Set the default date to "blank" in ODK Collect and KoBoCollect

Hello everyone,

I've found a few discussions about this topic, but I wanted to know if there was anything new about it, possibly a solution. Here it is.

We are using KoBoCollect and ODK Collect, and with those apps, contrary to Enketo, when a date question is asked, it automatically has a default value associated with it (namely, today's date, unless otherwise coded).

However, there are two reasons why we would like the default value to be blank (as on Enketo).

  1. When the date is not available (and thus the answer not required), we want the output value to be empty, so that we know it's not available.

This could be "solved" by adding a previous question asking the availability of the date and using a skip pattern for the date question, although this would seriously complicate the form (several of those dates are asked). But this would not address the second reason, which is:

  1. When the date is indeed available, we want to make sure that the surveyor actually selects the correct date, even if the date is today (in which case we currently have no way of knowing if s/he just forgot to answer the question).

This could be "solved" by using a constraint along with a default value that is not allowed (e.g., a future date or 1900-01-01), so that the surveyor will HAVE to change it. But using both those bypass solutions – each several times! – just to make sure our data is reliable would really make this form a pain in the neck. And we don't want that.

So, does anyone know if there's now a simple solution to this, or if we just have to wait for the developers to create one?

Thanks in advance for your answers.

Sébastien Mercier

Hello all, is there a response for this? I kind of find myself in the same situation with no clear way to go about it. Thanks!

ODK Collect v1.6.0 and greater has blank dates (like Enketo). See for screenshots.

Thanks...let me try this out. I think it will work