#### moderated Testing Notifications; Fault or Feature?

Chris Jones

Mark; I know you are on leave at the moment but I hope you will spot this and answer it on your return.

When I switched on this morning there was a (File upload) Notification awaiting moderation, which I found slightly surprising. The member had uploaded 3 files within the "window" so the single Notification contained the 3 separate files.  A visit to the group's Activity log provided the following: Integration sent message "File Notifications #file-notice" requiring approval because it's a moderated integration message via email. I haven't fully tested everything yet but the implication is that a "single upload notification" would pass through without moderation being required. The actual uploads took place in real time without moderation. (Expected!)

I carried out some tests using a test group to which I have access but I finished up more confused than when I started. For the avoidance of doubt I have 2 memberships of that test group (i.e. I have two Groups.io Accounts); one as a moderator and the second set to "member" for these tests, and I was careful to ensure that I was only logged in to one or other account at a time; never both together. Uploads were only done using the "member" account

I was unable to replicate what I had observed earlier. In all cases the member notification went through without the need for moderation.

Some clarification about the "protocol" would be greatly appreciated.

There were additional anomalies...

Individual File Notifications were titled: File /<file name>.docx uploaded. (Plus Hashtag) A collective notification was titled File Notification. (Plus Hashtag). IMO the incorporation of the File Name into a single notification is wrong; all (file) notifications should be titled File Notification (Plus Hashtag)

Another source of puzzlement was as follows: the "Uploaded By" column in Files had  my member Display Name shown (expected). However, the Notifications showed the uploads as having been carried out by my moderator Display Name (NOT expected). (Notifications here means both the emailed and web UI versions) As stated above at the time I carried out the uploads I was only logged in with my "member" account. FWIW I have seen that behaviour on a previous occasion but didn't think to worry about it.

Something is telling me that this last oddity may well be involved with the first one above, but some clarification would again be greatly welcome.

As an aside, having found (the hard way) that it is very easy to forget to tick a "notify" checkbox when doing multiple uploads, my current view is that the File & Photo checkboxes should be checked by default. Better still (to satisfy both schools of thought) the default state should be moderator settable in Settings.

Chris

Andy Wedge

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 05:09 PM, Chris Jones wrote:
As an aside, having found (the hard way) that it is very easy to forget to tick a "notify" checkbox when doing multiple uploads, my current view is that the File & Photo checkboxes should be checked by default. Better still (to satisfy both schools of thought) the default state should be moderator settable in Settings.
If the default option of checked/unchecked is settable my a Moderator I could live with that as I would have it unchecked. Having it checked by default again would just cause more complaints about unwanted emails as most people would not consider (or just forget) to uncheck it. If it went back to checked by default I'd be left with moderating the hashtag and trying to decide whether the message was really intended by the uploader or not, which would be a PITA when I could spend my time doing other things.

Andy

Chris Jones

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 05:09 PM, I wrote:
I was unable to replicate what I had observed earlier. In all cases the member notification went through without the need for moderation.

Some clarification about the "protocol" would be greatly appreciated.
It suddenly occurred to me that the moderation requirement seen this morning could be a function of the moderation status of the "uploader", based on remembering that this morning's upload was by a moderated member while some photos uploaded by an unmoderated member 12 days ago resulted in a notification that did not require moderation.

Again I was unable to replicate this possibility on a test group by making my second membership "moderated". The notification happened without moderation, but again seemed to use the wrong Display Name in the notification.

I am more bewlidered than ever.

As to Andy W's Having it checked by default again would just cause more complaints about unwanted emails as most people would not consider (or just forget) to uncheck it...

I do understand your point but my perspective is that of being heartily fed up with members who upload "stuff"  without bothering to announce the fact. The upshot is that the wider membership has no idea that it's been uploaded, presumably with the intention of their reading / seeing it, and that I and the other moderators have to trawl through the Activity Log to find out what odd corner things have been put in.

A push notification is too transient to be of any help here.

Chris

Chris,

... Integration sent message "File Notifications #file-notice"
requiring approval because it's a moderated integration message via
email.
I believe the word Integration there is a misnomer, relating to the Admin | Integrations feature. Not to be confused with the combiner.

I haven't fully tested everything yet but the implication is that a
"single upload notification" would pass through without moderation
being required.
I believe the inference is incorrect, caused by the terminology error in the Activity log entry.

I was unable to replicate what I had observed earlier. In all cases
the member notification went through without the need for moderation.
If the notifications were "To:" your personal address then they were Moderator Notices (my terminology), and moderation is not required.

If they were "To:" the group posting address the they were Group Notices (again my terminology) and should obey both the group's Moderation setting and the Moderated checkbox in the hashtag for that notice.

IMO the incorporation of the File Name into a single notification is
wrong; ...
Why? I think it is better to provide the additional information in the subject, when appropriate.

Another source of puzzlement was as follows: the "Uploaded By" column
in Files had my /member/ Display Name shown (expected). However, the
Notifications showed the uploads as having been carried out by my
moderator Display Name (NOT expected).
Oh, that is weird. Looking at the upload of 1:08pm today (PDT)...

I see the same discrepancy between the Files list and both the Moderator Notices and Group Notices I received for those files you uploaded. I think the combiner somehow combined more than it should have, attributing all the individual actions to one (the first?) actor.

Shal

Chris,

It suddenly occurred to me that the moderation requirement seen this
morning could be a function of the moderation status of the "uploader"
Possibly, but if it is I don't think it should be.

... my perspective is that of being heartily fed up with members who
upload "stuff" without bothering to announce the fact. ... and that I
and the other moderators have to trawl through the Activity Log to
find out what odd corner things have been put in.
You and the other moderators should receive the Moderator Notice for the action without regard for whether the actor chose to check "Notify Members".

If that's not working I think that would be a bug. This is really the core function I want from the Notification Overhaul.

A push notification is too transient to be of any help here.
For that reason I'll always keep email enabled for Moderator Notices. I'm not sure I'll use the Web/App delivery method at all. Its key advantage (from my point of view) is that it doesn't have the combiner delay, and that may not be enough to entice me.

Shal

Chris Jones

On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 12:10 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
Another source of puzzlement was as follows: the "Uploaded By" column
in Files had my /member/ Display Name shown (expected). However, the
Notifications showed the uploads as having been carried out by my
moderator Display Name (NOT expected).
Oh, that is weird. Looking at the upload of 1:08pm today (PDT)...

I see the same discrepancy between the Files list and both the Moderator Notices and Group Notices I received for those files you uploaded. I think the combiner somehow combined more than it should have, attributing all the individual actions to one (the first?) actor.
I have at least got somewhere with this anomaly...

The emailed "attribution" uses the Account Display Name, not the individual Group Display Name. My 2 Account D/Ns were the same; I edited one of them and the "fault" followed the change.

Mark: is that intentional? It seems wrong to me.

More investigations to follow.

Chris

Chris,

On Wed, Jul 1, 2020 at 4:01 AM Chris Jones via groups.io <chrisjones12=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

The emailed "attribution" uses the Account Display Name, not the individual Group Display Name. My 2 Account D/Ns were the same; I edited one of them and the "fault" followed the change.

Mark: is that intentional? It seems wrong to me.

Not intentional, it was a bug. Just fixed.

Thanks,
Mark

Chris Jones

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 06:24 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Not intentional, it was a bug. Just fixed.
Mark; many thanks. I have done some further investigations that have (I think) revealed further oddities.

At one point I thought I had actually broken Groups.io, or at least one corner of it.

I'll try to report within 48 hours.

Chris

Chris Jones

On Mon, Jul 6, 2020 at 08:24 PM, I wrote:
I'll try to report within 48 hours.
I am going to split this into two chunks. The first one is below.

Having carried out a whole series of tests my first batch of observations and suggestions is set out below. I would like to think that they are “complete” but there almost certainly things that I have missed. (Sorry!)

Simple – to – report things first:

•  The creation of a Folder is notified, but the creation of a photo Album is not. (Note: there is a mix of terminology here; in the Activity log a Folder is called a directory, and the Notification refers to a directory as well; IMHO it would be better if the word directory was not used.

• The Move of a.File is notified, but the Move of a Photo is not. FWIW there is no available entry in the Activity log for the movement of a Photo.

• If a Photo is Edited, e.g. by adding some Description or changing its Name then a Notification is generated but the notification is to the effect that a new upload has taken place. This has the potential to be profoundly confusing. (Name changing can be a useful way of determining the order in which photos are displayed in an album, and adding a Description cannot be done at the time of upload; it can only be done by editing; neither action should be seen as in any way unusual. ) Edits should be notified as edits, not new uploads.

• Notifications of Folder / File activities are by instigator’s Display Name only but Notifications of Album / Photo activity are by Display Name and email address.  It should be by Display name only.

• At this time deletions, edits and the like are not sent to the original owner of the material. If that notification is introduced, then it is essential that the notification is an accurate summary of what was done and not a complete mis – description. I would suggest that any such edit provides the option of including a “Reason for Edit” that can (again optionally) be fed back to the original owner.  That “reason for edit” would not need to be stored for future reference; its only purpose would be to advise the material’s originator of why changes were being made.

Having said that while "uploaders" have the ability to not notify members of an upload I would prefer to have the ability to not inform original uploaders of any edits or deletions.

I'll go away and prepare the second batch, some of which are more complex... :(

Chris

Chris Jones

On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 03:49 PM, I wrote:
I'll go away and prepare the second batch, some of which are more complex
In the event things were not as complex as I anticipated...

What follows is based on the assumption that Moderators have Files & Photos Notifications on.

Group Notifications of uploads are moderated (or not) according to the group Moderation Setting, not those of the individual members.

Suggestion 1: consider making all Group Notifications unmoderated, with Group Owners / Moderators deciding their preferences and setting the relevant hashtags accordingly. (It is perhaps worth bearing in mind that hitherto File uploads have been “instantly” notified. i.e. unmoderated. This suggestion would IMHO most closely match what existed.)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Where an individual member chooses to notify the membership of an upload the existing configuration sends Moderators (a) a Moderator Notification, (b) a Moderation Notification (subject to Group Moderation Setting – see above) and (c) the “published” message, i.e. 2 or perhaps 3 related notifications.

In addition, (a) and (b) are visually almost identical, and their arrival in order (a)(b) is not certain. (Trust me; I know!) This is likely to be a source of confusion.

Suggestion 2: When a member chooses to Notify members then the Moderators’ Notification is superfluous and should not be sent.

Suggestion 3: (a) and (b) need to be much more easily distinguished, preferably without actually having to open the email, given that one is “FYI” and the other is “Action Required”.  This suggestion applies irrespective of Suggestion (1) because both (a) and (b) will continue to exist, albeit not at the same time.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If a member carries out a deletion, or number of deletions immediately followed by an upload or uploads within the “time window” then the Moderator Notification will be titled such as to refer to deletions but will include any uploads. As far as I can tell notifications about Files and Photos are not put together; the two categories do remain separate.

Suggestion 4: either a change in programming to ensure that deletions and uploads cannot appear in the same Notification, or change the Notification “subject” so that it applies to “changes” rather than being specific to deletions or uploads.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clarification Request: I assume that the “aggregation window” opens when the first deletion / upload / edit is triggered. Does a second related “event” reset the timer so that the window closes after x minutes of inactivity or is a fixed period after the first action?

Mark; your consideration of the above would be much appreciated. I think I have now covered all the "matters arising" but time will tell. :)

Chris

Chris,

*Suggestion 1:* consider making _all_ Group Notifications
*un*moderated, ... hitherto File uploads have been “instantly”
notified. i.e. unmoderated.
On 2020-06-19 these were put under control of the group's Message Moderation setting, as not doing so was seen as a bug.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/25466

I think it also served to avoid forcing group mods to find/create each relevant hashtag and mark it "Moderated". At least in moderated groups.

Where an individual member chooses to notify the membership of an
upload the existing configuration sends Moderators (a) a Moderat*or*
Notification, (b) a Moderat*ion* Notification (subject to Group
Moderation Setting – see above) and (c) the “published” message,
i.e. 2 or perhaps 3 related notifications.

In addition, (a) and (b) are visually almost identical,
Your (b) has the Subject text "Message Approval Needed ...", making it quite distinct from the other two, IMO. And the body content is completely different.

and their arrival in order (a)(b) is not certain. ... This is likely
to be a source of confusion.
Why? I guess because you think they're visually almost identical, but I'm not seeing that in either the Subject or the body text.

On the other hand, (a) and (c) have /similar/ subjects and bodies.

But (a) lacks the hashtag in its subject, and has your email address in the To: field, whereas (c) is hashtagged and has the group's posting address in the To: field. Their footers are also different, with (c) having the standard group message footer.

*Suggestion 2:* When a member chooses to Notify members then the
Moderat*ors’* Notification is superfluous and should not be sent.
It isn't though. At least not for a moderator who doesn't have the permission to moderate messages, or who has turned Pending Messages notification off.

*Suggestion 3:* (a) and (b) need to be /much/ more easily
distinguished,
See above.

*Suggestion 4:* either ... or change the Notification “subject” so
that it applies to “changes” rather than being specific to deletions
or uploads.
I vote for that one. At least when aggregated.

I assume that the “aggregation window” opens when the first deletion /
upload / edit is triggered.
Correct.

Does a second related “event” reset the timer so that the window
closes after x minutes of *in*activity or is a fixed period after the
first action?
There is a single reset of the timer. So after a max of 2 x 4 minutes.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/25552

Shal

Chris Jones

It's a bit difficult to carry forward meaningful quotes here! Anyway...

About Suggestion 1:

On 2020-06-19 these were put under control of the group's Message Moderation setting, as not doing so was seen as a bug.
https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/25466

I think it also served to avoid forcing group mods to find/create each relevant hashtag and mark it "Moderated". At least in moderated groups.

Very possibly true, but it leaves a gap in overall capabilities. With a starting point of the fact that uploads themselves are not moderated, historically File uploads were announced immediately, assuming of course that hte originator ticked the box. Now any owners of moderated groups HAVE to follow the group setting even if thry would be perfectly happy to allow instant notifications. Should owners of unmoderated groups wish to moderate upload notifications then the new system allows them to do so, for moderated groups there is no option to turn that moderation off for upload notifications, and I was (and still am) seeking that capability.

If there was a "Do Not Moderate" checkbox for these notifications then this request would be met. Same outcome, different implementation. Please consider this possibility.

Moving on to Suggestion 2: When a member chooses to Notify members then the
Moderators’ Notification is superfluous and should not be sent. It isn't though. At least not for a moderator who doesn't have the permission to moderate messages, or who has turned Pending Messages notification off.

Ah but IMHO it is! Obviously I will agree that a moderator such you describe won't see any notification, but they will see the "published message" once someone else has released it. As I think that is sufficient then I think I will leave my suggestion in place in the hope that it will be considered; all I seek to achieve is better management of what is sent to moderators by minimising "excessive" traffic.

My Suggestion 3: I'm not convinced! Perhaps I tried too many uploads and finished up confusing myself. In any event, if Suggestion 2 were to be accepted than "3" goes away of its own accord.

Suggestion 4 seems to be acceptable! :)

Now then... a bit of new business, and this is something I overlooked when preparing my previous submission.

If an individual File or Photo is uploaded then the notification has a subject line that is unique to that upload. If, however, any upload "window" includes 2 or more individual Files or Photos then the notification is a generic one that is common to every multiple Files or Photo upload. The result of that is that the published message about the notification is tacked on to any previous generically - titled notification, possibly with the 30 day limit on similar subjects. The result is that a thread of notifications is generated even if the only common factor is that they are File or Photo related. IMHO every group notification should be a standalone event and they should not be allowed to form a thread. It simply looks "wrong".

I tried to prevent this by experimenting with automatically locking the hashtag as soon as the notification was published, but IIRC it was trying that that "broke" Groups.io; it certainly took serious umbrage at this and notifications went completely haywire and I had to stop before (a) my sanity deserted me and/or (b)  I broke the entire internet.

So let's try a Suggestion 5: "somehow" generically titled notifications should be prevented from clumping together into a thread.

I hope the above makes a bit of sense...

Chris

On Tue, Jul 7, 2020 at 7:50 AM Chris Jones via groups.io <chrisjones12=btinternet.com@groups.io> wrote:

Simple – to – report things first:

•  The creation of a Folder is notified, but the creation of a photo Album is not. (Note: there is a mix of terminology here; in the Activity log a Folder is called a directory, and the Notification refers to a directory as well; IMHO it would be better if the word directory was not used.

- We now generate moderator notifications for album creation, modification and deletion, and each action also now has Notify Members checkboxes.
- The term 'dir' has been replaced in the Files section by 'folder'.

• The Move of a.File is notified, but the Move of a Photo is not. FWIW there is no available entry in the Activity log for the movement of a Photo.

- We now generate activity log entries for file moves as well as moderator notifications.

• If a Photo is Edited, e.g. by adding some Description or changing its Name then a Notification is generated but the notification is to the effect that a new upload has taken place. This has the potential to be profoundly confusing. (Name changing can be a useful way of determining the order in which photos are displayed in an album, and adding a Description cannot be done at the time of upload; it can only be done by editing; neither action should be seen as in any way unusual. ) Edits should be notified as edits, not new uploads.

- You can now add a description when uploading photo(s).
- The notification when updating a photo should say that it's been updated, not uploaded.
- There are now Notify Members checkboxes for all file and photo actions, with the exception of moving files (TBD).

• Notifications of Folder / File activities are by instigator’s Display Name only but Notifications of Album / Photo activity are by Display Name and email address.  It should be by Display name only.

- Email address is no longer included in photo notifications unless a display name is not set.

Thanks,
Mark

Chris Jones

Mark; many thanks for those changes. They should make things much more logical now.

Regards,

Chris

On Tue, Jun 30, 2020 at 04:10 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
... Integration sent message "File Notifications #file-notice"
requiring approval because it's a moderated integration message via
email.
I believe the word Integration there is a misnomer,
I agree with this.

--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

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