Freegle Tech Report 19-09-30

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Freegle Tech Report
September 2019
Posts 27544-27751


Edward has been reworking the code for some time now and a pile of changes were implemented mid month with few problems, which were all promptly fixed. However if you have noticed anything unusual do let the Geeks know.
Some of the job Ads were set too far away from the groups they were on. so Edward has done a fix until the company gets around to sorting it out.
Discourse is being prepared for Tech group and should be live soon. As all mods should be able to access the new format, there will probably be some changes to the monthly report.
At the beginning of the month one of our servers was broken during an upgrade and down for a while. Some mails were stuck for a while but all sorted same day.
Prompted by a query, I repeated some analysis I did when we first introduced autoreposts, to see how successful reposts have been over the last 100 days (i.e. for an OFFER whether it's TAKEN or a WANTED whether it's RECEIVED). The results were interesting (in a geeky way) so I thought I'd share them here.
What the graph showed is that after the first couple of postings the chance of a post being successful remains the same no matter how many times it has been reposted. I think that's probably because most people dip in and out of Freegle.
Less than 10% of posts get as far as 4 reposts and less than 2% as part as 7, Because of group settings, or because they've been taken/received/withdrawn. But for those few posts that do the success rate is pretty stable .



Trying to check who asked for items I offered on the FD app I go into my posts and I can see the mark as taken and other buttons. The only sign of member replies is a chat bubble with a number, when I click it, the screen jumps but no messages show. I can't read messages on any of my posts using the app.
A,Thanks, I'd broken the display of replies on the My Posts page, okay now.
I was about to engage in a discussion with a member about one of my unwanted items using the app. I couldn't remember what the bell icon does or did so I pressed it. Immediately I'm aware that I have now nudged the member for no reason; Clicking it again did not work.
Can we have the option to delete a message if it has not been read or acknowledged by the recipient?
A. Deleting messages after send is possible, but only for a minute or two because after that they'll have been sent out by email if they weren't read. So I'm not sure that's worth it. There's an argument for putting a popup confirm on nudge the first time you use it. I'll look at that in the new version.
Q. Went to Chit Chat, typed my comment in the box that says "Write a comment", clicked "comment"... and... NOTHING.
A. Hit enter and it will go.
Q We’ve had a run on various scammers the past few weeks the most recent for a PS4. Out of curiosity, and because of the changes you have made recently I thought I’d check that the chats had the warning notice that gets inserted when we approve someone as a scammer/spammer. None of the chats have the notification, and in one there are 63 replies.. Is this broken or does it take a couple of hours to filter thru to them?
A I've checked the code, and that warning goes out as a separate email - it doesn't appear in the chat that you can view on MT. As well as the email, if you impersonate one of the people who's been talking to a spammer then you'll see that the chat box is removed and a warning shown.


  • A bug found in Message counts on the approved posts was found and fixed.
  • We had an intermittent fault whereby some messages approved by moderators appear on Modtools as "approved by" but then no name, whereas others say approved by {whoever).

Google link to one group was showing the information from the closed one.

Member settings
For the new version of FD. Edward's been thinking about how to deal with the complexity of email settings, especially the fact that you might want different email settings on different groups.
We can work out whether or not you have the same settings on all groups - which you would, of course, if you were only on one group, but also if you'd joined multiple groups but not changed the default settings. This is common for many members.
We will have a simple screen for those members who if they decide to have something different can click on Advanced settings. Other members and most moderators will log in to the Advanced settings screen automatically,

Mod Tools

Development (used by some mods to test changes) did some strange things for a while until fixed. and we were asked to use the normal modtools for a while.
I was just updating some of our config messages and see we have a string for member ID $memberid which can be a bit impersonal and is sometimes just nos Do we have one that picks out their real name from their settings the your name bit see below so something like $memname  ???
A I've added $membername, but it probably won't be live until after I get back from holiday.


In line with the decision to leave Yahoo at the 2018 AGM and Freegle-Tech deciding on Discourse in November 2018 Chris has finally got things moving. He has submitted a proposal to the board to be paid to get the new system up to speed and help move groups across to Discourse, starting with Tech - which they've approved.
He has already started work to ensure that the Discourse system data is backed up - and will set up a standby instance to take over (manually) if the first goes kaput. He will also work with Ed to improve the sign in system (via ModTools) so that it will work even if the main Freegle system is down. Once the technicalities are in place, my plan is to produce some documentation on the wiki to help you find your way round the new system and answer any questions. Eventually the plan is for Discourse to appear seamlessly within ModTools.
Experienced Discourse user James C has volunteered to continue his help running the system.
He's hoping to get the technicalities sorted in about a week, along with a first version of the instructions. At that point I suggest giving a week's notice of the move. I hope that the wiki will answer any questions in due course.
The Discourse platform is now hopefully ready to use - and the plan is to move Tech there first. Although hopefully self-explanatory, some instructions can be found here:
Please read these carefully and let Chris know if you have any comments.
All Tech users (as of last week) have an account created on Discourse with their mail preferences hopefully matching those of the Yahoo Tech group. All outgoing mail is switched OFF until we go live but Discourse can be used now.
Please try out some of the features on these categories:
If all looks OK, I suggest that we switch over to use Discourse for Tech next weekend.
We can then use it for real for a while before switching over the other Freegle groups.

List of changes to the New Client Code for September
Use Axios proxy to avoid CORS issues
Not selecting chat properly on page load
Promise button in chat
Support promise/renege chat messages
Promise/unpromise from My Posts
Tidy reply layout Enable user ratings
Change way we expand messages on My Posts
Don't focus on chitchat post box as this isn't right on mobile
Add session fetch cache using store
Reinstate throttling of when we save store to local storage, for perf reasons
Button on My Posts to start chat
Show replies in My Posts
Hide/show old OFFERs
Tree shaking
More investigation of reducing bundle size
Defer loading of large FilePond file upload component until we actually need it
Fix to lazyloading and its dependencies
Show unread message count on My Posts
Minor bug
Switch from moment to dayjs to reduce bundle size
Shave a little off the bundle size
Fix some erros
Start work on My Posts
Edit in chitchat
Improvements to event/volunteer ops on chitchat
Add remaining notification types
Trigger infinite scroll more rapidly
Fix colour on navbar
Fix performance issue navigating away from pages
Add chat message of type complete
Add chat message of type interested
Add chat message of type image
Improve styling of chat messages
Vuex reducer causing effective hang
Fix popup chat drag handle
Switch from dev to dbg server
Groups not saved in store correctly
Bug in autocomplete on Android
Add some debug for mobile
Reload route if click on same navbar link
Navbar fixes
) Leave button in Settings
Holiday email setting
Various notification settings
Fix mobile navbar
Per group email settings
Simple email settings
Account settings
Add Delete button for chitchat reply
Start work on Settings page
Combine chitchat highlighting and readmore
More login fixes
Add read more for long chitchat entries
Move login into separate component, which fixes a bug
Style tweaks to user profile
Popup user profile info from chat
Nudge in chat
Chat message of type Address
Don't show photo carousel if just one photo
Successful attempt at saving passwords
Spot when we're logged out on the server and update store
dd a couple of TODOs
) Nits
More small screen changes, mostly settings
More small screen changes, mostly chat
More Mobile improvements
Mobile improvements
Fix screen flicker on chitchat, scroll to bottom of chat
Restrict place autocomplete to regions
Fix SSR in Explore Group
Back to universal
Add photo to chitchat replies
Notification count tweaks
Add poll for notification count
Notification seen handling
User profile page
Join/leave buttons on Explore
Contact volunteers button
Explore regions
Explore page done
More work on Explore
Start Explore page
Landing page
Handle new users when posting
Reject and resubmit from chat/My Posts
Message Edit
Improve sizing on reply box
Share button
Withdraw on My Posts
Mark as TAKEN
Improve display on My Posts
Basic pruning for long threads
Click on chitchat to show user profile
) Chat store sync problems
Fetch user car crash

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

  • Blank page when loading jobs with a privacy blocker

...and here are the ones which are minor, or only affect volunteers in ModTools, or are internal changes that you wouldn't notice: Fromuid header not working
Change accepted SSL transports to make work against new web server
Make server side rendering work with webpack build
Scripts script not fully retired
Recent commits script should check both client and server repositories
UT fixes and more code removal
Better fix to chat review issue
Remove client-side code from this repository
Speedup: cache modmail count separately to avoid slow queries on logs table
Yahoo message sync should only look for recent messages to avoid slow query
) Add TODO to retire
Add header to chat notify messages to indicate UID of sender
Script to list emails of people who've asked for business cards
Email notifications for mod chats are linking to FD rather than MT
Add code for waste authorities
Speed up indexing/deindexing
Spam keyword check needs to be case-insensitive
Remove messages from the search index once they're older than 30 days and haven't been reposted. We need to do this to save disk space.


Development (used by some mods to test changes) did some strange things for a while until fixed. and we were asked to use the normal modtools for a while.


Not sure you can filter these out but have loads of spam to owner addresses today all ending with the .ru domain. Either about inheritance or investing. Any way you can pick these up before they get sent out? I know you have a system that can spot them in messages or replies but not sure if that works with the owner addy’s. They’re all different email accounts too. I've done a check, and it does look like all mails from .ru addresses are spam. I can't find any genuine ones this year.
A. I'll block those, but I don't want to do it until I get back from holiday in case everything breaks.

Tech Chat

Jo Have posted to the central chat but was suggested I post here - accidentally marked a chat re elder trees on Perth around 8am as spam, it wasn't - fat fingers first thing. Hoping it can be rescued.
Edward Hibbert I've rescued it.
Liz Hi folks! This member has been having problems for a while checked his membership it all looks fine I checked his Logs and he's logged in twice it looks like DavidLiz Re the repost emails AFAIK members just get asked if they wish to repost and item and by default it will be unless its been marked as taken he didnt need to anything (It will repost to your setting for reposts in your group settings for in our case 3 days)
OK I had a look and he seems to have two accounts one with Trashnothing and one on Freegle Direct So I would ask him which account he wants to keep and I would recommend the Freegle Direct one
I could not find any active posts (and if he has one can you ask what was the subject line and I also checked the view wanteds and offers and that seems to be working on Freegle Direct so maybe ask for whee he is searching as it may be trashnothing
Jeni@Liz Not sure if it's the same but we had several members complain they were not getting replies a few months ago. It turned out they had all turned Chat off in their settings because they thought they would get lots of stuff like Facebook. They then waited for emails to let them know of replies which of course did not come and they were not checking their own FD page. We sent out an Admin and it seems they actually read that one because, as far as we know, it seems to have sorted it.

LizThanks folks all makes sense I'll get back to him thanks for taking the time to explain :-)
Lindsay Walker@Jeni how do people turn off Chat? I just had a look in my FD settings and can't see what to do. Lindsay.
Wanda@Lindsey You can't turn off chat but you can turn off chat notifications. You have to keep scrolling down a good bit in settings, it's near the bottom after the bit with individual group settings and below the bit about general Freegle notifications but above the bit about push notifications I think. .Anyway just keep scrolling you'll find it in the multitude [ok slight exaggeration lol] of mail settings.
Lindsay WalkerYeah can see that. I understand! Just checking as I'm atm dealing with a query from a member who says they can't find the 'chat' icon. So I naturally thought that maybe they had somehow turned chat off. Thanks Jeni and Wanda. :-) Lindsay
JeniI wouldn't recommend anyone turn off Chat notifications - unless they are going to check their own posts for any replies frequently. I didn't like the naming of replies to any Offers as Chats when the general "everyone talking to each other" is Chit Chat. I think it is muddling for people - but we lost that argument :-)
LizHi folks! Member just going through her posts to mark them TAKEN she didn't have any problem with all but one when she clicked the drop down menu she said the options were jumping so fast she couldn't mark it. I've not come across this before does anyone have any idea's? Thanks Liz

Freegle Tech Report
September 2019

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