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Release Notes (Website: Message Center) - October 30, 2017


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Release Notes (Website: Message Center) - October 30, 2017

Today we released several updates to the Message Center on Geocaching.com.

Changes include:

  • A simplified and clean look
  • The ability to add attachments (such as pdf, doc, and docx)* in addition to image files
  • The option to hide a conversation without blocking another geocacher.
  • The ability to forward all messages to email. By toggling this setting “on,” messages you create in the Message Center on Geocaching.com and in the Geocaching® app will automatically be forwarded to your email.

5ed038d4-4ff1-41e2-9462-98a785e29ca8.png

*This functionality is currently not available in the Geocaching® app.

We also improved the reliability of the Message Center. 

Outstanding issues resolved are:

  • When a geocacher sends a message, it is not displayed as unread
  • All conversations are now in chronological order
  • Conversations don't disappear unless intentionally removed
  • Email addresses are hyperlinked correctly

Jayme H. (Jayme H) and Dave W. (HiddenGnome) from HQ’s Product and Web Team are watching this thread to answer questions whenever possible.

Any posts in this thread should relate to features in this release. Comments unrelated to the release may be removed. Please direct unrelated comments to other appropriate threads. Thanks!
 

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Looking through my posts from back when you introduced the "mess-age center", I totally hated it. I still don't like it, but it DOES keep clutter out of my mailbox. For people sending in answers to my Earthcaches, it is easy to handle from within the app while out in the field. So, overall, Message Center and I ain't friends, but we get along.

The current update seems to have removed some of the layout nuisance, and has made things cleaner and slicker. The "you got mail" orange goofball seems to tell the truth for the first time in a year or so. So far so good. Time will tell how it behaves in real life, but on first sight, I like the changes.

Now, speaking of email clutter .... can you maybe consider adding an option to TBs so that "discover" logs can be set to not trigger an email? One of my TBs was unfortunate enough to attend a GIGA event. Of course the TB itself got lost or stolen, as is sadly par for the course at most large events. But I am still getting buried in "discover" emails, two months after the event. 

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I just tried clicking around to see how things behave, and ran into a pretty big problem. In IE11, after I open an old conversation and click in the text input box, the right pane of the Message Center instantly expands to fill the entire width of the browser. The left pane disappears and even the padding on the left and right sides goes away. The only way I could find to restore things was to click on the Message Center icon in the header to start over. I see this behavior in IE11 on two different systems, but it works as expected in Firefox and Chrome. I don't get the same issue if I create a new message/conversation; that works as expected in IE11.

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Messaging from the cache page doesn't work anymore. The url-parameter &gcCode= has probably changed and broke the cache page link.

https://www.geocaching.com/account/messagecenter?recipientId=0c1876b2-8549-4f13-872f-a24f4ec1ee39&gcCode=GC2AE7K

This works:

https://www.geocaching.com/account/messagecenter?recipientId=0c1876b2-8549-4f13-872f-a24f4ec1ee39

Hans

Edited by HHL
  • Upvote 2
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I'm having problems viewing some old messages in IE11 (I haven't tried other browsers). Some, but not all, messages have a couple of inches of white space between my profile picture and where the message text starts. Most, but not all, messages have a text wrapping problem. In those cases, it looks like the text does wrap eventually, but most of the text is off the right edge of the screen. Even spreading the window across two monitors isn't wide enough to show all the text.

When I click on the three little dots to block, hide, or view profile for a conversation, the text "Block", "Hide", and "View Profile" is missing. "View Profile" appears if I place the mouse over it, but "Block" and "Hide" don't show up.

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5 hours ago, wesi said:

The current update seems to have removed some of the layout nuisance, and has made things cleaner and slicker. The "you got mail" orange goofball seems to tell the truth for the first time in a year or so. So far so good. Time will tell how it behaves in real life, but on first sight, I like the changes.

Now, speaking of email clutter .... can you maybe consider adding an option to TBs so that "discover" logs can be set to not trigger an email? One of my TBs was unfortunate enough to attend a GIGA event. Of course the TB itself got lost or stolen, as is sadly par for the course at most large events. But I am still getting buried in "discover" emails, two months after the event. 

I am glad to hear that your first impressions of the new message center has been positive. Hopefully you will continue to feel the same as time goes on.

Regarding the email notifications for your TBs I unfortunately do not have any kind of timeline on when we might have an update to resolve the issue that you are having. My suggestion as a workaround would be to add a filter in your inbox that will place your TB notifications into a folder to reduce the clutter.

4 hours ago, HHL said:

Messaging from the cache page doesn't work anymore. The url-parameter &gcCode= has probably changed and broke the cache page link.


https://www.geocaching.com/account/messagecenter?recipientId=0c1876b2-8549-4f13-872f-a24f4ec1ee39&gcCode=GC2AE7K

 

Thank you for the report Hans! I will add a ticket to make sure this functionality is fixed quickly.

3 hours ago, Windstorm+ said:

I'm having problems viewing some old messages in IE11 (I haven't tried other browsers). Some, but not all, messages have a couple of inches of white space between my profile picture and where the message text starts. Most, but not all, messages have a text wrapping problem. In those cases, it looks like the text does wrap eventually, but most of the text is off the right edge of the screen. Even spreading the window across two monitors isn't wide enough to show all the text.

When I click on the three little dots to block, hide, or view profile for a conversation, the text "Block", "Hide", and "View Profile" is missing. "View Profile" appears if I place the mouse over it, but "Block" and "Hide" don't show up.

Thank you to each of you who has reported issues while viewing the Message Center in IE11. I can confirm that I am seeing a similar issue and will be following up on this to make sure that we are providing a consistent experience across all of our browsers.

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Hi,

this new version looks a lot better, thank you :D

I just noticed a small regression. In the previous version of the MC, I could open up someone's profile by clicking on his/her avatar. It looks like it's now passé, pity :(

EDIT : OK, I found it. I now have to click on the "..." button.

Edited by Gillala
Completion
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16 hours ago, Geocaching HQ said:

Changes include:

The ability to forward all messages to email. By toggling this setting “on,” messages you create in the Message Center on Geocaching.com and in the Geocaching® app will automatically be forwarded to your email.

How does this function with the existing profile setting for email preferences?  That still gives me the option to receive an email either every time I receive a message, or to receive an email only after 30 minutes of inactivity in a conversation (or, of course, not at all).  Does the new setting override this part of email preferences?

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22 minutes ago, hzoi said:

How does this function with the existing profile setting for email preferences?  That still gives me the option to receive an email either every time I receive a message, or to receive an email only after 30 minutes of inactivity in a conversation (or, of course, not at all).  Does the new setting override this part of email preferences?

That is a great question! The option to forward messages that you write overrides the email preferences and will send all messages that you write. Notifications for messages you receive will continue to be delivered based on the email preferences that you have selected.

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The new message center does not appear to play well with the default browser on my (don't laugh) Blackberry Classic.  It will display a list of names of cachers who have contacted us (or we've contacted) and the first bit of the latest message, but it will not load the rest of the message when clicked, nor does it allow me to send a new message to anyone.

It also doesn't appear to be starting new messages properly.  As a test I went to a random cache I recently viewed (GC449Q3) and clicked the "Message owner" link.  It brought up the Message Center but did not start a new message.  Previously this would have started a draft of a new message to the cache owner and inserted the text "Regarding GC449Q3 Heavy Metal --"

If you look at my address bar in the first attached screen shot, you can see that the link from the cache is correct, but the message center isn't processing it.  My example is from Firefox 52.3.0 (64-bit) on Windows 10.

(This doesn't work in Microsoft Edge, either, but that browser also suffers from the same issues that Internet Explorer does, apparently -- see second attached screen shot, from  Microsoft Edge 38.14393.1066.0, running on same Windows 10 machine.)

 

capture.JPG

capture.JPG

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10 minutes ago, HiddenGnome said:

That is a great question! The option to forward messages that you write overrides the email preferences and will send all messages that you write. Notifications for messages you receive will continue to be delivered based on the email preferences that you have selected.

I see -- I didn't fully grasp that the new setting was only for forwarding the messages I wrote.  Thanks.

Edited by hzoi
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It is just not working here (I use IE 11).

When reading Messages, there is no word wrap, so that I have to scroll to the far right in order to read the full text.

When I want to answer a fellow cacher, it is even worse:

The text input field immediately is expanded to the full screen width, without any scrollbars, and I do not even see the "Send" button. So the only action I can take after writing a message is to cancel it. I do not see any way to send a message any more. Unusable!

Please let me opt out of this new message center as soon as possible!

 

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59 minutes ago, HHL said:
1 hour ago, MatthiasEBS said:

Please let me opt out of this new message center as soon as possible!

You can do this at the very moment: just don't use it. ;-)

If you own an EarthCache, then you can't really "just don't use it", because you're required to accept EarthCache answers that are sent via the Message Center.

My approach is to get the Message Center to send me email, and then read the email. That minimizes the need to use the Message Center.

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17 minutes ago, HHL said:
31 minutes ago, niraD said:

My approach is to get the Message Center to send me email, and then read the email. That minimizes the need to use the Message Center.

That's exactly what I would call "not using it". ;-)

I still have to use it at times. I can't avoid using it entirely.

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17 minutes ago, niraD said:

I still have to use it at times. I can't avoid using it entirely.

Curious (genuinely), where is the MC a required tool?  You can contact anyone by email (unless they have zero contact enabled; in that case MC is available as a bonus, but not a requirement), you can get email copies of MC messages, and you can reply to incoming messages by email and it goes to the MC.  Am I missing a use case that fails if you don't use the MC?

  • Upvote 1
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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

you can get email copies of MC messages

Except when it fails to send email copies of MC messages.

7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

you can reply to incoming messages by email and it goes to the MC

As long as the email-to-MC gateway works for your setup.

In an ideal world, I could use email and ignore the fact that some people use the MC to contact me. But the gateway doesn't work reliably, so I have to check the MC when I get an EC log that doesn't have a corresponding email with the EC answers.

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16 minutes ago, niraD said:

Except when it fails to send email copies of MC messages.

As long as the email-to-MC gateway works for your setup.

In an ideal world, I could use email and ignore the fact that some people use the MC to contact me. But the gateway doesn't work reliably, so I have to check the MC when I get an EC log that doesn't have a corresponding email with the EC answers.

Now you see why they are using Message Center instead of e-mail, as it stores the proof about contacting.

There has been some blackouts in the e-mail gateway but generally it works better that Message Center itself, at least, before this update.

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20 minutes ago, niraD said:
29 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

you can get email copies of MC messages

Except when it fails to send email copies of MC messages.

Bug. The intent is that is does work, not that you use the MC; they just need to make sure it's reliable.

 

21 minutes ago, niraD said:
30 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

you can reply to incoming messages by email and it goes to the MC

As long as the email-to-MC gateway works for your setup.

On their end, again, the intent is that the system works as advertised, not that you use the MC; they just need to make sure their system is reliable. On our end, it's just a standard email exchange with GS's automated messaging handler (I presume this is the gateway you're referring to - and "your setup" is your account contact settings?).  At this point if it doesn't work, it's not our fault, it's a bug, not a requirement to use the MC.

 

Ahh, but I see what you mean now... you still have to use because it's not working fully as intended, not as an intentional requirement. Gotcha.

But this, as far as what we're (ideally) supposed to be able to do:

2 hours ago, MatthiasEBS said:

Please let me opt out of this new message center as soon as possible!

  2 hours ago, HHL said:

You can do this at the very moment: just don't use it. ;-)

...is true... "Opting out" of the MC means don't use it. All of its functionality can be replaced with other existing functionality (assuming of course that it all works as intended).

  • Upvote 1
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The new version doesn't seem to accept line breaks. They are all removed when the message is sent, making my beautiful earthcache answers just look like a mess. Hopefully something that's easy to fix :) 

 

Edit: line breaks work if I enter them directly, but not if I copy from some other text editor. That used to work perfectly with the previous version.

Edited by thomfre
  • Upvote 1
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I'd hoped that the new message centre would fix my major gripe with it: on my phone it only works with WiFi. If I'm using mobile data (mostly 3G and 4G) the message centre frequently fails to load any messages at all. With the previous version I'd just get the whirligig of doom spinning forever. This new version either fails to load anything, or loads names but not messages.

None of this is a problem if I'm connected to a WiFi spot.

I'm using a Samsung Galaxy S5, Android 6.0.1, Chrome 61.0.3163.98

 

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9 hours ago, thomfre said:

The new version doesn't seem to accept line breaks. They are all removed when the message is sent, making my beautiful earthcache answers just look like a mess. Hopefully something that's easy to fix :) 

 

Edit: line breaks work if I enter them directly, but not if I copy from some other text editor. That used to work perfectly with the previous version.

I have the same problem, even when I enter the line breaks directly. Maybe it worths noting that I'm using Firefox 56.0 for Ubuntu (line breaks with Unix-style OS aren't the same than with DOS/Windows-style OS, could this be the cause of it?)

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1 hour ago, Tungstène said:

I have the same problem, even when I enter the line breaks directly. Maybe it worths noting that I'm using Firefox 56.0 for Ubuntu (line breaks with Unix-style OS aren't the same than with DOS/Windows-style OS, could this be the cause of it?)

It should not, but in this case this is special case. I have Firefox in Windows and it keeps line breaks when pasting the text.

What happens when you copy and paste from another website?

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Today Ireceived messages from a new contact of mine, but did not get any e-mail notification that a new message was delivered, That is a serious flaw.

On the other hand for every reply I sent, I did get an e-mail notification stating as subject:  Geocaching: barnold, you have a new message from barnold! strange way of saying that I receive in the mail a copy of the message I have sent to someone else.

Messages I sent yesterday are presented with a time stamp, but without a date. rather confusion in a "chat" that spans yesterday and today. Again a date problem with the time zones. I use MET (GMT+1) and my browser is FF 56.0.2

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9 hours ago, arisoft said:

It should not, but in this case this is special case. I have Firefox in Windows and it keeps line breaks when pasting the text.

What happens when you copy and paste from another website?

The line breaks are there, but they are stripped the second I click Send.

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1 hour ago, hzoi said:

I just got notice of a new message.  (Again, no email.)

When I clicked on the message, it first displayed line breaks.  Then after a second, all the line breaks disappeared, and it became one unbroken paragraph.

Maybe it is depending on the content. Would you offer a test message which does not behave correctly so others can also try the same text.

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2 hours ago, hzoi said:

I just got notice of a new message.  (Again, no email.)

When I clicked on the message, it first displayed line breaks.  Then after a second, all the line breaks disappeared, and it became one unbroken paragraph.

I just saw the same thing on a reply to one of my EC responses - the line breaks between each of the numbered questions were there for about half a second then it all collapsed down to this single paragraph (I've X'd out anything that might give away the EC):

Quote

Hi barefootjeff, Thanks for visiting XXXXXX: XXXXXXX Earth Cache.The correct answers that were approved by the Reviewer are:1.a) The dark material is xxxxx, or in this case xxxxxxx.b) It was formed below the surface and the conglomerate rock above has gone.The same lava flow can be seen in the cliff above and it is also lower than the surrounding rock.2.a) The flow is almost exactly towards, or from, the XXXXXXX, on bearing XXX degrees.b) The rock within the fissure is about XX to XX cm xxxxx than the platform. It is softer and has eroded providing the step down.3. The smaller was xxx to xxx wide, the larger was xxx to xxx wide.All the best with your Geocaching adventures,XXXXXXX

Edit to add: The line breaks display correctly when I view this message in the app.

Edited by barefootjeff
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10 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Seems to work without failure. Here you see how the entry box covers the message screen. It does not scroll automatically to the bottom after the box is dynamically adjusted.

Came through fine for me.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I just saw the same thing on a reply to one of my EC responses - the line breaks between each of the numbered questions were there for about half a second then it all collapsed down to this single paragraph (I've X'd out anything that might give away the EC):

Edit to add: The line breaks display correctly when I view this message in the app.

Hey there-

Thanks for your bug report on the line breaks. I can't repro on a Mac using Chrome. What browser and operating system are you seeing this on?

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1 hour ago, Jayme H said:
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I just saw the same thing on a reply to one of my EC responses - the line breaks between each of the numbered questions were there for about half a second then it all collapsed down to this single paragraph (I've X'd out anything that might give away the EC):

Edit to add: The line breaks display correctly when I view this message in the app.

Hey there-

Thanks for your bug report on the line breaks. I can't repro on a Mac using Chrome. What browser and operating system are you seeing this on?

Thanks Jayme. I'm using Firefox 56.0.2 (64-bit) on Windows 7.

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I just tried to send a message to a CO from a cachepage. Clicking the small envelope next to the CO name, used to open the message center, ready to text the person in question AND starting with a line saying "Regarding [gc-number] [title] ... "

Now it just opens the MC with a blank page, where I have to fill in the name for the one I wish to write to myself.

Just tried in both crome, IE and edge. Same issue. :(

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3 hours ago, SN67 said:

I just tried to send a message to a CO from a cachepage. Clicking the small envelope next to the CO name, used to open the message center, ready to text the person in question AND starting with a line saying "Regarding [gc-number] [title] ... "

I had that problem and thought they'd lost the feature, but then I tried again and there it was, so it's something weirder than just that they aren't trying to do it anymore. I didn't feel like playing with it, but I was wondering if it had something to do with exactly where I clicked.

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Hello everyone!

Thank you for your feedback so far. We have several issues that we are working on so I wanted to give you an update so you know the issues are not being ignored. There are more issues that are being tracked, but here is a list of the major issues we are working on.

  1. Opening message center from another page is not respecting the GC code
  2. Line breaks in messages
  3. Email notifications are not being received in some cases
  4. Messages that you forward to yourself say "HiddenGnome, you have a new message from HiddenGnome" - we are reusing the existing email template which is a bit confusing
  5. Time stamps on recent messages on displaying incorrectly
  • Upvote 2
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2 hours ago, HiddenGnome said:

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your feedback so far. We have several issues that we are working on so I wanted to give you an update so you know the issues are not being ignored. There are more issues that are being tracked, but here is a list of the major issues we are working on.

  1. Opening message center from another page is not respecting the GC code
  2. Line breaks in messages
  3. Email notifications are not being received in some cases
  4. Messages that you forward to yourself say "HiddenGnome, you have a new message from HiddenGnome" - we are reusing the existing email template which is a bit confusing
  5. Time stamps on recent messages on displaying incorrectly

Thanks for the update!

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On 11/2/2017 at 11:07 AM, HiddenGnome said:

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your feedback so far. We have several issues that we are working on so I wanted to give you an update so you know the issues are not being ignored. There are more issues that are being tracked, but here is a list of the major issues we are working on.

  1. Opening message center from another page is not respecting the GC code
  2. Line breaks in messages
  3. Email notifications are not being received in some cases
  4. Messages that you forward to yourself say "HiddenGnome, you have a new message from HiddenGnome" - we are reusing the existing email template which is a bit confusing
  5. Time stamps on recent messages on displaying incorrectly

Thanks for confirming that what I am seeing is not just a fluke.  We just returned from Yosemite, and I tried logging a few EC's and Virtuals we completed there.  I saw #1 & 2 as issues, using Windows 10, Chrome on my laptop when trying to send in my answers for the caches.  I just messaged the owner, vs trying to reply from the cache, and manually typed in the cache name.  Still, the line breaks in my composed messaged didn't seem to appear inthe message sent - but hopefully the CO will see and make sense of my answers.

One other note - when trying to add a caption or description (using Chrome and WIndows 10) to an image in added to a log, I couldn't - when I clicked on "add description, it would go back to the image to upload ... it never allowed me to type in anything.  I know this has nothing to do with messaging, but I'm not sure where else I can put this?

Edited by CAVinoGal
typo corrections
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9 hours ago, arisoft said:

Today the MC screen opens but every conversations displays " The conversation failed to load. Please refresh the page to try again. "

Hi @arisoft - Are you still experiencing this issue? There was a lot of database maintenance occurring yesterday that might have impacted the performance of the message center. However, if you are still getting the same error than perhaps something more is happening. Thanks!

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3 hours ago, HiddenGnome said:

Hi @arisoft - Are you still experiencing this issue?

That problem disappeared later.

Overall MC is now better than the previous version. Image uploads are easier using drop down.

One image (over 2MB) did not upload until I shrink the image size. I got no error message about too large image. I tried few times until found this solution.

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