Weekly Web Updates – June 22, 2015

New Features

A new website for Science and Mathematics at Middlebury is live. A lot of work from faculty and staff in these departments, as well as College Communications went into putting this together, especially from Jonathan Kemp and Wendy Shook. Check out the new video about teaching these subjects in the liberal arts.

When authoring a News story in the Middlebury Drupal site, there is now an additional checkbox at the bottom of the form to “Show Media Images”. If you check this, a row of 100×100 image thumbnails will appear below your story’s content. The thumbnails will be of the images that you included in your story’s body content as well as the top-right featured image. Each thumbnail will link to the full-size version of the image, so that it can be easily downloaded and shared.

Also new to News content in the Middlebury Drupal site is that the “Show Publish on date for attribution” checkbox will be checked by default. Since we don’t print content attributions, this won’t change the appearance of your content. However, this is required to be checked in order to automatically sort News content in reverse chronological order on the page. With this checked, you will no longer need to manually sort News content on the page.


* These updates apply only to the Middlebury and MIIS Course Hub.

Tweaks and Fixes

  • A bug that was preventing the Metatag module’s form from working on the page settings form in Drupal has been resolved.
  • The Google Analytics tracking code on the MIIS website has been replaced with a Google Tag Manager, which allows us to manage analytics and tracking without needing to make code changes to the site.
  • The CAS login blocks will no longer have an empty header tag appear above them. This was removed to improve site accessibility support.
  • The settings page for the WordPress Video Plugin will now appear again in WordPress’ administration interface. This was not appearing due to a deprecated version of the function that checks user permissions. The page contains a link to the plugin’s documentation.
  • The height of the left column on department pages is once again correctly calculated to avoid the overlapping of the navigation and address regions.
  • RSS feeds displayed in www.middlebury.edu and www.miis.edu via the “RSS Page” module will now refresh approximately every hour rather than every two hours.

Italian bibliography – AIDA Online (trial ends July 21, 2015)

The Middlebury College community (including, and most especially, those in the Italian School at Mills College in California) have temporary free access to AIDA, AIDAa comprehensive bibliography of 315,000 articles in the humanities from 1,400 Italian periodicals.

Let us know what you think – email feedback to eaccess-admin@middlebury.edu or your liaison.

Is there a database, journal or other resource you think we should explore? Let us know at go/requests.

Friday Links – June 19, 2015

Chemical trick speeds up 3D printing – With a trick of chemistry, researchers have sped up, and smoothed, the process of three-dimensional (3D) printing, producing objects in minutes instead of hours.


scimath The new Middlebury Science and Mathematics feature page — where you can find science news, and events calendar, and department and resource information all in one place — is now live! Visit us at go.middlebury.edu/scimath or find us on the Academics page, under Science and Mathematics in the left hand menu.

Weekly Web Updates – June 15, 2015

New Features

The Newsroom site now has nicely designed social media buttons and individual news stories have similar share buttons. Hovering over the email button no longer automatically opens a pop-out window. You have to manually click the button.

You can now specify the text color and whether to show the title and byline in Drupal Vimeo embeds. See our updated documentation on Drupal Shortcodes for more information.


Tweaks and Fixes


We are beginning to make changes to the site to improve its accessibility according to the WCAG guidelines. In particular, this week:

  • The label for the “Search Midd” form is no longer hidden using “display:none”. Instead it is now very narrow so that it won’t appear visually in a browser, but will be read on assistive devices.
  • The labels for the email newsletter signup form on the Newsroom site now correctly correspond to their checkboxes.
  • The links in the footer to the alumni sites that have labels like “Middlebury Language Schools” now have title attributes specifying that they are “For Alumni” to avoid confusion with links labelled “Middlebury Language Schools” elsewhere on the page.
  • One instance of the <center> tag has been removed from the site.
  • The “Skip to Main Content” links are now correctly linked to the main content element on the page.
  • The headings for the “Quick Search” boxes, such as on the Offices & Services page are now being used as proper labels for the form element.
  • The wordmark logos for Middlebury and its affiliate programs are now background images and there is actual text in the header elements on each of the pages, making it easier for them to be read by assistive devices.

This is just the beginning of many accessibility improvements we’ll be making, and working with you to make as well. To learn more about this topic, here is a Lynda.com session on Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques and you can view the accessibility issues with the Middlebury site in SiteImprove.

Friday links – June 12, 2015

Orphan Works & Mass Digitization: A Report from the Register of Copyrights. U.S. Copyright Office (June 2015). PDF file.

A new document outlining proposals from the US Copyright Office to accommodate two areas where copyright law is currently weak:  1) handling “orphan works” (i.e. works still protected by copyright but for whom the copyright owner is impossible or difficult to find) and 2) dealing with “mass digitization” projects (e.g. the Google Books project).

Both Kevin Smith on his Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog and Mike Masnick at Techdirt find the proposed solutions for the “orphan works” situation as bad as the problems they are purporting to solve.  Worth a read.


Augmented World Expo 2015: Behind the scenes of singer Bjork’s weird, immersive virtual reality – The team from Bjork’s immersive MoMA installation talks about authoring reality at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California.

Augmented World Expo 2015: Behind the scenes of singer Bjork's weird, immersive virtual reality

Image: Erin Carson/TechRepublic


Systems Maintenance this Sunday, June 14th

During our regular maintenance window this Sunday, June 14th from 6 am – 10 am we have the following activities scheduled:


  • We will be upgrading the physical links for Internet path from the Middlebury LAN to the Internet. This maintenance will see up to a dozen brief (1-2 minutes) Internet outages over the course of the maintenance window.


We appreciate your patience as we continuously strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.






Billy Sneed

ITS – Central Systems & Network Services

Middlebury College

Weekly Web Updates – June 8, 2015

New Features

The MIIS website has a new homepage, designed by staff in Middlebury’s office of Communications. This features a new global header and footer, which we’ve applied to all of the pages in the MIIS website, as well as the MIIS Directory, the MIIS instance of GO, and the MIIS mobile website / portal.

New Documentation

We’ve prepared a guide on creating Course and Section Listings in Drupal.

At the request of Jim Stuart, we’ve added staff profiles for ITS to the ITS Teams and Workgroups section of the site. Each person has permission to edit their profile and we’ve prepared documentation on editing profiles for those interested.


Tweaks and Fixes

  • We’ve fixed a problem with the Drupal Instagram content type that was preventing images from being displayed if certain sizes of those images weren’t available through Instagram. It will now display the last X images of any size larger than the width you specify.
  • The navigation element for the Study Abroad website has been modified to include a direct link to information about their advisors.
  • We’ve made some improvements to how resources are handled in the Course Hub so that saving resources & syllabi only synchronizes the resource that was saved rather than all resources for the course, speeding up the save processes.

Developer Maps NY Public Library Photo Archives

Library Journal article about “the launch of OldNYC.org, a website that overlays photo locations on a Google Maps interface, enabling visitors to explore the collection by zooming, dragging, and clicking their way around an online map of the city.”  Not only is this interesting to see, it could be useful for students interested in seeing old NYC architecture.  Also discusses a similar project for San Francisco.