Null timestamps


OK, i got a chance to take a look at this, your problem is interesting so I am sharing it with the KoBo Users group, I hope you don’t mind, and others might benefit.

You are having your timestamps come up as NULL, but I loaded and filled out your form and that is not what happened for me. Using your survey created in KoBoForm, I see that the meta fields are populated with dates and times like this:

<?xml version='1.0' ?>3590280381052172011-11-11T15:10:43.664-052011-11-11T15:11:10.116-05

that seems to be correct.

I notice that though you are using KoBoForm to build your survey you are running it in ODK Collect. For all practical purposes, I think that should work, as KoBo has not made any changes to the part of the code that populates those meta fields. However, to be sure, I would like you to uninstall ODK Collect and install KoBoCollect from the Market.(or download it from the kobotoolbox website.) This will not disturb any of your existing forms or instances.

Then, run a test and see if you are pulling NULLs.

Second, can you send me one of your completed surveys that contains NULLS in the meta fields?

Third, the next step will be to determine how you are getting NULLs and I am not. It may be something we need to address either in KoBo or let ODK know about it lest it affect someone’s data collection.

Technically yours,



2011/11/9 Anika Vinze

Hi Neil,

Attached is the survey I’m using. I’m actually using ODK Collect, just KFB - wasn’t sure if the problem is related to the form itself or the collect mechanism.

Thanks for your help!


On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 6:22 PM, Neil Hendrick wrote:

Can you forward me your blank survey and one of the completed ones with Nulls in it?

Also, can you tell me what version of KoBo Collect you are running? It will say “based on ODK version …” in the opening screen.



On Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 1:25 PM, Anika Vinze wrote:

Hi Neil,

I just noticed that the beginning and ending timestamps for a form I built with KFB are coming out as “null” when I extract the data (from ODK Aggregate). Just wondering if there is a way to fix it.

Thanks for your help!