Author Archives: Ian McBride

About Ian McBride

I'm a web developer at Middlebury.

Weekly Web Updates – October 10, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • We made numerous improvements to page performance on the MiddSTART site, which now loads much faster.

Ongoing Work

  • Adding integration with Google Drive folders for the Course Hub.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS, GO, MediaWiki, and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal and WordPress environments.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Populating mailing lists in the MyEmma email system from Banner.

Weekly Web Updates – October 3, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Internships are now a course type in the Course Hub.
  • We’ve made the “access denied” text on the Course Hub more clear to let people know when they can log in to view course materials and when no content is available.
  • Added some emphasis to the text on the Directory advertising the “Department Directory“, which is a PDF of central phone numbers and addresses for offices and organizations.
  • Fixed an issue with the administration interface for the Middlebury homepage story bars.

Ongoing Work

Beginning this week, we’ll include some highlights of the work we’re currently doing to keep you informed of upcoming changes.

  • Adding integration with Google Drive folders for the Course Hub.
  • Building out the configuration of our CAS, GO, MediaWiki, and Course Catalog servers in Chef, which is a configuration management system. We have already completed this work for our Drupal and WordPress environments.
  • Upgrading the Drupal sites for the Davis programs, Dining Menus, and Museum of Art to Drupal 8.
  • Populating mailing lists in the MyEmma email system from Banner.

Weekly Web Updates – September 26, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Bread Loaf School of English site has a new header.
  • Fixed an issue that was preventing the group permissions dialog from working on Drupal Webform “who can view data submitted to this form” screens.
  • ESL courses in the MIIS Course Hub now show links to the class roster and properly sync their rosters to linked Canvas sites.
  • The Library & ITS Internal blog will now show syndicated posts locally so that in-site navigation doesn’t bump you out to an external site. The bottom of each syndicated post will have a link labelled “Read more and comment” for those who wish to view the content at its source.
  • Removed 2016 and added 2019 as enrollment year options on the LS and MSOE inquiry forms.
  • MiddSTART now displays the total amount donated to the project, rather than the amount remaining to reach the goal.
  • The Middlebury and MIIS GO sites now use the Google Tag Manager, rather than the Google Analytics code.
  • We removed the Drupal Google Analytics module, which is no longer in use on any of our sites.

Weekly Web Updates – September 19, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Fixed a web server configuration setting that was causing the WordPress Jetpack Site Stats graphs to break on the plugin’s main page.
  • Students who drop a course are now properly removed from both the course and section groups in the associated Canvas site.
  • The Middlebury shield favicon will now display in browser tabs when looking at PDF files on the site, instead of the old “M” favicon.
  • The Kurogo Mobile sites (m.middlebury.edu, portal.middlebury.edu, m.miis.edu, students.middlebury.edu, and facstaff.middlebury.edu), the Online Directories, Course Catalogs, and Athletics site now have the correct Google Tag Manager code on them.
  • Social media icons in stories on the MIIS website will now always begin on a new line.
  • The in-page sidebar on basic content posts on the MIIS website now also displays on sub-sites using the “blue” theme.
  • The Athletics History Wall in the Peterson Family Complex now authenticates to flickr in order to pull in a more complete set of the images.

Weekly Web Updates – September 12, 2016

We completed an upgrade of our WordPress server infrastructure last week, which we believe will address some recent issues with the service.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

Weekly Web Updates – September 5, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Canvas sites created through the Course Hub will now use the default timezone of the Course Hub through which they were created as the default timezone for the course. MIIS courses should now default to Pacific and Middlebury courses should now default to Eastern.
  • We added the Google Tag Manager and, by extension, Google Analytics code to the Middlebury Course Hub, MIIS Course Hub, and New Library Items site. We also resolved a configuration issue with the MIIS Forms site which was causing the Google Analytics code to be added to the page twice.
  • The Inquiry Form button on the BLSE website was moved from the left column to the center column.
  • The Neatline plugin in Omeka now loads OpenStreetMap tiles with protocol-less links, allowing the tiles to render.

Weekly Web Updates – August 29, 2016

WordPress Comment Spam

We received no reports of issues and did not notice an increase in spam comments this week during our test removal of one of the several comment spam measures we use in WordPress, so we’ve decided to leave the one we removed on Monday turned off.

WordPress Plugin and Theme Removals

We have removed the OnSwipe plugin, which was no longer getting updated. This plugin created a tablet view of a blog for non-responsive themes. If you still need this functionality, you can switch to one of our responsive themes, like any of the “Twenty” series or enable the WPtouch plugin.

We have also removed the JournalCrunch theme, which was no longer getting updated and was not being used by any sites.

Additionally, the Magazeen, colorpaper, Blogtheme, Bueno, Monotone, and Mystique themes were disabled, but not removed. Sites using one of these themes will still be using it, but the themes cannot be enabled on any new sites. Sites using these themes are encouraged to switch.

In each of these cases, the theme or plugin is using an old, common program to generate thumbnail images that has had issues in the past. Moving away from this script will help improve the availability and responsiveness of our WordPress service.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The Course Hub will now check to see if you have Panopto content before allowing you to delete a Panopto Resource from your course. You will need to delete the videos in Panopto before removing the resource.
  • Fixed various widths and margins in the CCI WordPress theme sidebar. [From our colleagues in College Communications].

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 https://wordpress.org/example.org? 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.

Updates

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.