I was going through Unknowns yesterday when I noticed some odd behavior. After adding an ID I realized at the last second that there was a placeholder I had missed, so I deleted my ID and opened the .json of the observation to recover the placeholder. I noticed that the species_guess value where I have previously found retained placeholders was nulled. I managed to recover the placeholder through a cached version of the page, so I went on without too much issue. Today I was thinking about the same thing when another observation with a placeholder ID came up, and I decided to do a little digging. With my ID added the .json behaved “normal” with species_guess still showing the placeholder, but when I deleted the ID the species_guess switched to null. Not wanting to mess up anything from other peoples observations I made my own observation to test the behavior of the .json with deleted IDs. It seems to behave a little differently with your own ID (leaving the last identification as the value in species_guess instead of the original placeholder). When another user added and deleted an ID species_guess was nulled.
This may be “working as intended” but I think it is a change from how placeholders were retained in the recent past.
Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.
Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website
App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):
Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome
URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages: My test observation after an ID was added and deleted showing a null species_guess https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/69310897
A previously unidentified observation showing species_guess with the placeholder with a active ID (if I delete this ID species_guess will revert to null)
Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices: https://www.take-a-screenshot.org/): Showing the progression of value changes to species_guess as IDs are made and deleted (behavior is slightly different here I assume because I added the ID)
Change to the .json with an ID I added added then deleted
species_guess nulled after another user added and deleted an ID
Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):
Step 1: Find an ID with a placeholder (not your own)
Step 2: Add an ID then delete it
Step 3: .json species_guess value is now null