Tags » go

 
 
 

Top 10 GO shortcuts in Fall 2013

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We recently took a look at the server logs for the GO service over the past 29 days (September 22 – October 21) and thought it might be interesting to share the most-used shortcuts and their aliases.

  1. 3,317 hits per day — go/webmail, go/mail, go/email
  2. 1,220 hits per day — go/bannerweb, go/bw, go/ssb, go/timeentry
  3.    759 hits per day — go/keysurvey
  4.    649 hits per day — go/papercut
  5.    550 hits per day — go/lib, go/library, go/libraries, go/read
  6.    546 hits per day — go/middfiles, go/midd+files
  7.    527 hits per day — go/coursehub, go/hub, go/course+hub
  8.    444 hits per day — go/moodle
  9.    393 hits per day — go/menu, go/menus
  10.    371 hits per day — go/directory, go/dir

While some people access these shortcuts by clicking on links embedded in our various web sites, the vast majority are directly typed into users’ browsers.

Which shortcuts (one of these or others) do you find most useful in your normal day?

Weekly Web Development Round-up April 18-22, 2011

Categories: Midd Blogosphere, video

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.

Directory:

  • Updated the class photo roster application to work with the new class-group structure in the Active Directory. You will now see separate lists for instructors, students, and audits for each course.

Drupal:

  • Internet Explorer 7 users saw a notice on our homepage about a script taking too long to load. The IE 7 rendering engine has problems displaying over 100 stories on our homepage, so people using that browser will now see a smaller, random selection. If you’re using any other browser you’ll still see all the stories.
  • We’ve switched back from the OSMF player to FlowPlayer temporarily for videos. The OSMF player requires the user to have Flash Player 10 and the distribution image just includes Flash Player 9. We’re going to add a prompt to the OSMF player to let people know they need to upgrade, then put it back in production.
  • Custom splash images now work in Drupal videos. To add a custom splash image to your video use the [video:url image:url] syntax.

GO:

  • We’ve removed the Banner Web Scout which provided pseudo-load-balancing between the two BannerWeb servers through GO. All of the GO shortcuts for Banner now go directly to the primary server with no intermediate steps.

MiddLab:

  • We’ve redesigned some aspects of the MiddLab theme to make the site easier to navigate and provide more space for project content and larger video players. Watch MiddLab next week as many new projects from the Spring Symposium will appear.

Tighter security on GO, administration enhancements

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

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.

State of the Site

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Overview

What follows is a report on the state of notable web applications and sites in use at Middlebury including the College website, the Middlebury instance of WordPress (i.e. sites.middlebury.edu) and a variety of key web applications that provide services widely used by faculty, students and staff.

Box Office

  • Addition of separate billing and shipping addresses when ordering tickets or gift items from the box office, especially useful for parents purchasing items for students.
  • Improved the user interface to make purchasing as a returning customer and identifying seat locations in the seating chart simpler.

CAS – Single Sign On

The Central Authentication System (CAS) was introduced last year and allows you to move between many of our web applications after you’ve signed in once. GO and the main college website were already using CAS this time last year but since then it’s been added to many other applications, including:

  • Course Catalog
  • MediaWiki
  • MiddMedia
  • WordPress

Course Catalog

Over the past two years we developed the Course Catalog application at catalog.middlebury.edu to serve as a clearing house for accessing course information on the web due to the limitations on searching for this information via BannerWeb. The Course Catalog application allows users to search for courses based on a wide variety of criteria (including keyword searching) and properly displays and links-together cross-listed courses. The Course Catalog application also feeds course information to the department pages and faculty profiles in the main Drupal site.

New for this year, the Course Catalog has been extended to add a Schedule Planning tool that allows students to bookmark courses they are interested in, then group them together into weekly schedules to ensure that they do not have timing conflicts and that lab and discussion sections are chosen. These schedules can be printed or emailed to one’s advisor.

  • Added the Schedule Planning tool.
  • Users can now bookmark courses that they find interesting.
  • Updated the theme to match the new website. Added a custom theme for the MIIS catalog.
  • The printed Catalog is now created via an export from the Course Catalog application rather than being copy-pasted from the site by hand.
  • PDF snapshots of the Catalog are now automatically generated as course descriptions and requirements get edited over the year.
  • Lots of small improvements to the display of course data in search results and while browsing.
  • Can now search for courses by campus — needed for Language Schools that have more than one site.
  • Greatly improved the speed of the application.
  • Improved the feed of courses to faculty profiles to ensure that cross-listed courses are ordered properly.
  • New admin forms that allow the Registrar to suppress incomplete information about upcoming terms during data-entry.

Drupal

GO

The GO shortcut/permalink application has become quite central to the web infrastructure of the college since its launch several years ago. It eased the launch of the new site by allowing links in content to be easily updated en-mass. In the past year GO has become central to our search strategy as GO shortcuts are now provided as suggestions and automatic-redirects when you enter search terms on the main site.

  • Totally new editing interface.
  • Verbose, color coded, messages to indicate successful or unsuccessful completion of actions.
  • Additional input validation to preserve shortcut integrity and prevent abuse.
  • Ability for community to flag GO links as inappropriate.
  • New “Info” pages for every shortcut allow everyone to see detailed information about the shortcut such as who maintains it, what its aliases are, and where it goes.
  • All GO shortcuts are now shown publicly in the GOtionary (with the exception of a few internal shortcuts) to improve the transparency of the system.
  • Enhanced admin interface for flag admins and the new super admin role.
  • Can now switch between the Middlebury and  MIIS GOtionaries.

MiddMedia

  • New “Midd” theme integrates more closely with the current Middlebury theme.
  • Add to MiddTube button allows users to check off the videos they would like to batch add to MiddTube as video posts.
  • We’ve upgraded to Flash Media Server 4, with a lot of new features that we’ll be rolling out and supporting in the coming months.

New Sites

We’ve been able to expand the Drupal and WordPress platforms to add a CMS experience for sites that were previously static HTML files and create new sites to show off and assist student research and projects.

SubjectsPlus

In December, we upgraded from version 0.7 to 0.9.  Changes include:

  • Enhanced security.
  • In addtion to Research by Subject, two new guide types are available: Research by Course and Research by Topic.
  • Widget-based, drag-and-drop control panel for content creators.
  • Multiple subject specialists (guide owners) now possible.
  • Description field override.  This allows for a resource description to be customized for one or more guides, while still allowing the resource record to be shared among all the guides.  This cuts down on duplication of records and/or breaking others shared work.
  • Cloning feature

What do we use this for, you ask?

  • Databases A-Z list
  • Research guides (access via sidebar at go/lib and go/subjectguides among other places.)
  • globally adding EZproxy prefix for off-campus access.

WordPress

WordPress usage has been growing over the last few years at Middlebury and beyond.  In late August, we updated WordPress to v3, a major new release to this platform that introduced features such as custom menus and top navigation that extended its usefulness beyond blogging.

Plugins and New Functionality

Themes and User Experience

We created a number of blog themes for WordPress based on design prototypes developed by White Whale (designers of the main college site).  These blog themes were updated to take advantage of new functionality and to generally provide a flexible, easy to use templating framework that could generate extensible thematic variations and would work on multiple platforms, including mobile and touch enabled.  New features developed in the last 6 months include:

  • Introduction of a standardized header on all blogs that provides quick links to create a new blog, search blogs and a given site’s dashboard
  • New standardized widget areas including 3 sidebars and 4 footer areas
  • Introduction of support for custom menus and top navigation bar for mapping a site’s information architecture (IA)
  • Refinements to navigation UI to highlight current location in IA and provide more navigation links in context to improve usability on sites with many pages (such as sites for courses, projects or documentation)

Usage Analysis

Perspective, an aggregation and usage analysis tool was developed to keep track of how WordPress was being used, what plugins and themes were most popular, which blogs were most active in a given time period and so on.  We also built into Perspective tools for communicating with users so that we could more easily identify all users of a given set of features to allow us to inform them of updates or issues.  These same tools when combined with activity filters have allowed us to identified inactive sites, contact their owners and archive or delete these sites as appropriate, providing the foundation for a contention retention policy.

New Print Theme for MIDD/MIIS sites & Additional GO Revisions

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We recently updated the GO application with a new editing interface including more verbose, color coded, messages as well as additional input validation. We are looking for feedback as to the ease of use, etc. so please share any suggestions or feedback with us.

Also a comment/reason is now required when flagging go links to give admins a clearer idea of why a link was flagged. Thanks to all who have helped us by flagging links so far.

Do you need to get a hold of someone about changing a GO shortcut or becoming an admin of the shortcut? Try contacting the shortcut administrator. We’ve made a 1min 30sec screencast on how to determine the administrator(s) of a GO shortcut.

NOTE: It is no longer possible to “hide” GO links. GO by its nature is a public application with publicly searchable and publicly usable links. “Hiding” a GO link is more or less a misnomer and is no longer supported. If you have hidden GO links they may be unhidden. If you feel you have a legitimate reason to hide GO links and you are concerned about this please feel free to contact go@middlebury.edu.

Also, the main Middlebury and Monterey Institute of International Studies sites now have print themes. Please enjoy the new printer friendly pages that are generated on print/print preview.

Find a GO link ina”GO”priate? Do something about it!

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

We are happy to announce a new feature to the GO shortcut application, the ability to flag go links as inappropriate. While our community of users is certainly of the highest caliber, the GO application is susceptible to the occasional prank or other abuse. If you stumble upon a link that may not meet our community standards please use our new “flag as inappropriate” feature to make an admin aware of the link.

This feature is available from the info link featured next to each link in the Gotionary. Just look for this icon info icon.

On the info page you’ll have access to a “flag as inappropriate” button:

flag as inappropriate button

If you’d like to flag a link as inappropriate, simply click the button. You’ll see the following message:

flagged as inappropriate message

As per the message, one of our capable admins will review the link at a later time and take any necessary action.

We hope that this new feature helps make the GO application even more relevant and useful to the community. Your participation in managing GO links helps keep our online community healthy and active. Visit go here: http://go.middlebury.edu/

More GO Info

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Since we moved GO to its new home last week I’ve been busy fixing a number of bugs that have come up, as well as made a few improvements that I hope will be helpful.

Today’s big improvement is that the GOtionary now provides info pages for every shortcut.

The info page will tell you who created and who administers the shortcut so that you know who to contact to when a link is broken. As well, the info page will now serve as the landing page when trying to access a broken GO shortcut, rather than being presented with a blank screen.

Head to the GOtionary to check it out.