Development update no. 4

The work to migrate the iSpot database to MySQL 5.7 is still ongoing. This week we discovered an issue that is causing problems with projects. Essentially, where lines on a project polygon touch, or cross, the database is returning incorrect query results

The work to migrate the iSpot database to MySQL 5.7 is still ongoing. This week we discovered an issue that is causing problems with projects. Essentially, where lines on a project polygon touch, or cross, the database is returning incorrect query results. We have been working on a fix to prevent “bad” polygons being submitted. We have identified around 20 projects that are currently affected by this – we’ll aim to either fix these or contact the project owner to advise that they need to amend their polygon(s).

Bug fixing progress

  • Duplicate observations being posted – this work has now been completed and has been tested. However on certain platforms (e.g. on mobile devices) the ‘spinner’ (timer symbol) is not always visible, therefore further work will be carried out to rectify this before we consider making the update live next week.
  • Improving issues with session caching – this has been discussed in depth and we have decided to shelve this until we can find a suitable alternative. The main reason behind delaying this is we are cautious that users will lose the “who’s online” functionality. We would also like to point out that although some changes/fixes appear simple on the surface, there are complexities and dependencies ‘under the bonnet’ – things are not always as straightforward as they seem.
  • Editing comments and replies on an observation or forum post changes the date to the edit date – we have now parked this issue, as we have been unable to replicate it. This was not the same issue as the observation create/edit bug that we fixed previously.
  • Date field is set to empty when you edit an observation/project – fixed will be live next week.
  • Erroneous data was discovered in some of our country polygons, which may have led to some incorrect database query results. This has been rectified on the live server.
  • Investigate why Southern Africa localities are not working post-migration – in progress, the source of error has been discovered.
  • Reduce size of pages sent to browser by stripping out non-essential HTML code/comments – this has been completed and will be live next week; reduces every page sent to your browser by around 10 kilobytes.
  • Had discussions with our central IT department about using Open University infrastructure to improve iSpot performance for all users, but for Southern Africa in particular. Specifically we are looking to implement some compression and caching technologies that will reduce the size of the data being sent to your browser, and also hold some non-changing data e.g. backgrounds, images, logos etc. so that the iSpot server doesn’t have to keep sending all the data out itself.

What will happen next week

The MySQL 5.7 migration will be on hold next week, as one of the developers is on leave. We will continue to work on fixing bugs:

  • Duplicate observations being posted (in progress).
  • Investigate why Southern Africa localities are not working post-migration (in progress).
  • Fix “add interaction” functionality.
  • Begin implementation of OU network performance enhancements through central IT department.
  • Investigate and fix why indexes for projects are not refreshing.
13 Feb 2015
Martin Harvey