I’ve been meaning to revisit my post from November 1 last year entitled jQuery Library for SharePoint Web Services: Interim Update on What’s Coming Up in v0.5.0. I wanted to see how I was doing, if I’d forgotten about anything, etc.
Reading through the post, I’m happy to say that I’m still having the fun I described developing the library. Certainly there have been frustrations along the way, but in general, it’s been a great experience.
In that post I outlined my goals for a version I called 0.5.0. Luckily, no one has called me on it because there *still* isn’t a version 0.5.0. Instead, I’ve released multiple versions since the post, each providing important additional functionality to existing functions as well as some new ones.
However, to keep myself honest, here’s the list I outlined and how I’ve done against each item:
- Better error handling in the key functions – Quite a few of you using the library have never touched scripting before, and that’s fine; I don’t expect you to need to debug the code. The current implementation of functions like SPCascadeDropdowns and SPDisplayRelatedInfo gives you nothing to go on if they don’t work when you first try to use them. I’m implementing an optional debug mode for these functions, which I’ll roll out to other functions over time. It’ll let you know if you’re doing something obviously wrong at first, like calling the function with an invalid option. ==> I added a debug mode into v04.5 on November 10. (Somehow it didn’t make it into the release notes, but it’s in the documentation.) At that point it was only available on a couple of the functions, but I’ve expanded that over time as I’ve seen the issues folks were having. Debug mode can be enabled in the functions which have it with the debug option set to true.
- New functionality – Many of you have asked that I make SPCascadeDropdowns work for multi-select lookup columns, and I’m putting that functionality into this release. ==> SPCascadeDropdowns now works for any combination of what I call Simple, Complex, or Multi-Select dropdowns. You can see a more thorough description of this in the documentation for SPCascadeDropdowns.
- Added functions – I’ve been talked about SPAuditScripts for quite a while, but I haven’t gotten it done. With this library comes a responsibility to help with management of its usage. The SPAuditScripts function will help you do that by telling you where you or others are using script in Content Editor Web Parts (CEWPs). I’ll have at least an initial version of this function in the release. ==> This one took a while, but I released v0.4.8 on January 18 with $().SPServices.SPScriptAudit included. (Yeah, somewhere along the way I switched the words in the function name: creative license.) As you can see in my post about the v0.4.8 release, I think there’s a lot more work to be done here, but I wanted to get something out there for input.
- Tighter code and efficiency in the existing functions – As with most code, the first iteration isn’t always the best one. By learning from current usage, I’m aiming to get some better code in place on some of the key functions. ==> Each of the four releases since November 1 has had some significant efficiency improvements. In most cases, this has led to fewer Web Services calls and improved speed and reliability.
- Bug fixes – See the list in the Release Notes. ==> Well, those release notes are a thing of the past, but I’ve been fixing bugs all along. The list in the Issue Tracker today is mainly enhancement ideas, rather than bugs, and I’m proud of that.
So what I had planned for v0.5.0 changed along the way. I’m good with that if you are. I went the way that I did primarily in reaction to what real users were asking for to solve real business problems. I do have a v0.5.0 in the works right now. The primary goal for that release is for it to be compatible with the newly released jQuery 1.4. I’m sure I’ll sneak in some other stuff, too.
In that November 1 post, I also mentioned that I was looking into a way for people to be able to contribute something if they liked the library and found it useful. I added a link to the Boston Museum of Science’s donation page not too long afterward. I don’t expect that the amounts donated will buy them a new wing, nor would it pay my mortgage. Given that, I thought having donations got to the Museum of Science seemed like a fun idea that could help them out a little.
Finally, I pointed out then, and want to reiterate now, that I do work for a living, of course, so also consider Sympraxis Consulting for your next SharePoint project. We’ve got a pretty good toolkit.