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Customer Names, Nested Replies
and More Polishing

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Summary:  We had a rollercoaster week that started with a simple bug affecting customer profiles. Things escalated quickly as we fought an ever-growing number of nested inline replies that slowed outgoing email beyond acceptable levels (i.e., at all).  We closed the week out giving the app a much needed polish.  

Quick Customer Profile Fix

An odd bug was reported with customer names this week. A number of messages were showing customer email addresses instead of first names:

Who is this?

We’ve always defaulted to showing a customer’s email address if we didn’t know their name. However, we’d never seen this before.  Every time we see a new customer, we send their email address to FullContact to build a social profile for them. This is also our backup source for customer names, when names are not included in the original email.

It turns out we were updating first and last names independently. Only the last name was getting updated when their email address had been used as their first name. A quick two-line fix (and about 20 lines of tests) was all it took to make sure no one ever sees “ Glasner” again.

Too Many Replies

A few weeks back we started showing nested reply histories in replies to customers, trying to replicate the look of a personal conversation. It has worked great for 99% of emails, but that other 1% has been like a pack of Gremlins on our servers.  

Once an email reached a certain size, it would start to bog down outgoing emails:


Once we narrowed the problem down, it was fixed in about an hour.  And now our servers are buzzing along happily again:


And a Little More Polish

As part of getting back to basics, we moved lot of little bugs that have been annoying us (and our customers) to the top of the backlog. While not huge fixes, collectively they’ll improve the user experience for many of our customers. We fixed issues like:

We crushed around 20 different edge cases like these, but let us know if we didn’t hit your biggest peeve. It’s spring cleaning time at Groove!

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