WordPress Google Form bug with required fields

Google forms allow fields to be designated as required.  When running the form using the standard Google URL, the form will be validated and presented back to the user if any of the required fields are not entered.  There is an issue (aka bug) with required fields in the current version of the plugin.

If a user submits a form that is embedded in WordPress using the plugin, because there are missing fields the form processing does not complete.  There is no indication for the user that something is wrong, the form is simply presented again without any of the fields having data in them.

To resolve this I am looking at doing form validation on the client side using a jQuery plugin.  Hopefully I will have this resolved fairly quickly as I need this to work correctly for my own project.  My testing didn’t take into account a user not completely the form correctly.  Oops.  This bug affects all versions of WordPress Google Form up to and including v0.9.

Stay tuned.

Screen shots added to WordPress Google Form plugin

I have added the missing screen shots to the WordPress Google Form plugin.

The plugin has been updated to v0.9 and will appear in the WordPress Updates on the Dashboard.

wpGForm plugin updated to v0.8

Over the past 24 hours I have committed a number of changes to my wpGFrom plugin.  The WordPress auto update process sometimes takes a little while to recognize a new version is out there but v0.8 should appear fairly soon.  I actually updated it a couple times so you may have seen v0.6 and/or v0.7 show up as well.

This update addresses two bugs (the spurious output of CSS and embedded Javascript) and also adds some new features.  Check out the Changelong on the WordPress plugin repository for more details.  I’ve been using the plugin for one of my own projects and to the best of my knowledge, it is working ok.  If I don’t run into anything else in the next week or two, I’ll bump the version to 1.0 and call it ready.

wpGForm v0.5 fixes Settings page bug

I have just committed v0.5 of the WordPress Google Form plugin.  It addresses the problem with the Tabs on the Settings page not working correctly.  It turns out that I had a couple of problems which were masked by the theme I was using.  I have moved my development environment back to the stock Twenty-Eleven theme and turned off all other plugins.

By doing this I determined that the jQuery UI libraries I expected to be loaded, were in fact, not loaded at all.  They were being loaded by the theme!  Once I got the libraries loaded correctly the Tabs started working but they didn’t have the proper styling.  WordPress doesn’t appear to include the jQuery UI CSS so I ended up loading it from Google’s CDN.

Everything seems to be working correctly now, v0.5 should appear as an update shortly if it hasn’t already.


WordPress Google Form Settings Bug

The WordPress Google Forms settings page makes use of tabs to show information about the plugin and set its options.  It appears that the theme I was using, which I am in the process developing, is the culprit.  It loads some new jQuery functionality from Google’s API that apparently allowed the tabs to work as I expected.  I am not sure yet why the builtin WordPress jQuery functionality isn’t working correctly as I expect it should.

Now that I know where the problem is, I think it should be pretty straight forward to fix it.

WordPress Google Form Plugin

I’ve spent some time over the last couple of days cleaning up the WordPress Google Form plugin I’ve been working on and getting it added to the WordPress plugin repository.  I am happy report that I think I have a stable version (v0.4) finally available that people can play with.

I’ve added a Sample Form and the corresponding Sample Results collected from form submissions if  you are interested in seeing what the plugin looks like in action.

This plugin resulted from a need to collect data in a simple manner that could be managed in a spreadsheet.  Google Docs provides an easy to use spreadsheet that be used to store the data.  Google Forms provides a mechanism to design a form that can add data to the spreadsheet.  The WordPress Google Form plugin allows the form to be added to a WordPress site and maintain the look and feel of the active theme.

Note:  It looks like I didn’t flush out all of the bugs – the tabs on the Settings page are not working correctly!

WordPress Google Form Plugin

For the past couple of days I have been working on a new WordPress plugin I am calling WordPress Google Form.  This morning I received the approval for adding it to the WordPress plugin repository so I will be doing that over the next couple of days.  I spent much of the last two days on an airplane so the plugin is currently in a state where I have it modified to work offline but I’ve done enough online testing that I am pretty confident I have something working.

My interest in Google Forms stems from the work I am doing on a site for our Middle School.  We have a need to collect information in the form of Booster Club memberships and while there are a number of Membership type plugins, none of them really do what I want.  Ultimately what we need is a spreadsheet of names, addresses, and phone numbers and Google Docs will work well for that.  Putting a Google Form on the front end will allow us to capture the data online.

I thought integrating the Google Form with our WordPress site would be pretty simple, Google offers the ability to embed a form using an IFRAME.  Unfortunately the ability to style the form is pretty limited and the Confirmation page even less so.

I have been using the Google Inline Spreadsheet Viewer plugin to display the data from our Google spreadsheets, I was somewhat surprised to find that there doesn’t seem to be anything similar for Google Forms.  So I decided to write one.  Borrowing some ideas from the Google Inline Spreadsheet Viewer plugin, I have created a plugin that defines the shortcode gform.  The gform shortcode takes a Google Forms URL and extracts the FORM body content, cleans it up, and outputs it for WordPress posts, pages, and widgets.

There are a number of attributes that can optionally control the output, the most significant is the confirmation page which can redirect to a page within the WordPress site instead of the default Google conformation page.

More details to follow soon and I hope to have an example up and running later today.

Displaying Google Spreadsheets in WordPress

As I continue working on my School Sports project I am discovering some pretty cool stuff when it comes to displaying content on Google Docs as part of a WordPress based site.  I am particularly interested in this because lots of people make lists in Excel and making lists in Google Docs is basically the same process just done via a Web Browser instead of Excel.

Our Middle School has 10 sports (6 girls, 4 boys) teams.  Each has a different coach and along with one or more parents who help coordinate things like concessions, team banquets, weather updates, time changes, etc.  If you’ve been involved with youth or school sports, you know how much things change and information needs to be communicated to parents and participants.

I cannot envision training 12-20 people to manage content on a web site and have any prayer of the content keeping any sort of consistent look and feel.  I need a solution that is low touch (for me) but simple enough that anyone who can create a spreadsheet can keep a fair amount of content up to date.

Which brings me to Google Docs.  It turns out Google makes it pretty easy to publish content from Google Docs (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc.) in a form that can be embedded on another web site.  This will allow me to have content owners have to do nothing more than keep a couple spreadsheets up to date in order to keep the web site updated.  While this works pretty well, the downside of this solution is the control over the look and feel of what Google will allow you to embed is pretty limited.

There are a couple of Google Docs plugins but it looks like Google Inline Spreadsheet Viewer will do exactly what I want.  This plugin allows you to add Google Docs spreadsheets to your pages and posts using a shortcode.  The resulting output has a plethora of CSS classes which means styling the spreadsheet content (which is displayed as a table) to be consistent with your theme is pretty straight forward.

The only issue I’ve encountered so far is empty cells on the spreadsheet don’t seem to be output at all, not even as an empty table cell.  I think this only happens when the empty spreadsheet cells are at the end of a row of data.  If there are populated cells later  in the row it seems to work fine.  This was a minor issue for me, one I fixed by simply populating the spreadsheet with a reasonable value.

Calendar-Plus renamed to Enhanced Calendar

I just received the approval from the WordPress plugin repository for Enhanced-Calendar.  The WordPress plugin I previously called Calendar-Plus will now be known as Enhanced-Calendar.  Once I get the code all checked in and the proper structure, it should be available from the plugin repository.  Hopefully that will happen in a day or two.