wp-SwimTeam v1.3.561 now available

A new release of wp-SwimTeam is now available for download.  It is also available via automatic update from the WordPress plugin repository.  This release fixes a couple of bugs and adds two new features, one of which addresses functionality that was coded but never exposed correctly.

  1. Fixed bug in wpst_meet_report short code.
  2. Fixed bug in Add/Update Club Profile due to invalid URL field(s).
  3. Added showmaplinks option to wpst_meet_report short code.
  4. Added URL sanitatization to Google Maps and Mapquest URL fields on club profile.
  5. Added notes to use Google URL shortner for URLs that don’t validate.

I am not sure when it was added but MapQuest now generates “shortened” URLs when mapping an address, I wish Google would do likewise.  The URLs that Google Maps generates tend to be a mile long and full of characters.  My suggestion is to use Google’s URL shortener to generate a simple URL that can be saved within WordPress easily.  That is what I am doing for the MacDolphins web site.

The phpHtmlLib library which wp-SwimTeam depends on has also had a minor bug fix which I found testing URL validation.  This plugin can also be updated t v2.6.2.3546 using the WordPress plugin updater or can be downloaded and installed as in the past.

Potential problems with WordPress 3.0.x

I have encountered a problem running wp-SwimTeam under WordPress 3.0.4 on the MacDolphins web site which causes pages to not load completely.  I am not sure what the problem is yet but it seems to be related to another plugin as it doesn’t happen on the wp-SwimTeam Demo site.  It is most evident from the Swim Team -> Users tab where the page content is simply blank.  I hope to have a resolution to the problem in the next day or two.

wp-SwimTeam v0.2.503 released

This morning I finally had some time to track down the bug that was manifesting itself on the User tab on the Report page.  This was a tricky one to find as it worked fine in my development area but not for our own swim team site (MacDolphins.org).

It turns out that if you had the right combination of user options turned on and they were Yes-No options, the filters were not being created correctly which resulted in the form not being displayed for the user.  While tracking this down I also realized that the filters only worked for Yes-No options and not for No-Yes options which they should have been.  So that has been corrected too although now that I think about it, the fix probably wasn’t applied to the Swimmer Report, only the User Report.

I have posted v0.2.503 which is available from the download page.  I strongly encourage anyone using wp-SwimTeam to upgrade as this bug could be a PITA!

wp-SwimTeam v0.2.500 now available

The MacDolphins summer swim season ended this past Tuesday but there are few things I wanted to fix while they are still fresh in my mind.

Our volunteer coordinator had asked me if I could make it so she could export the Job Assignment Report to Excel.  When I got into it I realized that the approach I was taking with the original Job Assignment Report was based on an old report and I really should have based it on the Users report.

Since the Job Assignment Report leverages the User information, I was able to base the new Job Assignment Report on the classes for the User reports.  This was absolutely the right decision as it saved me from writing a bunch of new code which would be similar to. if not exactly the same as, the code for the User Report.

This release fixes a couple of minor nits but mainly it introduces a new Job Report which can be exported as a CSV file which is easily manipulated with Excel.  The report can also be generated as a HTML table and allows the user to specify which fields are to be included in the report.

Jobs up and running on the Demo Site

I have update the wp-SwimTeam demo site with a preliminary version which includes the new jobs module.  I expect I will release it over the weekend at some point.   You can see what a sample page or post would look like for a swim meet.  From the Administrative perspective, a similar report is available but includes more details (e.g. phone numbers).

I had a chance to show this to the woman who coordinates volunteers for the MacDolphins and she was pretty excited about it.  It should make her job much easier and it will also make it much easier for parents to know when they have signed up to volunteer.

I want to do a little more testing on it before I release it but I am pretty confident it is working pretty well.

Continuing with Sandbox

I asked the other day if Sandbox was dead and even though there was a minor update, it appears that Sandbox isn’t really dead but it is in a purgatory of sorts.  Not dead but not actively being developed either.  So

Soccer season has started and I need to update the Soccer theme I used for my daughter’s team because they changed uniform colors.  Since I had based the Soccer theme on Sandbox, I could either continue with it or start again.  For now I am continuing with it because (a) I know it pretty well now and (b) it works.  However, I do want to check out the Elastic theme editor I heard about recently on the WordPress Weekly podcast.

When I did the MacDolphins theme this past spring, I had based some of that work on the Soccer theme but was able to fix much of what had bothered me, in particular, the need to install the Sandbox theme itself and the Soccer theme as a child theme.  I love the idea of a child theme but for the casual user, the relationship between parent and child theme isn’t real obvious and failing the install the parent theme results in a non-functional blog and likely frustration.

By structuring the theme architectures such that it referenced the Sandbox source as a SVN external, I was able to bundle all of the files for the parent theme and child theme together as one theme.  This makes distributing the theme much easier and also solves the problem where the theme preview shows the parent theme instead of the child theme.  This preview problem doesn’t affect the functionality of the site but it is confusing if you don’t know what is going on.

I expect to have the soccer theme updated in the next week or so and probably offer a few more color schemes.  But first I am working on a Sandbox based LEGO theme which I’ll finish first because the NCLUG and NCLTC web sites sorely need an updated theme as the one they have now are old and don’t support widgets.  This LEGO theme is a good exercise in setting theme options, particularly the header area as I expect I will need it to make a generic version of the MacDolphins theme for any swim team to use.

MacDolphins WordPress Theme

I have had a couple people ask me for the MacDolphins WordPress theme to use as a starting point for their own swim team.  The MacDolphins theme is built on top of the Sandbox theme framework and I am happy to share it.

I have toyed around with a couple of themes but this is the first one I think is robust enough to share.  It does have a few issues left to fix (e.g. sticky posts) and I hope to do that soon.  If you end up using this theme, please make sure to credit the Sandbox theme as without it, this theme isn’t possible.

MacDolphins Theme – updated 5/28/2009 @ 11:10 PM

Known Issues with v0.1.377

Last nigth the MacDolphins had our kickoff party – a fun event before practice starts on Tuesday. In getting ready for the event I ran into a couple things that I will fix over the next couple days. These are the things that I found don’t work correctly:

  1. Swimmer labels can be reassigned even when the labels are locked for a season.
  2. Swimmers labels are not exported to CSV from the Swimmers Report.
  3. CSV export for Roster fails from Roster Tab.
  4. Scratch fails with array out of bounds error.

I also changed how the registration e-mail works yesterday. Instead of filling out the e-mail template with the information from the user actually doing the registration, it uses the information from the Primary Contact.  I am finding that a number of parents are asking if I can “just take care of it” for them.  This change allows them to receive the e-mail even if the Admin performs the registration on their behalf.  This change is already committed and I used it last night but hasn’t been released in a build yet.

wp-SwimTeam v0.1.371 – UI improvements, Opt-In, Opt-Out

This afternoon I posted v0.1.371 of the wp-SwimTeam plugin on the download page.  This build cleans up some UI issues and adds the baseline functionality for Opt-In/Opt-Out (aka Register and Scratch).

I have been noodling on how to implement the MacDolphins need for an online scratch sheet solution since I started this project.  It was one of the areas we really struggle with.  We’ve had a scratch sheet posted on the bulletin board for people to sign up on but it was ineffective.  We’ve tried using e-mail which worked better but getting the information from the collection point to the heat sheet continued to be problematic.  Hopefully connecting it to the web site will be a good solution to this ongoing problem.

The basic functionality is now working.  When a swim meet is entered into the system, it is characterized as either Opt-In or Opt-Out (the labels can be set from the Options menu).  An Opt-In meet requires all swimmers to register in order to participate.  An Opt-Out swim meet assumes all active swimmers are participating unless the swimmer withdraws from a meet (or subset of meet events).  For the MacDolphins, all dual meets are Opt-Out events and our local invitational city meet is an Opt-In event.

In addition to the new Opt-In/Opt-Out functionality (which doesn’t include reports yet), I made quite a few improvements to the UI, particularly with the messages which are displayed after an action is executed.  I also took care of some CSS issues which were most notable when using the default light blue Dashboard color scheme.  I prefer the grey one which is why I hadn’t noticed the problem previously.

The next phase of Opt-In/Opt-Out will be reporting followed by exporting a meet specific roster in SDIF format.

How to handle inactive users?

Since I am into the second season of using wp-SwimTeam for the MacDolphins I am running into families who swam last year who don’t plan on swimming this year.  When I started building wp-SwimTeam I made the decision that I didn’t want to delete swimmers or families so pool records and a history could be kept easily.

The wp-SwimTeam plugin handles inactive swimmers and families just fine however the E-mail Users plugin we’re using to contact our swim families doesn’t know anything about active or inactive families so people who aren’t interested any more are getting copies of e-mail they shouldn’t really receive.  Most ignore them but some don’t want to be bothered.  I don’t want to build an e-mail system into wp-SwimTeam, there are plugins that already do that.  I am not really interested in building a custom role manager either but that might be the solution.  By default I have all users as subscribers now, I could also look into assigning inactive users to have “no role on this blog” and see if that prevents them from receiving e-mail.