Interview length

Hello @ODK

I need help, i am trying to calculate the length of interview by adding a time type question at the beginning and ending of my form and constraint to ".=now()" but this doesn't seem to be recognized by the new version of ODK 1.7.0, the latter wont allow me set the now() in default either.

I tried to force the time in calculation by placing "now()" in calculation and therefore read_only, the problem with this, i get a similar for end and start (the time i open the form.

To be more clear , i din't wanna rely on "today" and "end" metadata, since they heavily rely on when the enumerator choses to finalize the form.

Any help will be highly appreciated


I just wanted to provide a little background so the community is informed about where we are on this issue.

Why timestamping has changed

The core team made changes to Collect 1.6.1 which fixed some long-standing bugs. We did not know that form designers had built some timestamping like you've described on these bugs.

We explained our rationale for these fixes here and here and I'd encourage you to read those threads.

Potential workarounds

If you need an immediate workaround, you can try Greg's solution here, but I should caution you that we haven't tested it and can't guarantee it works or is compliant.

You can also just use an older version of ODK Collect from here.

Reliable timing is coming soon!

Reliable timing is coming to ODK very soon. It takes time because this needs to be done in a way that's compliant with the spec, tested extensively to catch all the corner cases, and rolled out across the tools in a coordinated way.

All this to say that it's coming, but it's not easy to do. You can follow and participate in the many discussions we've had over the last few months:

Thanks a lot Yaw. I will read through the shared links, and by the way thumbs up for the QR code settings sharing across tablets, it has saved me a million minutes.

Always grateful of the time and effort you put into keeping ODK the best app for DC