Successful Submission

We successfully launched our latest upgrades.  The code is live, it didn’t break any of our ~300 production sites, no complaints so far (no compliments either, but that’s a trade off I’ll take!) – things are looking good.  There were no major changes- more of a user experience upgrade, though it was on one of our most used features (custom online request forms are a hit).

The only thing we ran into a bit of trouble with on launch was the ajax function that did a quick pre-check on the captcha field.  People get frustrated by captcha.  I understand- sometimes they’re hard to read- but I’m definitely in the camp that they do more good than harm.  We added a quick check on submission- the ajax function grabs the correct captcha code from the server and returns an error if it’s not right.  Again- nothing major, but it can reduce a little bit of the frustration.

Everything worked in testing, but when we pushed live, the form started submitting without a correct (or any) captcha entry.  And that was due to a design flaw- the ‘captchaCheck’ variable was set to true by default.  That way, if there was no captcha field on the form (an admin can choose not to have one), the form would submit properly.  Only if there was a field and nothing (or an incorrect answer) was submitted, would that variable switch to false, and the form would fail.

Of course, that only works if you push the captcha check php file (with the correct answer from the server) to the production codebase.  If you forget that file, your clever little pre-check will simply cause you about 10 minutes of swearing.

Next: another user interface upgrade, this time to the photo album feature.  The current offering is a bit embarrassing: basic text links to images, the ‘next’ button makes a round trip to the server for an entire new page, the last image doesn’t loop back to the first- just tells you you’re at the end of the album.

We’ll switch that so use a Bootstrap modal (more on modals next week- been doing some testing and it’s pretty cool to see just how simple they really are) to display the image and caption in a nice ‘theater’ type view (Bootstrap since we’re already using it to make the site more responsive).  Then make ajax calls to the server to get the ‘next’ or ‘prev’ image in the album- no more full page refreshes!

More user shenanagins

Did I spell shenenagins right?  Probably not.

More work done on reorganizing and upgrading the user account creation screen for the CMS I’m working on.  ‘Above the fold’ is now the welcome message, help link, and basic user info (name, username, password, contact info, notification option).  Previously, the email info entry had been at the bottom- caused a good deal of confusion.

Then there are save options.  Setting up a new user requires an initial save after entering the basics, so this seemed like a good idea.

After that are the other options.  Home/directory/email list config.  Admin authorization options, etc.  These are much less vital (though home assignment is an important step).  Need to do a little sql magic to get the current info from the db for some items (directory privacy settings, current email lists subscribed to).  Then we will work out the rest of the client side js checks on the form itself.