Hint vs Guidance Hints

It looks like something changed recently and now all question hints added to questions in Kobo are exported in the resulting XML as jr:itext translations (whereas before regular ol’ English hint would just go in the XML as regular text). Does anybody know if this is a change in kpi form builder, or the (new) pyxform it is using to export the XML file?

    <translation default="true()" lang="default">
      <text id="/data/enter_name:hint">
        <value form="guidance">this is a hint</value>
<input ref="/data/enter_name">
  <label>enter name</label>
  <hint ref="jr:itext('/data/enter_name:hint')"/>

whereas before this would just come out as

<input ref="/data/enter_name">
  <label>enter name</label>
  <hint>this is a hint</hint>

Its rather a serious problem - for me - 'cause our XForm client doesnt support itext translations yet! (we’re not using ODK Collect or Enketo) :anguished:

OK. I see what is going on now… What used to be the ‘hint’ in the question settings popup has become “Guidance Hint”, whereas in the new UI the hint text is actually entered directly under the question label. I was mistaken and thought ‘hint’ was simply renamed to ‘guidance hint’ but now also editable from the question row. Whereas in fact there are now two distinct hints: the old regular one, and now a new so-called “Guidance Hint”.

The latter is associated with the ‘guidance’ form (whatever that is…) and is always itext’ed, but the good old regular hint - the one you edit directly from the question row (which isnot in settings anymore!) - is still exported as <hint>this is a hint</hint>

WHEW! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

1 Like

That’s right, the old Hint field is now right below the question label. We’ve made this change because both of these items are always visible on the screen during the interview. The hint is not “hidden” like the other settings.

The Guidance Hint shows up when you print your form in Enketo and can be used during training. Here are more details about this new feature and how it was implemented. Xform specs are here.


Web form view:

Print view:

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BTW I like this new approach - make more sense than having the hint ‘hidden’ under settings, and it makes the form builder look that much closer to how Enketo renders the form (ie WYSIWYG). I just didnt notice it and accidentally started mucking about with the the new ‘guidance’ hint by mistake… :blush:

Minor nit, but I think calculations probably dont need a hint… :wink:

we experienced a small disadvantage. We are with a survey with EN and Arabic language. The questions (choices etc., asked to the respondent) will be translated, but the hints (for the enumerators), should always be in EN. This is possible, but then the formating for both is automatically left-side. Any idea how to change this? (Even tricks like preceding AR letter in the EN hint didn’t offer a good solution).
Best regards - تحيات كثيرة

What about having just one hint column versus two separate hint columns for each language (both using English text)? Do you have the same result in both cases?

Dear Tino,

Thanks. One hint (EN or default) only, will NOT show up when you choose the other language. So, it cannot help the enumerator in her Arabic (AR) interview, except she would always switch the language (on top of the screen) to see it. Your feedback motivated us to dig deeper. It shows that 2 languages creates several challenges, esp. if you require a mix. I will put it in a new topic.Multi-language (AR/EN) survey.

Kind regards