Pavlovia/Gitlab Bug or Issue Reporting

Hi @jon @Becca @apitiot,
Say there’s a problem with Pavlovia or Gitlab and we have a study running, or there is some other relatively urgent issue. I don’t know how we would contact someone for help, other than by using this forum (although it appears that there used to be a “contact us” option at the bottom of the “About” page, but the link leads to a page with the message: “Oops! That page doesn’t exist or is private.”).
If we do want to rely on forum posts, I’m not sure who would be the person to contact (hence tagging all the Open Science Tools Team Directors on this). I’d like to request that some information be added to the Pavlovia website or to this forum so that in the rare event of a relatively urgent question, a user would know how to get in touch with the correct person(s).
Thanks, and thanks for all the great work that y’all do,

Hi Paul,

Thanks for letting us know that the about page had a broken link. I have now updated that. If by urgent issues you mean things like, “the website is down” then that would be the right way to go, although we do also have various alert mechanisms for things like that.

There are a few reasons why we don’t typically promote use of the support email for “URGENT: why isn’t my experiment working?” queries:

  • the forum is monitored by all the core team, as well as an army of volunteers that can help other users. That means you get many more eyeballs on your issue when posted there than you would if you posted to an email address accessible by just a few staff

  • we don’t have staffing levels to sustainably provide free 1-to-1 support given 40,000 monthly active PsychoPy users. If an email address even “for urgent queries” I think that email address would be absolutely inundated with queries

  • we can provide paid-for 1-to-1 support via our consultancy services to help you with urgent queries for your specific experiment, if needed

All that said, I do already get quite large number of people emailing me personally requesting help and I typically also direct them to the forum on the basis me providing 1-to-1 support isn’t a sustainable model

So, in summary, it is there now, but this isn’t the recommended way to get support! :slight_smile:

best wishes

Hi @jon ,
Thanks for updating that email. I was thinking about urgency at a very high level. Maybe not “the website is down” but “all of a sudden in an active study, none of the participants’ data is saving”.
Usually, the forum works very well, but there was a bug or error in Pavlovia/Gitlab over the last few days that made me think about this. There are some posts in the forum. I first noticed this because I could not access the data folder for an experiment on Gitlab. For the record, the issue is resolved today and it appears that I am now able to access Gitlab normally. It’s possible that this issue was related to a noticeable proportion of participants who received error messages when they finished an experiment. The data were saved, but they were not able to continue with the study (i.e., for me, they were not routed to a Qualtrics survey).
I certainly understand that for ordinary troubleshooting, 1 on 1 support is not feasible, but I was briefly concerned that there was a server error and potentially a problem with the data on Gitlab.
Thanks again!

Yes, indeed. It’s tricky, pragmatically, knowing how to convey the definition of what is “urgent”.

Regarding the actual problem this time around, the site has been under unprecedented pressure in the last few weeks, partly from people trying to upload spam pages pointing to their websites. So I suspect your issues might have been with pavlovia simply struggling with the pressure of load. We’re doing our best to reduce that issue partly by battling the spam authors and partly by working on a better set up for the servers

best wishes

Thanks for that info, Jon, and sorry to hear about the spam issue. Hope it’s not causing y’all too much stress.