Author Archives: Adam Franco

About Adam Franco

Senior Application Developer

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.

New print style for Course Hub class rosters

Since 2011 instructors have been able to view class rosters in the Course Hub, a feature many have used to help learn students’ names or quickly look up contact, Commons, or advisor information.

Web view of the course roster.

Web view of the course roster.

One thing we had not anticipated at the time is that instructors might print the roster to have a reference with them in class. Unfortunately, the rosters weren’t laid out with printing in mind and often flowed across pages in a not-very-compact way. Today, we are pleased to announce that class rosters now have improved styling that will lay-out the roster in a more compact grid when printing.

Old class roster print view.

Old class roster print view.

New class roster print view

New class roster print view

As web technology in general is not optimized for print, it is possible you still might encounter quirks when printing. We recommend using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari and avoiding Internet Explorer when printing rosters as some IE versions have a quirk that can cause pages to break across photos.

New responsive, mobile-friendly theme for CAS logins

The CAS login screen is now mobile-friendly.

Logging onto Middlebury web sites just got easier to do on your phone, tablet, or other small screen. Today we updated the Central Authentication Service (CAS) theme to dynamically reformat itself so that login form is easy to use on any screen size. No longer will you have to side-scroll or zoom to enter your username and password to access authenticated services.

Latest Firefox makes GO less easy to use

The Mozilla Foundation’s latest version of Firefox, version 34, has started running searches when you type go/mail into the address bar without prefixing with http:// or using the fully-qualified name go.middlebury.edu. This follows similar moves by Chrome and Safari to prefer searches over host-name lookups when there isn’t a fully-qualified domain name in the URL bar.

The good news is, that confirming the dialog to go to GO instead of to search will set a preference allowing GO shortcuts to continue to work:

If you forget to click the confirmation, it is possible to manually add the preference to make GO links work permanently. See the LIS Wiki for more details.

WordPress upgraded to 3.9

I’ve applied the latest update to our WordPress platforms, sites.middlebury.edu and sites.miis.edu. This update provides a smoother media editing experience:

  • Improved visual editing – speed, accessibility, and mobile support
  • Edit images easily – quicker access to crop and rotation tools, scale images directly in the editor
  • Drag and drop your images right onto the editor
  • Image gallery previews right in the editor
  • Showcase music and clips with simple audio and video playlists
  • Live widget and header image previews in the Customizer
  • Stunning new theme browser

Here’s a short video covering the changes.

More information about this update can be found on WordPress.org including a full list of the changes to the platform.

Top 10 GO shortcuts in Fall 2013

We recently took a look at the server logs for the GO service over the past 29 days (September 22 – October 21) and thought it might be interesting to share the most-used shortcuts and their aliases.

  1. 3,317 hits per day — go/webmail, go/mail, go/email
  2. 1,220 hits per day — go/bannerweb, go/bw, go/ssb, go/timeentry
  3.    759 hits per day — go/keysurvey
  4.    649 hits per day — go/papercut
  5.    550 hits per day — go/lib, go/library, go/libraries, go/read
  6.    546 hits per day — go/middfiles, go/midd+files
  7.    527 hits per day — go/coursehub, go/hub, go/course+hub
  8.    444 hits per day — go/moodle
  9.    393 hits per day — go/menu, go/menus
  10.    371 hits per day — go/directory, go/dir

While some people access these shortcuts by clicking on links embedded in our various web sites, the vast majority are directly typed into users’ browsers.

Which shortcuts (one of these or others) do you find most useful in your normal day?