wp-SwimTeam v1.27.879 now available

A new build, v1.27.879, is now availble. This build fixes the problem in the Jobs module where previously assigned jobs were not being displayed correctly which resulted in jobs appearing open which actually were not.

This build also addresses a few minor nits which it looks like didn’t make it into the version of the plugin available from the WordPress plugin repository.

  1. I’ve added a new option to Miscellaneous tab to control how time is formatted. Usage of the format is not yet pervasive through the plugin.
  2. Enhanced wpst_meet_schedule shortcode with two new attributes: fmt=’time format’ and ‘showtime=yes|no’. Default is not to show the time and use the time setting from the Miscellaneous tab. The fmt attribute expects a string formatted following the conventions outlined in the PHP date function.
  3. Removed redundant code from Swim Meet module.

The build has been pushed to the WordPress plugin repository and also appears on my Download & Installation page.

Export Meet Entries from wp-SwimTeam!

For the last week or so I’ve been working on a significant chunk of new functionality to export a Meet Entries file directly from wp-SwimTeam.  I’ve got a preliminary version of it working and I am able to generate a SDIF file which passes validation with the WinSwim SDIF Checker (which is absolutely invaluable if you work with SDIF data!).

The current implementation makes some assumptions (e.g. how zero times should be handled) which need to be under the control of the end user via a form. Now that I have it working, building the form should go pretty quickly.

The basic premise of exporting meet entries works is like this:

For each event in a swim meet (a meet must have a set of events connected to it), the active roster is compared against the scratch list and the remaining eligible swimmers have entries created for them.  For relay events, all eligible swimmers are listed as alternate swimmers for the ‘A’ relay team.  Once the entries are in your Meet Management tool, you can re-arrange swimmers into lanes and heats as you would normally do.

I know this new feature will save our team a ton of time as we try to reconcile our scratch list against the WinSwim database – now we won’t have to.  We’ll just import the entries and not have to worry about activating or deactivating swimmers.

I’ve also fixed a number of bugs so I am considering releasing an update with the functionality as it stands so people can try it out.  The bugs would be most obvious when either the User or Swimmer option count was set to zero.  In a number of places, the comparison was wrong and it result in using the default number of options which is 5.


wp-SwimTeam v1.19 beta available for testing

I flew out to Phoenix and back this week and had some airplane time to work on wp-SwimTeam.  I have completed what I am calling “Phase 2” of the Event Model changes.  Events can now be assigned to a swim meet AND the Opt-In/Opt-Out system is working in the Event Mode (which I had broken in v1.18).

The majority of the work in this build is related to Events and their connection to swim meets which is the precursor to Phase 3 which will be the generation of Meet Entries in SDIF format that can be imported into tools like MeetManager and WinSwim.  I have also fixed quite a few bugs in the report manager which were present when either the User or Swimmer option count was set to zero.  There was some logic that didn’t test right and would result in using the default count which is 5.  So if you have seen checkboxes without labels on the User or Swimmer report generator, this has been fixed.

Please let me know if you run into any issues.  I am doing some testing with our team right now and we have our pre-season open house this weekend which tends to result in a good chunk of our registrations.  Assuming all goes well, I’ll release an update to the WordPress repository early next week if not sooner.


Gearing up for Swim Team 2012

It will be summer swim team season before I know it so it is time to start gearing up for the upcoming season.  I haven’t really looked at wp-SwimTeam since last fall and WordPress has had several updates since then. I found out today that one of the updates causes the “real name” for the users not to be returned so that is first on my list of things to fix.  There are also some GUI inconsistencies that I’d like to fix.

This is my short list of items which I want to implement this season:

  1. New/update Swim Team theme.  This really isn’t related to wp-SwimTeam per se but our site is looking a little dated and it is time to freshen it up.
  2. Results Import:  I said I was going to do this last season and I never finished it.  I really want to get this done this year.
  3. Export of Meet Entries:  The wp-SwimTeam plugin has all of the informtation (roster, scratch list, event list, etc.) to generate a Meet Entries file in SDIF format.  Providing this file will greatly simplify getting a team’s entries into either Hy-tek or WinSwim (or any other tool which imports meet entries).  This will likely be first on my list after fixing the name bug and the GUI inconsistencies.
  4. Document all of the short codes on the wp-SwimTeam demo site.  I really need to do this.  It would make it much easier for new people to pick up the plugin and do something useful with it quickly.

I like DropBox

I’ve expressed my disdain for a number of things, primarily Hy-tek’s poor SDIF support in this forum so I guess it is appropriate that I also note some things I find useful and work well.  DropBox is one of them.  It solves a problem and solves it very well.

A lot of swim team files are shared among a group of people and e-mailing them around can be problematic.  We’re using DropBox to share some of the files and I am planning to store our WinSwim database in DropBox so the Swim Team’s computer and my computer will have access to the same database file.  I am optimistic that doing this will allow us to collaborate on the meet line up and heat sheet process without having to mail files around.  I’ll report back later on how it works out.

In the mean time, if you want to check out DropBox (free for 2GB of storage), use this DropBox referal link and I will get some extra space as will you when you sign up!

Heat Sheet Builder Excel Workbook v1.1

When our coaching staff constructed their heat sheet by hand they always wrote it up as a matrix with the heats on the vertical axis and the lanes on the horizontal axis.  This style of heat sheet matches the layout of the pool and the way the kids line up as they get ready to swim.

Now that we are doing all of our seeding using WinSwim, we no longer have the matrix style heat sheet and many of our parents have asked if we can get the heat sheet in that format.

After playing around with Crystal Reports for a while I concluded that it would easier to develop an Excel workbook to construct the heat sheet than it would be to get Crystal Reports to do it.  I am sure CR can do it but I don’t know how and I needed something this season!


The Excel workbook I developed consumes the output of the Custom Report Meet Heat Sheet by Event (CSV) that I developed and posted previously (make sure you download the update as I changed the report recently).

The workbook requires Excel 2007 to run.  It will actually run in Excel 2003 if you load the Office 2007 compatibility pack for Office 2003 however the sorting functions are disabled so you’ll have to do your own sorting.

There are some controls over the width and height of the cells that comprise the heat sheet and page breaks will be inserted after every three events.  They can be adjusted using Excel’s standard page break functionality.

Heat Sheet Buildervv1.1, last updated on 2009-07-06

Download a sample heat sheet which was generated with Heat Sheet Builder.

Heat Sheet Builder Samplev07-05, last updated on 2009-07-06

Download the collection of Custom Reports for WinSwim.

WinSwim Custom Reportsv07-05, last updated on 2009-07-06

This Excel workbook is free to download – there is sample data included in it, before using it I would suggest looking at the Heat Sheet CSV tab to see the format of the data once it is imported from the CSV file.

Custom Reports for WinSwim

We use WinSwim to manage and run swim meets for the MacDolphins and now that our season has started, I have been doing a lot of work with WinSwim and not too much with wp-SwimTeam.  There are some things I need to fix but right now nothing is broken.

A year ago when I started using WinSwim I ended up creating a slew of custom reports mostly to deal with the fact that our pool is one of the few in the area which is a 25 meter pool – most are 25 yards.  We needed times in both meters and yards and the reports which came with WinSwim didn’t really handle it.  So I created a bunch of my own.  The only real downside of using custom reports is it required a file that is installed with WinSwim (language.xml) to be modified.  This was a maintenance headache as it would be overwritten with each WinSwim update.

WinSwim 4.0.21 introduced a new model for custom reports which removes the need to modify the language.xml file (yeah!).  Now each report is paired with a corresponding XML file and they all reside in a directory called “custom” within the WinSwim installation tree.

The reports are mostly geared around Heat Sheets and end of year reports.  To use the new reports, download the ZIP file and unzip into your top level WinSwim installation directory. 

WinSwim Custom Reportsv07-05, last updated on 2009-07-06

For example. in my case, I have WinSwim installed like this:


When the reports are installed correctly you will have a new “Custom” menu available in the Report Viewer as a new top level menu item to the right of “Reports”.  Note that the old “Custom” menu under the “Reports” but will still be there and will likely be empty unless you are using the old style of custom reports (which is still supported).