Rachy Ramone's picture

Deleting duplicate IDs

Would it be possible to have the option to remove an accidentally duplicated ID?

I've been swapping comments with an iSpotter who was having trouble entering his observations, and kept accidentally duplicating the IDs and being "chastised" for it (his word). He felt it was a problem with the entry form.

I've personally had problems when submitting an ID to someone else's observation, where another iSpotter has done it at the same time, leaving us with two identical IDs, which doesn't help anyone, and leaves the impression that the second one - the slower typist - has deliberately flouted the conventions by putting up their own ID instead of agreeing with the first one. Which wasn't there when they started typing, of course.

I fully appreciate the principle of leaving a chain of IDs, and I support the idea, as it can be helpful to see what something was first ID'd as.

But for duplicates, it would be good if they could be removed.

Perhaps with a short time limit? Say, within two minutes of putting up an ID, you can delete it without changing anything else on the entry?

Or even just "minimise" it, so - like Wikipedia - you can track all the changes if you wish, but they aren't cluttering up the front page.

I'd be interested to hear what others think about this.

Reply

Comments

Thistle's picture

Agreed

I think avoiding duplicates would be good but it should be possible for the second one to be rejected by the software if - and only if - it is identical. It seems to be not infrequent for someone to come along later with a more complete ID, perhaps adding the latin name: this should still be possible.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Oh, yes,

...a second and more complete ID is part of the iSpot "chain" and is a very useful aspect of the site.

I only mean for identical duplicates: when created on the original observation, by mistake - or when added to a new observation, not realising that one has already been posted.

You'd think the software would be able to "catch" duplications?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

Thistle's picture

Simple task

Catching exact duplicates should be an almost trivial task.

[Wearing my cynic's hat I do wonder, however, if suggestions on this forum are actually read let alone taken note of.]

Ian

DavidHowdon's picture

Is it really a problem

apart from looking a bit untidy it is usually pretty obvious is this has happened as the time of the second ID is within a minute or so of the time of the first ID.

I can't help feeling there will be more queries if someone enters an ID and then what appears is an ID from someone else.

That is possibly fixable in the software of course with a message to explain what happened so people know why their ID was missed.

Would also need to check carefully that the second ID is not adding anything meaningful before rejecting it. If I have carefully typed an explanation of why something is what it is I'd be a little annoyed if that got dumped by the system because someone else had stuck an ID in a minute earlier.

All probably solvable but for me personally I'd not be asking the iSpot team to prioritise working on this problem.

Ray Turner's picture

I agree ...

...that duplicate IDs can be a problem and do occur more frequently than is desirable however one does get used to it. I suspect an algorithm to automatically remove such entries may be more complicated than first perceived. (I am having extreme problems typing this as my cat thinks there may be something exciting under the keyboard right now.)

Rather than a negative perhaps we should look on such entries as a good thing; where else would you have sufficient number of people sufficiently knowledgeable about a subject constantly monitoring posts able to produce correct IDs within seconds of each other.

Also, in my experience comments made on all iSpot forums are regularly monitored and, where possible and relevant, are acted upon very swiftly. I cite the recent feedback re Facebook integration as an example.

Ray

Ray

MickETalbot's picture

Ispot editor...

...apart from the duplicate identification problem there are other faults with this utility. The most annoying to me is in not having the option to delete a comment* or a reply after posting, there are many reasons why one would want to. Personally I would not of got involved with any issues with this utility, however the faults within it do seem to cause distress to other members. Based on the latter,(IMO), it would be a good idea that the guys responsible take a look and fix the most obvious bugs within it. As for the option of members deleting pages/entries, (theirs), for any reason they deem necessary, (embarrassment for me is often a reason), will always happen.

*The preview option, (in all aspects) will always allow one to correct blatant errors, its the not so obvious ones that can cause deletions. Inadvertent errors in areas where they cant be amended after posting is another reason where a deletion will be the only way to put things right.
---------------------------------------------
I am now in the editing mode which does not allow me to delete the above the line like it never happened. I could amend all above it, so all one could read is what you are reading now. I hope I have made my point.

Rachy Ramone's picture

OK, I've changed my mind.

Having read the comments here, and having trawled a few other forum threads here, I'm rather inclined to change my mind on this one.

My practice is to sign in, check My Spot for Changes, then go to the new Observations.

I've only been here for a few weeks, but even within that time, there has been a recent upswing in the number of Changes to Core Details.

And I'm finding this a bit annoying.

It almost looks as though posters are changing the original post to match what's been said in the ID and/or the comments.

In my view, this spoils the "flow" of the ID - and sometimes the comments no longer make sense.

So now I'm thinking maybe it's best if editing is discouraged, even if there are mistakes, whether they are speeling erorrs, or a wrong initial ID/title.

Those of us who make mistakes are reassured by seeing others do it.

And there is a value to seeing how someone originally saw their Observation: not to "laugh" at them for being so wrong, but to see why they made the mistake: what the item is similar to, what details need to be compared, ID points to look out for, etc.

I'd even say that there is another benefit to being unable to edit comments etc - it reminds us all to type calmly, to check our facts, and it subtly encourages us to apologise, or thank people, or admit that we've changed our minds, if what we wrote turns out to be wrong.

The most helpful method I have seen so far is someone changing a detail in their original observation by adding a dotted line then typing "Edit: Xxxx should have been Zzzz" which allowed us to see the original, and then see what they had changed and why.

The least helpful is when someone changed the title and the details without saying what they've done or why.

Mick, I read your comments (above) with interest, and it seems to me that the only thing we can't edit are the actual IDs, original or revised, which was my original point.

All other details CAN be edited, but SHOULD they? I think not, and I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

DavidHowdon's picture

Edit limits

Pretty sure you also cannot edit a comment to which someone has replied. Try it and see.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Locked!

haha, well done David, quite correct!

And a good thing too - otherwise can you imagine the confusion?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

MickETalbot's picture

Truth...

I don't want to participate in Ispot politics. I will take my leave from this discussion by saying, "If all was perfect with the editing utility then this debate would not be taking place".

To make my point, I can amend/edit this comment, but I can not delete it after it has been saved/posted.

Rachy Ramone's picture

Whoa, hold on there, cowboy!

Mick, don't scamper off like that, this is not iSpot politics, this is simply a discussion of the pros and cons of a suggestion.

I doubt that there is a single website/utility/input system that can be described as "perfect".

(Try using SAP sometime, ha ha)

The value of having forums is to allow users to air their views, ask for improvements, and learn more about the system, and yes, learn more about its limitations.

iSpot can then listen in, they can encourage us if they think we have a good suggestion, they can implement them, if they are good enough, and if they have the resources: or they can regretfully tell us that it's not possible at this time.

UK filter, for example. Oh, how I would love the UK filter...

There is no need to delete comments. Just leave them!

There's no need to edit them, either, really, is there?

Rachy Ramone

How to take close-ups with cheap phone and hand-lens:
http://tree-and-shrub-id.blogspot.co.uk/p/how-to-close-ups.html
Field Guides for Budding Botanists:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01A8YB0WY

dejayM's picture

going round and.....

I picked this up by searching for Core detail edited.....
A comment here that might interest you
http://www.ispotnature.org/node/382106#comment-141817
Only might!
Œj

dejayM's picture

pick-up

I knew there was something I'd read related to my >>thread here<<
so can you pick it up - the thread I mean.
ðerek