Author Archives: Adam Franco

About Adam Franco

Senior Application Developer

Weekly Web Updates – May 25, 2015

New Features

New Documentation

Our colleagues at MIIS have put together a really nice quick-start guide to editing their Drupal site, including some fun video tutorials. While some of this is specific to the MIIS site, much of it also applies to the Middlebury Drupal site. We’ll be “borrowing” some of this content to improve our documentation.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The site for the MIIS Center for Social Impact Learning has been redesigned to fit in with the rest of the MIIS site and the header features a custom wordmark logo for the program.
  • The MIIS website now has the canonical name of the organization in the site header using JSON-LD microdata format to let search engines know which name to use when displaying links to the site on search results pages. This is something we’ll be rolling out to the Middlebury Drupal sites shortly as well.
  • News stories on the MIIS site use a new set of custom designed social media icons, which will also soon appear in the site footer. Additionally, moving your mouse over the email icon no longer automatically opens a pop-up, you have to manually click on the icon.
  • The Middlebury wordmark in MiddMedia‘s height and width have been adjusted to support the new identity graphic.
  • We’ve added support for embedding Salesforce Pardot forms from learn.middlebury.edu on the Drupal sites using the new [iframe URL] shortcode.

Weekly Web Updates – May 11, 2015

DrupalCon

Next week won’t have updates unless there is a critical issue to address as we’ll be attending DrupalCon. The keynote, by Dries the creator of Drupal, is typically streamed online and may be of interest to those who’d like to know what’s coming in the future for the platform. It will be on Tuesday, May 12 from 12-1:15pm ET.

File Uploads in Drupal

Functionality to support uploading multiple files at once is now enabled on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites. Our documentation on Creating File Uploads has been updated to outline the new workflow. In addition to allowing multiple uploads, this greatly simplifies the upload process, removing several dialogs and making the title of the File Upload the name of the file by default. The process for updating existing File Upload contents has not changed.

New WordPress Plugins and Themes

  • RokoPhoto Lite: RokoPhoto Lite is an elegant WordPress themes for photographers, writers, and bloggers. This design focuses on your content & is perfect for an elegant blog site.
  • Shortcodes in Text Widgets: A plugin that allows shortcodes to work in Text Widgets if not supported already by theme.
  • Table of Contents Plus: A powerful yet user friendly plugin that automatically creates a table of contents. Can also output a sitemap listing all pages and categories.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • Duplicate article titles on the Health Topics A-Z page have been removed. This was done by adding a feature to the Drupal Views module that allows us to concatenate grouped results from the query, which we may be able to use for other features of the site.
  • The robots.txt files for the Drupal sites were updated to allow indexing of CSS, JavaScript, and image files in the core Drupal directories. Google announced last year that they would stop indexing pages that loaded resources from directories blocked in robots.txt and recently put this change in place in their indexing scheme.
  • Drupal Gallery captions now correctly support the UTF-8 character set, including left and right single and double quotes, emdashes, endashes, and ellipses.
  • A side effect of last week’s Drupal Webform update is that radio button and checkbox lists that use the “Other” textfield option had a hidden element that could be marked as required, making it difficult to submit the form. These hidden elements are no longer marked as required on the client side, though they will still be checked after the form is submitted to the server.

Weekly Web Updates – May 4, 2015

Drupal Webform Update

We’re now on version 7.x-4.8 of webform for both the Middlebury and MIIS forms sites. Here are the new features in this release:

  1. Conditionals can now act on more than one component with the same rule.
  2. Conditionals can now make components required/optional and set component values, in addition to hiding/showing them.
  3. Tokens may now be used to set the file component upload directory, as well as create a pattern to rename each uploaded file.
  4. Grid components support a right-side header to create semantic-differential survey questions.
  5. Result analysis can now be customized with views, including creating exposed filters.
  6. Email addresses now support long-format names, such as "First Last" <flast@example.com>.
  7. The confirmation message may now be shown within the webform block, if desired.
  8. In addition to the first-saved timestamp, webform now tracks the first completed (not draft) and last modified timestamp.
  9. Submissions may be downloaded by date range, both via the user interface and drush.
  10. Numeric submission data may now be properly formatted, filtered, and sorted with views.
  11. The day/month/year may be made optional in date components.
  12. Time components may have a start and end time, including “over midnight” ranges, such as 10pm-3am.
  13. Date and time components only show options that fall within the start and end date/times.
  14. Anonymous users may submit Webforms confidentially, without their IP address being recorded.
  15. Multi-page drafts are now resumed where the user left off, rather than on page 1.
  16. The html5 required attribute is used on required components, providing in-browser validation.

Other Updates

Library Guides

Thanks to a suggestion, creation of the dropdown lists, and testing from Bryan Carson, the Library Quick Search feature on the Library site now features a selection of subject and course guides under the “Guides” tab.

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The link to the BLWC site on the Middlebury homepage is once again plural in reference to the conferences.
  • Elements of the MIIS global design are now rendered via Drupal’s block system, which we’ve been using for the Middlebury site since the upgrade to Drupal 7. This allows us to mix-and-match which elements show up without having to create a new theme and is part of the work we’re doing to port the Course Hubs to Drupal 7.
  • A number of programming errors that were preventing the Podcasting and Visual Links WordPress plugins from working on our sites have been corrected.
  • The “waveform” feature was not being displayed at the top of the Admissions site, but is now back in place.
  • The stylesheeets for the AD Group Manager are now loaded from the central CDN rather than the older “web” server, in preparation of retiring that machine.

Weekly Web Updates – April 27 📬 🎁 😻

WordPress 4.2

  • You can now switch themes in the Customizer, making it easier to compare how new themes will look on your site.
  • Added Tumblr and Kickstarter to the list of services that can be embedded by just pasting a URL into the editor.
  • Extended character support, including native support for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters as well as mathematical and musical symbols. Also, emoji 👻

WordPress / Google Calendar support

In the past our sites.middlebury.edu and sites.miis.edu WordPress systems have offered a variety of plugins to support embedding Google Calendars in posts and sidebar widgets. Over time the authors of these plugins have moved on and not updated them to work with the latest versions of WordPress, leaving us with broken calendar support.

We are pleased to announce that we have now retired the old plugins and have replaced them with a streamlined pair of plugins, a Google Calendar Shortcode plugin that allows embedding of calendars in posts and pages and a Google Calendar Widget plugin that provides a sidebar widget which displays an “agenda” view of upcoming events from a calendar. These plugins can be enabled and used on any site in our systems.

See the LIS Wiki for instructions and more information on how use these plugins. For users of the old plugins, we will be going through your sites over the next few days and updating them to use the new plugins.

 Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • Google claims that the issue with embedded Google Calendars being blank has been fixed. Let us know if you notice this occurring again.
  • In Drupal, on the Middlebury site, RSS feeds and forms on pages with blank sidebars will now use the full width of the content region, rather than being confined to 450px. This mirrors an earlier fix for promotional calendars.
  • Also on the Middlebury Drupal site, Facebook buttons and boxes in sidebars won’t have a dotted line border around or beneath them any more.
  • Choosing to hide one field in a profile on the Middlebury Drupal site, such as fax number, will no longer also cause the photo to be hidden.

Weekly Web Updates – April 20

New WordPress themes available

The following themes are now available in sites.middlebury.edu and sites.miis.edu.

Updates

  • WordPress plugin updates:
    • WPtouch Mobile
    • Subscribe2
    • Schedule Posts Calendar
    • Resize Image After Upload
    • Redirection
    • Post Types Order
    • NextGen Gallery
    • MailPoet Newsletters
    • Akismet
    • Liveblog
    • Email Users
    • CM Tooltip Glossary
    • Blog ID In Site Admin Menu
    • BBPress
    • QTranslate-X

Known Issues

  • We’ve been noticing periodic stability issues with the web-server that hosts the GO application. We anticipate that these issues will be resolved by an upcoming system update.

Tweaks and Fixes

      Fixed a broken view that was preventing

faculty-housing listings

    from displaying.

Weekly Web Updates – April 13, 2015

Multi-File Uploads in Drupal

Thanks to some assistance from our colleagues at Amherst, we’re almost ready to allow multiple files to be uploaded into a File Upload content type in Drupal again. Please try out this feature on our development copy of the site and let us know if you run into any issues. It works just like uploading files does now, except that you can select multiple files when you click the Browse button. We hope to have this feature enabled in production this month.

Files on ‘user’ Pages

Back in 2009-2010, while we were still setting up the Middlebury site and getting used to Drupal, it was possible to upload files to your personal “user” page, rather than your site’s hidden File Uploads page. We’re removing the otherwise unused “user” pages, which aren’t used for anything else and take up a lot of space in the database. There were still about 170 files on those pages, so we moved those files to the appropriate department or office site. If you see a sub-page of your site’s File Uploads page with someone’s name on it, that’s where that came from.

Updates

Known Issues

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The Email share button on thewip.net was not working because we needed to add that domain to the allowed domains list for MIIS’s reCAPTCHA API key. If there are other WordPress domains that desire to use the Email share button aside from middlebury.edu, miis.edu, or thewip.net, please let us know.
  • Images in File Upload nodes where the Link URL field was not blank in the Carousel were hidden. We’ve fixed this so that the images are shown.
  • We have removed photos from the MIIS header, except on the homepage, and constrained the header width to 960px. This is part of an ongoing effort to do some work refreshing elements of that site’s design.
  • We have improved the performance of permissions-saving and deleting in Drupal. If you noticed problems with these in the past, they should now be resolved.

Weekly Web Updates – April 6, 2015

New Features

  • The Drupal Edit Console now has a “Files” link. This can be used to locate content where an image or document is stored. Paste in the URL of the file on the Drupal site and click “Find!” You will be shown a list of content on the site that references that file. If the file was embedded in content since we upgraded to version 7.x-2.0-beta1 of the Drupal file_entity module (February 8 for www.middlebury.edu or October 23 for other Drupal 7 sites) you will also see a row for wherever it is being used.
    Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.40.22 AM
  • The Drupal Edit Console also now has a “Search” link that provides you with an interface to look up content throughout our site based on advanced search criteria. For example, in the image below we’re using it to find all of the News items with “Commencement” in the title. You can also narrow the scope of the search to focus on a particular part of the site.
    Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 9.46.50 AM
  • You can also create a new Drupal Issue ticket in Web Helpdesk by clicking on the “New Ticket” link in the Drupal Edit Console.
  • The Drupal Slideshow content type now supports adding a pager below the slides. This will appear as a series of • characters that you can click on to move between the slides. This feature is not compatible with loading only the first slide on page load and loading remaining slides in the background. Enabling the pager will cause your page to load slower as all the slides will need to be loaded.
  • We’ve added the Drupal google_tag module, which allows us to add Google Tag Manager codes to our sites, rather than directly adding the Google Analytics tracking code. GTM is a web interface for managing Google Analytics, Google AdWords, event tracking, and other third-party tracking objects. Using this allows us to manage the trackers and events without needing to make code changes to the website and to delegate this responsibility.
  • The WordPress Multilingual (WPML) suite of plugins is now available in sites.miis.edu. If you would like to make use of this plugin suite in sites.middlebury.edu, please contact us.

Updates

New Documentation

  • Social Media Tools: Details all of the integrations we offer between our Drupal and WordPress sites and social media platforms to help you share content with those sites and display content from them. This includes a new documentation page for the Drupal Facebook Element content type.
  • Drupal Edit Console: This documentation has been rewritten to be accurate for the new Edit Console in Drupal and to mention some of the new features added this week. There are still some portions of this being fleshed out as we work to bring the documentation up-to-date with the current state of the interface.
  • Drupal Shortcodes: This has long existed as a reference to the shortcodes that are available for use inside your Drupal content, but we have updated it this week to include information on using the pop-out video player, Storify, and the Alumni Profiles view.
  • Troubleshooting Course Catalog issues: If course lists aren’t showing up in department sites or instructor profiles, check here to figure out where the data might need to be updated.

Tweaks & Fixes

  • The script that powers the pop-out video player (see the interview with Ron Liebowitz on the homepage for an example) is now loaded on all pages of the site, especially the homepage, and a small issue with the video caption supplied in the Drupal Story content type has been corrected. You can use the pop-out player in your own videos on Drupal with the “open:1″ parameter in the video shortcode.
  • To prevent spam submissions, the comment form for news stories on the Middlebury Drupal site now has a required CAPTCHA field.
  • We replaced the “waveform” bars at the top of the Giving website with a Drupal Slideshow.
  • If the caption of a Drupal Slideshow slide contains a link, the image for that slide will be wrapped in that link so that clicking on the slide directs the user to that URL.
  • Corrected an issue with the Drupal 7 Course Lists that was preventing the “exclusive” checkbox in the Level filtering to work as intended. Checking this and selecting just “Undergraduate” will now appropriately show just the undergraduate courses, excluding those offered in both undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • We re-write the display of Drupal Webform fields to force the field description to appear between the field label and the form field. Because of this, we weren’t supporting several new display options for webform field, such as prefix labels (e.g. putting a $ in front of a “Cost” field). We’ve fixed this so that all of the new field label options are supported.
  • Items in the left navigation of the Middlebury Drupal site are now styled as a “block” so that when their labels wrap to a new line they are indented by the same 6px as the line above them. See the ITS Teams & Workgroups navigation for an example.
  • The boxes for MIIS faculty profiles are now set to be the same height as the items to their left and right in a row of profile boxes. See the MBA faculty page for an example.
  • Links to the Campus Map and EthicsPoint now appear again in the Middlebury Drupal site’s footer.

Weekly Web Updates – March 23, 2015

We’re starting this feature again to let you know about the changes that we’ve made recently to our web systems. This will appear each Monday in the Library & Information Technology Services blog.

New Features

  • Drupal Instagram: You can now add lists of images from one or more Instagram users to your pages. This works well as a sidebar widget.
  • Drupal Slideshow: Allows you to put a rotating image slideshow on a page.
  • The Language Schools and Schools Abroad sites have had their headers redesigned. Additionally, there is now a fullwidth page theme for the Language Schools.
  • We now support embedding content from ExpOsure in Drupal using the video shortcode, as you would with YouTube or Vimeo. Here’s an example of it in practice.

New Documentation

We’re working on improving our documentation and have cleaned up the content types section of the Editing in Drupal page. The Drupal File Upload documentation has been revised to incorporate the changes in that system with Drupal 7, and we’ve added a page about Drupal Email Newsletters, which are created differently in Drupal now, though the process for sending them through List Manager is the same.

The new Instagram and Slideshow content types are also documented and there is a page with the pixel dimensions of each region on our site, which is helpful when creating new Instagram and Slideshow content.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • Images in the Drupal File Upload content are now wrapped in a link to the full-sized image. Note that the “Clicking on this image shows it full-size” checkbox when embedding an image is still not working.
  • The comment form on Drupal News items on the Middlebury site now includes a comment policy and the unnecessary Subject field has been removed to improve the display of comments.
  • Drupal Promotional Calendars on pages with empty sidebars now take up the full width of the content region, rather than being confined to 450px.
  • The Middlebury 404 page is no longer showing extraneous navigation elements and has the correct margins on the text that is shown.
  • Related videos are no longer shown for any YouTube embeds in Drupal.
  • The Google Analytics code on the Middlebury Drupal site has been updated to allow links to “securelb.imodules.com” (the online giving form) to track as though they were hosted on our domain.
  • Google Analytics on the MIIS forms site will now track clicks on form page buttons as discrete events, showing “Page 1 of 3″, for example, when a user clicks on the first page button on a multi-page form.
  • WordPress video embeds from MiddMedia now support files containing sequential en-dash characters, ‘-‘. WordPress had been translating this into em-dash characters ‘–‘, breaking urls.