Project Update

Hi all,

Last Friday was the last day at my job, so now I’m able to devote all my time to Form Tools. Exciting times!

So here’s where we’re at. Form Tools 2.1.0 alpha is now available, which you can download here. It’s still early days, but it’s well worth checking out to see what direction the script is heading. Most modules and themes are currently incompatible with 2.1, so my first main task is to update the formtools.org upgrade script to acknowledge component dependencies. In truth, this was something that should have been tackled earlier, but it’s been less of an issue up to now. One of the more significant changes in 2.1 is that it now uses the jQuery JS library instead of Prototype. This was a good move for a number of reasons, but it means that I’ll pretty much have to release new versions of each and every module and every theme. Thus, updating the upgrade script to prevent you from upgrading to incompatible component versions is extremely important!

Secondly, I’ve been building up a library of Selenium test suites and test cases to help automate testing of 2.1. This is necessary to help mitigate the introduction of regression bugs with upcoming releases. Again, this was something that’s been needed for some time, but was always put on the back-burners due to time limitations.

Thirdly, I’ll be finishing off a couple of 2.1 core modules – the TinyMCE and File Upload modules and begin porting over all existing modules for 2.1 support. Most shouldn’t take too long, but a number of them are tightly integrated with the Core and will take more time.

Finally, I’ll be updating the Form Tools user accounts and introducing our premium modules.

So there’s lots going on! Pop back from time to time to see how things are progressing. And don’t forget, you can always ask questions in the forums: I’ll be a whole lot more active there, now I finally have time. 🙂

– Ben

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5 Responses to Project Update

  1. Alex H. says:

    Thank you for all of your hard work!!

  2. Crunchers says:

    Good luck, Ben. We appreciate the effort.

  3. Liberio says:

    Hi Ben,
    Glad to hear it, this project will roxx even more than before!
    Do you have any idea when the final 2.1.0 will be released ? Perhaps you adopt the same process as Debian which is “release only when everything is ready”…
    We discussed in the forum about including an “editor” new account type with permissions between admin and client accounts ones. Do you have news about it? Do you have any roadmap to provide us to know which version will be concerned by this hack?
    Thank you in advance and see you around 😉

  4. admin says:

    Hi Liberio,

    Haha, yeah I think I may share that with Debian: frankly, I really just don’t know. I do know that there’s a lot of work still to be done, so it will certainly be at least a month or two. Right now, all my time has been focused on the new Upgrade script which tells you in unequivocal terms that Modules A, B and C are incompatible with the new Core version you just selected – so “upgrade at your own peril!”. But it should be done today or tomorrow, I hope.

    Once that’s in place, I can worry a lot less about introducing inconsistencies into people’s installations and even release a 2.1.0 final release before updating all the modules. Getting the new upgrade script done is imperative because 2.1.0 basically breaks all compatibility with the existing modules. Everything will be updated over time, but it’s just that: time!

    Regarding the “editor” user type, I still like it very much – but it’s a BIG job to revisit the user account system, and I won’t be undertaking it lightly. I’m not sure if I mentioned it but I want to make the FT in-house user account system optional so that you can drop Form Tools right into a Drupal or WordPress installation and tie it directly to their own user accounts. Or, you could continue to use Form Tools as a standalone app and have it manage its own.

    So yes, I certainly have been thinking about it! But my primary focus in the short-term is 2.1.0, then try to generate some revenue for the company via paid modules. Now I’m working on this full time, I have to concentrate on making it a sustainable business.

    Sorry! Long answer! 🙂

    – Ben

  5. Ted Osuch says:

    Ben,

    the WordPress/Drupal & FT integration sounds great and I am sure offers lots of scope for building some fantastic applications by combining these two technologies.

    Look forward to it.

    Ted

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