Q: What do these three things have in common?
- Decommissioning of Segue
- Shel Sax’s birthday
- A blue moon
Imagine yourself back in the 2002-2003 academic year. There is no MySpace yet, let alone Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. Most websites are being created by typing HTML markup or using desktop programs like Dreamweaver. WordPress doesn’t exist yet and won’t support more than a single blog for another three years. Moveable Type and Manilla (early blogging systems) are available, but don’t support the unicode character set needed to properly display text in foreign languages. Each summer numerous faculty would work with students in LIS to build a class website, a process that required many meetings as the faculty member developed the content, then gave it to the student to put on the web. Changes to the content required yet more meetings.
In June 2003 after about a year of development we launched Segue, a content management system that has supported our learning environment for almost a decade. Segue was designed to meet two specific needs. It allowed faculty to create and update their own course websites on their own schedule without requiring a continuous back and forth with support staff. It also allowed web content to be created in all of the languages taught at Middlebury, even Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.
Years later unicode support has become common and there now exist a plethora of learning management systems to choose from. In May of 2009, Middlebury decided that Segue had completed it’s tour of duty and that it was time for decommissioning. Today, August 31st, 2012, Segue has served its last page and is now offline.
We want to take this moment to thank Alex Chapin, Adam Franco, Gabe Schine, Christopher Shubert, and Dobromir Radichkov, who developed Segue over the years and supported the service as a resource for our curricular environment.
A: All three occur today.