Author Archives: Matthew La France

Weekly Web Development Round-up October 10-21, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
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Weekly Web Development Round-up October 3-7, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
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All About MiddMedia

MiddMedia is a audio/video storage and streaming service hosted by the college. It is developed and supported by LIS with the goal of providing high quality video streaming for both academic and administrative needs.

MiddMedia is not a video browsing and search service. To share a video with others you must embed it in a website visible to your intended audience. This website might be a Middlebury Drupal page, a WordPress blog, a MediaWiki wiki, or another site on campus or elsewhere on the internet.

Features of MiddMedia:

  • Free for Middlebury College users
  • All users get 500MB of storage space by default
  • Requests for additional storage space will be granted if appropriate.
  • Video quality is not restricted when uploading in original quality, DVD-quality is possible
  • Video length is not restricted, only total storage-space usage (which is 500MB by default [see above], 1.5GB per file).
  • Local network location means that high quality videos can be streamed instantly around campus.
  • Videos can be of any aspect ratio (such as tall and narrow)
  • Supports MP3/M4a audio
  • Video uploads are private, access control is totally dependent on where you embed the video (if anywhere).
  • Download links are available for all audio and video.
  • Upload and insertion plugins are available for WordPress.

Some changes have been made to the MiddMedia platform in the past year. Videos are now encoded in two video formats supported by browser based HTML5 compliant video players; mp4 and webm. This will ease display of videos on mobile devices and across modern browsers. The embed code generated by MiddMedia includes a Flash fallback to our recently updated Strobe player.

Note: None of our on-campus platforms support the copy and paste of this embed code (to my knowledge), however it can be made use of on other sites. Currently Mediawiki still uses the Flash player only, and WordPress does not support webm. Drupal makes use of a full HTML5 style embed with Flash fallback. Documentation on working with videos in our on-campus platforms can be found here:

- Drupal: http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Editing_in_Drupal#Video
- WordPress: http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/WordPress_MU#Embedding_Video
- MediaWiki: http://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/MiddMedia#Using_audio.2Fvideo_from_MiddMedia_in_MediaWiki

On upload, quality settings can now be specified if you’d like to generate specific quality versions of files. There are also now some basic controls for collapsing folders making it easier if you have multiple folders to browse. Additional documentation may be found here.

What is GO?

GO is an aliasing and redirection application. Don’t let the jargon intimidate you, just think of it as a way to make and use shortcuts to college resources.

If you’d like to see a list of shortcuts that are currently available simply type “go” into the address bar of your web browser. If you are off campus you may use “go.middlebury.edu”. If you’d like to visit a go shortcut directly from on campus simply type it into your address bar. For instance type “go/liswiki” and hit “enter” to get to the LIS wiki page.

Chances are you will use a go link without even realizing it by clicking on a normal anchor (link) in a web page. You can use a GO shortcut as a URL in a link on a web page for any page internal to middlebury.edu. Example: <a href=”http://go.middlebury.edu/liswiki”>LIS Wiki</a>. You’ll want to use a GO shortcut rather than a direct link for any resources you are linking to that could change location. As long as the shortcut admin updates the shortcut when a content location changes you won’t need to update any of your links.

GO eased the launch of the new site by allowing links in content to be easily updated en-mass. GO has also become central to our search strategy as GO shortcuts are now provided as suggestions and automatic-redirects when you enter search terms on the main site.

This year we’ve added additional features to GO, such at the community moderation of GO shortcuts, an improved editing and admin interface, as well as the ability to generate a QR code for any go shortcut by visiting its info page.

Weekly Web Development Round-up September 19-23, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.
Continue reading

Weekly Web Development Round-up September 11-16, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

Continue reading

Weekly Web Development Round-up September 5 – 9, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

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Weekly Web Development Round-up August 29 – September 2, 2011

To give our colleagues a better idea of what’s changed in our web applications each week, we’ll be preparing this quick list for publication each Friday. Not all of the details of each change are included below, but we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have in the comments.

  • Moodle is now live and in ready for use for the fall semester. Sign up for a training session or request a course site.
  • You can now log into WordPress (sites.middlebury.edu) when viewing it on a mobile device.
  • m is on the way…. ….more to come next week. ;-)