Bug #13479

"Calculate date range" output not consistent

Added by Hector Akamine 8 months ago. Updated 8 months ago.

Status:NewStart date:02/25/2021
Priority:MediumDue date:
Assignee:-% Done:


Target version:-
Google Code Legacy ID: Tested version:2.6
Sponsored:No Requires documentation:


The "calculate date range" task's output sometimes do not produce the expected result ("?" instead of a date)

calculate-date-range.png (215 KB) Hector Akamine, 02/25/2021 08:58 PM


#1 Updated by Hector Akamine 8 months ago

Screenshot attached

#2 Updated by Dan Gillean 8 months ago

  • Status changed from New to Invalid

Hi Hector,

The date display field is a free-text field, so that users can use typographical marks based on the relevant standards to indicate approximation and uncertainty. Because of this, you can often encounter values like "?" or even "198-?" etc. This means we can't actually use the display dates to calculate date range values, nor can we reliably update it based on the controlled start/end date values collected from lower levels.

Because of this, the calculate dates job does not touch the display date field at all. Instead it will update the controlled YYYY-MM-DD start and end date values. This means it's up to the user to choose how they want to update the display date. The documentation reflects this in step 9, here:

9. Remember, AtoM will only update the start and end date fields for the target date, not the display date visible on the view page of the description. This is because the the display date field is a free-text field and may contain important non-numerical contextual information (such as typographical marks to express approximation or uncertainty, etc), and as such AtoM is not able to automatically update this field.

This means if you use the Calculate dates task, it is important that you review the display date field visible on the view page of the description after the task has completed, and make any further manual updates necessary. See above for more information on editing descriptions in AtoM: Edit an existing archival description.

For now I am going to mark this issue as invalid - but if I've misunderstood the bug report, please feel free to update it again as needed!

#3 Updated by Hector Akamine 8 months ago

From the client who reported the issue:

To clarify, my understanding is that the internal controlled startDate and endDate fields for lower level descriptions are used to calculate date range. When I ran the calculate date range task during testing, the date in the startDate field was calculated correctly but the date in the endDate field (in some cases) remained blank which led to "?" being the end date in the display date field.

In other words, I think the issue I encountered is not related to the display date field - the issue is the controlled endDate field not being calculated properly.

#4 Updated by Dan Gillean 8 months ago

  • Status changed from Invalid to New

Ah, okay thanks for the clarification. Probably needs some initial testing to reproduce and find out the cause, and some discussions on what the best outcome is. May still be considered an expected outcome though - typically, no end date means open ended, and atom does support open range searches.

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