Tags for links no longer hidden in "About" Project pages

On Android tablet and on MacOS

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:
eg https://inaturalist.nz/projects/gahnia-grove-site-summary-and-discussion

using the text
<a href="/projects/gahnia-grove-site-summary-and-discussion"><strong>Gahnia Grove</strong></a href>

which works here


" Tanekaha Ridge - Summary"</a href>
Fungi</a href>, <a href=/observations?place_id=any&project_id=tanekaha-ridge-summary&subview=grid&taxon_id=311249&verifiable=any">mosses</a href> , lichens and liverworts here await detailed survey and identification."

[Re: https://inaturalist.nz/projects/tanekaha-ridge-eskdale-forest-auckland-b4bcfd12-3169-4c55-9901-7a1d86253a85
(I have no idea why those extra characters appear at the end of thisProject name but it started a long time ago, I couldn’t get rid of them, and the link worked anyway]

and at https://inaturalist.nz/projects/tanekaha-ridge-summary?tab=about
<a href="/projects/gahnia-grove-2018-19-site-and-sub-sites">here</a href>

and at https://inaturalist.nz/projects/tanekaha-ridge-summary?tab=about:

<a href=/observations?place_id=any&project_id=tanekaha-ridge-summary&subview=grid&taxon_id=311249&verifiable=any">mosses</a href>

Screenshots of what you are seeing I think you will see the same as I. It makes no difference if I am logged in or not.

Description of problem
The text in those pages links correctly but contains visible tags, not seen when using the same “code” (what is the right word?) in Journal pages eg

Obviously I am not adept at using these “link-hiding” tags, and often have to correct my first attempts unless copying and pasting, so I use copy and paste a lot and I think I always check that they look right. I have been having consistent success in the Project About and Journal pages for over a year now, though they stopped working in Comments. Some of the links above have been in place for many months, and there are many of them. I use them all frequently to navigate my Projects, and they have been ok till today I stumbled on these examples. I assumed I had somehow made a change and tried to correct it, including removing the Strong tags, changing surrounding punctuation etc, but nothing worked, and in the end I found that the same text copied in a Journal page works fine.
I will have to check all through my interconnected Project pages to find all examples and that would take a long time, so I do hope this is a bug. If not, please let me know. And if you spot my stupid mistake, please let me know:)

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</a href> is not really a valid closing tag. </a> is the proper closing tag. it’s possible browsers may have tolerated </a href> in the past but no longer do.

EDIT: actually, it’s probably not browsers. it’s probably whatever the system is doing to eliminate threats from <a> tags. it probably tolerated </a href> in the past, but now it doesn’t. just use the proper syntax, and it should all be fine.

EDIT #2: i’m thinking about it again, and it’s probably not the thing that eliminates threats. rather, they implemented Markdown support in some places the other day, and i guess these places where you’re seeing the problem probably got the Markdown support, and the Markdown parser is probably the thing that’s intolerant of invalid html closing tags…


Thanks pisum. So I need to track down al the places I have used that link, in all my Project ages, posts and in comments, (which is likely impossible), and edit them? @tiwane Is this really expected? If so, I had better stop using iNaturalist as pulically available communicable research, as I doubt I can locate allmy past uses of the tag I was taught on this forum n the last year or two, and I would be embarrassed for readers to come across this standard of presentation.

I was planning to circulate the Year Two report of Gahnia Grove Project this weekend, but will hold off until I learn more about this.

Eg, if things like this can change, it makes no sense to use the Project pages for such things as ordering search results, as was suggested to me recently because the default for Ordered by is Added. So I - reluctantly - made dozens of such links and put them in my Project About pages.

Could you tell me what the proper syntax is please? I just edited a couple of tags from </a href> to and it didn’t fix it. Do I need to change the opening tag too? Bear in mind I only learned the word “tag” here on the forum last year, and only use those few I have learned for iNat.
CORRECTION I had introduced another error (lost a quote mark) during my attempts to fix it, and when Ifixed that it came right. So it seems all I have to do - as I locate each use of the tag - is remove the “ref”. It will still take me a good while, but its great to have a solution. Thank you.

@tiwane Can you advise on the protocol for changing things that will affect users’ past work? Search url’s will come into it too, if search results are used in published references.

Here is an example of a Journal page I used the </a href> tag in over a hundred times.
https://inaturalist.nz/projects/auckland-renh-kaipatiki-creek-trial-umbrella-project/journal/28067-trial-observations-grouped-by-locations-or-sub-zones. It was published as part of my report on a project supported by public funds. Fortunately that tag still works correctly in the Journal pages. Imagine having to edit those links if there were a further change!

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you’re welcome. you have a lot of projects (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/user/kaipatiki_naturewatch), but it seems doable to go through each and just check the project summary. there’s not really a great way to search through comments and identifications, but i may have a less bad way to search through identifications, if you really want to go through them all. (i don’t have a less bad method for comments though.)

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@tiwane What I really need to know now is if there is any possibility other changes will be made that will destroy work already done, eg all my reports to external parties who have enough trouble accessing the data provided by the observations as it is, even with my “guided tour” set up which has taken many hundreds of hours of work. I know nothing is certain in life, but if such disruption is unavoidable or to be expected, I can at least avoid investing further hundreds of hours.

And if a change is planned or foreseeable, a lengthy heads-up would be most appreciated.

And is the change discussed here to be implemented in Journal pages? The Annual report I am currently working on will need lots of work before release if that’s the case.

And will image-embedding tags change?

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post deleted, found my mistake with that particular page

I don’t think </a href> has ever been proper closing syntax for a link, so as long as you use the correct HTML for that and images there shouldn’t be any problems going forward.

HTML image code: https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_img.asp (see sidebar for more)
HTML on iNaturalist: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/useful-html-tags-for-inaturalist-comments-and-other-text-wiki/6198
Markdown cheatsheet: https://www.markdownguide.org/cheat-sheet/


[quote=“bouteloua, post:9, topic:14273”]
don’t think </a href> has ever been proper closing syntax for a link, so as long as you use the correct HTML for that and images there shouldn’t be any problems going forward.

Thanks bouteloua. The few tags I know I learnt from this forum, with much help from others and much reference to the suggested guides, cribsheets, journal posts etc. Is the wiki the “authorised” version for iNat that can be safely used?

What about my hundreds of uses of the tag discussed above, in Journal pages? Are they subject to overnight evaporation? If so I had better start spending an hour or so a day finding and fixing those, starting with the ones in my current report which I was about to send out to the stakeholders in my Project.

I can’t understand the external references you linked, and I dont know what is meant by a lot ofthe terms eg Markdown, but I will try the wiki.

Update…I see more of jdmore’s excellent guides there. I will work through the wiki again, but it seems there is still the possibility that what works, or is required, in one part of iNat will not work in another?

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Can someone tell me whether the link should start with a href or just “a”? Then I can start work on correcting the tags for my Report, as soon as possible, and learn more after that.

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This is a good link.

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I had a similar issue, just learned that I’ve been improperly formatting HTML tags for years but they used to get cleaned up by the parser and now they’re all ugly. It would be great to have a way to find them so I can fix them, ideally with some way to batch-repair so I don’t have to go through hundreds of my comments and identifications individually and delete two characters from bad hyperlink tags. I just need to replace all instances where I have typed <a> with >…


Yes, just read your thread.

@bouteloua Is there a system of notifying users of upcoming changes that may affect things? I realise upgrading and making things consistent throughout the site will inevitably cause disruption somewhere, and nobody knows what and where all our work is, but some effects could be anticipated and at least a heads-up given so we can try to pre empt the losses?

If you’re interested in keeping updated on changes to the code, you could check out the Github, subscribe to the News & Updates category here (and other topics, like the one that mentioned Markdown support being added to comments), and keep an eye on the iNaturalist blog.

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I can provide more informed answers during the week. As of now I don’t think journal posts are on the drawing board for this anytime soon.

Thank you @tiwane

Thanks, I do keep an eye out for updates but I will check whether I am subscribed. I did find a site called github one time I think but the format was hard to read iirc, and probably over my head. IS there a single place to go on that site for authoritative info on changes? What is the official source of updates - this forum?

EDIT - just checked, I have the News and Updates thread pinned (is this it? Screenshot attached) and scan the headlines regularly, and always (at least daily) scan the Subjects posted in my iNat homepage, but perhaps I didn’t recognise the significance of one so didn’t read it.

(I just edited the first screenshot out and added another, as I didn’t have the subjects ordered by Latest in the previous screenshot)

Just to follow up here, we plan on adding the new text formatting editor to the Identify page and possibly the Uploader, but that might be more complicated than it’s worth, UI wise. No plans to add this to journal posts or messages unless we revamp them entirely.

We just ran a check and there are only 28 comments where </a href> is used. We can probably fix consistent, widespread coding mistakes for comments, but not for journal posts or anything unaffected by the recent change. If you find a consistent widespread error, please let us know.

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Thanks @tiwane. I went about my other business today confident that my Journal will still be legible when I circulate it:) I think I have most of the Project pages fixed. I am not worried about comments, but will of course fix mine if i come across them.

I will try to correct the tag in as many of my Journal pages as possible to future-proof them.

As soon as I have time I will re-read the wiki and see if there is an authorised version of the image tag.

Does anyone have any other examples of code that is or will become incorrect?