Development update no. 9

Hello iSpotters,

Hello iSpotters,

So, a rather eventful week for the iSpot technical development team – we delayed the Tuesday update as we were nearly ready with further fixes, so it was a Thursday update that contained more fixes than we had originally planned (see below for the full list). When we made the changes live, once again we had an issue where one fix in particular (observation location not saving) did not work as expected, even though it worked perfectly on our development server and our test server. We apologise for the frustration caused, and I can assure you we were as frustrated and perplexed in equal measure! We spent several hours trying to work out what was going on, and eventually managed to trace it to a cache that had failed to update on the live server. We think this also might explain some of the previous oddities where fixes hadn’t worked or caused other problems. We didn’t update the site status message quickly enough to warn users when we spotted the problem just after applying all the updates – sorry!

After next week, updates will be less frequent as all but one of my team will be focussing on other technical project work; for the last two months we have had either two or three developers working on bug fixing and enhancements to iSpot at any given time. However, we will continue to post news items on the site to keep you informed of updates. Our billing as the “iSpot Development Team” perhaps gives the impression we only work on iSpot – this is far from the case. My team in the Institute of Educational Technology at The Open University work across a range of projects, most of which are research funded. If you’re interested we’ll be working on SALSA: Smart cities and language learning, Learner Analytics Community Exchange and nQuire-it alongside some internally focused projects on Learning Design and Scholarship. Martin Harvey will of course continue to be available through the iSpot forums.

What has been completed this week

  1. A further update to fix 502 errors (complete and live).
  2. Fixed indexes for projects not refreshing (complete and live).
  3. Fixed issue with “Http=0″ error appearing during location lookups when adding/editing an observation. (complete and live).
  4. Security updates to 3rd party ‘views’ module (complete and live).
  5. Fixed “other observations” carousel giving inconsistent results – note this doesn’t fix the problem where the same observation is show in the carousel multiple times (completed and live).
  6. Re-enabled indexing of projects by search engines (complete and live).
  7. Fixed bug we re-introduced where longitude and latitude are being set to zero on editing an observation (complete and live).
  8. Cleaned up observations with missing geolocation data (complete and live).
  9. Fixed ability to clear unread messages (complete and live).
  10. Adding projects to your list of favourites now works (http://www.ispotnature.org/your-ispot/favorites) – still to resolve on “Your iSpot” page (complete and live).
  11. Additional features enabled on our test environment for OU network performance enhancements provided through central IT department (currently in progress).

What will happen next week

  1. Improve add observation wizard performance (in progress)
  2. Review “Your iSpot” performance and take a view on how we can make make the page load faster and also be of value (in progress)
  3. Fix issue where location notes are not being copied over when creating an interaction.
  4. Investigate why “likely id” function is not working for some observations.
  5. Investigate and fix issue with API not returning full result set
  6. Security update to Drupal core
  7. Security update for ctools module
  8. Spam audit!
  9. Continue testing OU network performance enhancements provided through central IT department (in progress).
20 Mar 2015
kevmcleod