WordPress Google Form v0.63-beta-2

What? Another beta release? Yes. A few weeks ago I had a report from a user who ran into a problem with WordPress Google Form running under PHP 5.4.4-14+deb7u2. None of the values in the form were being submitted to the target spreadsheet. The user was able to resolve the problem by changing how I was calling wp_remote_post() and sent me a DIFF file.

Unfortunately I had already started working on the changes I made to support multiple form instances (v0.61, v0.62) and the diff file couldn’t be applied to my source tree. I then forgot about it in my effort to get v0.61 out which had a number of other fixes in it that were affecting quite a few people.

Over the weekend I received a couple more help requests from people who had forms submitting that didn’t result in any data in the spreadsheet OR if the fields were required, messages indicating they had unanswered questions.

In looking at one of these sites in detail, everything looked correct on the WordPress side.  This site has the Suhosin security module installed.  I’ve run into Suhosin before but I couldn’t find any comments in my code nor any references to it on my web site.  I am guessing that I was never able to fix the problem when I ran into it previously.  In reading about Suhosin again, I recalled the patch which was sent to me a couple weeks ago.

My suspicion is that the way I was constructing the arguments to wp_remote_post() isn’t palatable to some versions of PHP.  I decided to implement the changes that the patch had incorporated and see if it would address the problem.  The change involves constructing the body argument as an array instead of a long URL formatted string.  This is the right way to do it and it makes the code a little cleaner when needing to look at the parameters passed to wp_remote_post().

I was able to incorporate the patch by manually finding the corresponding source code lines in my current version and accounting for the changes I have made in the past month and get a beta release together fairly quickly.  This fix allows the test form on the sites (one running PHP 5.4.6, one running PHP 5.3.10-1ubuntu3.8 with Suhosin-Patch).

If you want to try out this latest version, I would appreciate any feedback.

Google Forms Beta (466 downloads)

4 thoughts on “WordPress Google Form v0.63-beta-2

  1. Test plugin demand. How would you go about testing demand for a wordpress plugin? So how to find out if there is demand, before putting in lots of time creating the plugin. Thoughts? … I have spreadsheet formulas that build web applications, just wanted to see if demand exists to make it work as a wordpress plugin. Eddy.

    • There really isn’t a good answer to this question. Most of the things I’ve worked on were to solve a particular problem that I faced. The WordPress Google Form plugin is a good example – I needed a way to capture user input for a Middle School Booster Club site. I decided to see if I could solve the problem with Google Forms as it would deposit the data into a spreadsheet which would be pretty handy and easy to use. In the end, I never used the plugin for its intended purposes but as I developed it I thought other people might be interested in it so I made it available. It has turned out to be pretty popular. I have a couple of other plugins which I have in the works which I haven’t made available yet but expect I will at some point. I almost always develop something to solve a problem I have and if others have it too, they are welcome to use my solution. I can’t recall developing something just because I thought someone else might find it useful. I am sure some people do, but I haven’t done so.

      Developing and supporting a plugin is a great learning experience. How you support your users, what you do if you break someone’s site, why your code doesn’t work in certain situations, etc., – these are all things that you can learn a lot from. I try to answer all of the support questions I receive. Sometimes I respond quickly, other times it takes me a few days. Sometimes things fall off my radar screen and I completely forget about them. It happens. I do WordPress as a hobby so supporting my plugins is on a best efforts basis.

      The only other way you can test for demand is to look for existing solutions which are similar. If there are, check the download counts and the support threads. Are people generally happy with the plugin? Does the author respond and help? If there is a dissatisfied user base, then there is likely demand for a better and better supported plugin. If there is a good solution that people are happy with, you face an uphill battle. People rarely change unless something is broken or the support is so poor they’re willing to try anything else.

  2. Thanks for this fix, had a problem with submissions not showing up on google side, this beta solved the issue for me. Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks for letting me know, it helps to have more than one data point. Your confirmation is the 4th I’ve received so I am going to go ahead and release this update.

Leave a Reply