Date   

locked Re: Group transfers feedback so far

Judy F.
 

Mark, I own sever Yahoo Groups and have full moderator control to at least 5 others.  We just have the main account.  With one of them having more than 17,000 members, that more than enough work.  LOL  I think this is the case with most of the sewing/embroidery groups out there. 

 

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Tuesday, January 06, 2015 7:08 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Group transfers feedback so far

 

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 4:26 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

I'm curious what makes that a high bar?

I was thinking that for most people using or creating a least-privileged mod account would be a lower bar than figuring out how to export the email address list from one's Yahoo Group. Especially for groups of over 1000 members.

The one potential "high bar" I can see is if one doesn't already have a "test" account or other fallow account to use, and also doesn't have a mobile phone number to give to Yahoo's account creation process.

Well, maybe I'm wrong. Do you think most moderators have a throwaway test account already signed up to their group? And that they wouldn't mind giving access to that account to someone else?

 

So, in this scenario, the steps would be:

- Make sure you have a test account signed up as moderator to your group

- Create a group on Groups.io

- Give me the account's log in information

- I grab the user list and direct add into your new group

 

 

Mark

 


locked Re: Group transfers feedback so far

 

On Mon, Jan 5, 2015 at 4:26 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:
I'm curious what makes that a high bar?

I was thinking that for most people using or creating a least-privileged mod account would be a lower bar than figuring out how to export the email address list from one's Yahoo Group. Especially for groups of over 1000 members.

The one potential "high bar" I can see is if one doesn't already have a "test" account or other fallow account to use, and also doesn't have a mobile phone number to give to Yahoo's account creation process.

Well, maybe I'm wrong. Do you think most moderators have a throwaway test account already signed up to their group? And that they wouldn't mind giving access to that account to someone else?

So, in this scenario, the steps would be:
- Make sure you have a test account signed up as moderator to your group
- Create a group on Groups.io
- Give me the account's log in information
- I grab the user list and direct add into your new group


Mark


locked Re: Encoding bug (wasGroup transfers)

Judy F.
 

Mark, I love your ‘nerd explanations’.  It always makes sense to me, especially since I’m not a techy.  Thank you.

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Monday, January 05, 2015 6:21 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Encoding bug (was Re: Group transfers)

 

fyi, I've fixed the encoding bug that Marlin's post triggered. 

 

<nerd explanation>It actually had nothing to do with encoding or decoding the email itself. Instead it was an issue with how we were sending the raw email between the various services that make up Groups.io. We use JSON to encode messages that we pass between the services, and in the process of encoding and decoding the raw email into the JSON message, the original encoding was getting stomped.</nerd explanation>

 

Mark


locked Re: Group transfers feedback so far

 

Mark,

Perhaps have the list owner create a temporary Yahoo Account, make it a
moderator or owner of the old group, and then provide you with the
sign-in credentials of that account (probably better via a web page than
email?). With those credentials you can have automation sign in to the
group and download the members list directly.

I think that'd definitely eliminate the possibility of shenanigans, but
I also think that's a very high bar for a group owner to go through in
order to transfer their group..
I'm curious what makes that a high bar?

I was thinking that for most people using or creating a least-privileged mod account would be a lower bar than figuring out how to export the email address list from one's Yahoo Group. Especially for groups of over 1000 members.

The one potential "high bar" I can see is if one doesn't already have a "test" account or other fallow account to use, and also doesn't have a mobile phone number to give to Yahoo's account creation process.

Here's another idea: What if, instead of doing the transfer all at once,
I pick a random set of email addresses to add to the group. ...
Advice to moderators: if you have any known malcontents in your group leave their address(es) off the list you give to Mark, lest they veto the move.

-- Shal


locked Site #changelog

 

Changes to the site over the past couple of days:

- Fixed digests when a message has been deleted before the digest was sent out, which could lead to empty digests
- Pluses in file/directory names were causing problems
- Files search was broken
- Fixed the "Marlin message encoding issue" :-)
- Made the check on Content-Transfer-Encoding be case insensitive (some archived emails were not properly displayed because of this)
- Fixed the blank display of HTML messages in the archives that have <meta> tags inside <body> tags.


Mark


locked Group transfers feedback so far

 

Summarizing the feedback so far from my proposal on group transfers. The original proposal:

- Create the new group at Groups.io
- Change the description of your existing group to include a link to the new group at Groups.io. Something like "This group has moved to https://groups.io/org/groupsio/GROUPNAME".
- Email the member list and a link to the old group to a support account I'll set up.
- I'll verify that the old group's description has been changed, and directly add the members to the new group.

Several people thought it was a good plan.

Marlin brought up the issue that it can be difficult to get a complete member list out of Y! Groups. Also, there's a potential for mischief on the part of a moderator trying to hijack a group. I think that potential is probably pretty low. And Ronaldo mentioned that there should be a warning against abusing the group transfer system and that we should track complaints. I completely agree with this.

Shal had a good point:

While this method verifies that you're in contact with an owner (or sufficiently privileged moderator) of a group, you have no verification that the addresses provided actually come from the membership list of that group. In that sense it is only marginally better than an open Add policy.

And he had a suggestion:

Perhaps have the list owner create a temporary Yahoo Account, make it a moderator or owner of the old group, and then provide you with the sign-in credentials of that account (probably better via a web page than email?). With those credentials you can have automation sign in to the group and download the members list directly.

I think that'd definitely eliminate the possibility of shenanigans, but I also think that's a very high bar for a group owner to go through in order to transfer their group..

Here's another idea: What if, instead of doing the transfer all at once, I pick a random set of email addresses to add to the group. When they're added, the email welcoming them to the group mentions the old group name and asks them to reply if they were not a part of that group. I could set it up so that the transfer happens over a couple of days (a random set of people get added every day), and that the group is 'locked' until the transfer is complete, meaning no messages could go out to the group during that time. If I get complaints, the transfer process is halted.


Thanks,
Mark
(this reminds me of a future feature I'd like to add, something that helps people create summaries of threads)


locked Encoding bug (wasGroup transfers)

 

fyi, I've fixed the encoding bug that Marlin's post triggered. 

<nerd explanation>It actually had nothing to do with encoding or decoding the email itself. Instead it was an issue with how we were sending the raw email between the various services that make up Groups.io. We use JSON to encode messages that we pass between the services, and in the process of encoding and decoding the raw email into the JSON message, the original encoding was getting stomped.</nerd explanation>

Mark


locked Re: Group transfers

 

Mark,

Every message does get converted to UTF-8 when we first receive it, so
that we can look for and remove any Groups.io footers in replies. But we
convert it right back to the original encoding before sending it out and
saving it in the database.
The reason I'm concerned about conversions is that they are a source of error.

A member of my GMF group on Yahoo ceased to be able to use Google groups because her group used a non-ISO encoding (koi8-r) in their emails and the translation to UTF-8 permanently corrupted the text. For their purposes it wasn't so important that the Archive was corrupt, but when Google Groups translated their email messages they became unusable - they could not be translated back. So, at least up until Neo, they stuck with Yahoo Groups because the individual messages were passed through without translation.

-- Shal


locked Re: Files - search

 

Hi Frances,

Good catch. There were a couple bugs involved there, and they've been fixed. Please let me know if you see any other problems.

Thanks,
Mark

On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 7:05 AM, Frances <travel@...> wrote:
Hi Mark,

The search function does not work in Files. Can’t retrieve names of files. 

This is the link I get from my searches:
and

But no content in the pages.

Using Safari 8.0.2

Frances




locked Re: Group transfers

 

On Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 1:41 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

The lesson for Groups.io is that messages posted by email have a specified character set, and that should be preserved in messages passed through. But as displayed in the archive, and as built into digests, careful handling is required. Perhaps the best approach is to convert the text to UTF-8 encoding, but that has its own issues.


We do pay attention to character set encodings, along with content-transfer-encodings, and we do preserve the encodings. All Groups.io web pages are UTF-8, so when displaying archives, we convert whatever encoding the original message is in to UTF-8. When a message is edited through the web site, we convert the UTF-8 encoded edited message back to the original encoding of the email (along with preserving the original content-transfer-encoding).

Every message does get converted to UTF-8 when we first receive it, so that we can look for and remove any Groups.io footers in replies. But we convert it right back to the original encoding before sending it out and saving it in the database.

All of that adds a "fun" layer of complexity to things, but I'm unaware of any bugs with how we handle things. We take care to ignore any badly encoded bytes, which we do unfortunately encounter; we try to decode as much as possible.

I haven't had a chance yet to look at what happened with Marlin's email. 

Thanks,
Mark


locked Re: Group transfers

Marlin47
 

Shal, it is just a little bit more complicated than I suspected.

I have a test group on groups.io, just like you do.

After extensive testing today, I have found that if I send a new message, regardless of what I try, I cannot get it to do all the garbage.

But, if I forward that original message that first caused all the trouble, it screws up every time.

So, apparently it has something to do with whatever else is in the message.

It must be that quoted text sets something up to not be able to cope with the double spaces and quotation marks.

Anyway, I received the message from Mark saying that he noticed it. Not sure if anything needs to be done, Mark, maybe it is just the nature of the beast, as they say.

Marlin

On 1/4/2015 3:41 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Marlin,

As I see it now, what I did was a double space.

Just a double space between words, and the next character was a
quotation mark.
It is fairly common for rich-text systems, such as HTML, to turn successive spaces into non-breaking spaces. Such systems typically collapse multiple spaces into a single space, but the conversion to non-breaking spaces preserves the original count of spaces.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-breaking_space

The unfortunate thing, in this case, is that non-breaking space isn't encoded in the base 7-bit ASCII set that is common to most character sets. The result is that it gets mis-interpreted when a system uses a different character set than the original.

The lesson for Groups.io is that messages posted by email have a specified character set, and that should be preserved in messages passed through. But as displayed in the archive, and as built into digests, careful handling is required. Perhaps the best approach is to convert the text to UTF-8 encoding, but that has its own issues.

My recommendation for the Archives would be to preserve the original message text unaltered, and capture the character set encoding as metadata. Then convert to UTF-8 on the fly for display. If a message gets edited update the metadata to reflect the character set used in the editing - presumably UTF-8. Of course that means the metadata must be versioned along with the text.

It really had me all kinds of upset, enough so that I shut the computer
down and walked away.
Nothing to be upset about, just computers being incompatible as standards change over time.

-- Shal





locked Re: Group transfers

 

Marlin,

As I see it now, what I did was a double space.

Just a double space between words, and the next character was a
quotation mark.
It is fairly common for rich-text systems, such as HTML, to turn successive spaces into non-breaking spaces. Such systems typically collapse multiple spaces into a single space, but the conversion to non-breaking spaces preserves the original count of spaces.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-breaking_space

The unfortunate thing, in this case, is that non-breaking space isn't encoded in the base 7-bit ASCII set that is common to most character sets. The result is that it gets mis-interpreted when a system uses a different character set than the original.

The lesson for Groups.io is that messages posted by email have a specified character set, and that should be preserved in messages passed through. But as displayed in the archive, and as built into digests, careful handling is required. Perhaps the best approach is to convert the text to UTF-8 encoding, but that has its own issues.

My recommendation for the Archives would be to preserve the original message text unaltered, and capture the character set encoding as metadata. Then convert to UTF-8 on the fly for display. If a message gets edited update the metadata to reflect the character set used in the editing - presumably UTF-8. Of course that means the metadata must be versioned along with the text.

It really had me all kinds of upset, enough so that I shut the computer
down and walked away.
Nothing to be upset about, just computers being incompatible as standards change over time.

-- Shal


locked Re: Group transfers

 

On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 9:07 PM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

The odder thing is that the text of your recent two messages are invisible in the Archive, except in View Source. This may have something to do with leaving quoted material at the top of the message.

I noticed that as well. I was able to spend some time looking at it, but I don't think I'll be able to fix that bug until tomorrow.

Lots of great discussion about group transfers, and I really appreciate it. Please keep it coming. I'll add my 2 cents later today or tomorrow morning when I have some time.

Thanks!
Mark
 


locked Re: Wiki

 

Hi Ellen,

You can change the title of any wiki page as well as delete any wiki page. You can always delete everything and you'll be back exactly at the beginning at any time.

Hope this helps.
Mark

On Sat, Jan 3, 2015 at 11:10 AM, Ellen <esbaru@...> wrote:

Frances,

Thanks for the information. Do you know if it's possible to totally delete a Wiki or at least change the title of a wiki? My first concern is how careful I need to be in the naming of a wiki.



locked Re: Group transfers

Marlin47
 

Thanks for the explanation, Shal.

I have seen other discussions about this sort of thing, but, it had never happened to me that I know of.

It went from bad to worse, real quick, when I replied to my own reply and it did it again.

As I see it now, what I did was a double space.

Just a double space between words, and the next character was a quotation mark.

It really had me all kinds of upset, enough so that I shut the computer down and walked away.

But, I am ok now.

Maybe.

Marlin

On 1/3/2015 11:07 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
Marlin,

I don't know what all the characters are in that text I just sent, in
green, between the word�� "in"� and the word� "a".
It was probably a non-breaking space, originally.

You have Thunderbird set to encode your outbound messages in the Windows-1252 character set. One cure for that would be to set it to UTF-8, which will work better with most web sites and email systems (but work poorly with some legacy email systems, such as my Eudora Classic).

When seen by a system expecting UTF-8 that turned into the unicode Replacement Character - a white question mark inside a black diamond - a character used to replace an invalid UTF-8 sequence. That's what shows in the View Source view of your message in the Archives.

Then, that replacement character, seen in a system expecting Windows-1252 or one of the ISO character sets, would look like three symbols from the top of the character set.

The odder thing is that the text of your recent two messages are invisible in the Archive, except in View Source. This may have something to do with leaving quoted material at the top of the message.

-- Shal


locked preventing add -abuse

ro-esp
 

People, I don't think proving you have a an existing groups is enough. We need to have some way of "punishing" people who abuse the "add members" feature.

The easiest one I can think of right away is to have something in the "you've been added" message like:

groups.io does not want to spam. If you have been added against your will, please notify [email adress] instead of flagging the messages, so we can take the proper action against the abuse


Obviously, the person at that e-mail-adress should give the abusive listowner/moderator one or two warnings, and if they persist.. close the group

groetjes, Ronaldo

--
http://www.esperanto.net http://www.moneyasdebt.net


locked Files - search

Frances
 

Hi Mark,

The search function does not work in Files. Can’t retrieve names of files. 

This is the link I get from my searches:
and

But no content in the pages.

Using Safari 8.0.2

Frances



locked Re: Edits, deletions, moderation, oh my!

 

Mark,

- If a user (or group) is moderated, approval will be needed by the
moderators before an edit or deletion happens.
I concur that a member should always have the ability to delete his/her own messages, even if edits or postings by that member are moderated.

- If a user (or group) is moderated, any calendar, files or wiki action
will also require approval (assuming the person has the authority to do
those actions in the first place). Basically, this changes the
definition of moderated from just posting messages, to any action in the
group.
That should probably be separate controls for the separate areas. I can well imagine a group wanting to have moderated messages and events, but not files or wiki pages. Or some other combination.

- And do you want the second phase? I'm happy to do it, but it'll be a
bunch of work.
I definitely want the ability to moderate the posting of events, as their reminders generate emails to the members. I don't think the wiki needs it, I'm less certain about Files.

And for the hard questions, about subjects and threads and hashtags.
Right now, you can't edit the subject of an individual message, you can
only edit the subject of the thread. It's not clear to me what should
happen if we let people edit individual message subjects. For example,
if you change the subject of a message in the middle of a thread, should
that split the thread into two different threads in the archives?
I'd look at this the other way around: the moderators/owners who want to keep their archives organized would want to have a method to move messages to a new or different topic. In that world-view the editing of the subject text for the topic is a secondary consideration.

The UI for this probably should take into account separately the Subject match and the header fields (In-Reply-To, References) of the message(s) in question, allowing the moderator to choose one or the other for the purposes of re-joining a message that was erroneously made a new topic due to the default "AND" processing. That probably being one of the most common use cases.

But it should also have an ability to make a message (and those that reply to it) a new topic, or to connect it (them) to an arbitrary topic.

And should a 'normal' user be allowed to do that? Should editing
subjects just be for moderators?
I think changing the topic structure should be a moderator-only capability. If members are allowed to edit the subject (and I don't see a reason that they shouldn't, subject to the same rules as editing the body), that edit should not affect the topic structure.

-- Shal


locked Re: Taglines

 

Chris,

I think that it would be useful to be able to list your relation to a
topic next to your name via a tagline. Specifically, this is a group
specific text label that would be displayed next to your name within the
Groups.io interface.
Another way of looking at this is like the sig-lines familiar to email systems. In Gmail, for example, this would be the "Signature" that one can specify through the General Settings page. Likewise in Yahoo Mail it is on the Writing email settings page.

A member could configure this via the Subscription page for each group.

How would this be handled via email?
In messages generated via the Groups.io interface or posted by email it would be simple enough to append the sig-line to the message body. Then it would show in the Archive as well as in messages received by email. They could be distinguished using the Usenet standard "hyphen, hyphen, space" as a separating line.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signature_block

In the Archives they could perhaps be detected and displayed at the top, next to the posting member's name rather than at the bottom of the message, if they are not too long. A length restriction could be part of the detection method, leaving the signature at the bottom of the message if it is too long.

-- Shal


locked Re: Group transfers

 

Marlin,

I don't know what all the characters are in that text I just sent, in
green, between the word�� "in"� and the word� "a".
It was probably a non-breaking space, originally.

You have Thunderbird set to encode your outbound messages in the Windows-1252 character set. One cure for that would be to set it to UTF-8, which will work better with most web sites and email systems (but work poorly with some legacy email systems, such as my Eudora Classic).

When seen by a system expecting UTF-8 that turned into the unicode Replacement Character - a white question mark inside a black diamond - a character used to replace an invalid UTF-8 sequence. That's what shows in the View Source view of your message in the Archives.

Then, that replacement character, seen in a system expecting Windows-1252 or one of the ISO character sets, would look like three symbols from the top of the character set.

The odder thing is that the text of your recent two messages are invisible in the Archive, except in View Source. This may have something to do with leaving quoted material at the top of the message.

-- Shal