There hasn’t been much apparent activity on the Form Tools project for a while, but in fact I’ve been very busy on the next release! 2.0.5 continues to pave the way for the eventual form builder. There’s still a long way to go yet, but this release will be an important milestone.
As of today, here’s the list of upcoming changes. Most of the work done to date has been on the updates to the UI – client-side sorting and jQuery & jQuery UI additions. It’s looking pretty good!
Changes / New Features
- The Core now supports a new Custom Fields module. This will allow you to create you own custom field types – like date fields with calendar popups, Google Maps fields, phone fields comprised of 3 textboxes (xxx)-xxx-xxxx – as well as modify the default field types – like creating text fields with different input widths, or adding a grid layout for radios and checkboxes.
- move to jQuery
- Client forms page updates:
- columns now sortable
- search added
- Assorted interface updates:
- EDIT and DELETE links replaced with icons on all tables (for some languages, the strings “edit” and “delete” were very long – this will help standardize it and provide a little more space within the UI)
- The Edit Form -> Database tab, Edit Form -> Fields tab and Edit Form -> Add Fields page are all being combined into a single page. It doesn’t make much sense to split them right as it is now: it forces you to go to multiple places to add and update your form structure, which takes precious time. Having used Form Tools on countless projects, I know that the biggest hurdle is configuration time: this should significantly cut it down, as well as make it simpler for new users to get up to speed: ALL information/functionality for your fields will be found in one location.
[The trickiest part of this refactor is making the UI as simple as possible while getting as much mileage as possible out of it. But I think I have a pretty decent solution – I’ll post some screenshots / working demo at some point.]
- client-side list sorting added (drag & drop) for all appropriate forms; this will replace the current way of sorting – where you enter a number then click update.
- you can now group rows on all client-side sortable tables. This works in combination with the drag and drop sorting so you can group related fields and move them as a chunk. Moving around rows was always a pain: this should really speed up configuration time
- jQuery calendar now used; the old calendar is being dropped
- existing alerts()/confirms() replaced with more elegant modal dialogs
- crumby ellipsis code removed on submission list page
- Prototype-based Lightbox replaced with jQuery equivalent (FancyBox? Not sure yet)
- “Num Views Per Page” setting dropped: now all Views are listed on a single page for ease of sorting & management (no more pagination)
Also, I’m hoping to add client-side resizable columns on the Submission listing page.
That’s pretty much it!