Google to discontinue ability to downgrade Google Forms

I knew the day would inevitably come when Google Forms could no longer be downgraded.  Based on a recent Google announcement, that day appears to be August 22, 2018 – very soon.  Almost certainly too soon for me to do anything about it in the plugin.

As I have noted in a number of posts and in many WordPress Support Forum threads, the change Google made back in 2015 to the HTML used for a form is significant and not well suited to how the Google Forms plugin works.  Instead of using traditional HTML form elements, Google is using DIV tags with CSS class names and Javascript to render a form.

I will take a look at it again but cannot make any promises.  If someone wants to pick up development of the plugin, it is hosted on GitHub and we can figure out how to add another developer for the plugin repository.

This announcement from Google does not bode well for the future of the Google Forms plugin.  The last time I looked into supporting the new version of forms I determined it was a non-trivial amount of work and I wasn’t even sure it was possible.  It is a fair amount of work just to get a new form to render in WordPress before I can even see what happens when it is submitted.

I know this isn’t happy news for a lot of people.  This effort started as a simple plugin to help the middle school my children attended collect some information from parents.  It has grown to 20,000+ installs, far larger than I ever expected.

For those who wonder how much has been donated over the years, the total is probably about $100.  I received a donation yesterday for the first time in roughly six months.  I didn’t write this plugin to make money (there isn’t much to make), I did it because I had a problem to solve and couldn’t find a solution.  I decided to share it because I thought it was useful and it seemed to be but I am afraid its longevity may have come to an end.

If it rains all weekend here in North Carolina like it is supposed to, I may have some time to start looking at this but I no longer have a personal use for the plugin.  My kids have all grown and I have moved on from all of the volunteer activities I used it for (mostly school and sports teams).

I don’t simply want to walk away and leave people, particularly those who use it to support their business, in a lurch but please understand, there may not be much I can do.

WordPress Google Forms v0.94-beta-1 available

I have just posted a beta build (v0.94-beta-1) of WordPress Google Forms.  This build introduces a new solution for calculating the CAPTCHA.  There have been a number of concerns about the use of the PHP eval() function and recently, an alternate solution has been posted to the WordPress Support Forum.  I have adapted the proposed solution to the plugin.

This build also addresses a concern about possible security issue with the user-agent string stored when logging submissions.  It is technically possible for a malicious user to encode the user agent string with malicious code.  This update ensures that data is sanitized before storing and presenting it.

Google Forms Beta (461 downloads)

Google Forms v0.90 RC1 available

I have addressed what I hope is the last of the security concerns with Google Forms and resubmitted to WordPress.org for approval.  In the meantime, should anyone want early access to the next update, which includes some additional debug features as well as addressing the security concerns, you can download it here.

You can also find the current development version on GitHub.

Google Forms Beta (461 downloads)

EDIT:  Due to forgetting to update the stable version tag, the version is now v0.91.

WordPress Google Forms V0.88-beta-2 Available

For the past week I have been working with WordPress.org to get my Google Forms plugin relisted.  They recommended a different approach to addressing the security concern than I had implemented.

It took a little longer than I expected to get their recommendation working but I have implemented the fixes recommended by the WordPress Security Team and am in the process of getting the plugin listed again.

I would like to enlist some additional testing besides my small suite of test cases with the updated code.

Google Forms Beta (461 downloads)

WordPress Google Forms v0.88-beta-1 available

Last week I was notified my Google Forms plugin had a potential security flaw and would be de-listed from the plugin repository until addressed.  I have implemented the fixes recommended by the WordPress Security Team and am in the process of getting the plugin listed again.

I would like to enlist some additional testing besides my small suite of test cases with the updated code.

Google Forms Beta (461 downloads)

Let me know ASAP if you encountered any issues with this beta release of the plugin.

Google Moves Downgrade Option – Again

Google has made another change to the new version of Google Forms and moved the option to downgrade a form to the older version.  There is no longer a Running Man icon to click on to get the downgrade option.  Instead, look for the large question mark in the lower right hand corner .

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  1. Click on the Question Mark icon
  2. Click on the “Back to old Form” menu

This is the third time access to the downgrade option has moved.  It is probably just a matter of time before Google eliminates this completely.  If/when that happens it may no longer be possible to use Google Forms with WordPress.

WordPress Google Forms v0.87 released

This morning I released v0.87 of the Google Forms plugin.  This update includes a new check when saving a form definition.  The check scans the HTML from the form to ensure it has the proper HTML structure the plugin expects.

The new version of Google Forms is not supported by the plugin so this check ensures that a user is notified that the form isn’t of the expected format.

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You can find this  updated on your WordPress Dashboard or in the WordPress plugin repository.

Google Forms development moved to GitHub

I have been toying with idea of moving development of my Google Forms plugin over to GitHUb for a while and I finally did it. Using the process outlined here, Google Forms development can now be found here. I’ve already made a few changes and pushed them into the WordPress Subversion repository from GitHub.

I’ve started looking at supporting the new version of Google Forms. What Google has done is so significantly different than prior versions that I am not if it will be possible. Google has stopped using standard HTML input elements and instead is using DIV elements with CSS classes and Javascript to handle the form. I can’t think of a technical benefit for Google to do what they did but it is their product and they can do as they see fit.

If someone wants to fork Google Forms and work on this, you are welcome to do so.

Google moves Form Downgrade Option

Google has moved the “Running Man” icon which I had been recommending to downgrade a new Google Form to the prior version required by the Google Forms plugin.  Initially it looked like Google had removed the option which I was worried about.  The option to downgrade a form is now in the lower right hand corner for the form editor under the question mark (?) icon.

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