My "note" questions are suddenly appearing with a text field?!

Hi! I have a live survey I was previewing, and I am seeing that suddenly all of my “note” questions have a text field with them. It’s extremely confusing for the survey user as they’re notes, not questions…what’s happening? Anyone else having this issue?

1 Like

Yup. Looks like something just broke.

What’s happening is that the exported XML XForm definition from Kobo is now suddenly not populating the read-only flag on ‘notes’ correctly. For example, in my simple form displaying age:

 <bind nodeset="/data/age_is_age" readonly="false()" required="false()" type="string"/>
<input ref="/data/age_is_age">
  <label> age is <output value=" /data/age "/> </label></input>

whereas for notes it should be

 <bind nodeset="/data/age_is_age" readonly="true()" required="false()" type="string"/>

Enketo picks up text questions with a read-only flag of true and doesn’t display the usual text field for the user to type something in. So its not Enketo that’s broken, its probably the Kobo form-to-XML conversion (pyxform)?

We have raised this with one of our engineers and we should be able to inform you when this is resolved.

Hi everyone, you can follow the progress on this issue at It should only affect and not, which hasn’t received the new releases yet.

We’ve reverted the change that caused this problem, but you will still have to remove false from the “Read Only” setting for your note questions that have already been affected. In the form builder, click the settings gear for each note, and erase false from the “Read Only” text box as shown below:

If you have many of these, you may find it easier to export your form as XLS and remove the false values from the read_only column.

Edit: Please be aware that the “Read Only” setting will not appear (at all!) in the form builder if the question does not already have a value for this setting. As @Xiphware notes, you will not see “Read Only” for a brand-new note question (or any type of brand-new question). Eventually, we will expose this setting in the form builder again; you can track the progress of that by following

Forms on that were saved using the graphical form builder between 16:17 UTC on 13 February 2019 and now (17:33 UTC on 19 February) are affected.

1 Like

I’m not seeing any Read-Only in the question options (?)

(this is for a brand new form just created from scratch)

FYI removing the “false” from the read only box on my note questions resolved the error in the form. Thank you!

Hey @Xiphware, it won’t appear unless it had a stored value already. I’ll add that information to my earlier post to avoid confusion!

Actually, what I meant, is the read-only option doesn’t appear on any new question anymore (not just notes)… Is that intentional?!

“Read Only” was not shown in the form builder prior to the latest release, and we’ve temporarily rolled back that change due to the issue described in this thread.

Gothca. So it is coming back someday. thnx. (I might put in a plug to allow XPath expressions as opposed to just true/false, but that’ll require some careful UI thought. No sure you want to go down the path of a complex UI for constructing an XPath expression like you can for relevant/skip logic - that seems like overkill for read-only, which 95%+ of the time will be true/false… Perhaps an advanced option?)