Recently a couple people have reported problems with international (or UTF-8) characters. The UTF-8 characters were not being passed correctly from the form on the WordPress site on to Google. I had planned to look into the problem this coming weekend but a wpGForm user (cablop.net) beat me to it and has provided the fix (thank you very much!).
I have incorporated the fix and tested it and was able to submit a couple Spanish words that have UTF-8 characters. The update should appear on your Dashboard shortly.
There is still a bug I missed in the first nane / last name section of the code which I updated yesterday. If you haven’t already updated, I recommend holding off until I fix this other problem. I hope to have a fix available in the next hour or two. The bug manifests itself in a PHP warning from the phpHtmlLib plugin but that is not where the source of the problem is.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 am working on a new theme where I have defined a Custom Post Type. This is my first time working with Custom Post Types and I must say they are pretty slick. I wish they had existed back when I first started working on my Swim Team plugin! I have far too much invested in my Swim Team plugin so I’ll stick with the custom database tables but for this new project, CPTs are working great.
Once I got my CPT defined and basically working, I wanted to add some custom fields to it using a Meta Box. There are numerous articles that outline how to do it, I referenced this one quite a bit and found it very helpful. In my instance, the Meta Box that holds all of the custom fields I want to collect is more important that the Visual Editor is so I wanted it to appear higher on the screen.
After poking through the Codex and number of Google searches, it appears that doing what I want to do isn’t native WordPress functionality. I did however find this post which outlines an idea for moving the Meta Box so it appears on top of the Visual Editor. Awesome. Exactly what I was looking for. Except the code fragment didn’t work. After looking at it, I decided the idea was sound but the implementation wasn’t correct or at least wasn’t correct in my application.
* Set up a footer hook to rearrange the post editing screen
* for the 'CPT' custom post type. The meta box which has all
* of the custom fields in it will appear before the Visual Editor.
* This is accomplished using a simple jQuery script once the
* document is loaded.
global $post ;
if (get_post_type($post) == 'CPT')
/** Hook into the Admin Footer */
Since a WordPress page or post will have a title, there is a good chance the Google Form’s title is redundant. If hiding the title from the Google Form is desired, the easiest way to do it is with CSS. The title on a Google Form is an H1 element which is assigned the class ss-form-title. To hide the title, we add the following CSS to either the theme’s CSS or to the CSS overrides available with the WordPress Google Form plugin’s setting menu.
Using my Sample Form, here are the results of adding this CSS to the plugin settings.
Form before adding CSS
Adding CSS to wpGForm settings
Form After Adding CSS
WordPress Google Forms include quite a few CSS classes so using this technique, the appearance of the form can be customized quite a bit.
This morning I fixed a bug which occurred when the default CSS was not enabled (which it isn’t by default). When the default CSS was not enabled, the jQuery Validation plugin wasn’t loading and then the jQuery script that initialized the validation would fail.
If you downloaded the beta prior to 10:00 EDT on 10/7, you should download it again and re-install.
A quick turnaround on the bug reported a short time ago. It has been fixed and I have posted v1.7.608 of wp-SwimTeam. This fixes the bug which essentially made the Manage->Users tab almost unusable unless you had a very small number of users.
This release has also been pushed to the WordPress plugin repository so it should be available via the plugin updater fairly soon.
WordPress has a nice built in feature to update plugins when there is a new version available. Because wp-SwimTeam isn’t hosted in the official WordPress plugin repository, I haven’t been able to take advantage of this feature.
I have set up projects in the official WordPress plugin repository for both wp-SwimTeam and phpHtmlLib. I am working on a process where the plugin updater will work by adding the code into the WordPress repository when Iam ready to release it.
Currently the version of the code in the WordPress repository is the same as what is available for download although the version number reported is wrong (1.0.553 vs 1.2.553). The “553” is the critical part of the release number because it represents the Subversion commit number (build number) that the release is based on.
If you see a “plugin out of date” message within the WordPress Dashboard, it is because I am working on this process. The latest and greatest release will likely be available first as a download on this site but when I reach what I consider a “stable” release, I will also make it available through the WordPress plugin repository. Stay tuned as this flushes out.
I apologize for how slow this web site has been lately. I don’t visit it myself too often when I am not actively working on wp-SwimTeam so I was somewhat oblivious to it. My sites are hosted with GoDaddy and I’ve never really had an issue with their shared hosting service. It is cheap, easy to administer, and for the low volume traffic I tend to get, more than adequate.
I called GoDaddy this morning to see why my sites was loading so slowly – I am seeing page load times of 30-40 seconds which is just plain silly. It looks like another web site that I happen to be sharing the “shared” server with is consuming all of the resources. GoDaddy is going to monitor it and see what is up. I expect it will remain slow for at least a few days. Hopefully they’ll figure out what it is and do something about it but they did tell me that if the other site isn’t violating their TOS, there isn’t much I can do about it. They also suggested I look into a WordPress caching plugin. I don’t have near the volume of data nor traffic to warrant a caching plugin but if the situation persists, I’ll look into it.
Bleh. Even on a shared server there ought to be some expectation of “reasonable” performance. I will continue to monitor the performance and see what I can do about it.
I have been doing some testing with the WordPress Facebook Connect plugin. There are a couple sites I work with, particularly our swim team web site, MacDolphins.org, where I need users to login and add data to the site. Each year when we do swim team registration I get lots of questions about how to register, forgotten usernames and passwords, etc. With the popularity of Facebook, I am thinking that leveraging Facebook login credentials could make things a lot easier for me and our swim team parents.
As a test, I have installed it on the site I am putting together for my youngest daughter’s soccer team (CASL Sharks) to see how it works. For the most part, I am impressed – it pretty much works as advertised. I was able to login using my Facebook login and once my user was added to the WordPress user tables, I could change my permissions to allow my Facebook user id to post. I still need to do some work to support Facebook Connect for comments but the instructions look pretty straight forward. I think this would work well for the NCLTC and NCLUG sites as well although Facebook Connect requires PHP5 and those sites are hosted on a PHP4 based server so I’ll have to sort that out.