Season over, what next?

Our 2011 Summer Season is over and I will actually have some time to get back to work on wp-SwimTeam.  I find it hard to work on it during the season as I spend a lot of time doing swim team stuff.  Other than fixing something serious, I don’t have much free time to work on the plugin during the season.

But now the season is over and I won’t be working with our coach on line ups, spending time at the pool, etc, and I can spend some time on it again.  After our season there are a number of things I want to implement that I know we need for the MacDolphins:

  1. GUI improvements – there are a number of places the GUI can be confusing and needs some help.  I also hope to add some icons to make things a bit more intuitive.
  2. Export Meet Entries – all of the information can be stored with wp-SwimTeam, there is no reason why a Meet Entries file can’t be exported per the SDIF specification.
  3. Swimmer Reminders – similar to the volunteer reminder e-mails that can be sent in bulk, I plan to add the ability to send out swimmer reminder emails.  I am hoping that these reminder e-mails will improve the scratch process for us and eliminate our no-shows.
  4. Results – I have some work done (see the Flip-Turn demo) but do not have it integrated with wp-SwimTeam yet.  It isn’t complicated work but there is a lot of it to do.
  5. Hy-tek compatibility – there is some work done by others that should enable better Hy-tek compatibility.  I am hopeful that I can actually generate and/or process Hy3 and HYV files for entries, result, and events.
  6. New Theme – the MacDolphins theme needs to be updated.  It is based on the Sandbox theme and WordPress has evolved quite a bit since Sandbox was developed and even my extensions to Sandbox for the Sandbox-SwimTeam theme are showing their age.

Dashboard icons updated

Tonight I worked out how to have a different icon in the dashboard when the menu is active, inactive, or hovered over.  This allows me to use a different color icon when active than when hovering over the menu or making it active.  The funny looking icon that was displayed when the menu is active now looks correct.

Restructuring the Menus

I had some time today to work on the plugin and I was able to get a lot of the menu work completed that has been nagging at me.  I still have a little more to do though.  From the two screen shots below you can see that the icon in the Swim Team top level menu doesn’t look very good when the menu is active.  It looks find when another menu is active.  This shouldn’t be too hard to fix though.

I am pretty happy with the other changes I made.  The most notable being moving the Options tab off the Management page to it’s own page and breaking the huge form up into four separate forms.  The options (aka settings) are all now logically grouped.  I also fixed a couple bugs I encountered as I was testing it.

I also moved the Report Generator off the Management menu into it’s own page as well as I envision having several standard reports available in addition to the Report Generator.

wpstss01 wpstss02

Dashboard Icons

This weekend I decided to start working on the Dashboard Menu.  WordPress 2.7 changes the Dashboard quite a bit and the way I had done the menus previously still worked but wasn’t very intuitive.  As familiar as I am with the plugin, I still found myself hunting for several of the items.

I used to have a top level Swim Team menu but had removed it because it didn’t play nicely with some of the Admin Menu plugins.  2.7 cleans up that problem (I think) and I have added the top level menu back in.  2.7 also supports adding a custom icon for top level menus.  I found a couple of SVG images on Wikimedia Commons that I will probably use with the plugin.

Right now I am using the diver as the icon for the plugin and it looks pretty good!

There is a pretty good write up on how to Top Level Menus and how to Add Icons to the Dashboard on  I found one other explanation but this one is easier to follow.  I had posed a question on the Wp-Hackers mailing list about how big the icon should be but still don’t have an answer.