Gallformers needs (technical) help

Hi all,

Thanks to the help and advice I’ve recruited from this wonderful community over the past few years, my confounder @jeffdc and I have been able to build and accomplish a lot for the study of gall inducing organisms. Unfortunately, right now we’ve run into a bit of trouble and I’d like to ask for your help once again.

A month or so ago, our database mysteriously lost a small but indeterminate amount of data. Since then we have placed a moratorium on adding or editing the site, which is of course a significant barrier to progress on the work we’d like to do. The alternative risks data being permanently lost without knowing how or when or why. Unfortunately, Jeff is the only person on our team with the skills to diagnose and fix the issue, and he is unable to do that work for the foreseeable future.

At this point we’ve been crowdfunding money on Patreon for a year and have some funds accumulated for situations like this (whether to pay for new tools and services or for labor). Still, I don’t think we can afford to hire someone at market rates. If anyone in the iNat community (or someone you know) is able to help out, we would be very happy to pay what we can . I’d really like to get the site up and running again soon without losing confidence in the security of the data.

The technical specs for the site are here:

I would like to

  1. develop some idea of what happened to the data
  2. fix that underlying issue if feasible
  3. have a backup system that mitigates potential data loss
  4. have a system to log changes so that we have more information if this happens in the future
  5. have a system that compares backups to alert us to discrepancies

I don’t have a sense of how ambitious or arduous each of those steps are individually or together but any help with any of those issues would be much appreciated.

Thanks for any suggestions or connections you have!


Just want to thank you, @jeffdc, and everyone else who’s helped make Gallformers. I don’t really know any coders outside of iNat’s team, but I wish you luck.


I’ve been doing software engineering a long time, but I’m not a JS dev and not someone with a background in your stack including sqlite.Is there a sqlite query history that you could audit to find the problem query that ate your data? If possible, that’s the place to start to identify the cause.I’d volunteer if I would be useful but alas I don’t think I would be of much use here.


I was able to find some help from a Twitter mutual and the situation is on its way to being resolved. Thanks to everyone who wished us well!


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