Weekly Web Development Round-up July 18-July 22, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

In addition to the mailing list we announced last week, we now have a page on the LIS Wiki describing all of the ways that you can get information about changes to web systems including a blog that catalogs all of the changes that have been made to production systems since December 2006 and web interfaces for browsing our code.

Drupal

  • Drupal can now send emails to off-campus addresses.
  • Because of the above change, we need to be more careful about form submissions on our site. We don’t want someone using a form with an auto-confirmation message to spam non-Middlebury addresses, which might get our mail servers blacklisted. We’ve enabled spam prevention using the un.captcha.lous module on all forms on the site.
  • While we tested the above module and used it on the Ask a Librarian form for several months before enabling it site-wide, some people reported that they started getting a message “JavaScript is required to submit this form” even though they had JavaScript enabled. If you see this message when filling out a form, let us know and we’ll remove that requirement from that specific form.
  • Issues with the Facebook Elements and MiddLab content types not appearing correctly in sidebars have been resolved. You can now use these features in any region of the page.
  • The maximum file upload size has been increased to 100MB.
  • Module updates: location_feeds (used by the Campus Map).

WordPress

We’ll be updating WordPress to version 3.2.1 this Sunday between 8-10 AM. The update is expected to take only a few minutes to complete and the service should remain available while the update is applied. Below is a list of links to the changes that are included in this update.

We will also enable the WordPress Video Plugin on every blog. This plugin allows you to embed videos from sites like YouTube and Vimeo. Currently, this isn’t on by default which confuses people when they try to embed these videos and assume that we don’t support that. This is a common enough issue that turning the plugin on by default makes sense.

As we mentioned earlier, we’ve modified the WordPress 3.2 update so that you will not see a message about your browser being out-of-date, which WordPress would normally show you. However, this update does drop support for editing blogs using Internet Explorer 6. If you are still using IE 6, please contact our Helpdesk for assistance updating your browser.

We are also adding a plugin called Multisite Plugin Commander. This allows us to enable a plugin for a single blog. Right now, if we add a new plugin to the site we need to let everyone use that plugin, which doesn’t always make sense. This will help us do limited trials of plugins and special requests for functionality.

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