Tags » Drupal

 
 
 

Sub Sandwich? Noooo Subpage (Drupal Classes and Work Sessions)

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Needing to learn how to edit your Department’s webpage? Want to know how to add sub pages, pictures and sidebars?  Checkout go/lisworkshops for upcoming Drupal Intro classes and Work Sessions.  From basic content to sidebars, the intro class will give you what you need to get started.  Join us for a Drupal intro class and, for you more advanced users, bring your challenges to a work session and we’ll help you work through them.

Last Chance — LIS Open Workshops Wind Down for the Summer

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

It’s not too late to join us for a workshop (in English!) before Language Schools begin. Visit go/lisworkshops to view the last of our advertised open sessions. Youll find a Drupal introduction that covers basic web site maintenance skills, as well as another opportunity to learn how to access and use lynda.com Middlebury’s fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills, including photography finesse.

Lynda’s recently added courses include such varied topics as “Managing Teams,” “Designing a Book,” and “Up and Running with Windows 8.” Watch a single video or work through an entire course, but be warned its addictive.

Please note that we do continue to offer “by request” group training during the summer months, staff and classroom space permitting; kindly send your request with details to helpdesk@middlebury.edu.

LIS Workshops for February-March: Drupal and Video-based Learning

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Our current workshop schedule is now available.  Visit go/lisworkshops to view offerings for February and March and sign up for topics of interest.  You’ll find Drupal introductions that cover basic web site maintenance skills, as well as work sessions where you can get help with specific questions about how to improve your departmental web site. We are also offering several opportunities to learn how to access and use  lynda.com  — Middlebury’s fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills.

Lynda’s recently added courses include such varied topics as “JavaScript and AJAX,” “Writing Fundamentals:  The Craft of Story,” and “Office 2013 New Features.”  Watch a single video or work through an entire course, but be warned — it’s addictive.

LIS Workshops & Professional Development Offerings

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

There is still time to acquire new skills before the year is out!  Visit go/lisworkshops to view our workshop schedule and get signed up for topics of interest.  You’ll find a few more Drupal work sessions where you can get help with specific questions about how to revise and improve your departmental web site, as well as one more chance to attend an introduction covering basic web site maintenance skills.

We’re also offering another opportunity to get acquainted with  lynda.com — a fabulous online learning resource that uses short videos to help you acquire new business and technology skills.   Recent course additions include “InDesign Secrets,” “Managing Your Career” and “Word 2010 Power Shortcuts.”  Watch a single video or work through an entire course — either way it’s professional development that doesn’t cost you or your department a dime.

LIS Workshops – August

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Don’t miss out!  There is still time to fit in some learning before fall semester leaps out from behind the nearest patch of sunflowers…  Visit go/lisworkshops to view our schedule and get signed up for topics of interest. You’ll find Drupal sessions to help you get your departmental web site up to snuff before the next batch of students arrives on campus.  You’ll also find another opportunity to find out about lynda.com and how you can start using it to improve your skills.

Top Picks from DrupalCon 2012 Denver

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We (Adam and Ian) were in Denver, Colorado this week attending the annual US Drupal convention. In addition to attending sessions, we were able to connect with colleagues from other institutions including Amherst, Wellesley, Lawrence University, UNH, and CSUMB. We sponsored a “birds of a feather” session, with Amherst, to introduce interested parties to Monster Menus, a Drupal module that Amherst and Middlebury use to add a site hierarchy and manage permissions on our site. This session was surprisingly well attended by about thirty participants and we had a lively discussion about Monster Menus’ capabilities and limitations. We also attended multiple sessions on using Drupal in higher education to hear what people at other schools were doing with the platform.

All of the sessions can be watched on the conference website (use the tabs across the top to browse each day’s sessions). Adam and I will highlight some that we found especially engaging, but if there’s one we missed that you think others would enjoy, please share it in the comments.

Keynotes

Dries Buytaert: Dries is the guy who created Drupal and currently runs the leading Drupal consulting business and serves as President of the Drupal Association. His talk covered where the development team is focusing for the Drupal 8 release. There are three main areas of focus, (1) mobile compatibility, (2) modernizing the development API with the Symfony framework, and (3) improving the user interface for content authors. He announced a tentative release date of August 2013 for Drupal 8.

Mitchell Baker: Mitchell is the “Chief Lizard Wrangler”, the head of the Mozilla project that produces the Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client among other efforts. She talked about the “Maker Ethic” and how the goal of Mozilla it to enable and promote the freedom to create, write, and publish. As she describes, the Firefox browser is but one product to enable this freedom and only one of the many projects Mozilla is engaged in.

Luke Wroblewski: Luke gave a very entertaining presentation arguing that we now need to develop web applications for mobile devices first and worry about the desktop experience second. He presents amble data backing up this assertion, which is guiding the mobile-first goal for Drupal 8. Adding responsive designs for mobile interfaces to our platforms is a 2012 goal for the Web Applications Development workgroup here, so we’ll be doing a lot of work in this space shortly.

Ian’s Picks

Designing Fast and Beautiful Maps: This talk describes the TileMill and MapBox mapping tools, showing how you can transform a simple spreadsheet into an interactive map interface that can easily be added to a Drupal site (or any other website). Though this is probably not something that we’d use for the main campus map it looks like a great tool for one-off mapping projects including student research. By the way, if you have a map that you’d like us to feature on the site or in MiddLab, contact me and I’ll be happy to help you get that map online.

I just want to edit a node and Five things we need to create an awesome experience for content creators: These discussions describe the initial thinking about the user interface for content creators in Drupal 8. While we won’t be moving to that platform until late 2013/early 2014, and some of the decisions about the platform may very well change by then, this is an early warning about what to expect. I should note that some of the features they discuss, like inline editing, are already available to us thanks to the Monster Menus module developed by Amherst.

HTML 4 S – While We’re Waiting for the Revolution: We spent a lot of time thinking and talking about adding HTML5 features to our sites, but that’s not always possible due to assumptions made by the back-end systems as well as browser compatibility. This talk discusses the steps we can take to get “close enough” on HTML5 adoption and some of the pitfalls we’ll encounter that are specific to Drupal, though much of the information here is Drupal-agnostic. I’ll give a small warning that the speaker is quite colorful and animated in his speech.

Adam’s Picks

Real World Performance Analysis: How to Identify Performance Problems in Your Own Sites: This talk provides a good strategy for tackling performance issues in Drupal sites without wasting time on optimizations that won’t have a big impact.

Keeping The Lights On – Operations and Monitoring Best Practices:  This session is focused on practical tools and techniques you can use to keep “your fingers on the pulse” of your site, from availability to performance to security.

 

Also, we were able to enjoy Colorado for a bit before the conference.

Looking forward to next year in Portland, Oregon, or perhaps Munich or São Paulo later this year!

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

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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.

Main site and mobile site speed improvements

Our main website and mobile website make fabulous use of data feeds from blogs, calendars, Twitter, and other sources to provide up-to-date news and information to users of the sites. Some pages in the main site have as many as 3 feeds in the carousel at the bottom of the page and another 2 feeds in sidebars. The mobile site displays 7 feeds on its home page for desktop users.

Unfortunately displaying all of these feeds on the site was causing performance problems for users when those feeds needed to be refreshed.  Even if the blog system returns each feed in under a second, that time adds up and was making users wait for 10 seconds or more for some pages to load.

We are happy to announce that we have now resolved this issue by piping all of our data-feed access through a system we call FetchProxy. FetchProxy sits between Drupal and the source of the data feeds and keeps a fresh copy of the feed always available so that Drupal never has to sit and wait for feeds. Pages that once took more than 10 seconds to load, now load in 1-2 seconds. You can read more about FetchProxy on Github.

Campus Map

We’ve updated the interface for our Campus Map with the help of designers in College Communications. New features include a list of locations with quick icons to help you find special locations, a search interface, an improved photo gallery, and more special filters which allow you to scope the locations on the map. For instance, you can get a map of all the locations on campus with Wireless.

MiddMedia

A permalink is now available for each file in MiddMedia. You can access it for a particular video you click the “Embed Code & URLs” next to any video you are browsing in MiddMedia and click on the “Click here to view and/or download this file.”. Alternately you can construct this URL like this “http://middmedia.middlebury.edu/middmedia/view/dir/[the directory where the file is located]/file/[the name of the file with its extension]

Example: http://middmedia.middlebury.edu/middmedia/view/dir/lafrance/file/go.mp4

This is useful if you want to reference your video without embedding it elsewhere.