Author Archives: Ian McBride

Weekly Web Updates – May 9, 2016

The Office of Communications & Marketing has reorganized the Student Life portion of the site, ensuring that information for students is front-and-center. The URL of the site has changed from /studentlife to /student-life, which is slightly better for search engine optimization. We have put in place redirects for most of the old paths, changed the links in the global site header on many services, and are working with that office to review our logs for broken links and 404s.

We also worked with that office to implement a redesign of the Middlebury Language Schools homepage, header, and footer.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Our WordPress sites now use the GD library to process images, rather than the ImageMagick library. This was already the case on other services we run. We do not anticipate any issues, but please report any trouble manipulating images in WordPress through the Heldpesk.
  • The amount of funding received for a MiddSTART project is now cached locally if the funding deadline has passed, rather than being read out of Banner for each page load, in an attempt to improve site performance.
  • Upgraded the ol2 library for Omeka to resolve an issue with Google Maps.
  • Support for the course list content types on the sites forms.middlebury.edu, forms.miis.edu, davisuwcscholars.org, davisprojectsforpeace.org, and davisfellowsforpeace.org was removed. This feature was not being used on those sites.

Weekly Web Updates – May 2, 2016

New Features

This week we’ve completed and begun testing an integration between the Course Hub and the Canvas LMS that provisions user accounts and course spaces on request (as we do with Moodle, SANSSpace, etc). This integration is in preparation for a July 1 budget decision on Canvas and will also be in place for an LS pilot of Canvas earlier in the summer.

Upgrades

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Added a “News Tags” taxonomy to the News content type on the Middlebury Drupal site. This will be used by College Communications to tag stories for the MiddNews newsletter.
  • The custom Middlebury MailChimp plugin for WordPress was replaced with the official MailChimp plugin and the two sites using the old plugin were transitioned to the new one.
  • We moved the Policies and Procedures pages in the Language School site, adding server-side rewrites to the new location.
  • When embedding images in content while selecting the option to show the image at full size on click, the image title and image alternate text tag are used to populate the caption, if not empty.

Weekly Web Updates – April 25, 2016

We’re currently working on some back-end tasks, like integration between the Course Hub and Canvas, a tool to audit usage of plugins and themes across multiple WordPress installations, updating our RSS caching tool to work with newer versions of the PHP HttpRequest library, and the initial migration of the Davis program sites to Drupal 8.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • We have updated the MiddSTART site, adding an index on several columns in the database which dramatically improves load time of the lists of donors from about 50 seconds to about five seconds.
  • Removed a restriction on guest accounts, allowing them to log into the Course Hub, which creates a local account that instructors can then add to course sites for the purpose of granting them access to Canvas.
  • The roll year in the Online Donor Roll was set to FY 2016 so that class agents and reunion committee members would properly appear.

Weekly Web Updates – April 11, 2016

New Features

The WordPress video embed plugin now supports streaming videos from archive.org.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • The link to class rosters in the MIIS version of the Course Hub now matches the rest of the site styles, making it easier to see.
  • The ListManager subscription plugin for WordPress now allows lists with hyphens in their names.
  • The interest form on the School of the Environment site now has a field to indicate how you heard about the program.
  • Configured our Canvas pilot installation to prevent users from accidentally creating accounts that would never be able to log in.

Weekly Web Updates – April 4, 2016

New School of the Environment Homepage

Designed by College Communications and coded collaboratively between our two offices, the Middlebury School of the Environment has a new homepage. The header and footer designs also carry through to the interior pages.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

Weekly Website Updates – March 28, 2016

New Features

We have added the TwentyTwenty plugin to WordPress, which can be used to show before and after images with a slider to compare.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • When you look at course information on the Course Catalog, the instructors will now be listed with the “primary” instructor, according to Banner, listed first, followed by additional instructors in alphabetical order.
  • We have re-enabled multi-file uploads in Drupal webforms that are behind authentication. There is an error that affects multi-file uploads in unauthenticated forms, but works when you’re logged in. This will allow files to be replaced in webform submission drafts for authenticated forms.
  • The MediaWiki API URL is now required when setting up Scripto in Omeka and there is better messaging on the form to indicate this and avoid error messages when creating new sites.
  • Fixed the GO shortcut dropdown for quick search results on the Middlebury Drupal site.
  • You should no longer see an SSL error when viewing a site using the responsive theme over HTTPS. Paths to the logo image file and the blue gradient background are now protocol agnostic.
  • If you add a page on the Middlebury website to your home screen on an iOS device you’ll now see the shield icon, rather than a styled blue “M”.

Weekly Web Updates – March 21, 2016

Middlebury WordPress Sites Now Resize Images After Upload

We have Network Enabled the Resize Images After Upload plugin on the Middlebury WordPress sites (sites.middlebury.edu). This plugin does not affect any images you have previously uploaded to WordPress, however, it will resize new images larger than 1200×1200 pixels so that they have a maximum of those dimensions. Smaller images will not be affected.

We find that people often upload very large original images from devices like their phone, but then only show them at the width of a WordPress post, which is usually less than 800px. This causes them to run out of space on their site quickly for images they’re not showing at full size. This plugin will help keep your site under the default storage quota.

If your site needs to store very large images at their original dimensions, you can change the plugin settings by going to your WordPress site dashboard, clicking on Settings, clicking on Resize Image Upload and changing “Enable re-sizing” to “NO – do not resize images”. You can also change the maximum dimension settings.

Drupal Taxonomy Field Permissions Update

In several places on our sites we have fields that allow you to add tags to content and, if you enter a tag that doesn’t exist yet, your new tag will be added to the list of available tags. We have changed this behavior so that only people in the Communications groups at Middlebury and MIIS can add new tags to the “New MiddTags” taxonomy on the Middlebury Drupal site and the “MIIS Tags” taxonomy on the MIIS site.

If you are not in that group, you can still tag your content with one of the tags they’ve made available, but if you try to add a new one, you will get an error message. This does not affect the “MiddTags” taxonomy, which can still be used to add whatever tags you like. The “New MiddTags” vocabulary appears on the News and Story content types in the Middlebury Drupal site. The “MIIS Tags” taxonomy appears on the Story, Profile, Gallery, File Upload, and Ten Questions content types on the MIIS Drupal site.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Added a link to the MIIS Emergency information site to the Quick Links portion of the site header in Drupal, the Course Catalog, the Directory, GO, and the m.miis.edu site.
  • Fixed an issue with the “title” attribute of Vimeo embeds in Drupal.
  • The style of the Site Editor Log On link in the center page region of our Drupal site was updated to ensure that the link is readable when you hover over it and aligned with its bullet point.
  • If you are viewing content that embeds an image that’s in a Drupal Recycle Bin as an editor, the link to the Recycle Bin is now clickable.
  • The WordPress admin bar, with the Log In link is now set to appear above most other theme elements, ensuring that the links are clickable on themes with transparent headers.
  • The “featurednews” element, which showed out-of-date blog posts, was removed from the Current Students page.
  • Link paths to the submission form on the Non-College Housing site are now fully qualified as relative paths weren’t working on one person’s local network.
  • When we first set up the Davis UWC Scholars site we created a user account for everyone at Middlebury, but we really only need a few such accounts for the site editors. Accounts that aren’t associated with any content on the site have been removed to ease that site’s migration to Drupal 8.
  • Table cell padding in our responsive theme for the Middlebury site was decreased by 5px for mobile.