The Final Segue from Segue

Q: What do these three things have in common?

  • Decommissioning of Segue
  • Shel Sax’s birthday
  • A blue moon

Imagine yourself back in the 2002-2003 academic year. There is no MySpace yet, let alone Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. Most websites are being created by typing HTML markup or using desktop programs like Dreamweaver. WordPress doesn’t exist yet and won’t support more than a single blog for another three years. Moveable Type and Manilla (early blogging systems) are available, but don’t support the unicode character set needed to properly display text in foreign languages. Each summer numerous faculty would work with students in LIS to build a class website, a process that required many meetings as the faculty member developed the content, then gave it to the student to put on the web. Changes to the content required yet more meetings.

In June 2003 after about a year of development we launched Segue, a content management system that has supported our learning environment for almost a decade. Segue was designed to meet two specific needs. It allowed faculty to create and update their own course websites on their own schedule without requiring a continuous back and forth with support staff. It also allowed web content to be created in all of the languages taught at Middlebury, even Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.

Years later unicode support has become common and there now exist a plethora of learning management systems to choose from. In May of 2009, Middlebury decided that Segue had completed it’s tour of duty and that it was time for decommissioning. Today, August 31st, 2012, Segue has served its last page and is now offline.

We want to take this moment to thank Alex Chapin, Adam Franco, Gabe Schine, Christopher Shubert, and Dobromir Radichkov, who developed Segue over the years and supported the service as a resource for our curricular environment.

A: All three occur today.

5 thoughts on “The Final Segue from Segue

  1. Amy McGill

    … and the old MIIS wireless network gets unplugged today at 5. Thanks to all our Midd colleagues for helping to make the shiny new one possible!

    And happy birthday, Shel!

  2. Alex Chapin

    Thanks to Middlebury College, NITLE and the Mellon Foundation for their support of Segue development. Thanks to the many faculty at Middlebury and beyond who identified bugs and helped design the user interface and core features. Thanks to the MIT Open Knowledge Initiative (O.K.I.) for its vision of open standards for interoperability and developing the open service interface definitions (OSIDs) that defined the architecture for Segue v2.

    I hope the segue from Segue has gone well and people were able to migrate sites they developed in Segue to WordPress or Moodle. I also hope the Course Hub is catching on.

  3. Joseph Antonioli Post author

    Alex, great to hear from you and thank you for posting. We don’t have the final numbers, but you will be happy to know that as of two weeks ago almost 900 sites had been taken care of, well over the 450-600 we predicted.

    And the Course Hub is doing well. In it’s first summer, 29% of the Language School classes and 19% of the Bread Loaf School of English classes used the service. The Undergraduate College made good use of the service, with 42% of classes using the Hub over the fall, winter and spring terms.

    1. Bryan Carson

      Forecast August 2022: Finally pulled the plug on WordPress and Moodle, those cute, anachronistic CMS/LMS/Blogging systems. The last touch screens have been decommissioned. Faculty, staff, and student adoption rate of the intracranial computer interface is at 100% by the start of the First-year seminars.


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