Weekly Web Updates – January 18, 2016

Change to Instructor Course Listings

Instructor course lists in the Course Catalog and Drupal profiles merge equivalent courses so that cross-listed courses don’t show up multiple times in the list when they are really the same thing, but under a different code. Unfortunately, the logic we were using conflicted with the way data is entered in Banner to prevent students from registering for different courses that overlap significantly in their content area.

We’ve now updated the logic to merge the results based on the “cross-listing of course-sections” instead of the “equivalence of courses”. This should reduce the number of mis-merged courses shown in instructor profiles. That said, because we are using the data in a new way, it is possible that we will expose errors in the data that will need to be cleaned up. If you are an instructor and see an error in the course list in your profile, please submit a Helpdesk Ticket and we’ll investigate.

More details for those who are interested:

The old process was:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section, get its associated course.
  3. For each course look up equivalents in SCR_EQUIV and merge them into a single result.

The new process is:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section get the cross-listed sections from SSB_XLST.
  3. For each section plus its cross-listed sections, get their course entries and merge them into a single result.


Tweaks and Fixes

  • The “MiddTags” shown at the bottom of Basic Content nodes in the Middlebury Drupal site are now displayed using Drupal’s built-in field API, allowing their display and label to be altered on sub-themes. Currently, there should be no noticeable difference in how they are displayed.
  • Similarly, the “card” view of Profiles on the Middlebury Drupal site is now using Drupal’s built-in view mode system to display them as “teasers”. This allows us to prevent some code from running when they are displayed this way, most importantly preventing the lookup of course listings, which are not shown in the “card” view. As a result, the lists of profiles will load faster when you are logged into the site (the caching system means they already load quickly and there will not be a noticeable effect on their load time when not logged in).
  • We have also made performance improvements to the Course Catalog, lazy-loading data that is not needed on the initial page load, such as course descriptions, to improve the load time of search results.
  • MediaWiki 1.26 changed the order in which some files are included on the page and we have updated the CategorySuggest plugin so that it is now working again.
  • Facebook embeds in our Drupal sites now include the height attribute in the element, ensuring that the browser renders the embed at the correct height while the page is loading. This also means that when the left sidebar in the Middlebury site corrects its height to set the address block at the bottom of the column, it will take into account any Facebook embeds.
  • The Health Professions Committee form was updated to include a link for submitters to view their submissions, so that they could edit and resubmit certain entries.
  • We have removed the Twenty Eleven Midd, Midd Classifieds, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Landscape, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Map, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Translucense, Flexible BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Navy, 2010 Translucence, and 2010 Translucence Parent (2.0)) WordPress themes.
  • The WordPress configuration on the MIIS WordPress site has been updated to prevent a redirection loop that could occur when accessing a site dashboard.

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