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Mad Blanks 1.4.2 is Released: Quizzes, surveys, assessments, calculators, and forms for Joomla!

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Parent Category: Mad Blanks News Category: Project Status
Created on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 March 2011 Published Date Written by Chris Hallett

Upgrade instructions are included in this article. 

I am proud to announce the release of Mad Blanks version 1.4.2 for Joomla! 1.5, which is available for immediate download (click here to download). This signature feature of this release is a refinement in Mad Blanks category editing usability. It also adds useful new Score Script tags and fixes a few minor bugs.

Please note that Mad Blanks does not yet support Joomla! 1.6.x.

If you encounter any bugs/issues, no matter how small, please report them in the bug reports section of the forum (or by using the contact form if you prefer). The devil is in the details, and I rely on you, with your varied Joomla! installations, to find problems (no matter how minor) that I can't with my server setup or that I overlook.

Please note that after upgrading from an older release of Mad Blanks, it will be necessary to edit and re-save any menu items you have that link to Mad Blanks.

Please go ahead and share your comments and your suggestions for improvements and ask any questions you may have on the forum.

The following features have been added in Mad Blanks 1.4.2:


  • Added a category setting disable normal record display and instead display Archive Score Script output only; See Remove the answers from the top of the records page
  • While editing a Mad Blanks category, added the ability to easily specify the default for an individual question as the value used last time
  • Added the ability to specify no answer (blank) as the correct answer
  • Added the ability to use decimal points and negative numbers in Score Script range tags (points_a_range, points_b_range, and custom_range)
  • While editing a Mad Blanks category, added the ability to easily copy settings from field to field; this will greatly decrease the effort needed to create Mad Blanks quizzes and surveys where the options to choose from are the same for all questions
  • Added the filter tag to Score Scripting, with the following options:
    no_html
    Remove all HTML and PHP tags
    database_escape
    Make a string safe for use in a database query
    no_whitespace
    Remove all whitespace (spaces, tabs, newlines, etc.)
    no_whitespace_outside_tags
    Remove all whitespace outside of HTML and Score Script tags
  • Added additional info and/or answer Score Script tags:
    selected_index
    When using radio buttons or the pulldown menu, this will be 1 if the 1st possible choice was selected, 2 if the 2nd possible choice was selected, 3 if the 3rd possible choice was selected, etc., or 0 if no choice was selected; note that only one index is given, even if more than one is selected, so this is best used with radio buttons or the pulldown menu
    selected_index_padded
    The same as selected_index, except that the given value is always two digits, with a leading zero added if necessary; note that only one index is given, even if more than one is selected, so this is best used with radio buttons or the pulldown menu
    selected_index_alpha
    The same as selected_index, except that letters are used instead of numbers; this is customizable via the language file value _MBL_SELECTED_INDEX_ALPHA; by default, this will be A if the 1st possible choice was selected, B if the 2nd possible choice was selected, C if the 3rd possible choice was selected, etc., or 0 if no choice was selected; note that only one index is given, even if more than one is selected, so this is best used with radio buttons or the pulldown menu
    selected_count
    The number of responses that were selected from the possible choices, useful when used with check boxes or the multiple choice menu
    possible_choice_correct:m
    For use with check boxes or the multiple choice menu: If the mth possible response to the question (from the "List the options to be shown for multiple choice" list) was individually correct, this is 1 (one), otherwise, this is 0 (zero). Note that it is possible for a check box to be considered correct (1) when it is not checked.

The following bugs and issues have been addressed in Mad Blanks 1.4.2:

  • Fixed all known instances of call-time pass-by-reference

 

How to upgrade the Mad Blanks component and modules to version 1.4.2

Before making any major changes to your Joomla! website, such as removing, installing or upgrading any extension, it is always wise to back up your Joomla! directory tree (i.e. all of your website's files) and your website's database. (By the way, have you practiced restoring your site from a backup lately? It's the only way to know for sure that a particular backup is adequate.)

If you have custom configuration settings in <Joomla! root directory>/administrator/components/com_madblanks/madblanksconfig.php or custom CSS in <Joomla! root directory>/components/com_madblanks/madblanks.css, be sure to save a copy of those files in particular. 

Once you have backed up your data, you can simply uninstall the previously installed version of the component and then install com_madblanks-1.4.2.zip in the Installers->Components section of your Joomla! administrator interface. No data is removed from the Mad Blanks database tables when uninstalling the Mad Blanks component.

When installing the new version of the component, the installer will attempt to update the structure of the existing Mad Blanks database tables if necessary. In most cases this should succeed without a problem. In the event that the installer is unable to apply the needed updates, the post-installation screen will provide you with an SQL query or queries that you should run on your database using your database manager program (for example, PhpMyAdmin).

There is one change to the database structure in this release: an addition of one field to the #_madblanks_categories table.

Please note that after upgrading from an older release of Mad Blanks, it will be necessary to edit and re-save any menu items you have that link to Mad Blanks.

How to upgrade the modules to version 1.4.2

To upgrade the Mad Blanks modules, install the new zip package(s) using the Extensions -> Install/Uninstall section of your Joomla! administrator interface. Your module parameter settings that were previously saved will be preserved.

Once you have installed the new version, edit each copy of a Mad Blanks module on your website and re-save the module parameters in order to be sure all the new parameters as well as the original parameters have values saved in the database. In general, failure to (re)save the parameters of any newly installed or upgraded module or plugin in Joomla! can cause strange behavior.


This is the official website for Mad Blanks, a component written for Joomla!™

Mad Blanks, when used with Joomla!™, will allow you to give a quiz on your site. You can also use it to give a survey. Quizzes and surveys are popular applications on the Internet, including personality quizzes, name generators, and assessments.

This website and the featured software products herein written for Joomla!™ are the property of Chris Hallett, an independent programmer. Chris does not represent Open Source Matters, Inc. nor the Joomla!™ project.

Mad Blanks, Mad Current Event, and Mad Simple True False Quiz are licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

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