Hi all you FRED users out there...
I have an update to askFRED.net almost ready to go, so I'd like to ask the community the favor of testing it and providing me their feedback & bug reports.
The beta is here: http://beta.askfred.net
Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than reply to this thread.
That beta site is completely separate from the current live site, so feel free to play around with fake information there. It will not affect the current site. Please note that while the beta is in "demo mode", all emails sent by the site will be redirected to me.
That is to say: The beta site is totally separate from the live site. Preregistrations, tournament entries, and anything else you do there are not "for real".
New in this version:
- Explicit Clinic Support
Yes, many people already list camps and clinics on FRED, but he's never actually been designed for it. Now you don't have to list clinics as tournaments. There's a whole separate area for them (googlemap and all!), and FRED handles them the way they should be handled.
- Your Personal USFA Referee Cadre
The FOC has long wanted me to provide a service to tournament hosts around the country: the ability to contact a list of USFA referees and request their services without divulging the referees' email addresses. Now on FRED, BC users will find a new option under MyFRED: "My Referee Cadre'. You can build and save a list of referees from the official FOC database, and email them all asking them to ref at your tournament. For now, that's all it does; I want to get a feel for people's use of the referee capabilities before adding more features to that area. Possible future features include listing the refs that are coming to a tournament along with the preregistered fencers, and listing the presiding referee with the bouts in results. Note: referees not included in the FOC's database are excluded at this time. However, every rated referee is in there, as well as most people who've attended a referee seminar recently (those would be the folks that show up in the list with no ratings).
- Fencing Time 2.1 Compatibility
Dan Berke has a new version of Fencing Time on the way, and we've expanded the data shared between the two applications. Event times are now communicated to FT, and round seeding comes back to FRED with results. Many other changes lay the groundwork for some great future possibilities, such as referee service tracking, and communication of points list standings as a seeding criterion.
- Seeding Displays
Each round's seeding (initial seeds, final seeds, pool results, eliminations, etc) will be displayed with round results uploaded from Fencing Time. It may also be possible to extract seeding for some past tournaments in the FRED database. This is a work in progress.
- Multiple Payees Per BC User
Yes, it was dumb of me to assume that each tournament organizer would collect tournament fees for only one organization. Now it will be much easier for a user who (for example) runs tournaments for their club and their division to specify which tournament's fees go to which organization.
- Compliance With Current USFA Fencer Rating Report
FRED has long provided fencer rating change reports suitable for emailing to the USFA. Recently the USFA modified their rating change report form, and it requires more information about the tournament. FRED now automatically generates an .rtf attachment to an email that looks just like the USFA's Word doc, and opens in Word just like their doc. The national office staff gets frustrated when they have to process rating reports from FRED, because it's not in the form they're used to. Hopefully this will make them happier.
- Payments Appear In MyFRED Area
FRED Members can now review fees paid through FRED in their MyFRED area.
- FRED Hires a Bookkeeper
Certain backside updates make it possible for me to hire a bookkeeper to distribute fees paid through FRED to the tournament organizers. Frankly, the volume of tournaments using FRED to collect fees has gotten far beyond my ability to manage in an accurate and timely manner. (FRED will soon accept his millionth dollar! Too bad not much of it stays with FRED!) So I'm hiring someone who handles money for a living to distribute all the funds every two weeks. They'll do a much better job than me. Tournament organizers will no longer have to email requests for funds distribution! Checks will just show up biweekly with no action on your part. A more detailed announcement about this service will go to the BC members when it is launched.
- Pending Preregistrations Appear On The "Who's Coming" Page
When a tournament requires pre-payment or pre-approval by the organizers, FRED has always hidden these preregs from the public. This leads to confusion when the fencer doesn't see their name in the list (even though FRED told them it wouldn't be there ). Now, those "incomplete" preregistrations will appear in the public list, but separate from the "complete" preregistrations, with notes as to why they are "incomplete".
- SOAP webservices API
FRED has published three webservices for years (upcoming tournaments, past tournaments, and tournament results), but it has never been widely publicized. There is now a page on the site that describes the services and provides PHP clients for them. The APIs are a little immature, but they work and they are already used by several division and section websites. This is an area of many possibilities for future enhancement.
- FRED gets a new server
At the same time as updating the application, FRED is moving to a new machine. The current one has experienced some downtime recently because of the load.
- Update: Results displays for large tournaments
Results pages for large tournaments (currently 200 results or more, might massage that number a bit) now show the results one event at a time, with a dropdown to choose which event (nicer on people's bandwidth)
- Update: Settlements display
Itemized list of funds settlements to the organizer is now available via the tournament dashboard page.
- Update: New Event Age Categories
Such as "Youth" that allows all Yxx fencers to register, "U20 & below" and so on.
- Update: New Rating Limits
"B & Above" and "A Only" rating limits added (note that Fencing Time does not yet support these. Events created with those rating limits in FRED will export to FT as "Open").
There are also numerous bug fixes and interface tweaks in this update, and I'm still fixing bugs as we test. I'd particularly appreciate people with less common browsers testing everything out, and reporting any browser incompatibilities, including screenshots if possible. I've tested things on Safari, Firefox mac, Firefox Win, and IE7, but I don't have access to an installation of IE6 any more, nor Opera.
I'm sure I'm forgetting some important changes. I'll update this post if I remember more.
Again, please email me feedback & bugs, rather than post them to this thread. I'd rather not muddy this thread with 17 overlapping bug topics. That would get confusing real fast!