Author Archives: Ian McBride

About Ian McBride

I'm a web developer at Middlebury.

Weekly Web Updates – January 4, 2016

This covers the brief week of December 21 through noon on the 23rd.

New Features

The IX Show Latest YouTube plugin for WordPress is now available, which provides a shortcode for displaying the latest video from a particular YouTube channel.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

Weekly Web Updates – December 21, 2015

WordPress 4.4

The key features of this release include:

  • All images are now responsive and will appear at an appropriate size for the device screen.
  • The new “Twenty Sixteen” theme is available for use.
  • You can now embed WordPress posts in other WordPress posts by just pasting the URL of the post into a post. Additionally, you can now do this with content from Cloudup, Reddit Comments, ReverbNation, Speaker Deck, and VideoPress and the sites the WordPress already supported.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The header and footer of the MIIS Course Catalog now correctly reflect their design and we’ve corrected a typo on the Schedule Planner page for all the catalogs.
  • There is a new wrapper element that is around all video embeds in Drupal to assist with responsive display of the video player. This wrapper now has the proper markup to ensure that it aligns left or right, if you’ve chosen to align the video.
  • Several instances where we went a bit too far with output sanitization on the MIIS Drupal site have been fixed to print properly sanitized HTML rather than plain text including the Top Right Image field on stories and the Opening Paragraph field of basic content.
  • The “follow this project” link, which linked to the comments form, was removed from MiddSTART posts.
  • A contact email address was removed from the MIIS footer.

Weekly Web Updates – December 14, 2015

New Features

There is now a view in the Middlebury Drupal site that can display a list of specific news stories. Using the following shortcode and replacing the last two numbers with the node ids of the stories to be displayed:

[view:News=block_2=123456+987654]

This is being used to compile a “top stories of 2015” list, but could also be used for lists of related stories.

We have added the Sentinel and Whitney web fonts. These will be used going forward in place of text that had to be an image file because it used the Bembo or Memphis fonts.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • A programming error prevented showing more than 19 items at a time using the Drupal RSS Page content type. We have resolve this, though you will need to edit your existing content and re-save it with the desired number of items if it is not already displaying correctly. The issue only affected RSS Page nodes where more than 10 items were to be shown.
  • All comments on the MIIS Drupal website now must be approved before being displayed. Previously, people who were logged in to the site could bypass the approval process.
  • We are in the process of retiring the “Translucence” theme from our sites. We have removed those which were not being used, including Freelance Database, Blue Landscape, Green Scholar, Classics, ShadowBox, Translucence Map, and Translucence Suite.
  • Though we have not yet had to use this, there is an emergency alert bar on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal websites that can be used to show short messages. We have corrected this so that it will appear above the editing interface when you’re logged into the site and will stay attached to the top of the page as you scroll.
  • The results from the Online Directory’s web service are now limited to 100 records at a time. These are the results returned when you click “Directory” on the Drupal search results page.
  • The MiddSTART site theme was updated to ensure that links appear correctly in the “Media” section of project posts.
  • MIIS admissions has moved to a new online application form and we’ve updated a number of server-side redirects in our Drupal site and CDN to send people to the new system instead of the old self-service-Banner form.

Weekly Web Updates – December 7, 2015

We’ve launched two new static micro-sites. The coding and design for these was done by our Office of Communications & Marketing with ITS handling the deployment and configuration on our servers. The first is a viewbook for MIIS and the second is information about the Shakespeare First Folio events.

All existing Omeka sites now use CAS for authentication, as will newly created Omeka sites.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

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  • The Library & ITS blog is looking forward to getting some snow this month!
  • The logo used on the ADFS sign-in page, which you’ll most commonly see right now when accessing Google Apps, has been changed from “Middlebury College” to “Middlebury”.
  • The MCSE website now has a left-hand widget sidebar on most pages and an updated footer.
  • Videos embedded on the MIIS Drupal site will now properly fill the width and height of the box, maintaining their aspect ratio.
  • We have removed the custom “Comments” text filter from the Middlebury Drupal site. This was a legacy of the Drupal 6 version of the site and was no longer being used. Comments on the site are processed as plain text.

Weekly Web Updates – November 23, 2015

We’re in the middle of a couple ongoing projects. First, we’re working with colleagues in CS&N to create “cookbooks” in Chef, a server management tool, that will allow us to define our production and development configuration and keep it in version control. We’re focusing on our cluster of servers that manage Drupal to begin.

Also this week and last, we’ve been working with Acquia on a pair of audits of our Drupal environment. Acquia is a professional services company, founded by the person who created Drupal. These audits should make our sites faster and more stable.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The global navigation on the MIIS webforms site now matches the regular site.

Weekly Web Updates – November 16, 2015

New Features

The New Library Items site is back, this time as a separate site which can be found at http://newlibstuff.middlebury.edu. Use this interface to browse the collection of library items by subject or type and see their covers.

We have added a WordPress plugin called The Events Calendar to support a site for the DLA.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The limit on the amount of time allowed when you save page settings in Drupal has been increased. This should prevent you from seeing the grey “503 error” page when adding permissions to a particularly large portion of the site, though we still recommend using the AD Group Manager when possible.
  • We’ve optimized the query that fetches lists of donors for MiddSTART so that it returns only a few hundred rows from the database on each page load, rather than a hundred thousand.
  • Missing page regions caused by a recent update to Monster Menus were restored to several themes, including the Museum and the interior “blue” MIIS theme.
  • Extra white-space in Newsletter templates caused by a recent update to Monster Menus has been removed.
  • A large number of pages that were showing up in the Google Webmaster Tools report for the MIIS site as 404s now redirect to appropriate content. There are now virtually no broken links on their site, or on other sites pointing at the MIIS site.

Weekly Web Updates – November 9, 2015

New Features

There is now a “Stats” link in the green Page section of the Edit Console on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites. Clicking this link will bring you to a report that displays data from Google Analytics for that page from the last 30 days, including pageviews, unique pageviews, bounce rate, exits, referrers, and search terms. Because Google has a limit to the number of API requests we send them, this data is cached for three days.

If someone returns to a webform and edits a previous submission to the form, the confirmation emails that the form sends out when it is normally submitted will be sent out again to all of the intended recipients with the updated information from the form. This change applies to all forms on the Middlebury and MIIS Drupal webform sites.

New Documentation

We have prepared a guide to common web accessibility issues that our site editors can help us resolve, with links to videos explaining the issues and how to fix them.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The “Class Photo Roster (Faculty Only)” links on the Middlebury and MIIS Directory now take you to a page with links to the Middlebury and MIIS Course Hubs. The photo rosters available in the Course Hubs include several additional features, including each student’s commons affiliation and advisor. We will be supporting the photo rosters through the Course Hubs and removing them from the Directories.
  • The way the data is structured for content in regions on the page was changed in Drupal Monster Menus version 7.x-1.23, causing some of our custom code to believe that page regions were empty for unauthenticated users part of Thursday morning until this was fixed.

Weekly Web Updates – November 2, 2015

New Features

The latest update to the Drupal Monster Menus module introduces some features to make managing your content simpler. When you click on the Reorder link in the Edit Console you can now drag content from the main “Content” region of the page into one of the other regions, like Right Sidebar or Carousel. Also, when you delete a node that appears on more than one page you now have the option to remove it from just the current page or from all of the pages.

We still need to do a bit of work to get this configured, but this update also allows us to clear the cache when you edit a node on the site, meaning that you’ll no longer need to wait five minutes to see your changes reflected on the live site. We expect to have this set up by next week.

Updates

Tweaks & Fixes

  • The 2016 Online Donor Roll is now live.
  • The dateline on MIIS news stories will now just include the date and not the time.