Tech Group Report 30.06.12

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Freegle Tech Report June 2012
Messages 9012-9361
Members 88
If anyone is interested in this stuff you are welcome to join us, even if you are technically challenged. Non techie mods who are willing to try out innovations are always appreciated, and it is useful to have people,who can look at stuff purely from an end user angle.



We were asked if we could think of something useful to do with the information of this website which lets you find and contact your MPs etc. And they have an API:
For example, if we wanted local groups to publicise press releases, providing them with the actual names and a contact link might be more encouraging than saying "you can use a site like.."Or maybe we can go further and use ?
Would anyone like to take on thinking about whether/what we should do with that?
No responses on Tech. Maybe you have ideas?


This is growing rapidly. Is there anything we should be doing with it?
Maybe something similar to Twitter, where it's basically advertising for us with links that pull people back to join the groups.
It was thought that photos could be linked automatically, but investigation suggests that they have not yet released the information (API) required by geeks to link it legally.
However anyone who is interested, in getting an account and a Freegle board and posting stuff themselves, would not do any harm.

Another new recycling website

It was noted it seems to be doing it has 100+K users Some discussion about whether we are going to end up with a two tier Freegle and whether we can perhaps suggest to groups who don’t want to use Freegle Direct whether we could set an independent one up. As it is not even possible to have Direct without a Yahoo account and Edward has no intention of changing this, the subject was dropped.


Discussion about volunteers with Geek abilities. All but possibly one of the batch recruited for the mobile app have disappeared .
a. Chris has written a list of skills and hardware used at present and put it on the wiki.
Freegle servers|
b. Edward will do one or more role specs. Edward did a quick list of tasks that they could do.
i.The homepage stuff that Stuart did for his group which he needs help making suitable for use by all groups.
ii Improving the Freegle Direct group settings; see we could do with adapting it to use a WYSIWYG editor (TinyMCE?).
iii Working with Ollie to provide a better way of customising posters/press releases/documents.
Integrating with theyworkforyou (see
iv.Doing a chrome version of the Member Plugin (
v. Checking whether we can do apps on GooglePlus yet and doing a proof of concept example.
vi Automating the regular check for whether someone is attempting to trademark Freegle (we'd object if they did but we don't want to trademark itself) by searching at and . A script that did that and mailed a result would be nice, as long as it was carefully written enough that it wouldn't stop working but think that it was working fine.
vii Working with Jo in Fife and Chris to automate maintenance and publication of the regular stats.
viii A PHP script which took a group plus the list at and told you the groups with x miles, using the Great Circle code at . We could then use this as a "Find

Data Disclosure/Protection Policy

We need to have one and discussion is ongoing.

Tech Task List

Edward has gone through this. Several he has done and closed .
Many have been closed as no longer required, or insufficient resources to do them.
Jackie has re-organised it.

Collage of Freegle Photos

Discussion about what could be done with a photo collage of Freegle photo.
It has now been put on the Direct joining page, and the Freegle Facebook page. Other groups can use it as well on their Facebook pages.
We are awaiting Pinterest to bring out an API and we may then put it on there.
It is now on the official website also.

Ilovefreegle Website

The contact page was revised, discussed and amended to suit.



The server has been getting glitches for a minute or two when all its memory is used as it swaps to server.
Edward did not want to throw more money at it ,with extra memory and has been working hard to find geeky solutions to cut down the number of processes..
Nevertheless we discussed it and decided, we would like to have some extra memory, to take some of the pressure off both the server and Edward..
Reps agreed we could spend an extra £10 a month to get an extra 1GB, which we have now done. This plus some more code changes (especially in the area of digests) have improved things somewhat.


A few enhancements have been made:
The posts on the wall page for FD groups will now include a picture of an item if we have one for which permission has been granted.
When you post yourself signed in using Facebook, if you add a picture then this picture will appear in the post for your own wall (the thing that pops up and asks you if you want to post it).
FD now resizes any large photos as part of uploading, rather than giving an error.


It was raised a while ago that we should have a category for Transport.
Several felt it would be beneficial to have one. However it has now been decided that the work involved, and the addition of a category for items which research showed fell below 5% does not warrant it.
A new task for reworking the categories along the lines of the Cambridge study will be opened.


Facebook access tokens will now expire every two months. This may cause groups to get ‘failure to republish’ mails. These are soon stopped by an admin clicking on which will automatically re-authorise. The possibility of an automated process will be looked into to.

Reminder messages

It was decided to suppress reminder messages for posts which had been responded to via the mod plug in. This has not yet been implemented yet, but would stops incorrect posts being reposted.
Changes were made to the way Freegle Direct's email digests work, to improve performance.
We are asked to keep an eye open for anything odd happening, or reports from members.
Mail Geeks @ if you have any problems with tech stuff going wrong.

Points raised and sorted.

Q.When we are asked what type of post something is, could have an option to delete it?
A.This has been solved a different way. Code has been added to the plug in to
synchronise the deletions.
Q. Can we have a spellchecker on the post contents box?
A. Yes done for Firefox and Google! It is not possible to have it on IE.
Q. FB/Fd members have a location box. It would be good if this information
could be passed to groups."
A. Yes now done.
Q.Can we have the coding for the groups ‘Direct preview page’ in the settings tab so that it could just be amended rather than redone?
A. This has now been done.
Q.When you use the ‘reply to all’ on Direct/Facebook it cc.s all the addresses can it bcc them instead?
A.This has now been done.

Points raised and outstanding

Q. No facility to change the wording on the Direct message maker, for groups who do not use postcodes.
A. One will be done.
Q.Can we have a combined send your preference and send comments process please? When I wanted to do both and saved my preferences I lost the comments I had made.
A. This is a good idea, but hasn’t yet been done.

 Yahoo stuff

Quick Join Box

In trying to add/invite a member it was found that certain types of email are not allowed. and it was asked if an update to the Join the Group box to detect such emails could be done.
Instead it is planned to phase out the Join the Group box, as Yahoo now prohibits new groups from being able to add members and this may well extend to all groups in time.


We were asked to check out by a couple of members
Cat said she had already and did not like their TOS also they would be tweeting while Britain slept so not a lot of use.


Christian our new Wilmslow mod has volunteered to take on tasks which need doing to keep the Wiki shipshape.

Problems raised and fixed

a. A problem with the link on Freegle Direct not taking people to the correct page, and them having to sign in.
Fixed within 30mins.
b..Duplicate posts. .
Prompt Investigation found and correct the error.
c. The find the group tab on FD/FB broke and was fixed.
d. FOP has been added to Direct and was putting it on wanted messages in error.
e. Some posts were being duplicated I
f.Problem with second and subsequent posts with photos not loading.
Worked on and fixed.
g Double Footer appearing on some groups. Sorted.
h.Subject auto-correction when there is no location. This had not been very good and has now been turned off. Please say if you are still getting any!.
i. Server went down once and was rebooted. May make the rebooting facility available to more than the current 3 available Geeks.
J.Quick Join went down, this is not located on our server. Server was rebooted.
k.Feeds stopped working for a few hours. It was fixed when it was realised.

Tasks outstanding

Work is ongoing on amalgamating the various privacy texts we have.
Artwork is required for the proposed reward scheme - the idea is that we will build a Freegle logo out of ‘bricks’, and if members have successfully invited five other members they get their name on a brick..

Questions raised and answered.

Q.Is there is subs string for group short name in the wiki? I want to create a link in an automated message.
A. I've added one for this: it will be in the next plug in update.
Q. Can the quick join be used without the group having the ‘Official Tag’?
A. No.
Q.I wanted to delete a post on Facebook/Direct but can’t seem to. Is it possible?
A.. You need to be logged into Facebook with an ID which is an Admin?
Q. What email address does a Freegle Direct member use to access the Yahoo MM and how would they know?
A.They can’t! They should use the one on Direct.
Q. My membership list does not sync on some of my groups?
A. The sync is group specific, so you have to have an access key and be on the correct configuration set for it to work.
Q. i am suddenly getting loads of republishing emails?
A. Have you changed your group settings? May be filled in your email addy in the debug box? This will notify you of every action and is usually only for use if you want to check stuff is working ok.

01.07 .12
Freegle Tech

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