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.

wp-SwimTeam v0.1.357 available

This morning I uploaded v0.1.357 of the wp-SwimTeam plugin.  You can download it from the download page.  Note the bump of the minor version number from 0 to 1 in this build.

This build completes the changes to the option model for the optional fields for users and swimmers.  In prior builds the optional fields were hard coded at 5 for both swimmers and users and the data was stored as part of the user and swimmer records.  This build allows an administrator to set the number of optional fields for users and swimmers (independently) and offers several new types of optional fields (required and optional URLs and e-mail addresses) and stores optional data in a separate table.

The extent of this change was pretty extensive which is why there hasn’t been a release in almost a month.  Unfortunately the old option data is not migrated to the new table so if you are using optional fields, you may have to re-enter some data.  I had to do this with my own swim team.  It is a nuisance.  The old data is still in the database in the users and swimmers table but not accessed.

This build also fixes numerous GUI nits with messages and guidance, it should all be consistent now although I am sure I have missed something.  It also fixes a bug with age groups when swimmer label prefixes are not being used.

I strongly recommend backing up your database before installing this update!

Update on the Option Model

I haven’t posted much for the last couple weeks – I have been very busy at work including a very short notice trip to Stockholm.  I have not had as much time to work on wp-SwimTeam as I had hoped I’d have.  Usually I can get a lot done on the flight home from Europe but not this time.  I had to fly Continental and the plane was packed – not real conducive to getting work done.

Anyway, I am back and have been working on re-implementing how I had handled the optional fields for users and swimmers.  It has always bothered me that I had hard coded five (5) optional fields in – I knew it was wrong but never bothered to work out a better solution.  Before I left for Sweden I implemented a new model which is loosely based on how WordPress handles user meta data.

I had completed the work on the user and swimmer profile aspect of the new option model but the Report Generator was broken as was the ability to export users and swimmers in CSV format.  It turns  out fixing the Report Generator was more involved than I thought it would be but I now have the User portion of it completed and committed to SVN.  Doing the swimmer report should be pretty straight forward, I can reuse most of the code.  The hard part is done, to do it for swimmers is pretty simple.

So what is the downside?  I haven’t figured out a good way to migrate any information currently stored in the old option fields to the new model.  For our swim team I think I am just going to manually re-enter since we have decided to eliminate one of the fields anyway.

On the upside, the new option models allows the site administrator to configure an arbitrary number of extra fields and fields can now be defined as URL, E-mail, Text, Clothing Size, or Yes-No fields.