Yearly Archives - 2021

Version 3.21 Released

Tournamatch version 3.21 is now available.

Highlights

  • New option to permit multiple player teams per ladder
  • Completely revamped email messaging and styling
  • Faster loading list pages
  • Compatible with PHP 8

New option to permit multiple player teams per ladder

We added a new option to allow players to participate on multiple teams per ladder. This setting is disabled by default and can be found in the WordPress Tournamatch Admin -> Settings, under Ladder Match Settings.

Completely revamped email messaging and styling

Tournamatch is not an email styling plugin. We removed the settings to adjust the various colors as well as the custom Tournamatch email templates. Email messages are now plain text. You should instead use an actual email styling and template plugin which will allow you to customize much more than we previously supported, including adding a logo the the message header, adding a footer message, colors, font sizes, and more!

Faster loading list pages

We updated the backend REST API extensively so that now all of our list pages are displayed asynchronously. The result is less code, faster page loads, and future extendibility.

Compatible with PHP 8

Tournamatch has been updated to be compatible with PHP 8. This required renaming a few classes which used reserved keywords. Enjoy!

Version 3.20 Released

Tournamatch version 3.20 is now available.

Highlights

  • Massive rewrite of the data access layer.
  • Removed several legacy and proprietary classes from our source code

Data Access Layer Rewrite

If there was an award for “Least Sexy Update”, this release would be the Tom Brady of Tournamatch updates (Go Bucs!). Kicking off the major highlights for version 3.20 is a complete rewrite of our data access layer. Tournamatch no longer uses the proprietary MySQLi proprietary adapter classes for database access. Every call has been replaced with the native WordPress database access abstraction.

Why is this relevant? For quite a few reasons, actually. Security is the biggest reason. Every applicable query is now sanitized using the methods vetted by the WordPress community. Using the WordPress database access abstraction also causes Tournamatch queries to show up in debugging and performance analysis plugins. It supports more code features which should reduce code in the software (less is more), has caching mechanisms, and this moves us one step further to supporting multisite setups.

Legacy Code Scrub

To piggy back off of the above change, this release removed several legacy proprietary solutions for things like file uploads, script hooks, and data access. As much as we love to write code, writing proprietary code is generally a bad thing. Using native code that has been vetted by the WordPress means Tournamatch is more secure, easier to extend, and easier to develop moving forward.

Reviewing 2020

The year 2020 was like no other for a lot of us. When I look back, I can’t help but think about the World of Warcraft achievement, What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been. This is one of my favorite WoW achievements. Each special event has to be completed for an entire year to earn it; so, you not only have to invest a lot of time, but also consistently. This year-long journey of unique challenges could also describe this past year. Whether it was adjusting to a work from home atmosphere, publishing new updates, or working in uncharted development territory; the year was a long consistent grind.

I’m quite pleased with what we were able to accomplish in 2020. We released 16 updates covering: privacy, security, better appearance for BootStrap, many new shortcodes, 6 new widgets, new team management options and tools for admins, new tournament management features, an entirely new player dashboard, completely reworked the match reporting and confirmation screens for consistency, added support for custom player profile and social icon fields, updated FontAwesome to use version 5, updated the database to support MySQL 8, and improved almost ever page with asynchronous behavior. We also hired our first (non-family) employee! And while we didn’t quite get as far as I hoped we would, we kept busy and improved the software significantly.

This year should be exciting for us. I have some ambitious goals again this year for Tournamatch. My primary focus is to replace all of our proprietary database tables with custom post types. The end result is software which may be more easily integrated with other WordPress plugins and the ability to develop new Tournamatch features more quickly. There are quite a bit of indirect advantages of this change – too many to hash out here. Almost all of our work over the last 1.5 years has centered around this ultimate change. I think we’ll get there this year. I sincerely appreciate the patience while we take care of some important backend business.

If I could tweak my achievement for 2020, I’d shorten it to just, “What a Long Trip it’s Been.” And I should emphasize that I am now completely okay with long. This past year has taught me that long is fine. Terrific. I honestly hope for many more long slow-moving years. Time goes by too quick and there isn’t enough time left in the universe for me to spend with Little Tournamatch. Twenty-twenty also marked a tragic year for my family; our second child, Jayden, was born in June and experienced several complications which ultimately led to his passing eight days after birth. Life is a precious gift and much too short.

Thank you for your support in 2020, and take care.