Author Archives: Adam Franco

About Adam Franco

Senior Application Developer

Weekly Web Updates – July 27, 2015

Accessibility

I mentioned this at the last ITS Tech Partners meeting and promised to include a link to it in this week’s updates. tota11y is a bookmarklet that you can use to highlight accessibility issues on web pages.

Updates

Tweaks & Fixes

  • We have updated the Museum of Art site to use the Drupal Service Links module for the buttons that allow you to share news items on social media. The ShareThis module has been removed from all Drupal sites.
  • When you click the “Put on Reserve” link in MIDCAT, the form will automatically populate the Call Number field.

Weekly Web Updates – July 20, 2015

New Features

There is now a “simple search” field at the top of the Directory that uses Active Directory’s Ambiguous Name Resolution index to return results from multiple fields. These are all “starts with” searches, so searching for “Joe” will return people whose first or last names start with “Joe”. All of the old search options are still available in the Advanced Search section on the same page.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • When you are editing a piece of content in Drupal the “Owner” of that content will be updated to be you once you save it. If you wish to set the “Owner” to someone else, you can do so in the Permissions settings while editing. This matches how “Owner”s are already set when editing Page settings in Drupal.
  • WordPress sites with the Subscribe2 plugin enabled were sending up to four emails to the author of a post when it was published. This is apparently a “feature” of Subscribe2, giving authors an opportunity to see examples of all the possible emails the plugin is sending to subscribers. These emails are no longer being sent to post authors, but you can subscribe yourself to your own site(s) if you wish to continue receiving emails of your posts. If you were already subscribed, no action is required on your part.
  • The “Body” field of Drupal RSS Page content will now be shown when the content is displayed, not just when it is being edited. The body will appear above the list of RSS feed links.
  • HTML tables that are wider than the content area in Drupal will now be wrapped in a special element after the page loads that allows for horizontal scrolling, rather than having the table overflow out of the contents region.
  • We have fixed issues in Drupal that prevented editors from adding space around images and links around images in table cells. Please note that due to an issue with how Internet Explorer communicates with pop-up windows, editing in IE is still not supported at this time. Editing in other browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome, or Safari is advised.
  • The correct space between profiles when displayed as a list of “cards” will now be applied, even if there are non-profile nodes on the page with the list. Previously, these non-profiles had been throwing off the even/odd count on which items to apply the margin.
  • The Google Fonts Domine, Open Sans, and Rosarivo are now loaded on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites. These will be used for some text styles going forward, to better match the fonts already in use for print publications.
  • The WordPress Jetpack plugin’s Custom Content Type submodule has been re-enabled.
  • The Library Hours in that site’s sidebar will no longer include the date as it was always the current day’s date.
  • The image slider on the Davis UWC Scholars site is even more slightly faster.

Weekly Web Updates – July 13, 2015

New Features

We have added the FlatOn theme to the themes available on our WordPress sites.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • Searching by “Last Name” on the Directory will now include results from anyone whose last name contains your search query. Previously it only included people whose last name started with your search query. This made it somewhat difficult to search for people with “de” in their last name, hyphenated names, or multiple last names.
  • The “department” field for each person in Banner is a single line of text. For people working in multiple departments, their “department” will be “Dept A / Dept B”. When you search by department in the Directory, we include the people who work in multiple departments in the results. If a department was comprised of only people who worked in multiple departments, that department was not being shown in the list. They now are.
  • Accessibility: presentational attributes like ‘border’ shouldn’t be used on HTML elements, but rather specified using CSS. This is already how we handle many elements, but the site code would add a redundant “border=0″ to every image. We have removed this. Borders can still be specified on images using the Edit Image button in the editor, which adds a CSS style to the image.
  • We have disabled some of the components of the WordPress Jetpack plugin that may cause conflicts with our sites. These include: Custom Content Types, Gravatar Hovercards, Single Sign On, Site Management, Mobile Theme, Notifications, Photon, Post by Email, Protect, Videopress, Vaultpress.
  • The image slider on the Davis UWC Scholars site will rotate through its features faster.

Weekly Web Updates – July 6, 2015

Updates

Tweaks & Fixes

  • We have removed some extra markup from the Drupal RSS Page content type. There is no visual difference, but there had been some hidden content that included a link that directed people back to the same page they were already on. Google crawled this link and it had a minor impact on our site search engine optimization due to duplicate content being displayed.
  • We have updated the ROBOTS.txt file on public WordPress sites for both Middlebury and MIIS so that global media files (images, CSS, JavaScript) referenced by themes and plugins are allowed to be included in the index. Google changed their indexer to penalize pages that included references to resources that were being blocked by ROBOTS.txt.
  • Accessibility: we’ve added a hidden label to the Google Custom Search Engine fields that are embedded in Drupal site content, such as on the Helpdesk website. This is similar to the accessibility improvement that we made for the global search field in the top right.
  • Accessibility: the title of the section pages (e.g. ‘About Middlebury’, ‘Student Life’, ‘Sustainability’) is now included in the markup as text, in addition to the image used for the parallax effect as you scroll left-to-right in the waveform.

Weekly Web Updates – June 29, 2015

New Features

By default in WordPress you cannot add tags or categories to pages. These are only available for posts. We’ve added the Post Tags and Categories for Pages plugin. You can enable this to add tags and categories to your pages.

We had been using the ShareThis module for Drupal to provide share links for news stories on the Middlebury and MIIS websites. The ShareThis service provides reports on the number of shares to each platform, but we weren’t using the reports and the trackers that the service adds to do this were numerous. We’ve replaced ShareThis with the Drupal service_links module, which provides links to share content without third-party trackers. We’re still using ShareThis on the Museum of Art and 25th Reunion site, but will replace it with Service Links on those as well.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • An archive copy of the 2014-2015 Handbook site is now available as a PDF.
  • Fonts on the WRMC site have been normalized to use the Google Fonts EB Garamond, Arvo, and Paytone One, ensuring that the correct fonts are loaded on all platforms. The site had previously been using some fonts that were only available on Macs.
  • Fixed a CSS issue with the tabs below the scrolling banner on the MCSE site.

Weekly Web Updates – June 22, 2015

New Features

A new website for Science and Mathematics at Middlebury is live. A lot of work from faculty and staff in these departments, as well as College Communications went into putting this together, especially from Jonathan Kemp and Wendy Shook. Check out the new video about teaching these subjects in the liberal arts.

When authoring a News story in the Middlebury Drupal site, there is now an additional checkbox at the bottom of the form to “Show Media Images”. If you check this, a row of 100×100 image thumbnails will appear below your story’s content. The thumbnails will be of the images that you included in your story’s body content as well as the top-right featured image. Each thumbnail will link to the full-size version of the image, so that it can be easily downloaded and shared.

Also new to News content in the Middlebury Drupal site is that the “Show Publish on date for attribution” checkbox will be checked by default. Since we don’t print content attributions, this won’t change the appearance of your content. However, this is required to be checked in order to automatically sort News content in reverse chronological order on the page. With this checked, you will no longer need to manually sort News content on the page.

Updates

* These updates apply only to the Middlebury and MIIS Course Hub.

Tweaks and Fixes

  • A bug that was preventing the Metatag module’s form from working on the page settings form in Drupal has been resolved.
  • The Google Analytics tracking code on the MIIS website has been replaced with a Google Tag Manager, which allows us to manage analytics and tracking without needing to make code changes to the site.
  • The CAS login blocks will no longer have an empty header tag appear above them. This was removed to improve site accessibility support.
  • The settings page for the WordPress Video Plugin will now appear again in WordPress’ administration interface. This was not appearing due to a deprecated version of the function that checks user permissions. The page contains a link to the plugin’s documentation.
  • The height of the left column on department pages is once again correctly calculated to avoid the overlapping of the navigation and address regions.
  • RSS feeds displayed in www.middlebury.edu and www.miis.edu via the “RSS Page” module will now refresh approximately every hour rather than every two hours.

Weekly Web Updates – June 15, 2015

New Features

The Newsroom site now has nicely designed social media buttons and individual news stories have similar share buttons. Hovering over the email button no longer automatically opens a pop-out window. You have to manually click the button.

You can now specify the text color and whether to show the title and byline in Drupal Vimeo embeds. See our updated documentation on Drupal Shortcodes for more information.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

Accessibility

We are beginning to make changes to the site to improve its accessibility according to the WCAG guidelines. In particular, this week:

  • The label for the “Search Midd” form is no longer hidden using “display:none”. Instead it is now very narrow so that it won’t appear visually in a browser, but will be read on assistive devices.
  • The labels for the email newsletter signup form on the Newsroom site now correctly correspond to their checkboxes.
  • The links in the footer to the alumni sites that have labels like “Middlebury Language Schools” now have title attributes specifying that they are “For Alumni” to avoid confusion with links labelled “Middlebury Language Schools” elsewhere on the page.
  • One instance of the <center> tag has been removed from the site.
  • The “Skip to Main Content” links are now correctly linked to the main content element on the page.
  • The headings for the “Quick Search” boxes, such as on the Offices & Services page are now being used as proper labels for the form element.
  • The wordmark logos for Middlebury and its affiliate programs are now background images and there is actual text in the header elements on each of the pages, making it easier for them to be read by assistive devices.

This is just the beginning of many accessibility improvements we’ll be making, and working with you to make as well. To learn more about this topic, here is a Lynda.com session on Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques and you can view the accessibility issues with the Middlebury site in SiteImprove.

Weekly Web Updates – June 8, 2015

New Features

The MIIS website has a new homepage, designed by staff in Middlebury’s office of Communications. This features a new global header and footer, which we’ve applied to all of the pages in the MIIS website, as well as the MIIS Directory, the MIIS instance of GO, and the MIIS mobile website / portal.

New Documentation

We’ve prepared a guide on creating Course and Section Listings in Drupal.

At the request of Jim Stuart, we’ve added staff profiles for ITS to the ITS Teams and Workgroups section of the site. Each person has permission to edit their profile and we’ve prepared documentation on editing profiles for those interested.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • We’ve fixed a problem with the Drupal Instagram content type that was preventing images from being displayed if certain sizes of those images weren’t available through Instagram. It will now display the last X images of any size larger than the width you specify.
  • The navigation element for the Study Abroad website has been modified to include a direct link to information about their advisors.
  • We’ve made some improvements to how resources are handled in the Course Hub so that saving resources & syllabi only synchronizes the resource that was saved rather than all resources for the course, speeding up the save processes.