The OpenScience Laboratory The Open University

iSpot Forum


This is a short list of problems I’ve encountered, in no particular order:

Why do Full Observation pages no longer open in new tabs? It used to
be possible to work down the list without remembering to open in a new tab.

It would be good to reinstate the personal list view with pictures -
I found it easier to use, and it was easier to track changes.

I liked some features of the old “Your iSpot” page, although it was quite clunky.
It made it easier to track changes.

The automatic suggestion (drop-down menu) was useful. It saved a lot
of time. I, (and I think many of us) visit the same sites many times, and having
to re-enter site details every time we make an observation is tedious.

The Your View feature was a crude way of accessing records from sites
I regularly visit. There doesn’t seem to be any way now of looking at all the observations
from a particular site. It would be really useful if there was such a method.
(I realise each site could be stored as a project, but that would mean going back
and re-editing all my records - over 1000, and I imagine many other people have more).
The map feature in the Community section doesn’t show old records.

Text pasted into these forums seems to run outside the text boxes without folding automatically into lines,

1 Like

This forum is very difficult to use. I edited my previous post several times, and the version shown doesn’t look much like the version in the preview.

That was a really useful feature. I have sometimes noticed errors or things I’d missed out.

"Text pasted into these forums…"
Joe, all good points. I think pasting in from another application is likely to bring in Code that cannot be handled by this one. The simplest Code-free text is maybe from a draft email in plain text (never HTML)

Quite agree .How do you get back?

sorry, typed in error but if you mean back to iSpot then the Logo right ABOVE the thread Title is clickable

Well that’s obvious (not) Thanks.

No!!! Just cos you are daft does not mean that there are not other naive or new users out there. If the page is not intuitive and obvious then its design is flawed.

Please note I am not going through the forums to add bugs. Tell me about them if you want them on the official ZA bug list. Please include a screen picture and what you did!!


Is there a way to get this forum to shy replies as threads and not as disjointed comments. If one notices one can click on replies on a comment, but can one set it to show all the threads by default?

This Forum Format is too sophisticated for it’s own good (Oh I wish the Site was half this sophistication). It will not be long before we simply cannot make out what is a reply or what is a new Comment. Like the old Forums this will get less and less used unless…er…well I don’t know what!!
This is sobering! From one of my posts today! (of course I didn’t get notified, I had to go back and look)
Hi, please could you explain what the problems are, for those of us who are quite new to iSpot …?
I must say, i miss some of the functionalities on the ‘Username’ drop down menu, but the ‘add observation’ process is quicker, i like the way they’ve cut out the need to manually add in the taxon group, just adding it automatically by detection of the species, but i’m not sure where to add in ‘interactions’ (not that that was very clear, to me, anyway before.
Many thanks

1 Like

manually add the taxon group: that was an unfixed bug from the Sept 2014 update - before then it was automatic!

How many of the current bugs will never be fixed?

Functionality buttons: On this forum there is a whole lot of function buttons to enable you to bold or italicise or number things, etc, but this functionality is not available on the user pages.

1 Like

I can’t see any photos until I open a post. No thumbnails in the carousel; no photos in the list of posts; just a grey square with a dark grey “prohibition” sign.


I recommend that the old system is restored. Apart from the problems already mentioned, I now find that I have to reinvent all my locations. Admin need to realise that the new implementation is not fit for purpose and restore the original version. A new version needs to be properly tested by experienced users BEFORE implementation. Sorry to be blunt, but I spent 25 years being involved with upgrading, testing and implementing systems and this implementation left me totally unimpressed (I am being polite). I’ll not waste my time using iSpot in its current form. I’ll return in the future and see if anything has happened. Shame, it was a great system.


Yes Roger on that likwise I was wondering if it was some sort of a plugin issue but was working previous it hasnt becaome overly apparent on this t#rather scattered forum so nice to know its a universal issue possibky being worked on somewere

I wish the iSpot team would communicate adequately.
The long and the short is that this is a security rebuild that was promised for 2016 but never materialized. It was then instated and was due to be tested in June for uploading in October.
But the recent randsomewear attacks had the OU so scared they implemented this build even though whole modules are not complete and almost none of the bugs (about 5%) identified so far in testing have been fixed.
It remains to be seen what will be fixed.
The programmers unilaterally decided we did not need TRACK or CHANGES and that the old FORUMS could be consigned to the rubbish bin. We have pointed out that without TRACK or CHANGES the site is USELESS and we are hoping that they will fix this. We are also hoping that they will replace lost functionality (such as allowing us to use the browser inteligently- on the old site, you merely had to add “/taxon” to jump into your exact spot of interest. On the new site you know need to miraculously know the taxons dictitonary ID number. :: so for example:
is really cool. But how on earth are you supposed to know the number (I found out by clicking on 7 different pages to get there - impossible for a novice and I challenge you do do the same for say Cirsium in under 5 clicks)
The old site was simply - but alas that was too easy and had to be stopped!


if you do go to gladilous and wonder why some blocks are empty, it is because identifications at the level of the taxon shown are used to calculate the order and display, but are not shown (i.e. they are empty).
So Examples of Geelpypie (Gladiolus trichonemifolius) - does have examples on iSpot, but they are not displayed (for some unknown programming reason - see here:

I suddenly got a message while trying to upload photos of an observation that said there was an internal server error, and all photos on the site broke for me

Yes also getting that problem.

Windows 10 system, Firefox 54.0.1 in case that helps tracking down what the issue is.

Yes, that seems to be the case.