Author Archives: Ian McBride

Weekly Web Updates – January 25, 2016

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Corrected an issue in MediaWiki where new users were unable to log in and edit due to an error saving information to the users table in the database.
  • Syllabus pages on the Course Hub that don’t have any syllabus on them will now issue a “404 Not Found” header to the browser, but won’t redirect the user to the central 404 page. This is being done so that search engines know that there’s no content on the page and won’t return it in search results.
  • Fixed an issue with cascading permissions in Drupal’s Monster Menus that would sometimes cause queries to the database to get backed up and slow down the site.
  • Our script to create new wikis in MediaWiki now works with version 1.26.
  • We removed NER digital and Behind the Byline from the list of categories that are excluded on the New England Review site’s posts list.
  • Fixed an issue where creating sufficiently large CSS in WordPress using the Jetpack plugin’s “Edit CSS” module would cause the CSS editor to fail.

Weekly Web Updates – January 18, 2016

Change to Instructor Course Listings

Instructor course lists in the Course Catalog and Drupal profiles merge equivalent courses so that cross-listed courses don’t show up multiple times in the list when they are really the same thing, but under a different code. Unfortunately, the logic we were using conflicted with the way data is entered in Banner to prevent students from registering for different courses that overlap significantly in their content area.

We’ve now updated the logic to merge the results based on the “cross-listing of course-sections” instead of the “equivalence of courses”. This should reduce the number of mis-merged courses shown in instructor profiles. That said, because we are using the data in a new way, it is possible that we will expose errors in the data that will need to be cleaned up. If you are an instructor and see an error in the course list in your profile, please submit a Helpdesk Ticket and we’ll investigate.

More details for those who are interested:

The old process was:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section, get its associated course.
  3. For each course look up equivalents in SCR_EQUIV and merge them into a single result.

The new process is:

  1. Find sections taught by the instructor in the time-frame (default is past 4 years).
  2. For each section get the cross-listed sections from SSB_XLST.
  3. For each section plus its cross-listed sections, get their course entries and merge them into a single result.

Updates

Tweaks and Fixes

  • The “MiddTags” shown at the bottom of Basic Content nodes in the Middlebury Drupal site are now displayed using Drupal’s built-in field API, allowing their display and label to be altered on sub-themes. Currently, there should be no noticeable difference in how they are displayed.
  • Similarly, the “card” view of Profiles on the Middlebury Drupal site is now using Drupal’s built-in view mode system to display them as “teasers”. This allows us to prevent some code from running when they are displayed this way, most importantly preventing the lookup of course listings, which are not shown in the “card” view. As a result, the lists of profiles will load faster when you are logged into the site (the caching system means they already load quickly and there will not be a noticeable effect on their load time when not logged in).
  • We have also made performance improvements to the Course Catalog, lazy-loading data that is not needed on the initial page load, such as course descriptions, to improve the load time of search results.
  • MediaWiki 1.26 changed the order in which some files are included on the page and we have updated the CategorySuggest plugin so that it is now working again.
  • Facebook embeds in our Drupal sites now include the height attribute in the element, ensuring that the browser renders the embed at the correct height while the page is loading. This also means that when the left sidebar in the Middlebury site corrects its height to set the address block at the bottom of the column, it will take into account any Facebook embeds.
  • The Health Professions Committee form was updated to include a link for submitters to view their submissions, so that they could edit and resubmit certain entries.
  • We have removed the Twenty Eleven Midd, Midd Classifieds, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Landscape, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Map, BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Translucense, Flexible BLOGS DOT MIDDLEBURY Navy, 2010 Translucence, and 2010 Translucence Parent (2.0)) WordPress themes.
  • The WordPress configuration on the MIIS WordPress site has been updated to prevent a redirection loop that could occur when accessing a site dashboard.

Weekly Web Updates – January 11, 2016

Previously, everyone who could log into our Middlebury and MIIS Drupal sites was in a group of users who could view the general Google Analytics report and would potentially see a “Stats” link in the Edit Console to get a Google Analytics report on pages they can edit. While there’s no security issue with this, the best practice is to scope site permissions where possible, so this view is now restricted to just people with access to our Google Analytics under their @middlebury.edu or @miis.edu email address. We’ll be reaching out to those who are registered in Google Analytics using their own @gmail.com emails with instructions on switching, if they like. If you would like access to analytics, you can request it through Web Helpdesk.

Updates

Fixes and Tweaks

  • Google changed the domain of their calendars from google.com/calendar to calendar.google.com, which broke some Google Calendar shortcodes in WordPress. The plugin now accepts both domains.
  • When showing a list of “News” items on the Middlebury Drupal site using the RSS Page content type, the Publish On date will now be used to sort the items, when available, rather than the last edited date.
  • You can now include “controls:false” in the MiddMedia shortcode in WordPress to display a video player without the control buttons.
  • As part of the continuing phase out of the Translucence themes for WordPress, the Metrics, Minimalist, Translucence Dark, and Blogging Community Homepage themes were removed.
  • The default value for class year on Davis UWC student profiles is now 2019.
  • A contact email address was removed from the MIIS footer on forms.miis.edu, directory.miis.edu, go.miis.edu, catalog.miis.edu, and m.miis.edu.
  • Fixed a bug in the Course Hub sync process that was preventing spring-term courses from synchronizing rosters to Moodle.
  • Improved the security of of CAS Directory service. ITS staff can now log in via CAS to use this service for troubleshooting group-membership attributes.

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.