Ramping back up for Swim Team

I have not done much work on wp-SwimTeam over the past few months but about a week ago I dusted off my virtual machine (have I ever mentioned how much I love VMware Workstation?) in preparation for the upcoming season.  Since I last worked on the project there have been numerous patches for Windows XP (my development area is an XP VM) and WordPress has moved from 2.7 through the 2.8.x releases and is now on 2.9.1.

All new work will be done against 2.9.1 (for now) so I have upgraded WordPress and the plugins that I use in conjunction with wp-SwimTeam.  There are two areas where I will focus on immediately – importing results which I never finished last year and volunteer management.  I’ll probably finish the portion of results I am working on right now and then move on to volunteer management since we’ll need that functionality in March when the MacDolphins do registration.

New functionality in the works

I haven’t posted much but I have been working on wp-SwimTeam off and on now that the MacDolphins summer season is over.  I haven’t released anything yet but I’ve made some significant improvements. 

Opt-In/Opt-Out

Improvements have been made to the Opt-In/Opt-Out process to make it much less confusing.  The Opt-In/Opt-Out form is now smarter, only presenting the list of strokes to the user when a Partial Opt-In/Opt-Out is selected.  The ability to Opt-In/Opt-Out has also been added to the “My Swimmers” tab to make it easier to find.

Login Redirect

I’ve also added a new option to control what happens when end users login to a site running wp-SwimTeam.  For most users, landing on the WordPress Dashboard page is confusing.  They don’t care about 99% of the stuff presented to them nor should they.  The plugin now allows definition of a login redirect so the user can be sent to either the home page or the Swim Team Overview (which is what I expect to use most of the time) page.  Landing on the Swim Team Overview page makes the most sense for most users since when they login, they are most likely doing some level of interaction with the swim team functionality.

Results Import

Results import is still  in progress, the other two areas mentioned above are complete.  At this point importing results does little more than perform a first pass validation that the supplied file is indeed a SDIF results file.  Now that I have the uploading and validation complete, I need to work on the data model to store results.  Results will be connected to swimmers and meets and events.  Since a new table will be created, results will change the database version when it is released.

Initially I expect to simply report results from a meet and be able to look at results for any given swimmer.  Longer term I want to use Open Flash Chart to plot results on a per swimmer basis over the course of a season or possibly several seasons.  I don’t expect to get to this until much later this year though.

WordPress 2.8.x

I am still working with WordPress 2.7.1 in my development environment.  I haven’t even tried 2.8.4 yet so I have no idea what the impact is.  I will likely do so once I am done with the results.

wp-SwimTeam v0.1.417 – Meet Report Shortcode

I posted wp-SwimTeam v0.1.417 this afternoon to the download page.  This update adds new functionality and fixes a few minor things which have bothered me as I found them during the season.

The big new feature is a new shortcode – wpst_meet_report.  This shortcode allows a the contents of a meet report to appear in a post or a page like this example on the wp-SwimTeam demo site.

The reports also now support hiding first and last names by only showing the initial as well as the ability to override the first name with a nickname if the swimmer’s profile has one.  The missing ability to display a map on the swim meet report has been added so the checkbox on the form is now enabled.  The reports can now display opt-in and opt-out information chronologically in the order they were added to the system as well as the previously available by name and by swimmer label.

wp-SwimTeam v0.1.377 – Administrative Fields

I posted a new build of wp-SwimTeam this afternoon for download.  This build supports the new administrative mode for user and swimmer optional fields.  It has not had a significant amount of testing but I was able to run through quite a few scenarios and all behaved as expected.

This build also introduces a new type of optional field the NO-YES option.  This is similar to the YES-NO option but defaults to NO instead of YES.

Administrative Fields for Users and Swimmers

I had a request to support fields that weren’t visible to the end users when they used the system.  I decided to support these “administrative” fields as I have been referring to them by enhancing the optional fields for swimmers and users to be tagged as “user” fields or “administrative” fields.

When a field is defined as “administrative”, only users with WordPress permissions of EDITOR or higher will have the fields visible.  For all other users, they are hidden.  An Admin or Editor can change the value of the field and it will be saved when the user or swimmer data is saved.

The first practical usage of this is with a team that wants to mark registration fees as paid on a per swimmer basis.  Not the sort of thing you would expose to a parent but useful from a logistics perspective.

Both user and administrative fields are available in reports.

TSA Presentation

I have been asked to present the experiences of the MacGregor Downs MacDolphins with WinSwim and our team web site at the March board meeting of the Tarheel Swimming Association (TSA).

Our experience with Hy-Tek and ultimately WinSwim were significant drivers in the development of the wp-SwimTeam plugin.  I have made the presentation available for download.

[download#4#image]

Demonstration for TSA

I have been asked to demonstrate the MacDolphins‘ web based Swim Team registration system (which is wp-SwimTeam) to the Tarheel Swimming Association at one of their upcoming board meetings.

I will we out of town for work for their February meeting so it looks like it will be in March which should give me sufficient time and motivation to finish up a lot of the unfinished work.  I really need to get to work on a sample theme too – the theme I am currently using on the MacDolphins site is not widget ready which is a big limitation.

Swim Team season is just around the corner!

Before I know it swim team season will be here again and it has been a while since I worked on the plugin.  Uh-oh.  This fall has been busy, busy, busy with other stuff and I put the plugin development on the back burner for a while.

Since I last worked on the plugin, WordPress 2.7 has been released.  WordPress 2.7 is so much better than any of the prior releases, going forward I expect it will be a requirement to continue to use the plugin.  The Dashboard integration will be much more elegant if I require 2.7.

Look for some new updates in the very near future.