Season over, what next?

Our 2011 Summer Season is over and I will actually have some time to get back to work on wp-SwimTeam.  I find it hard to work on it during the season as I spend a lot of time doing swim team stuff.  Other than fixing something serious, I don’t have much free time to work on the plugin during the season.

But now the season is over and I won’t be working with our coach on line ups, spending time at the pool, etc, and I can spend some time on it again.  After our season there are a number of things I want to implement that I know we need for the MacDolphins:

  1. GUI improvements – there are a number of places the GUI can be confusing and needs some help.  I also hope to add some icons to make things a bit more intuitive.
  2. Export Meet Entries – all of the information can be stored with wp-SwimTeam, there is no reason why a Meet Entries file can’t be exported per the SDIF specification.
  3. Swimmer Reminders – similar to the volunteer reminder e-mails that can be sent in bulk, I plan to add the ability to send out swimmer reminder emails.  I am hoping that these reminder e-mails will improve the scratch process for us and eliminate our no-shows.
  4. Results – I have some work done (see the Flip-Turn demo) but do not have it integrated with wp-SwimTeam yet.  It isn’t complicated work but there is a lot of it to do.
  5. Hy-tek compatibility – there is some work done by others that should enable better Hy-tek compatibility.  I am hopeful that I can actually generate and/or process Hy3 and HYV files for entries, result, and events.
  6. New Theme – the MacDolphins theme needs to be updated.  It is based on the Sandbox theme and WordPress has evolved quite a bit since Sandbox was developed and even my extensions to Sandbox for the Sandbox-SwimTeam theme are showing their age.

Looking at Thematic for new projects

I built a number of WordPress themes based on the Sandbox theme.  Unfortunately I think it is time to migrate to a new theme framework.  I need to update a couple themes and I’ve been putting it off knowing that continuing to invest in Sandbox was probably a dead end.

After reading a bit and finding a book I like, Wicked WordPress Themes, I’ve decided to develop a child theme based on Thematic for my Middle School web project.  I should have bought the book from, it was $15 cheaper than my local Barnes and Noble but I wanted it immediately.

WordPress and Google Apps

I am starting on a new project to help our middle school.  The athletic teams and PTA do not have any sort of web presence so information is scattered across lots of web sites and it changes from year to year.  My wife is running the Boosters Club this year and asked me if I’d help put something together.  My work with the MacDolphins swim team has been a good experience for this as I want to assemble something that is sustainable and easy to add content to.

I’ve decided to use Google Apps for as much as a I can as (a) it is free and (b) it is unlikely to go away.  My plan is to use WordPress for the web site and Google Apps for pretty much everything else.  I am hoping to integrate some of the Google Apps content, in particular, calendars, on the web site.

WordPress 3.2 compatibility?

The simple answer is:  I don’t know.  Usually I try to at least smoke test wp-SwimTeam before a new release of WordPress goes out but I haven’t gotten to it yet for 3.2.  We’ve had two swim meets in a row postponed due to weather which means all of the pre-work has to be done twice.  Bleh.  Tonight’s forecast doesn’t look much better either.  I will try and run some tests before the end of the week but for now I recommend staying on 3.1.4.