Last Thursday I got a notice about the module that sends HTML emails for our website was no longer supported and an upgraded version was available. I installed the new version of the module and its supporting modules, tested submitting a form, got an email response that looked appropriate and upgraded our live servers to use the new version of the module. Continue reading
WARNING: This is an experimental site feature and probably still has a few bugs in it. We also may change the look-and-feel of this interface in the future. If you don’t want to be frustrated by things like that, you can keep using the Edit Console that’s been in place since the site launched. If you’d like to help us test this new feature of the site, continue reading to find out how. Continue reading
Today we released a new plugin for WordPress that allows you to subscribe to the RSS feeds of private blogs using any RSS reader.
When you are logged in and viewing a private blog, the RSS feed links will now contain a special key unique to you and the blog that gives your reader access to the feed. There is nothing special you need to do, just subscribe as usual and feeds from private blogs will now work without redirecting your reader to the login page.
In order to address recent bot activity, input validation has been tightened on the form elements in GO available to non-authenticated users. This includes a captcha validation challenge on the “flag as inappropriate” area for non-authenticated users. In order to avoid having to fill this in you can always authenticate with your Middlebury account via the “log in” link at the top of go.
Also some usability enhancements have been made on the administration back-end to make GO administration smoother.
During the past few years new versions of WordPress have made this system much easier to use — and our community has made use of these new abilities to make a wide range of sites structured in many ways.
Most of the content in WordPress sites are Posts, chronologically ordered entries that make up a ‘blog’ or news site. Pages on the other hand, are non-time-dependent content that can be arranged in a hierarchy. Traditionally, Pages in WordPress sites were used mostly for describing the blog, contact information, or other content that rarely changes and isn’t ‘newsworthy’. (more on Posts vs. Pages)
Recently, a number of sites have been making increasingly large use of Pages, such as to hold curricular resources that are then referenced from Posts describing assignments that use them. For sites that make significant use of Pages, site-owners can now enable the RSS Includes Pages plugin so that new pages are added to your site’s main feed. For course sites in WordPress, enabling this plugin will allow page additions to be fed into the Course Hub as updates.
We still recommend making use of Posts in WordPress sites to share new material with readers rather than heavily using Pages as Pages are still second-class citizens in many ways (such as support for tagging and categorization). With the new RSS Includes Pages plugin, Page-heavy sites can now feed new content to the Course Hub and others subscribed to their feeds.
We wanted to let our website editors know that we plan on updating all six of our Drupal websites on March 13. This update is to the modules for that system that we work with Amherst to develop: Monster Menus, the Media module which manages files on the sites, and the RSS Page module which provides a content type for displaying feeds. This update may result in the site being unavailable for a few minutes while a database update script runs and will be done during our scheduled downtime that Sunday.
The affected websites are:
- http://courses.middlebury.edu Continue reading
Yesterday, we updated WordPress to v3.1. Most noticeable change in this update is the introduction of a new “admin” bar that appears after you log in. This admin bar includes quick links to all sites in which you are a registered user. Site authors will also see links to add new posts and editors will have quick links to comments. The other notable new feature is a “link browser” that allows you to search and quickly link to other posts/pages on your site.
Most importantly, this release includes over 800 bug fixes by over 180 developers from around the world. It has been downloaded over 1 million times in the last week.
Let us know if you have any questions about this update or experience any problems.