Professional online surveys
with LimeSurvey

The worldwide leading Open Source survey software
as professional SaaS solution or as self-hosted Community Edition.

The LimeSurvey team is proud to present you the LimeSurvey 2.5 Release Candidate!
Click here to download it!

1. Presentation

LimeSurvey 2.5 is based on the good old LimeSurvey 2 code, but using the famous front-end framework Bootstrap to render its admin interface. So now, you'll enjoy a modern and responsive admin interface to build your survey. If you're a loyal LimeSurvey user, you will not get lost, and you'll still find all the functionalities you care and love.
 
The development of the new admin interface pursued four goals:
  • Offer a modern graphical experience
  • Respect the habits of loyal LimeSurvey users and the global ergonomy of LimeSurvey 2
  • Easy to use for new users, thanks to an alert info system providing tips and tricks.
  • Keep as much as possible of the LimeSurvey 2 core code to get LimeSurvey 2.5 working as soon as possible 
Soon, we'll also develop a bootstrap responsive template for surveys.
So, LimeSurvey 2.5 is fully compatible with LimeSurvey 2, and you'll can update to it simply using the brand new ComfortUpdate we just released a few weeks ago...

  • LimeSurvey 2.5 : Edit subquestion

    LimeSurvey 2.5 : Edit subquestion

    This is a full screenshot of LimeSurvey 2.5 when editing some subquestions.

    See it live !

  • LimeSurvey 2.0x : Edit subquestion

    LimeSurvey 2.0x : Edit subquestion

    This is a full screenshot of the same page in LimeSurvey 2.0 (editing some subquestions.)


2. Tour

LimeSurvey 2.5 still has a few ergonomic differences compared to LimeSurvey 2. Most of them were inspired by user requests. Let's have a look at these changes.

2a. Landing page

After a fresh installation on LimeSurvey 2.0, the landing page was an info page presenting some “piece-of-cake steps to create your very own first survey”. Once a survey had been created, the surveys list was shown after login.
In LimeSurvey 2.5, the home page is based on a design of six quick buttons, linking to the most used items. A link to the last survey/last question visited is on top of those boxes for a quick navigation. To come back to this home page, just click on the logo on the top right corner.

LimeSurvey 2.5 Home PageLimeSurvey 2.5 Home Page

If you disagree with the choice of the buttons, and want to change them, you can do it from global settings → Home page. In this page, you can change the title of a box, its link, its description, and its picture. It's still very basic and will be improved in the future (like adding as many boxes as you want, or linking to an external page, selecting a custome picture in a list, etc.)

You can edit boxes from global settingsYou can edit boxes from global settings

A fresh LimeSurvey installation with no survey shows a modal box displaying the 'piece-of-cake' steps on this home page :

LimeSurvey 2.5 welcome modale on fresh installationLimeSurvey 2.5 welcome modale on fresh installation

If the user clicks on “Create a new survey”, some new tips and tricks alert information will help him until the user created his first question.

2b. Admin menu

In LS2, the main menu bar hosted the links to the pages concerning the global system: Manage administrators, user groups, global settings, label sets, etc. It also provided the possibility to list the surveys in a select box, to go to the surveys list, to create a new survey, and to log out:

Admin menu in LimeSurvey 2.xAdmin menu in LimeSurvey 2.x

All those links have been kept in LimeSurvey 2.5 admin menu, but reorganized in 3 categories :
 
  1. Configuration: for anything related to the global system
  2. Surveys: for anything related to survey
  3. User menu: for anything related to logged in user.
We also added a notification system (only for update for now).

Admin menu in LimeSurvey 2.5
Admin menu in LimeSurvey 2.5

The configuration menu provides all the links concerning the global system, and a system overview similar to the system overview which was displayed in the first tab of global settings in LS 2.0:

Configuration submenus in LimeSurvey 2.5Configuration submenus in LimeSurvey 2.5

Also, if you have active surveys, a link to those active surveys will be shown :

Surveys menu and link to active surveys

Surveys menu and link to active surveys

2c. Layout types, menu types and save buttons

There are two kinds of layout in LimeSurvey 2.5: the full page layout, and the survey layout with a side menu and a sticky contextual menu bar.
The full page layout is used for the global system pages (the ones you can access from the main menu), like Global Settings. Its content takes all the width of the page, and its actions buttons are directly placed on top of the content:

Full page layout Full page layout for system pages :  Content take 100% of the width, action buttons are placed on top of content

The survey layout has a side menu and a sticky contextual menu bar. This layout is used for any page related to a survey (like survey summary, edit question, tokens, etc).

Survey LayoutSurvey Layout : - The content is surrounded by a side bar on its left, a title bar on top, and a top sticky menu for actions

The top menu bar is sticky, so Save/cancel buttons are now always easy to reach – even when scrolling down,

2d. Side bar and question explorer

In LimeSurvey 2.0, the menu bars was stacked the one of top of others. So everything was reachable on a single click, but also, the interface was crowded of buttons, links, forms, select box, actions buttons. It was hard to understand and visually exhausting. Some of the functionalities were logical but counter-intuitive (like adding a new question from the question-group bar), and sometimes, it was just impossible to come back to some pages (like coming back to the survey summary after a group has been selected).
For example, the 'Edit subquestions' page in LimeSurvey 2.0

A typical admin view in ls20A typical admin view in LimeSurvey 2.0 : many menus, submenus, icons, buttons, tabs, etc.

In LimeSurvey 2.5, the side menu resolves this problem. The main idea is this one : only one menu bar is shown at the same time, and each menu bar is accessible via the side menu (see the example of edition mode at the end of this section).

The side bar
The side bar

So if you click on the survey menu, the top menu will correspond to the usual survey menu bar. If you click on 'token management', the top menu will correspond to the usual token management menu bar. If you click on a question in the explorer, the top menu bar will correspond to the usual question bar, etc. etc.

question summaryWe selected a question in the question explorer in the side bar, so the top menu is the usual question menu bar.

Also, when editing an element (most of the time by clicking on a button on the top menu bar, like 'edit survey settings'), only the action buttons of this edition will be shown on the top menu bar, and the left bar will be closed. Those action buttons are in the sticky bar, so its easy to reach them (for example when scrolling down):

edition modeSurvey page in edition mode : the side bar is closed, only the save buttons are shown, the menu bar stick to the top, so if you scroll down the page they are still reachable

See here “Edit subquestions” page in LimeSurvey 2.5 (the very same one than show at the beginning of the paragraph ):

edit question
A typical admin view in LimeSurvey 2.5: simple, clean, easy to understand

One of the great advantages of the old LimeSurvey 2.0 design, is that it was easy to reach any question inside the current group. Thanks to the question explorer inside the side bar, it's even more easy in LimeSurvey 2.5. Just open it to explore the different groups and to open the wanted question. You even can add question directly to any group inside it!

side bar
The question explorer, to quickly navigate between questions, or quickly add a question to a group

2c. Surveys, question groups, and questions lists

The surveys list, so as the questions list and the question groups list, are now using the Yii Grid view system with dataprovider. In short : it provides pagination, search box, filters, and it will only load the item for the current page (so you will no more experience very slow loading for huge list of surveys or questions) :

Surveys list in LimeSurvey 25Surveys list in LimeSurvey 2.5

The question groups list provides three buttons for quick action such as “add add a question to this group”, or “edit text elements”, and of course, access to question/question group summary (with question group menu bar):

Question group listQuestion group list: search box, pagination, add a question to this group, edit text elements, reach question group summary

The questions list provides a filter to select the group of the questions, a button to preview the question, one to directly edit it, and another one to reach its summary page (with the question menu bar).

Questions listQuestions list : search box, group filter, preview button, edit text element button, reach question summary

Of course, in the future, we could add more action buttons in those lists, and give user the possibility to activate/unactivate them.

2d. Graph rendering in statistics

Now, LimeSurvey uses the chart.js engine to render the graphs of statistics. So you can use bar charts, pie charts, radar charts, line charts, polar charts, dougnuts charts :
  • Bar charts

    Bar charts

  • Piechart

    Piechart

  • Radar Chart

    Radar Chart

  • Line Chart

    Line Chart

  • Polar Chart

    Polar Chart

  • Doughnut Chart

    Doughnut Chart

Conclusion

The transition from LimeSurvey 2.0 to LimeSurvey 2.5 should be very easy for most users. We tested the interface with existing users of LimeSurvey, and usually they quickly got used to it.
 
Also, new users should understand it quickly, thanks to the tips and tricks, but also thanks to a familiar interface. The main menu, the menu bars behavior, the sticky save buttons, the side bar, and the different lists are very common today, used in many web applications or CMS. So it's more intuitive than the ergonomy of LimeSurvey 2.0 which was so specific and unusual. Also, the question explorer keeps the advantage of the fast navigation of the old interface.
 
Using more deeply Yii functionalities (such as the grid, or the asset manager), Bootstrap, and chart.js, the LimeSurvey admin interface is now much more modern. It can still evolve, and users are welcome to ask for new interface functionalities (like adding new boxes in front page, link in side menu, buttons in list, etc). Soon, we'll start the same kind of work for the survey template, and LimeSurvey 2.5 will then be completed.
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Discuss this article in the forums (36 replies).

holch's Avatar
holch replied the topic: #129591 1 year 3 months ago
@coeneisma: Give your feedback also in the bug report, so they can see that this is not a problem of a single machine.
coeneisma's Avatar
coeneisma replied the topic: #129569 1 year 3 months ago
Same problem with my local RC test envorinment on Ubuntu, immediatly after upgrade
holch's Avatar
holch replied the topic: #129494 1 year 3 months ago
And here the bug is reported: bugs.limesurvey.org/view.php?id=10170

Seems like Limesurvey is searching for Gringegreen, which doesn't exist anymore... strange.
holch's Avatar
holch replied the topic: #129481 1 year 3 months ago
Well, I just wanted to give an alert first, because other might not want to upgrade... ;-)

I am currently checking on how to activate debug mode.
DenisChenu's Avatar
DenisChenu replied the topic: #129479 1 year 3 months ago
Hi,

Without a debug mode and a bufg report : Louis and Olle can't do a lot with this information :)
holch's Avatar
holch replied the topic: #129477 1 year 3 months ago
I just upgraded to RC5 and what was running without a problem before, now is generating a 500 error for the admin backend
Pepou's Avatar
Pepou replied the topic: #129401 1 year 3 months ago
Here is a little bug I just noticed :

With this kind of question :


There is a display bug on the survey :
DenisChenu's Avatar
DenisChenu replied the topic: #129238 1 year 3 months ago

LouisGac wrote: ...
So the new recommendation is : don't pretend to reinvent the wheel, use so many components/frameworks as you can, specially for the so difficult display problems, in a world with so many different screens size and definitions .

Oh, yes , for sure !

PS : bootstrap is an HTML5 framework .... maybe better to move to HTML for survey public ......
LouisGac's Avatar
LouisGac replied the topic: #129235 1 year 3 months ago
well, for sure in the future, we'll have to rewrite the engine to allow the use of different CSS frameworks.
I personally prefer by far Foundation to Bootstrap, but Bootstrap is much more popular, and really easier to use, include for beginners.

The old LimeSurvey engine didn't allowed at all the use of any CSS Framework. CSS Frameworks, being bootstrap or foundation, need modification of the DOM, of the HTML Flow, and of the classes of elements ( the famous col-xs-.. you dislike ). This is the case for all grid systems, since 960gs . It caused a lot of debates, because it was putting back display definition directly inside the DOM itself rather than in the style sheets, so it was violating the usual recommendations for Web 2.0, CSS2, strict HTML4. Same for the heavy use of JavaScript, implied by those frameworks, or by jQuery itself : it was violating the old recommendation "your website should work without JavaScript" (for SEO and accessibility purpose, for slow computers, etc.) The fact is that we are no more in 2005. We are in 2015. Those debates are now closed, and the old recommendations are no more true.

Also : today, the web development is an industry, with work division and specialization. Bootstrap team, or Foundation team, are composed of dozens of engineers, super high level ones, working 40 hours a week since years to resolve the problems of responsiveness. No lonely developer is going to provide a better solution than them. Using Bootstrap (or any CSS Framework) as the base for LimeSurvey template engine is the best way to make it a strong, reliable, understandable, easy to use, and stable.

So the new recommendation is : don't pretend to reinvent the wheel, use so many components/frameworks as you can, specially for the so difficult display problems, in a world with so many different screens size and definitions .
DenisChenu's Avatar
DenisChenu replied the topic: #129230 1 year 3 months ago

LouisGac wrote: Yes, the questionnaire template right now are just a basic bootstrap integration, so it will be easy for designers to develop new advanced templates on top of a clean and reliable base.

I'm a framework agnostic,
Using bootstrap in LS disable using Knacss or Foundation or Semantic UI (or jquery-ui) .

I think it's best to allow Template admin to choose css framework (or doing it himself).

Surely some off topic ....
LouisGac's Avatar
LouisGac replied the topic: #129228 1 year 3 months ago

holch wrote: First of all: I love the design of the new questionnaire templates. Relatively simple, so they should be easy adaptable to company colors.


Thanks holch. Yes, the questionnaire template right now are just a basic bootstrap integration, so it will be easy for designers to develop new advanced templates on top of a clean and reliable base. For now, the different templates are just using bootswatch themes :
bootswatch.com/ .

Also, the admin template itself become easy to modify, and have easy color variation.

The bugs you reported have been yet reported by Denis (who is the best bug reporter for now, by far), and corrected. Don't hesitate to continue to push further, to test any page, any menu, any possibility.
DenisChenu's Avatar
DenisChenu replied the topic: #129211 1 year 3 months ago
Hi holch,

Remind to make a bug report ;).

holch wrote: Problem with the "Other option": the check box is at the wrong position and it can't be ticked.

Reported (and fixed in GIT) : bugs.limesurvey.org/view.php?id=10094

By the way: Why is the tick box after the response? This can create very long mouse ways. I don't think this should be moved behind the answers. The tick boxes and radio buttons should stay to the left of the answer options.

Yes, maybe you're right. Personnaly : i don't like the col-X : forcing width of colum dependent of the question. If you have 3 multiple choice on same page : each have different column width.
I think i make a bug report :).


Before radio buttons there is a bullet point and after them there is a line break, which looks very odd.

Reported (and fixed in GIT) : bugs.limesurvey.org/view.php?id=10092
holch's Avatar
holch replied the topic: #129208 1 year 3 months ago
Here some feedback from me:

First of all: I love the design of the new questionnaire templates. Relatively simple, so they should be easy adaptable to company colors (however, I didn't try that yet, so I could be mistaken...).

Here a few things that I noticed:

ADMIN:


The information bar is going over the dropdown navigation, which I think it shouldn't.

Templates:
Problem with the "Other option": the check box is at the wrong position and it can't be ticked.


By the way: Why is the tick box after the response? This can create very long mouse ways. I don't think this should be moved behind the answers. The tick boxes and radio buttons should stay to the left of the answer options.


Before radio buttons there is a bullet point and after them there is a line break, which looks very odd.
LouisGac's Avatar
LouisGac replied the topic: #129181 1 year 3 months ago
Hey wingman, thanks for your help.
Your report on the postgresql bug has been useful.
Don't hesitate to report more bugs. We are in the very last steps right now.
wingman123's Avatar
wingman123 replied the topic: #129151 1 year 3 months ago
Hi All,

I'm loving the latest work in the new release candidates, the responsive design looks great B) It does appear that some things are in flux, for example the survey navigation. The dropdown Question Index isn't keeping state, it seems to be skipping Groups. Also navigating using the "Next" button seems to skip Groups and I noticed a couple changes in the qanda_helper which might be the reason. I was wondering if there was a timetable for the actual release of 2.5 ? since you guys are fixing new things everyday i'm not sure if there's a list of bugs that need to be closed out first or not, I could certainly report things. Thanks :)
floreg67's Avatar
floreg67 replied the topic: #128356 1 year 4 months ago
I got the following error messagen on a closed survey and trying to list all surveys:

Interner Serverfehler
CDbCommand konnte das SQL-Statement nicht ausführen: SQLSTATE[42S02]: Base table
or view not found: 1146 Table 'db599220410.lime_survey_811422' doesn't exist
Beim Bearbeiten Ihrer Anfrage durch den Webserver ist ein interner Fehler aufgetreten.
Bitte kontaktieren Sie the webmaster um dieses Problem zu melden.
Vielen Dank.

I could correct the error by renaming table "db599220410.lime_old_survey_811422_xxxxxxxxxxxx" to "db599220410.lime_survey_811422" in phpMyAdmin of my provider.

After this correction I could again list all surveys.
result's Avatar
result replied the topic: #128302 1 year 4 months ago
One more thing I just noticed:
The placeholder button doesn't work anymore. Always gives a "No GID provided" message. Same thing happens, when you double click an existing placeholder.
tammo's Avatar
tammo replied the topic: #128287 1 year 4 months ago
Louis,

it is great to see that you read the forum messages and respond to it. This gives me (and probably more people here) the feeling that needs and wishes are listened to!

Keep up the great work!

Tammo
LouisGac's Avatar
LouisGac replied the topic: #128284 1 year 4 months ago
thanks to all of you for your feed backs.
I wasn't here for one week (needed to organize my move to Hamburg). I'll correct those bugs asap.
result's Avatar
result replied the topic: #128230 1 year 4 months ago
Looks really promising!

A few thing I noticed:
a) The ComfortUpdate seems to have a little bit of problems after the 2.5 RC release. I always get the message:
Error
No response from Server
it seems that the Comfort Updater is not responding for now. Please, try again in few minutes, or contact LimeSurvey team

b) The inline HTML editor is kind of broken. The window is so small, that you cannot actually work with it. The popup modus works fine though.

c) If you want to preview a question that has conditions set to it, it doesn't work. I think it would be a good idea to ingore conditions, while previewing a single question.

d) There is no preview button anymore while editing a question, so you always have to close the question to preview it and then click edit again.

e) The question list does not remeber its sorting and display settings. So after going back to the list, you always have to change it again.

Keep up the good work.
JP
hrcittl's Avatar
hrcittl replied the topic: #128137 1 year 4 months ago
Hey there wingman123 - did you find an answer to the question re-ordering view? I'm experiencing that same issue with the latest RC as well.
DenisChenu's Avatar
DenisChenu replied the topic: #128097 1 year 4 months ago

wingman123 wrote: ....
2. When Survey is active, I am still able to edit question Types
I cannot add new groups or questions but I CAN change a question type (not on debug mode) which I believe isn't the right functionality.
...

I think there are a javascript issue here.

Actually update of Question type disabled is done in JS ? Must be moved to model:: after fixing in JS.
wingman123's Avatar
wingman123 replied the topic: #127985 1 year 4 months ago
Hi Louis,

Found another couple small things listed below, if you want me to open a ticket on bug tracker please let me know

1. After I deactivate a survey, (sid =597944) if I go to List Surveys, I get the following error
Internal Server Error
CDbCommand failed to execute the SQL statement: SQLSTATE[42S02]: Base table or view not found: 1146 Table 'limesurvey.lime_survey_597944' doesn't exist
An internal error occurred while the Web server was processing your request. Please contact the webmaster to report this problem.
Thank you.
If i have debug in config.php set to non zero then I don't receive this error

2. When Survey is active, I am still able to edit question Types
I cannot add new groups or questions but I CAN change a question type (not on debug mode) which I believe isn't the right functionality. In some cases it will give an error or it will change fine. But we shouldn't be able to change the question type at all when the survey is active correct? Maybe removing or disabling the form element when active?

3. When creating a new token entry for a survey, if you click "Save and Close" you receive the following error (save_and_close_token_entry screenshot) - the "Save" button and "Close" button work fine however :)

Thanks for your hard work again
wingman123's Avatar
wingman123 replied the topic: #127673 1 year 5 months ago
Also, I noticed that in my case the "Other" option selector for multiple choice, and other question types was unavailable (first screenshot). Looking into it, I noticed that the code which handles toggling the "OtherSelection" element
function OtherSelection(QuestionType)
was receiving an
undefined
after receiving a proper value of "M" (second screenshot)
The code in admin_core.js in question was
if ($("#question_type_button").not('.none').length > 0 && $("#question_type_button").attr('type')!='hidden'){
 
       qTypeDropdownInit();
        $("#question_type_button").change(function(event){
            console.log("this.value = " + this.value);
            OtherSelection(this.value);
        });
        $("#question_type_button").change();
    }
    else
    {
        $("#question_type.none").change(function(event){
            OtherSelection(this.value);
        });
        $("#question_type.none").change();
    }

If I commented out this code, the other selector shows up fine (third screenshot). Im still looking into the full ramifications of commenting that piece out but just wanted to report it if you've seen something similar. Thanks
wingman123's Avatar
wingman123 replied the topic: #127643 1 year 5 months ago
haha you honor me Louis B) just doing my best to break things ;) . For the question re-ordering view, should I try to do a workaround or is it something that would be in the next build ?

Thanks