Keying Bug

We have discovered a bug that is causing information you have entered to be lost in some situations.

How the bug works:

  1. Open the image set.
  2. Start entering the information.
  3. Mark fields where there isn’t information present on the image “Blank” (Ctrl+B).
  4. Finish entering information.
  5. When you move on the information in the field immediately after the “Blank” fields is not being saved.

We are working to fix this issue and hope to have it resolved in the near future.  While we are working on a permanent solution we ask that if there are fields that do not need to be keyed that you not mark them “Blank” and instead just leave them empty.

Thank you to our diligent contributors who reported this bug and the cause of it!

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Reader Comments

Oops! I keyed in two sets before I read this. I will not mark anymore blank for now. It might be better if there were some sort of alert signal to tell us to read the blog before keying

As an arbitrator, I’m finding records where both keyers clicked blank and the next line disappeared on both records, therefore the records match. The records, though, are missing required information. I’m having to check each line on a record and type in lots of data as I arbitrate.

Does this “blank” issue happen with the NE census records? I can’t complete files if there aren’t data in the expected fields. I have to enter “blank” in order to move on. I could enter “xxx” or something that could be deleted easily, if that would be an interim fix.

Will keying the word ‘blank’ instead of using Ctrl+b work in the mean time?

Is this why, when arbitrating, I have had whole sets with the day out of the date missing?
If so it would dramatically affect accuracy ratings

Does this bug affect all the projects or just some of them. If so which ones?

With the English Criminal records and Andrews cards, I had been deliberately entering blanks where the information is absent. Eg – in a column of ages where some ages have been recorded while others have not. When I proofread the column before submission, the blank serves to demonstrate that the info never existed rather than it being overlooked or forgotten by the keyer.

I’ve just come across this problem (not sure how many times it’s gone unnoticed though).

A workaround (that seems to work OK) is to enter the data in the field after the [blank] first and then go back and enter ctrl-b as required. The data seems to be retained then.

That seems to be working for me until the developers manage to get a fix out to us.

Sorry, please ignore my previous post (entering the data after the blank and then the blank)- it doesn’t seem to be working as i’d thought.

How long has this been going on? I have typed in hundreds of England and Wales Criminal records and as there is rarely an alias, in almost every case marked the “alias” fields blank, which means that potentially almost every record I have entered will have the subsequent field erroneously blank. I agree with Jenny (no5) – this will have a terrible (and unmerited) effect on accuracy ratings!

I noticed this problem shortly after the last software update and commented on it. The work around that I had, and it seemed to work fine, was after entering the data in the last record of the set, don’t finish the set but instead go back to the first record. The fields that are missing will be empty and you can re-enter the data. The data will then stick in the field.

Just a suggestionfor anyone else that might want to try it.

Is this something only the arbitrators would see? I’ve been doing this and do not see information after the “blank” not being saved, even if I close the image set and reopen.

I’m not able to replicate this problem. Am I missing something or is this an operating system problem. I’m using XP.

The only time I mark something “blank” is when it’s a required field otherwise I simply tab over to the next field. This would appear to be the accepted practice as instructed at the bottom of the page while in those entry boxes. The only time you are instructed to enter “blank” is when you are in a required field.

Oh dear. I’m like the other Helen. A lot of data I’ve keyed have probably been lost to this illness as, until the webinar the other day, I thought I always had to mark fields blank if the data weren’t there. Apologies to whoever ends up arbitrating mine!

I am using Vista and haven’t notice any data missing. I’m working on NE Naturalization Records and there is usually not enough info on the cards to fill every field (aliases) so I just tab thru them. Before I go onto the next set I always double check my accuracy and I can’t I haven’t found any data missing yet. (Sorry if this is duplicate post. I got an error message from this site a couple of minutes ago)

I just started this project yesterday. I began leaving the areas empty but on the next set started placing”blank” in all areas except “alias”. I have gone back to check fields indicating editing to make sure the surname is correct as asked and have not found anything deleted.I am working on the New England for immigration. I am using
vista. Please let me know if my work is okay before I continue to enter
data, thanks.

Follow up to my earlier message (#12). Keying in images from the same project (Ill. Naturalization records) on my notebook operating under Vista, I was able to replicate the “bug”. It appears to me an operating system issue. Is this what others are finding?

One additional note. The data in the field following the [blank] field seems to only disappear when you move to the next image in the set. If you then return to the previous image using the navigation tool in the upper left you will find that the data in the field following the field marked [blank] is now missing.

I’m keying the Italian records, and have just been tabbing through fields that have to be left blank. I hope I haven’t lost any records, I’ve done almost 3000…

It is not just the field immediately after the [blank] field, but the first field after a blank, even if there are some intervening fields which do not require information. I have also found that entering the information then going back to look at a previous record and re-entering the information just keyed which has now disappeared appears to solve the problem.
For the moment I am going to stop arbitrating Andrews record cards as they all seem to require amendment by me, (well almost all), but then this is a difficult recordset to key because of the many different ways of entering this data.

I have just been playing around with various scenarios in the IL Nat Index with the bug. Here’s what I have found to work:
I key the data, and use Ctl + B for the blank fields.
Before I move to the next card I re-check my input for typos (I have a sticky keyboard)
This is the step that seems to override the bug: as I recheck the data, I click the Accept button (top left button – it turns the field green)
Then I move on to the next record.
When I go back & look at the entire set, all of the data is still there.

Just an added note: I click the check mark for each field, whether it has data or is marked [Blank].

Well, I’m another one….entered data and then read the blog. so I missed this, which must mean some of my data is lost. I’ve been working on Illinois Nat. records.
I, too, am sorry and will try to remember to look at the blog first. Until I “see” otherwise, I’ll refrain from entering “blank”.

This means that much of what I have keyed recently will have empty fields. After recently watching the arbitration webinar, I have tried to be even more diligent. This news is disappointing and disheartening. If everything I have done is just going to have to be done over again by someone else, I’m not sure I even care to be a keyer any longe.r

Please would you inform me if the British Criminal Registers has completed as it is not coming up as an option for keying.
Many thanks

I am working on the New England Naturalization Records and have found that the highlighted area does not continue to highlight the right area. Could someone please take a look at this. Thanks

Dear Anna Fechter,
In your description of this but, you state “we ask that if there are fields that do not need to be keyed that you not mark them ‘Blank’ and instead just leave them empty.”

What do you want us to do on records that DO require an entry in a field?
1) Do we mark them “Blank” despite the known error?
2) I have entered a space just to allow me to continue.
3) I have also typed in “[Blank]“.
4) I have simply checked the field as OK (check mark) without entering anything. This marks it green.

We would appreciate a concise answer to this question.

Thank You

I don’t usually make a comment but I have been following the boards and there seems to be a problem with two words, “highlighted” and “blank”.

When an image set is open for keying, there are TWO highlighted areas. First is the highlighted data fields on the image to be entered into the columns. Second highlighted area is in the columns where the data is entered. (I would call mine a peach color).

The second highlighted area is where the REQUIRED fields are. Most projects have only two required fields (Surname and Given Name). The So. California Index has three because the Certificate Number is a required field, Census records has about seven, (year, locality, age, etc.)

As the keyer tabs from column to column, at the very bottom of the screen it will say either “Please enter the information for this REQUIRED field or mark it blank by clicking on the “Mark field blank” button (Control+B)” OR “There may be no information for this field on the image. Enter a value if one exists. Otherwise, NO action is necessary”.

In my humble opinion, the instructions are saying to put a Blank or Control+B only in the “REQUIRED FIELDS” columns and to tab over, skip or leave it empty where there is no data in the highlighted fields on the image to enter.

Hi I have sent 2 questions in recently and neither have been answered, either that or I am looking in the wrong place! 1) Criminal records a set which I am waiting to complete. It appears to be a list of convicts from a prison as each one comes from a different part of the country. I just fon’t know how to enter it.
2) A question I asked on the live broadcast the other day was On the naturalisation records for illinois some of the migrants say they come form Russia-Poland or Great Britain-Ireland. Being British on the GB ones I have put Ireland only or Scotland only, but I am not sure whether I am doing it right.
Would very much appreciate it if you could answer these asap as I don’t want my accuracy to drop any further.
Many thanks

I apologize for any confusion or concern regarding this announcement; the bug will be fixed with our next version of the tool.

Until that time you can use the F7 key to accept any required fields that are not keyed (required fields are those that are highlighted red/pink). If the field is not required you do not need to mark it blank or use the F7 key to “accept” the field.

We appreciate your patience while we work to resolve this bug.

A few more items to help answer questions that have been posted here.

1) The bug affects all of the projects that are currently available.

2) For country of birth/origin fields you should key them as they are written. For example, if the image states France-Italy, you should enter “France-Italy”.

If there are more questions that I have not answered please email us at worldarchivesproject

Is the webinar going to be made available to those of us who were unable to see it live? I have not seen any announcement to suggest that it is available.

If this bug is fixed you should post it on the Project News on the keying page. I just decided to check out the blog to see if there was any information about when this problem would be fixed and saw the post about it being fixed with the tool upgrade.