Today I committed new functionality which implements a new option called Auto-Register. Setting Auto-Register to Yes on the Swim Team Options panel causes new swimmers added to the system to be automatically registered for the current season. This saves a step which I found many people missed anyway. By default, this option is enabled.
It has been about a month now the MacDolphins have been using this plugin in conjunction with WordPress and everything is going pretty well. Next thing to implement is the Swimmer ID – we need those next week for the Swimmer Open House kickoff party!
Last Sunday we had our Swim Team open house and registration. It was the first serious test of the work I have done by someone other than myself. At work we have 8 laptops in a rolling case we use for workshops and training so I brought them home and set them up for people to use – I would have 8 people registering simultaneously. Because most people wouldn’t have access to their e-mail, I had them visit me first where I assigned them a username and password. They then logged in and registered themselves and their swimmers. Everything went pretty well for the most part. Except for one minor glitch.
I had a very late request (like an hour before registration) to capture one more field so I adjusted the data model, changed the form and tested everything. Since the data model changed I needed to deactivate and re-activate the plugin for the tables to update. Worked great in my development area but I forgot to deactivate and re-activate on the live server. Oops. People were getting database errors when they tried to update their contact information. Great.
Fortunate, the important part, the actual swimmer registration was unaffected so I had people skip their address and only worry about their swimmers. This worked fine and we registered almost 100 swimmers in about two hours. I knew if I had 5 quiet minutes to look at it, I would know what was wrong. Sure enough, once open house ended andI could look at it, I immediately saw what the problem was. Duh.
Now I need to ping every registered parent to update their contact information.
Last night I enhanced the swimmer data model so additional information can be captured. The swimmer record now support five (5) optional fields which are under the control of the site admin. This is similar functionality to what the user profile provides. Both the User profile and Swimmer profile optional fields hve been enhanced to support required, optional, and yes-no fields.
I also made a bunch of other minor tweaks to various things as I get ready for Swim Team registration on the 13th. Our team registration will be the smoke test of the system.
The Swim Team Overview, the first page the plugin presents to end users, has been updated to do something useful. It previously had some placeholder text on it. Now it reports the active season and the number of active swimmers per age group.
Today I finished the first pass on generating an SDIF file for the roster. I sent it to Hy-Tek and it doesn’t import. Great. Apparently they don’t seem to support all of the SDIF specification, just some of it. No mention of that anywhere on their web site.
On the plus side, I found a better version of the SDIF specification on the WinSwim web site. If I can get WinSwim to digest the SDIF file I generated, I may push our team to use it.
I haven’t had a lot of time to work on the plugin but got back to it last night and am really trying to get the roster export completed. It isn’t hard but it is tedious as there is lots of data to output in the SDIF format. I am close to being done and found an inconsistency with the D1 record. It allocates 12 characters for the USS# field however the USS# field is 14 characters long. Since it looks like it is only mandatory for submitting data to USS, I may omit it. I also sent an e-mail to Hy-Tek to see how they handle it, we’ll see if they respond. For now I think I will omit it and move on. I need a copy of Team Manager to test with – that is my next dilema.
I am back working on the plugin after almost a three week hiatus. I went to Japan on vacation for 10 days so the time leading up to our trip and the week or so afterward were both busy getting ready to be gone from work and dealing being gone from work. Japan was great and we had a wonderful time.
Now that I am back, I am working on the plugin again. I have a April 14th deadline of sorts as that is the day our swim team registration ocurrs. Most of what is necessary for registration is already working so I think I am ok but I really want to nail down this Hy-Tek import stuff. I found a few bugs in the roster and profile code from when touching the data as an admin but now that those bugs are sorted out, I can truly focus on the export function.
In the time I have been gone, WordPress has released verion 2.5 which is a fairly significant change. I think I will wait to deal with upgrading WordPress until after I work out the export function.