GroupServer 10.09 — Spaghettieis with a Wafer of Confusion

Authors:Michael JasonSmith; Richard Waid; Alice Rose; Dan Randow
Contact:Michael JasonSmith <>
Copyright:This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License by OnlineGroups.Net.

The changes below form the bulk of what is new in the Spaghettieis release of GroupServer. Work is now progressing on GroupServer 10.10 — Gelato while Viewing the Sights.


All the pages that deal with issuing and responding to invitations have changed.

Issuing a Single Invitation

The biggest visible change with invitations is to the page used to issue a single invitation. The administrator can write a personal message to the invited member. The administrator can preview the message, and preview the response page [1]. Hopefully this will encourage more invitations to be written, as they are less likely to get marked as spam, and are more likely to get a response.

The from address of the invitation is now set to the address of the administrator [2]. This will hopefully reduce the chances of the invitation being caught in a spam filter even further.

The email address entry on the invitation page handles incorrect data better, so only email addresses can be entered [3]. In the future I would like GroupServer to be more flexible with the format of the addresses that are entered, but today is not that day [4].

Inviting Site Members

The page for inviting site members has been spruced up, but it has not been overhauled in any major way. The invitation message can now be changed. However, it cannot be previewed because I am lazy and did not want to go through the hassle of writing a preview of the Accept Invitation page for existing site members. If someone actually uses Invite Site Members and bothers to write a ticket I may get some motivation to write a preview page.

Inviting People In Bulk

The system for inviting people in bulk, by uploading a CSV, remains much the same. Those who use the page a lot will notice some better handling of required profile-attributes, but that is about it. The invitation message cannot be changed when inviting people in bulk [5].

New Members Accepting Invitations

The page used to accept invitations has undergone a major rewrite. The mechanics (enter a password and join) stay the same. However, the biography of the administrator who issued the invitation is now shown, as well as some sample statistics about the group [6].

New members are now sent a welcome message [7]. Hopefully new members will refer to the Welcome message when trying to get back to the group homepage, rather than relying on the invitation. However, if the new member does follow the invitation again he or she will be shown a page that says that the invitation has been accepted, and to the group homepage and bookmark it.

If an invitation is declined it is noted by the system [8]. Sadly the unwanted profile is not deleted, due to an odd issue with how Zope redirects. I plan to implement a system for removing the unwanted profiles, but it will have to be a manual process for now [9].

All group administrators will now get an email saying that a new member has joined the group [10]. If someone declines an invitation then only the person who issued the invitation is informed.

Existing Members Accepting Invitations

The profile page now has a list of invitations on it [11]. Clicking on the invitation will go to the Accept Invitations page.

The page that allows an existing site-member to accept or decline invitations stays much as it was. It does gain the group summary from the Accept Invitation page that is shown to new members. It also shares the fixes to the notifications that are sent to the new member and the group administrators.

Join and Leave

The pages that are by people to join a group without an invitation have also changed.

Join and Sign Up

The Join and Sign Up pages superficially look exactly the same. However, the code for joining a group is shared with the two Accept Invitations pages, so the fixes to notifications are also shared. The only specific improvement is a fix to prevent administrators who join moderated groups from being moderated [12].


The Leave page now presents some alternative ways of reducing email overload [14]. The alternatives are going onto a daily digest of topics, or to participate in the group using the web only. We hope this will reduce the number of people who leave groups.

Join and Leave Log

People joining and leaving groups is now audited [13]. The audit-data is then fed into a new Join and Leave Log [15].

Manage Members

The Manage Members page looks much the same as it did. Those familiar with the page will notice the profile photos, and a subtle rewording of the text. For example, people who have been invited to join the group are now clearly marked as such. Underneath the page has undergone a major rewrite, thanks to the heroic efforts of Alice [16]. The new page now meshes properly with invitations, so invites can be withdrawn without causing any problems [17].

Change Site Introduction

The page that is used to change the text that appears on the homepage of the site has been updated so it uses the WYMeditor [18]. This is the same JavaScript-based HTML editor that is used to change a biography on the Profile of a member.

Share Box

The most visible change is to the topics and posts. all the Short link links on the topics and posts pages to a JavaScript-based share box [19]. The share box provides a quick and easy way to share a post or topic on Facebook, Twitter, or just as a URL.


The GroupServer Development online group contains examples of

[2]Setting the From address in invitations correctly will close Ticket 290.
[3]Being strict about what can be entered as an email address fixes Ticket 325. The fix also corrects the same error with the sign up page.
[4]More tolerant email address handling will hopefully come in Baked Alaska.
[5]OnlineGroups.Net could not ship an Invite by CSV page with an editable message as it is an invitation to spam people. However, we are not be averse to someone writing a page with an editable message and including that in GroupServer.
[6]The GroupServer Development group contains an example of the new Invitation Response page.
[7]Sending a welcome message when joining a group will close Ticket 303. Previously new members only saw a welcome message when signing up or joining a group themselves. The same fix also removed a rather nasty hack.
[8]Logging the declined invitations closes Ticket 278. It is also what allows people to be redurected if they follow invitations that have had a response. It will also add another entry in the ongoing saga “Why Physical Deletes are the Work of the Devil”.
[9]A simple Cron-job would probably be fine at cleaning up the unwanted profiles (see Ticket 446).
[10]Telling all group administrators that a new member has joined a group will close an irritating issue with GroupServer.
[11]Adding the list of invitations to the profile page will close Ticket 347.
[12]Administrators being moderated only effects administrators of sites with moderated groups; regardless Ticket 235 is closed.
[13]Auditing when people join and leave a group closes Ticket 341.
[14]The alternatives to leaving are shown in an example leave page in the GroupServer Development group.
[15]The GroupServer Development group contains some examples of what the *Join and Leave Log* looks like to different people. Creating the log closes Ticket 341.
[16]Neither Ticket 420, Ticket 442 or the appearance of the page convey what a monumental task it was to rewrite the Manage Members page. It is now a page that can be improved, rather than a huge hack.
[17]It would be best if I kept hacks that used to exist around invitations to myself. Invitations now work well, closing Ticket 435.
[18]The fix so the WYMeditor on the Change the Site Introduction page closes Ticket 357.
[19]Originally the share-box was slated for Pineapple Snow, but Richard completed the short-link improvements early on the request of a client, closing Ticket 378.