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Release 8.0 - Key Features

Group/Area/Council Edition

Central to this release is Group/Area/Council support that'll make it easier commissioners to share events and communicate with section leaders.

“I'm not a commissioner, so why should I be excited that ScoutsTracker now has a Group/Area/Council edition?”

As a section leader, I get frustrated about having to go and hunt down details about events. The reality of my personal experience (which can't be unique!) is that I continuously have to check

  • my Council website, with its incredibly cryptic listings of “Events” (which list different things from what is listed under “Upcoming Events”, which are distinct from the training calendar… which I can't even find anymore!)
  • my Area website, which is always in a state of major revamping and now requires that I log in.
  • my Group calendar
  • the Venturer Advisors' Forum, which might list a specific event under “Announcements” OR “Calendar of Events” OR “Scheduled Events”
  • my Inbox, because an event may have been announced through a newsletter but never added to any of the above calendars

So if I'm looking for a First Aid course for my youth, or am waiting to find out about the Chief Scout/Queen's Venture award ceremony. I constantly have to dig through several websites, which may contain conflicting details (e.g., if changes to a date/location/cost don't get communicated from Council → Area → Group).

And if there's nothing on the schedules one week, I still have to go back and check all over again the next week, because frequently events are added to the above schedules without notifying the scouters of interest.

And every section leader in the area/council has to go through this same process, over and over again. This seems hugely inefficient.

So, what I sought to do was short-cut the entire process… Each ScoutsTracker account can join one or more organizations (e.g., your Area, your Council, the Venturer Advisors Forum). Then if the Council offers a WB1 course they can add it to their ScoutsTracker schedule, which lets every section then see it in their calendar, overlaid with their own section's schedule.

To make it more even more visible, the Council/Area can “push” the event onto specific section's schedules. E.g., the CSA/QV ceremony can be added to all Troops' and Companies' schedules. Or an Area Cuboree can be added to all Packs' schedules. Combined with the existing “Subscribe” functionality, this means that if the Area adds extra details about an event (e.g., change of location, or price, or sign up deadline), then these changes are instantly and automatically reflected in each individual sections' calendars. I.e., your section calendar always contains up-to-date information.

And, when an event is “pushed”, all the affected section leaders get a notification email saying that the event has been added to their calendar… so if you were waiting to find out when the First Aid course would be offered, you'll now know as soon as the information is available.

Of course, in the end, it is us section leaders who are responsible for deciding what to communicate with our youth/parents (e.g., my Pack may have other plans on the weekend of the Area Cuboree), so a “pushed” event is automatically set to “leader-only” visibility until I choose to give it “everyone” visibility. Or, if I'm simply not interested in an event (e.g., none of my leaders need their WB1 training), then I can delete a pushed event.

And, permissions are always important. An AC cannot push events onto a section's calendar unless the section has chosen to accept an invite to join the Area.

Miscellaneous Enhancements

You can now record additional roles for youth, e.g., mark them as Keeo, Kim, SIT, AYC, Company Vice-President, etc.

Event descriptions can now include clickable links to other events. E.g., if you embed a snippet like [[event:1-123-12345-12345abcde|Klondik Derby]] it will create a link to the identified link that will let youth/parents/leaders quickly view the other event's details. The snippet is available via the “Share” button for the target event.

Birthday reminders used to list upcoming birthdays, which meant that the day after a youth's birthday, the event would seem to disappear from the schedule (but really the reminder was just shifted to next year). This was confusing, so now birthdays are always shown within the current Scouting year, so the birthday that happened last week still shows up on your calendar. Birthday reminders also have a readily-identifiable new icon.

The “Pricing” tab of the http://scoutstracker.ca page now has a tax calculator, so you can generate your licensing quotes to bring to your GC or AC.

Month/years in calendar view are now fixed width, making navigation easier.

Lots of miscellaneous other layout and usability enhancements.

Bug Fixes

  • Couldn't drill down on collaboration section's event if event's labels used attributes
  • Fixed the missing “utob” reference error
  • Shouldn't be able to set “other activity” to zero days, unless it was a per-youth override
  • Creating logins when creating youth did not accept upper-case emails
  • Some all day events wouldn't show up on calendar (but would in list view)
  • History report was showing awarding leader as “unknown” if the leader was now inactive
  • PACK: marking star requirements as ready-to-test incorrectly changed glyph in sidebar snapshot
  • PACK: Canadian Arts Award #2 completion was not being influenced by the NEW computer and photographer badges
  • Default/Custom welcome text toggle behaviour wasn't working (didn't remember custom text)
  • Changing a login email wasn't invalidating whether the user was verified for send emails
  • Redeeming license key from a Personal account didn't require selection of council/area
  • Better updating of end time in response to key strokes
  • When you connect via HTTP to Troop/Pack A that uses “Secure Access”, you could never subsequently connect to Troop/Pack B via HTTP, because any attempt to connect via HTTP will automatically redirect to HTTPS (which uses a different local storage)
  • Giving credit for a hiking event when “World Conservation Award” is excluded did not save some req updates

As well, there are a variety of other bug fixes that may not have been noticed by end users.

Patch #1 (2014-03-18)

Automatic Sharing of Area/Council/National Schedules

If you're an Area or Council commissioner, you can now optionally click on “Schedule” | “Share” | “Automatically Share” to make your schedule available to every section in your domain, whether or not they've accepted your invite to join your organization.

Individual section leaders can then go to “Schedules” | “Show other schedules?” and optionally look at the National/Council/Area calendar. I.e., as a section leader you no longer have to get your Area's section key in order to see the Area's schedule… any relevant calendars can automatically be found under “Account” | “Collaboration” and “Schedules” | “Show other schedules?”.

Bug Fixes

  • IE8: can't use javascript reserved words as JSON keys
  • “Accept Invite” dialog's close button wasn't working
  • Parents couldn't update login emails
  • Couldn't click on org invite accept/decline
  • Reload from Server wasn't causing outings to be updated
  • Couldn't have an overnight hike (7pm to 6am)
  • You could update a tally with a count like “3/5”
  • ORG: invitation status shouldn't be clickable
  • ORG: event cost should say “per youth” instead of “per section”
  • ORG: was allowing events to be pushed to sections that already had it
  • Update Nova Scotia council with new Halifax Areas
  • Update Northern Ontario council with updated Areas