/CGA changes go
Speed-ups: better indexing on chat listing
Speed-ups: reduce attribute fetch on chat list

Mobile App

I've just released new versions of both apps for Android, bringing them up to date with the website code. Hopefully the iOS versions will be approved soon.
I've kept photo resizing going in the app to reduce upload time - and it seems to work OK for me in iOS.
Q. Has the ability to delete photos been fixed? I had to approve a post with a random photo in it yesterday because deleting didn't work. Android, but on Huawei the other a Samsung but it didn't delete.
A I've managed to repeat this now on the web and in both apps. I'll have a go at diagnosing tomorrow.

Trash Nothing

Q. Do Trash Nothing members get notifications of Mod notes in chat spam? Also do FD members get notifications too? Only asking as if people are using email not chat then adding a Mod note is redundant really if they don’t see it
A.Yes, they go out by email, with a bit at the front that says "Message from Volunteers". So emails to FD members and TN members should include them. They are passed on by TN as long as they are relevant to their members.


Elaine I just edited a members post, as the subject was a full sentence! I copied it into the body, and deleted all but the actual item from the subject, and saved the subject, and then the message. It then said that there were 12 Edits!! I have NO IDEA where the majority of them came from!! I could understand 2 edits (1 subject, one body) but the sudden leap from 1 (Subject edited) to 8 (it saved the body, but "lost" the subject edit) followed by 12 (after I restored the subject edit) is beyond me!
The member reposted and their repost was approved by another moderator, so faced with a choice of which to delete, it deleted the earlier, problematic one.
Susan BLOCKING - questions from a member regarding what happens when one member blocks another
1) Will the blockee still be able to initiate any chats with the blocker (but them not show up for the blocker)?
2) Will the blockee realise that they have been blocked?
3) Will the blockee still be able to use the thumbs up or down button for the blocker?
The wannabe blocker is an active member - I don't know what has gone on, but she would like to know what blocking actualy means and I'm not too sure either. Does anyone know please?
Edward Hibbert 1} Yes. 2) No. 3) Yes.
Wanda@ Above question made me think of a few queries we get to Support where someone says they've replied and the member hasn't responded. Usually I'd check both members chat but if one has blocked another would it show up in Support tools? I don't think we've had many, if any, where we can't see the message on both sides but I suppose it could happen.
'Edward Hibbert @Wanda, I think it would show the messages in support tools, but it wouldn't tell you about any blocking.
Jacqui Hi, just to say that I got a notification by text saying that I’ve had a new message, however I’m the one who sent the message. Therefore it’s a wasted text.
Jacqui, how did you send it - email or on the site? I don't get texts for ones I send.
I sent it via the app, using the chat function under my posts
Can you give me some specifics about which message it was and when you got the text? Jacqui, The “it’s still there have you changed your mind” message. The text was directly after it.
Edward Hibbert Thanks. This is because Jacqui has the option set to mail her own messages. No sense in sending them by text too, though, so I'll fix that.
Peter Hi, I have been thinking it would be good if there could be some sort of animation of the chat box when someone is trying to contact the moderator or another freegler. Not sure if possible It is quite possible to forget to look at the chatbox the way it is presented at the moment. in IRC (internet relay chat)when someone is private messaging their nick is animated at the bottom of the screen so you know someone in the chat room is trying to contact you.
Edward Hibbert Peter, do you mean when someone is typing?
Peter Hi Edward, If you want to private message someone you click on their name in the list of participants in the chatroom. They will see on their client toolbar you are trying to contact them. They then reply by clicking on your nickname.
You will see they have replied when their nic appears in the tool bar. It flashes blinks if using the MIRC irc client. mirc.com It makes the experience more animated. You canleave your computer on while the person is messaging you and read it later.

  1. Peter Edward Hibbert So you mean in here?

Peter Yes and on the site. I am not suggesting having to contact the moderator on irc in here. I am saying instead of the number of messages to be read in the chat box why not have it flashing with the name of the person trying to contact the moderator or another freegler.

  1. Peter Edward Hibbert It is put into the title of the window. For people like mentors who are on multiple groups I would expect the flashing to be quite annoying. I'd assumed that the red count was visible enough - what do other people think?

Elaine I don't think I'd like to have flashing lights - they sometimes cause me headaches which can turn into migraines. If they are visible in the tab at the top it would be even worse, as that's there all the time, and I'm not always on duty for both my groups.... If the name is displayed, and there are half a dozen - or more- where on earth would we find the space? I don't often let it get that high, but if I'm off duty on one group, I often don't want to spend time reading their messages when I could be working on the on-duty group!
Wanda I turned off FB chat cos it drove me mad interrupting me mid stream of doing something else.. .I used to use IRC years ago, well the mIRc version but never stayed very long, mainly went looking for stuff and once found was gone. . I would not be pleased with flashing anything on my browser.. Sorry Peter... I can't see the point if truth be told.. :/
Susanbanderson On MT I would like the red count to show if any of the messages was from a member...I read the mod threads in batches and risk missing a member message using just the red count. I know it's only one click to see the chats list, but I would be glad to know just from the red count up there that it was something requiring a response. Irrelevant on iLF. Bottom line for me, animation might be a bit of an unwanted distraction except for member messages on MT
a Peter I think people are right ,flashing can be annoying . I found the ones on freegle on the homepage really annoying. I actually went and found an add on for firefox to block them. I never was annoyed by the ones on IRC but really it was just the writing blinking. Not alot of difference in having your mobile ringing and lighting up. I guess something like the modding work needs doing signal might be acceptable. Although I don't really use IRC now. I used to love playing trivia on it with people all over the world. Also I found it useful for getting support using GIMP. # Peter
Elaine I agree that the ability to see, at a glance, whether there are messages from members would be nice. This might be somewhat difficult, though, as we are ALL members! I suppose the messages to this group could be excluded, but could messages from other mods on our group be excluded too? Can we exclude messages that are from members, but where another mod has responded? I can see that all these exclusions would be very hard to achieve, and I expect that other mods would have their own ideas about what should and shouldn't be included in the "alert" group, rather than the "as time permits".
David@Susan re distinguishing between "member chat " messages and say chat on say Tech and Central here on chat ....AFAIK we will replace the chat for Central and Tech when we move central and tech fully from yahoo so this is likely to change I do take your point that it is a priority to respond to member chat before say tech or Central stuff
Saira I really don't see the issue sorry - I'm on a lot of groups for one reason or another. I'm not online all the time, but if I check modtools when I am and there are 23 messages showing it's easy to scan the side panel, ignore Central with 10 and tech with 7 then just do the member posts. Click "mark read" if you're quick and you're done.
JacquiHmm, I don’t see central messages. I wonder if I have inadvertently blocked that thread. But yes, I agree with Saira - it’s not an issue for me either.

Freegle Tech Report.
February 2019