Early testing of the Manchester 2020 conference platform

For @yala @mladen
cc. @vliegey
People who have accounts from previous conferences aren’t able to upload.

Three examples ( <> indicates my first responses ). I’m including names so that they can be identified on Scriptum and returned to in the email trail to answer them.

Inge Røpke

I got ”this action is not allowed” when following the link to upload a proposal.

Now I get “Invalid email or password” when I try to follow the link (both with this new password and the previous one).

I haven’t received any notification of the new password [set by MB as admin]. Maybe it needs more time to work?

Christian Kerschner

I’ve managed to go to my account on the Malmö web (where it shows my contributions I had then), but I don’t see where I can update or upload anything.

<<Hi Christian,

Does this link work?

https://scriptum.degrowth.net/en/MAN2020/events/new >>

the link gets me to exactly where I was before. I just don’t know what to do next. I don’t seem to be able to upload anything. Or am I overseeing something? Have clicked on everything I think.

see screenshot

Brian Davey

I was at Budapest and helped in the admin of Malmo so I’ve logged in (and changed my password ) but can find no place where I can upload the a call for participation in a sub themes (in my case a mental health sub theme). There are places where I can upload for “sessions” which I take to mean individual presentations. Also there seems to be a mixture of references to Malmo and Manchester. Your email to me says:

"You will be able to upload your proposal at https://scriptum.degrowth.net/en/MAN2020 which will then be used to archive and deposit abstracts and papers as and when they become available. "

However, when I click onto your link what comes up is a different link which is this: https://scriptum.degrowth.net/en/malmo2018

<<Sorry about this. I can’t see why you are having this Malmo problem, in that I can’t replicate it.

I’ll ask the technical team to investigate. However, it might just be a browser cache problem at your end. If so, this might help: https://www.refreshyourcache.com/en/home/ and then try again. >>

I tried refreshing the cache and it made no difference. I am still sent to an old web page that refers to Malmo. I use linux mint as my operating system as chromium as my browser. However I also tried using firefox as a web browser and that made no difference either. I am stuck.

Maybe it would all be clear if I was sent to the proper page but I can find no place where I can upload anything.

Thanks for this, they seem like good problem descriptions but I can’t help with them as I have not encountered them before. I am pretty confident @yala will be able to identify simple errors that lead to these hickups. Thanks, Mladen

Another similar one to those reported above:
David Barkin
“ … the registration page did not work for my email and there was no recourse! (I tried getting a new password and that did not work)”

With the little overview I have had now that I returned to the office briefly, I can see that all of these people don’t have accounts associated with Manchester2020 conf. At least in Kerschner case that might be because he has multiple ‘persons’ (that is like a public profile and content) related to the same email address (gmail). This creates confusion in the system with associating correct ‘user’ (that is is the role on the navigation and use of the platform) with the given email address and person. That was the hardest problem and I know @yala and @ponder dealt with it in both the Budapest and Malmo cases. I could try, at lest in Kerschner case uniting multiple persons to one user and email, but am not very fresh on steps needed. If the other two can soon come online to help, please do!!!
Important question @mark.burton : are the 4 cases you mention the only who reported these problems whereas the large number of ppl now associated with MAN2020 conf managed to completed their submissions without such problems? if that is the case we can focus on specificities of these cases, even to the point of deleting all their records and asking them to start fully anew or doing their submission by admins, rather than addressing a principled problem in the structure of the platfrom. thanks, can’t do more right now.

Hi @mladen that’s helpful.
Up to now it has been just the 4 people (3 in my earlier post and then D Barkin). At Inge’s request I deleted her identities and as you note, this is a workaround.
However, I can’t guarantee that everyone this might effect has got around to accessing the site yet. In fact I think it’s likely that more will both from the current tranch of people whose subtheme proposals were accepted (we aren’t using the term subthemes any more) and from those that answer the open call which has yet to be announced.
So if at all possible, a solution would be helpful.

I have a further question: it looks like I can change the conference title: if possible I’d like to add "16th ‘International Society for Ecological Economics into the title (or if necessary an abbreviated version of that). The reason is that this time we are running it as a joint conference with that group and they are rather sensitive about ensuring it is clear that it is seen to be a joint conference. I can see how to make the change but a) would this have impacts on the URL? and b) is there a character limit?

Further to the above Inge Ropke tried to register anew after I deleted her two identities. There is no record on the people database and she didn’t get the confirmation email. It’s possible that the problem is at her end (Maybe not finishing the registration) but if not, then it’s a problem to address please.

@mark.burton If she did not click on the link in the confirmation email she cannot be addeed to the database of ppl (to prevent unwanted registration by third parties - though I admit that may not ever have been a danger). If the confirmation email was blocked by her server or eneded up in her spam, she needs check her spam folder and we need to check scriptum’s security certificates related to automatic email sending (we may be blacklited by some email servers as spamming). It is best for you to try creating a new user with another email address that you have and checking the process - not as admin but as submitter. I feel I see new names and that other people have gone thru this process succesfully, i.e. they are not all simply recalled from previous conferences. If it is just Inge, might be easiest to ease her pain by making her a User from our end and giving her the pwd. I hope @yala can read this an help.

@mark.burton @yala @ponder Duplicates have been a very old problem in the database as we had several ways of entry into database (as passive co-authors, as active submitters, as appointed reviewers etc.). Here is the verbatim text of instruction that Robert prepared for cleaning the database which had to be done by hand by Admins. It is old and things may have changed, but this is what i could dig up as possible workaround without deleting all previous participation. The text that follows is Robert’s old instruction:
Workflow-Proposal for Duplicate-
Talking about the real-world and the computer-world at the same time is difficult. To represent the
real world in the computer world we use the same words, so we have a frame of reference. When
both world come together, we need to figure out a way to differ the one from the other. In this
document, „Person“ or „People“ refers to an entry in our database and „person“ and „people“ will
refer to real-world objects.
The Problem
At the moment it is more than possible that the same person is represented in our database by
several People. This was possible due to a design decision we took very early in the process. For
submitters to be able to add Contributors and Co-Authors, they needed to be able to create People. I
had to make a decision at this point: Either we have them select from a list of People to avoid
duplication and only if the person who they want to add is not in the list it will be added as a new
one, or we just have them create People as they go and figure out who is a duplicate later. I’ve
chosen the second option, because like this the information who already is in our database will be
hidden from other submitters. This was a privacy concern. I could have automated the lookup for a
pre-existing Person but at this point I also figured: This can be done through a script later, so it does
not matter if we do this now or when it will be necessary.
Why did it become necessary? Let’s imagine we have a person who submitted an Individual Paper
and was added as a Contributor to two other special sessions. This means this person now has three
representations in the Database. When we now accept both special sessions and the Individual
Paper, this person will receive three invites to the conference. Lets also say these submissions were
done in completely different categories and therefore it is possible that these events could take place
at the same time. We will not know about conflicts if the same person has a different Person
associated wtih each session.
The Solution – Step 1: „Automation“
The first thing I did was writing a script that went through the database and checked for people with
the same e-mail address. People can have the same name (just imagine the most common name
from the place where you come from) but two people who have the same name still have different
e-mail addresses (in the vast majority of cases, something contrary is still possible but very
unlikely). Like this I was able to remove 214 duplicate people from the database already.
Unfortunatly, this was not enough. Going through the People displayed by the software, we can see
that there are a lot of People with the same name but with different e-mail addresses. Taken the
argument above, I can not decide in code if these are representing the same person and even if I
could, the time to test and write the code for this is way bigger than the amount of time and effort a
human brain has to invest. And as you will see when you will go through the submissions: human
intervention is needed not only because of the duplication problem.
The Solution – Step 2: „A Human Brain“
Everyone who accesses the platform in the role of orga and above can make changes to sessions and
people in the database. This ability is needed to sanitize the data we have on our submitters and
their supporters (co_authors and session_contributors).
What we need to do to sanitize the data:

  1. Go to the list of „All People“ on the platform:
  2. Sort this list alphabetically by „Last Name“
  3. Check the e-mail address if it makes sense. Some of the e-Mail addresses have special
    characters like ] or > leading or trailing. Remove them, so we will be able to send them
  4. Go through the list and identify People with the same First and Last Name
  5. Figure out if the People represent the same person
  6. If you think they represent the same person – santize it!
  7. Open details for all of the duplicates in new tabs by clicking on their names
  8. Check if one of the duplicates has a User-Account assigned to it (meaning: Is a submitter
    or part of the crew – i will just use submitter from here on for brevity) – this is the one
    we want to keep so we will not mess with the login of that person.
  9. If none of them is a submitter, decide which one you want to keep. It does not really
    matter, but what I did in my script: If the person is session_contributor in one session
    and co_author in another I went for the session_contributor, because this one HAS to
  10. Write down the id of the Person you want to keep. You can find the id in the address bar
    of your browser when you go to the person-details:
  11. Go to the Events the duplicate People are involved in, click on the tab „people“ and then
    on the button „edit people“. Change all the involvements of our unwanted duplicates to
    the Person we want to keep. I’ve made it so that they are listed with the id in front of
  12. After you’ve done this, you can delete the unwanted People. No information will be lost
  13. As you are doing this you will note some pretty great fuckups in the submission system.
    Some people submitted the same session twice with different users. Other people just
    created two accounts and submitted two different sessions of the same type. And so on and
    so on. How to deal with those is a decision that needs to be made by the organizing
    committee. So write down the sessions and what seems to be fishy about them. I would just
    disqualify them for cheating and not accept either of their sessions.
    The Unfortunate Conclusion
    There are two kinds of problems we have to solve here: Limitations that were presented by the
    software as we provided it – and people who just messed with the system and did not like or did not
    know about the rules for participating in and submitting to this conference. I am afraid that the latter
    are a lot harder to fix.
1 Like

Thanks @mladen, I’ll try these suggestions.

A further problem: on the submitter login, we still have the text: “If you encounter any problems, please feel free to contact info@malmo.degrowth.org for technical support.” I can’t see how to change this - the address has been changed in settings to degrowth2020@manchester.ac.uk which is correct. Can it be changed on the submitter page to this too please?

Yes, I’ve tested it and new people are able to sign up. I found Inge’s email address on the system but with first name NN and second name NN so it looks like an unsuccessful registration.
I tried to create an account for her as admin but on testing it the system wouldn’t accept the email and password combination.
So I’ve asked her to try again taking care to let the page refresh and then on confirmation to ensure her public name isn’t her email address.

Hi @mladen @yala We tried again. This is what happened:

I tried to sign up and get this information:

    You have signed up

successfully. An email with confirmation instructions has been
sent to the address you provided. Please follow these
instructions to complete your registration

     but after several hours I still haven’t received

the promised email with confirmation instructions (not in the
spam folder either).

    I entered her account and set a password.  On

trying to log-in with it, the email and password combination was

      We seem

to be completely stuck here. Could it be that there is
something strange about her email address? As an interim I’ve
suggested she try with an alternative email address. It is
now looking like this is affecting just her (possibly Brian
Davey too).


1 Like

I am stumped. I tried adding a false session to her Person, so that she has a submission linked to her submitter, but to no avail. I cannot log in as participant with her credentials, still get ‘invalid email or pasword’. @yala please help. I assigned pwd: Man2020 to her email from the admin backend. Thanks, mladen

@yala @mladen
We are still stuck with this issue.
It looks like it might be domain specific. IR got a colleague to try and register and he got the same problem: their domain is @plan.aau.dk

Hey Mark, we are struggling with space and internet here in the venue in Budapest, please give us a few minutes barter 4pm start

1 Like

Update 2 Feb.: @mladen @vliegey @yala
Re Inge, I deleted her account and recreated it using a spare gmail account of mine as the login and contact address (if doing this be careful to delete all instances of the person and email addresses used under ‘people’). Having got this to work, I changed both the login address and the (public) contact address to her real address and tested logging in with those credentials. That worked too. I have informed her of this and we’ll see if it works now from her end.
I@ve added keywords, based on the Budapest list but extended. I think that should cover all eventualities. A bit authoritarian but we can’t really wait for a committee to deliberate on what will just be an aid to sorting sessions.
I’ve written to DB, BD and JR. A few more responses to do yet.

1 Like

@mark re:Inge and others, that is great news. Thanks for the extra work, but that is great workaround. I still don’t know why the glitch happened, still most probably something with their email servers rejecting initial registration.
Re: keywords, you are absolutely right that keywords are just a technical sorting device, they don’t need to show if committee is sensitive about such things, in the final programme keywords can be denigrated in importance or just hidden. Thank you very much for applying good sense to these issues, greetings from a very early morning Budapest.

A further problem. This was someone who had the same problems as IR, discussed and resolved earlier in logging in. In the end I deleted his new account and instead edited his old account (used for Budapest and Malmo) with his new email address. That worked but then:

" However, when I tried to update my profile, the message displayed below in the screenshot appeared not telling me exactly what is too long (actually I did not enter anything long…). What to do?

I will continue with finding out by the email from 12th Jan what I should do with the other parts on the session which I co-submitted or what I should tell my co-submitters/authors to do.

# When clicking on the session/contribution links or the buttons right of it (see second screenshot), I always come to a new webside telling me “The page you were looking for doesn’t exist.

*You may have mistyped the address or the page may have moved.”.

I am stuck on this one - any ideas @mladen @yala ? (user is Volker M)