Author Archives: Adam Franco

About Adam Franco

Senior Application Developer

Weekly Web Updates – August 22, 2016

WordPress Comment Spam

We are testing a change to our filtering this week that may result in an increase in the number of spam comments posted to your site. If you notice an increase, please let us know. This test will run though Friday, August 26 at the latest.

Drupal Permissions Changes

Since September 2015, there has been an issue where applying permissions to sub-pages in our Drupal sites would occasionally remove custom permissions at lower levels. We’ve corrected this so that changing page permissions now works as intended and have reviewed our Helpdesk tickets since last September to ensure that the permissions of everyone who reported a problem are back in place.

WordPress 4.6

  • Native fonts: The WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have, making it load faster and letting you feel more at home on whatever device you use.
  • Inline link checker: Ever accidentally made a link to Now WordPress automatically checks to make sure you didn’t.
  • Content recovery: As you type, WordPress saves your content to the browser. Recovering saved content is even easier with WordPress 4.6.

Course Hub “Panopto” Resource

In preparation for Middlebury’s pilot of the Panopto video recording and streaming service, we have built a Panopto integration into the Course Hub which allows instructors to provision course folders and appropriate groups with just a few clicks.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • The link to WebMail in the MIIS site header was changed to go/newmail as all MIIS faculty, staff and student mailboxes have been moved to the new cloud-based email system.
  • Reverted a code style change that caused the input fields in the WordPress MailChimp widget to disappear.
  • The “download” attribute is now supported for link elements in the Middlebury Drupal site. This can only be added using the HTML button in the editor at this time. The attribute means that the image or document file linked to will be downloaded rather than opened in the browser window. This only works in Firefox, Chrome, Opera and the Android browser at this time.
  • Fixed an issue with Panopto SAML2 authentication to ADFS caused by the roll-over of ADFS’s “signing cert”. Updating this cert configuration will be an annual task in the future.

Weekly Web Updates – August 15, 2016

We have removed the PRiNZ themes from being available on our WordPress sites. Sites already using these these should not notice any change, but you will no longer see them in the list on the Appearance -> Themes page in the site dashboard. The themes are no longer supported by the vendor and cause issues with the WYSIWYG editor in recent versions of WordPress.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • Fixed an issue where, when fetching the content of gallery captions in our Drupal sites, the results weren’t properly filtered and content from the pages images were embedded in was being displayed instead of the caption field of the image itself.
  • Enabled multi-file uploads for the Museum website.
  • Removed the image tags field from File Uploads on the MIIS website.

Weekly Web Updates – August 8, 2016

There is an ongoing issue with selecting individual images within Drupal gallery content types. Instead of the expected behavior of adding an individual image to the list, instead, when clicking on an image, the contents of the entire folder will display in the gallery. To work around this issue, create a tree item to contain each of your gallery items, and select that item when setting up the gallery. Then, adjustments to the gallery items can be made by adding/removing images from the container, but not within the gallery edit form itself.

For additional questions or help with a change to a gallery content type you manage, please fill out a Web Helpdesk ticket.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • The vertical index of the modal dialogs in Drupal was increased so that it is higher than other elements on the page, such as the tan taskbar, ensuring these page elements don’t bleed through.
  • Fixed the modal dialog on the Monster Menus Copy/Move page in Drupal so that the Add and Replace buttons work as intended.
  • Resolved a number of issues with captions and modal dialogs in the Gallery content type in our Drupal sites ensuring that the modal tree browser is displayed when editors click the Add button and that images in the gallery are shown if users have can read them.

Weekly Website Updates – August 1, 2016

This week’s update of the Drupal Monster Menus module changes most of the pop-out dialog windows from requiring the old “Thickbox” script to using something newer that works on more screen sizes. Thickbox is still used for image gallery pop-outs and the “click to enlarge” window on top-right images in Drupal news stories.

We tested this new functionality, along with our colleagues at other schools who use Monster Menus, in IE 11, Microsoft Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and corrected the few issues we found. As always, please report any issues through Web Helpdesk so we can work to address them.


* The change to media permissions described in the release notes was not applied to our sites.

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Drupal Gallery Thickbox pop-out window will no longer break for images that don’t have captions. Following that fix, we made another correct to get it working again for galleries containing images that do have captions.

Weekly Web Updates – July 25, 2016

We’ve added the Magic Liquidizer Responsive Table WordPress plugin, which you can enable to make tables on your WordPress site work on mobile devices. Just enable the plugin and set a maximum width in its settings.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Canvas resource type is now in the list of resources that would show up on your Semester Dashboard and you’ll see links to your Canvas course sites there.
  • Drupal image gallery pop-out windows will now work when the gallery is set to not show captions for the images.
  • We clear an additional cache in Drupal when the homepage stories list is updated on the MIddlebury site to ensure that the content in the “waveform” receives the latest updates.
  • We have added print styles to the Middlebury responsive Drupal theme.
  • Added a one hour cache to the MIIS Around the World page to improve site performance.

Weekly Web Updates – July 18, 2016


Fixes and Tweaks

  • Following reports that images and script files on our WordPress sites were slow to load off-campus, we’ve increased the number of allowed concurrent requests browsers can make to WordPress, which appears to have resolved the issue.

Weekly Web Updates – July 11, 2016

We have added the Primary Categories plugin to our WordPress sites, which can be used to identify a category as being the “primary” one for a post or page. We also created a custom plugin to enable embeds from the Skedda online booking service.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • All 404 pages on the MIIS Drupal site now use the main MIIS theme.
  • If you edited and saved a banner image on the Middlebury Drupal site, it would disappear. We have updated the code that checks if a page region is empty to correctly identify the field with the image, which changes its name from “body” to “multimedia” after you edit it the first time.
  • We changed the settings of the Dining Menus site to allow editors access to the Drupal pages necessary to add new menu items. This had been removed in a recent server upgrade.
  • Deleting a Moodle or Canvas resource from the Course Hub will now correctly delete the site, even if it has been used in past semesters. Previously, a check to determine whether the resource was used elsewhere prevented this removal.
  • New Canvas users created by the MIIS Course Hub will have their default timezone set to Pacific. Those created by the Middlebury Course Hub will continue to have it set to Eastern. This does not affect any existing Canvas accounts and will not override any preference set by the individual in their Canvas account after it is created.
  • Editors on the Davis Projects for Peace and Davis UWC Scholars sites can now edit any page.

Weekly Web Updates – July 4, 2016

Several issues contributed to cause our Middlebury WordPress site to run slower than normal early last week. We believe we have mitigated most of these issues, but are still investigating a few. If some operation in WordPress is taking more than ten seconds to respond, please let us know by opening a ticket and telling us the site URL, what action was slow, and the time it happened, as precisely as possible. Thanks for your help and patience.

Separately, there was a Google Calendar outage for much of last Thursday and some of the features of our site, such as Library hours, had to be temporarily removed.

New Features

We have added the Instagram Feed plugin to the Middlebury and MIIS WordPress sites. You can activate and configure this plugin on your site to display a grid of images from Instagram. This replaces the Simple Instagram plugin, which stopped working after a recent Instagram API update.

We’ve created a separate, dedicated site for use in Drupal training workshops.


Fixes and Tweaks

  • Recent updates to the MIIS global navigation were applied to the Directory, forms, Course Catalog, and GO sites.
  • Fixed a hidden image gallery on the Middlebury Library site.
  • Resolved an issue creating WordPress sites through the Course Hub caused by a change in our production Drupal environment.
  • Resolved an issue in the Course Hub where class-groups were not getting updated regularly.
  • Applied some style changes to the accordion menu in the Omeka NeatLine module.
  • Added new menu and style settings for the Envisioning Middlebury site to its contact form and fixed its menu for mobile devices.
  • Corrected an issue with shortcodes in the NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin that would sometimes crash a site.