This evening I released beta-4 of Google Forms v0.73. This builds add support for Right to Left (RTL) languages by adding a column order option when using multiple columns. This functionality was requested earlier today on the Support Forum and was very easy to implement as the jQuery Columnizer plugin already supported RTL. The only other change is an update of the language translation files.Google Forms Beta (1 download)
This morning I released beta-3 of Google Forms v0.73. This beta build addresses a request recently posted on the WordPress Support Forum to allow the notification email to be sent to multiple email addresses.
This request has been implemented – multiple notification email addresses may be entered, they should be separated by a semicolon character (;).
Unless there is a an issue reported in the next day or so, I plan to release v0.73 shortly.Google Forms Beta (1 download)
This afternoon I posted beta-1 of Email Users v4.7.1. This release addresses a warning related to the max_input_vars setting when the server doesn’t have the configuration variable defined. This happens on some older server configurations, notably, those running PHP 5.3.8 and earlier.
This build also adds support for the WordPress editable_roles filter which was recently requested on the WordPress Support Forum.Email Users Beta (290 downloads)
This morning I posted beta-2 of Email Users 4.6.11. This build addresses a bug with the Post Excerpt recently reported in the WordPress Support Forum. I suspect this bug has been around for a long time. Email Users was making a call to get_the_excerpt() which it turns out, should only be called within The Loop. I have fixed this bug and and the plugin is now looking for the excerpt properly and more importantly, my test posts are behaving properly.
Please report any other issues and I will do my best to address this ASAP. Since this is a pretty serious bug, I will likely release an update within a day or two if I don’t have any further bug reports.Email Users Beta (290 downloads)
I’ve had a number of reports recently regarding loss of line breaks when sending out Post or Page notifications. Nothing has changed in Email Users with respect to formatting the post prior to sending it via email. However, the fact that several people has run into this problem concerns me.
The only thing I can think of which would result in loss of line breaks is if the the_content() or the_excerpt() functions are not calling the wpauto filter (which both do by default unless turned off). As noted in the Codex page, some plugins and themes remove the action.
I’ve added a check within the Email Users Dashboard widget to report the state of the hooks which could reformat the text. The the_content hook is the most likely to change the formatting of the post content but the other two listed could also affect it in some cases.Email Users Beta (290 downloads)
If you are having this problem, please try this download and let me know what your Dashboard looks like.
This evening I uploaded beta-5 of Email Users v4.6.10. I am trying to add Base64 encoding support which was recently requested in the Support Forum.
I could use some help with this as I cannot get it work and am hoping someone familiar with Base64 encoding can see what I am doing wrong.
I have added a new option on the Settings Page to allow encoding email in Base64 format. In my test environment, when I enable this, email is never received so I assume it was never sent properly.
The code in question is in the mailusers_send_mail() function which appears in the email-users.php file starting at line 1445.Email Users Beta (290 downloads)
Last fall I had written a post where I noted that I had a problem to solve at work which I thought might be well suited for Ruby on Rails. Like a lot of side projects, this one never went anywhere but I did end up playing around with RoR enough to get an idea of how it works and how quickly things can be developed with it.
I do some volunteer work with our High School Booster Club and last year built them a WordPress based site which is largely used to facilitate the purchase of memberships. While it seems like overkill, the plan is to use the web site to host more content relevant to the various athletic teams.
A couple months ago I was approached about how the Booster Club’s mobile app could be improved or replaced as the currently technology is being withdrawn and no longer supported. I learned that the back end for the mobile app was extremely cumbersome to use and was a source of frustration for the people who maintain rosters, schedules, results, etc.
I am now working on a replacement for the Mobile App and the backend infrastructure. Because we already have a WordPress site, I had considered using the WordPress site to host all of the data and leverage the WordPress JSON REST API plugin to serve content up to a Mobile App. But I had some reservations.
I’ve never done Mobile App development and in the interest of time, am not sure I want to take that on right now. Based on my jQuery experience with WordPress, I thought a jQueryMobile web app might be a reasonable compromise. I picked up a copy of jQuery Mobile Up and Running a while back when I had heard it referenced on a Podcast. At the time I didn’t have an immediate application for it but it was interesting reading. I dusted it off and realized jQuery Mobile would be a good solution for building a prototype mobile web app.
So now I have some thought in my head of a mobile web app I want to build but wasn’t sure about how to feed it. While I could see putting all of the data in WordPress, I was worried about maintaining it. I need something dead simple to enter rosters, teams, schedules, results, etc. into a system. Ideally it should be accessible from a phone so scores can be quickly entered by unsophisticated users.
What I’ve decided to do is build a mobile first (maybe only) application using Ruby on Rails. I have made all of my HTML views based on jQuery Mobile. Within a week or so of working on it for a few hours a day, I have the basic application up and running on my Ubuntu VM. I can set up teams, coaches, and athletes, and assign coaches and athletes to teams. I have started on venues. There is a ton left to do – events, schedules, user login, Google Maps, and a lot more.
While I am excited about how much progress I have made in a relatively short time frame, I am worried I am “doing it wrong” or have made a decision that will be difficult to unwind. I’ve learned a fair amount about Rails in the past two weeks and much to my surprise, have not had to learn a whole lot of Ruby yet.
The ability to quickly add database columns and connections in RoR is pretty slick. During my first couple of scaffold generations I was worried about getting the database “right” but having dropped some columns and added others, I’ve found it relatively painless.
While I am impressed with RoR, I am really impressed with jQuery Mobile. It is pretty amazing how quickly a mobile web app can be assembled. I’ve been using a regular web browser for developing my app and even using jQuery Mobile with a regular browser is pretty nice. I had forgotten that the laptop I borrowed while my Vaio was being repaired has a touchscreen. Using the app on Chrome with a touch screen is pretty effective at mimicking a mobile device.
I still have tons more to learn as I get ready to deploy the first build for some people to play with and populate with dummy data but I can already see other uses for Ruby on Rails. I am still not a big fan of the Ruby syntax but I can live with it for the benefits and development efficiency I am seeing with Rails.
This morning I released beta-2 and very quickly afterward, because I found a bugs, beta-3, then beta-4 of Email Users v4.6.10. This beta-4 build addresses a couple enhancements that were recently raised in the Support Forum.
- Templates – while not exactly templates per se, the Post/Page notification email will now allow the user to change the email subject and body content. It will still be initially populated based on the default template.
- Hooks – there are now two hooks which other plugins and themes can use to modify the behavior of wp_mail(). The two hooks are mailusers_before_wp_mail and mailusers_after_wp_mail. The primary use for this is to account for other plugins which modify the sender address.
Additionally, the Notification email process now has a preview of what the email will look like based on the current settings. The preview will not reflect any changes made to the subject or email content until it is submitted.Email Users Beta (290 downloads)
This weekend I spent some time looking at adding support for regular expressions as part of the Google Forms validation functionality. This seemed like a reasonable and useful request. I was surprised to find that the jQuery Validation plugin doesn’t offer regular expressions as a standard check however, I found a fairly simple solution on Stack Exchange.
It took me a little while to get it working as Saturday morning I went down a wrong path initially following another post I had found. When I first read the post I linked to above, I convinced myself that I didn’t want to use the AddMethod solution. I am not sure why, I guess it was because I haven’t been into the code in a while so I was trying to avoid it. It turns out it is definitely the right answer and fairly easy to implement.
The beta build also contains a Serbo Croation translation provided by Borisa Djuraskovic
To see the new functionality in action, check out my Validation Demo Form where the last entry field must begin with a capital letter. The regular expression “[A-Z]” is used to match a capital letter when setting up the validation.Google Forms Beta (1 download)