Author Archives: Ian McBride

About Ian McBride

I'm a web developer at Middlebury.

Weekly Web Updates – January 30, 2017

We are planning to upgrade the CAS Single Sign On service on Thursday, February 2. Users of the service should notice no interruption, but if you logged in to the older version and have an active session on Thursday morning, then go to log in to another CAS-connected service after the upgrade, you will need to enter your credentials again.

The list of CAS-connected services includes Web Helpdesk, WordPress, Drupal, MediaWiki, GO, the Course Catalog, CollegiateLink, MiddMedia, Lynda, Moodle, Kurogo, CRFAccess, the ITS ChangeTracker, the Online Directory, TerraDotta, EZProxy, SANSSpace, Midd Guests, Canvas, the ITS Project Dashboard, Omeka, the AD Group Manager, SpringShare LibAuth, and the Advocate Judicial System.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The 2017-2018 export set is now available in the Course Catalog.
  • We fixed an issue with the Course Hub that was preventing instructors from adding Hub-spaces for lab/discussion classes via the “Manage Course Hub Sites” link on their 2017-Spring dashboards.
  • Improved the nightly sync process run by the Course Catalog so that it uses significantly fewer resources writing new course data to the database to prevent the process from failing.
  • The JSON API for the Course Catalog now prints the current term first if given a catalog.
  • We’ve removed the List Manager subscription form from the News Room website, which will be replaced with a MyEmma subscription form.

Ongoing Work

  • Developing a shared resource for Canvas in the Course Hub which provides the Academic Integrity Tutorial.
  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – January 23, 2017

With our colleagues in Communications & Marketing, we’ve launched a small redesign of the Middlebury News Room site, with featured stories, and a sidebar of news blurbs about people, Middlebury in the News, and campus notes.

We have updated the WordPress Jetpack plugin to version 4.5 which has a lot of new functionality for its shortcode, carousel, and widgets features. You will not be able to enable the “WordAds” feature on the Middlebury site network. The Terms of Service for the plugin have also been updated and you should review them to see how information from your site is used when connected to WordPress.com.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • News stories in RSS feeds from the Middlebury Drupal website will no longer have author or dc:creator elements. The byline information, if any, will be contained in the story content.
  • Fixed an issue in the WordPress Parabola theme that prevented the site dashboard from loading correctly.
  • Many small fixes to the Moodle-auth_casattras and Moodle Adaptive Quiz modules.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Integrating Panopto (streaming videos) and Canvas (LMS).
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – January 16, 2017

The Dining Menus website features a new responsive design, making it easier to use on mobile devices.

We removed the greenday, regulus, edu-knows, and irresistible themes from WordPress, which were not in use on any active sites.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • We’ve deployed an update to the BLSE homepage from our colleagues in Communications & Marketing.
  • Corrected an issue with the MailPoet newsletter WordPress plugin that prevented the preview and send buttons from working.
  • The media button in the WYSIWYG editor for the MIIS Drupal site appears again.
  • Fixed an issue with the WordPress Authors plugin that made it appear as though each author wrote zero posts.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – January 9, 2017

There was an issue in the recent WordPress 4.7 update that caused problems with our custom permissions group syncing to that system. If you are the member of a group that is sync’d to WordPress but have different permissions than most members of that group (for example: administrators of the “Classifieds” blog), your permissions to the site may have been set to the lower-level permissions if you logged in to the site over the holiday break (this was fixed by 1pm on January 3rd). If that’s the case, let us know and we’ll restore your permissions.

We have added the Inline Footnotes and BE Subpages Widget plugins to WordPress.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The server hosting the Course Catalog was updated using the Chef server configuration tool to better provide system updates and versioning. Additionally, all requests to the Catalog are now handled over HTTPS.
  • We applied a security update to the system that sends mail in WordPress which is causing issues with the email preview function in the Wysija / MailPoet plugin. The plugin author promises to have an update available shortly that will fix this.
  • Improved the Online Directory’s handling of connections to the Active Directory to ensure that system resources are properly recycled after searches are run, preventing the server from spinning out of control.
  • Increased the timeout and improved error handling for photo fetching to the Athletics History Wall to better ensure we import as many photos as possible.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • A responsive design for the Dining Menus site.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, and CAS servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, GO, and the Course Catalog services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – January 2, 2017

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • go/groups will not show class membership information to non-admins.
  • The Drupal Redirector content type has been enabled on www.davisfellowsforpeace.org.
  • An additional view display variant for the fellows tables on www.davisfellowsforpeace.org was created that doesn’t contain the “Area of Interest” column.
  • The new first and last name fields for student nodes in www.davisuwcscholars.org have been populated.
  • Privacy Policy links have been added to numerous footer themes within www.middlebury.edu.
  • The default image displayed in the directory and website profile content has been updated.
  • The Drupal Google Calendar content-type now properly extracts calendar ids from any Google Calender URL (embed-url, iCal url, etc) as well as allowing calendar ids to be entered directly.
  • Added documentation on email re-sending in Webforms.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, CAS and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, and GO services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – December 19, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Improved the video shortcode processing in Drupal to handle additional forms of Vimeo URLs.
  • We’ve added Varnish caching in front of the New Library Items site, which should cause it to load much faster if it’s been visited recently.
  • There is a new “trainee” role in the Drupal Training website, which includes everyone with an account to better ensure that permission to use the site is limited to people signed in through CAS.
  • We have limited the allowed file types for uploaded files in Drupal to include common image and document formats.
  • Older versions of the Middlebury Student Life site should no longer get indexed by search engines. We are working on removing old copies of their content in a way that does not impact the live site.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • Building out the configuration of our Omeka, CAS and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, and GO services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – December 12, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • CAS now requires TLS 1.2 when connecting to its service in order to provide additional session security. The Online Directory was upgraded to .NET 4.5 to accomodate this change.
  • We’ve added a Google Tag Manager plugin for Omeka and one for MediaWiki. Custom support for this was also added to MiddMedia.
  • Scholarships are now included in the post types shown on the MiddSTART homepage and several coding errors were resolved that were preventing comments from working as intended.
  • Fixed a login issue with MediaWiki that prevented some users from being able to edit.
  • Panopto is now included in the video provider options for the Davis Projects for Peace site.

Ongoing Work

  • Creating a new website for the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, and GO services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.

Weekly Web Updates – December 5, 2016

We upgraded the servers that run go.middlebury.edu, go.miis.edu, and mediawiki.middlebury.edu. These are now using the Chef server configuration tool to manage settings so that we can ensure proper change management over their setup. The GO service now supports the “https” protocol. Additionally, MediaWiki was upgraded from version 1.26.4 to version 1.28.0 as part of this change.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • When editing a GO shortcut, the “Apply These Changes” button is now on its own line, making it less likely that you will accidentally click the “Delete” button that used to be next to it.
  • Department image banners on the Middlebury Drupal site should now properly link to the department homepage rather than the image file if you have JavaScript enabled.
  • Course Hub term builders can now reorder subpage items in the hub.
  • The iCal feeds for the Dining Menus site now include the start and end time of each meal.
  • The L&ITS wiki now includes icons when linking to an external site. Also, the toclimit classes are in the stylesheet now so that feature will work.
  • Resolved an issue with images not loading in the Moodle Adaptive Quiz module.
  • The WordPress bbPress plugin went missing and was replaced.
  • The Course Catalog¬† now supports a JSON API to provide course data to the Kurogo mobile application.

Ongoing Work

  • A small redesign of the Middlebury News Room to bring it more inline with the newsletter.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal, WordPress, MediaWiki, and GO services.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Providing Course Hub access for Schools Abroad courses.