April 29th, 2009


Format or for worse

Okay, so I am trying to subscribe lots of people to something (the University's team for the Developer Programme of a big company named after a fruit...) and the member management interface says I can upload a file of names and email addresses: "Please choose the text file containing the member names and email addresses and click on submit. You can have a maximum of 200 members in the file." Fair enough... but it doesn't say anywhere what the format for this text file should be. I tried a .csv file (Firstname,Lastname,firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk) and got told that it was expecting a .txt file, but that's the most informative error message I've managed to trigger. Everything else I've tried, I just get the following: "We are unable to process this Member Invitation file because of a file formatting issue. Please check the file and try again."

I have tried the following line formats for this text file:

1. firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
2. Firstname Lastname <firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk>
3. Firstname,Lastname,firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
4. Firstname Lastname,firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
5. Firstname|Lastname|firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
6. Firstname Lastname|firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
7. Firstname\tLastname\tfirstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
8. Firstname Lastname\tfirstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk
9. As for #2 but comma-separated, no line-breaks
10. firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk (Firstname Lastname)
11. "Firstname Lastname" <firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk>
12. "Lastname, Firstname" <firstname.lastname@thisplace.ac.uk>

None of them work, & none of them give any more information about how to make them work. Am I being spectacularly dim here & missing an obvious upload format? I really don't want to have to add 80-odd people by hand.

ETA: It may be even worse than I thought; when you add a member by hand, you have four input fields: Firstname, Lastname, email address, role [member|admin]. So I guess I have to try adding the role in for all the character-delimited formats. Though the instructions do say "member names and email addresses", not roles. Hrm.

Or I could fill in I have now emailed them via the 'support' contact form, but their track record on actually replying to stuff is lousy, & I need these damn things added by the end of the week.