Today we are happy to announce the release of Caldera Forms 1.8. The main feature of this release is a new version of our advanced file field that has been rewritten from scratch to provide better performance, better cross-browser compatibility and has more options. These options include the much requested file size limit, as well as image previews.
This release also fixes several bugs and introduces new filters. In this post, you can learn about the highlights and learn about what is coming next from CalderaWP.
File Fields: 2.0
We added a fancier file fields than the basic, pure HTML5 file field in response to user requests. Native HTML5 file fields are hard to style, and have bad UX for handling multiple-files. The version 1.0 advanced file fields used jQuery. Unfortunately, we have had several issues that were specific to specific browsers. We decided the best way to improve this feature and ensure backwards-compatibility was to provide a new version.
Advanced Field fields version 2 have all of the features of version 1, are tested to work on Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari and have new features.
File Upload Limits
While it was always possible to change the max file size for all file fields, it was not easy enough to do. In Caldera Forms 1.8, advanced file fields (2.0) and the basic file fields have a UI option for limiting file field size.
When you add a file to the field, a preview of the file is shown, with the option to remove it. You can set from the UI options to hide or show the preview. You can also change the size of the image previews.
What About My Existing File Fields?
Whenever possible, we avoid changing the appearance or functionality of existing forms. Because the existing file fields are deprecated, but are not removed, nothing changes for existing forms. New forms get the new fields. You can manually upgrade existing forms to use the new fields. Make sure to test, and if necessary make use of our form revisions feature to undo your changes.
Your existing file fields should be unchanged. If you have a advanced file field version 1 in your form, we recommend you replace it with a version 2.0 field. Version 1.0 advanced file fields are moved to the deprecated category. Like the recaptcha field, this has ZERO effect on the front-end rendering of the form. It means that it’s harder to add the out of date field type to the form. It also means that we will not provide technical support of future bug fixes for the feature.
Transients and WP-CRON
Caldera Forms makes use of temporary storage in the options table to maintain data between sessions. In the past, we relied solely on wp-cron, which is a highly unreliable feature of WordPress and this had created large numbers of uncleared CRON jobs.
In Caldera Forms 1.8.0, we are using a proper task manager — using an open-source library developed by our friends at Delicious Brains — with several advantages. This task manager does not create WP-CRON events in advance, it is more reliable and can be externally triggered. Caldera Forms Pro customers do not need to rely on wp-cron.
Other Bug Fixes and Improvements
For a detailed list of all changes, see the update post.
New Year, New 🌋
Caldera Forms 1.8 is the first of many exciting product releases we have planned for this year. Caldera Forms 1.8.1 is already under development, as is Caldera Forms Pro 2.0.
Nico Figueira has been a contributing developer to Caldera Forms for over a year. Since the end of last year, Nico has been “Caldera Forms Lead Developer In Training.” Working with Nico to get him ready for this expanded role has been my favorite parts of this release as it is a necessary to improve the quality of Caldera Forms and it’s been a valuable learning experience for me, as I learn to manage a larger team.
By giving Nico the responsibility of managing Caldera Forms development and giving him most of the development work moving forward, this will allow me to focus more on Caldera Forms Pro. At the end of this post is an update on our roadmap — and a link to a survey on what you’d like to see included. I’m already working on every item on that list and I will be focusing primarily on major updates to Caldera Forms Pro, MailChimp and Stripe while Nico focuses on improving the core plugin.