Author Archives: Matthew La France

Using GO (2013)

What is GO?

GO is an aliasing and redirection application. Don’t let the jargon intimidate you, just think of it as a way to make and use shortcuts to College resources. If you’d like to visit a GO shortcut when you’re connected by VPN or on campus, simply type it into your address bar in your web browser. For instance type “go/lisblog” and hit “enter” to get to the LIS blog. If you’d like to see a list of shortcuts that are currently available type “go” and hit “enter” to visit the “Gotionary”. Go is also available as a text box at for mobile devices, or as an optional panel on your portal page.


Tip: When off campus add “” to any GO shortcut in lieu of “go”.

Browser Quirks

If you’re using Chrome or Safari you may find a search is triggered instead of a redirect. There are multiple ways to circumvent the integrated search feature when using GO.


  • Add a slash at the end of your GO link. Example: go/lisblog/
  • Alternatively, put “http://” in front of your GO request. Example: http://go/lisblog
  • If you prefer to select from options, look for the “Go to Site” option in the drop-down that appears below the address bar.



Chrome will permanently disable the search behavior for any request starting with “go/” if you follow these steps:

  • Type a code in and hit “enter”. A search results page will appear.
  • Below the address bar it should say “Did you mean to go to http://go/…” Click on that to follow the link to the go/shortcut. After that Chrome should automatically resolve any go shortcuts.


GO Shortcuts as Permalinks

You can use a GO shortcut as a link URL for any page internal to Example: <a href=''>LIS Blog</a>. You’ll want to use a GO shortcut rather than a direct link for any resources you are linking to that could change location. As long as the shortcut admin updates the shortcut when a content location changes you won’t need to update any of your links.

Tip: Don’t forget to use the full url “” so that users from off-campus will be able to use the link.

GO eased the launch of the new site by allowing links in content to be easily updated en-mass. GO has also become central to our search strategy as GO shortcuts are provided as suggestions and automatic-redirects when you enter search terms on the main site.

For additional information see:

Kurogo Higher Ed User Conference

I recently attended Modo Labs’ Kurogo Higher Ed User Conference hosted at UMASS Amherst where I was able to meet and speak with Modo Labs staff as well as Kurogo users from other institutions. Kurogo powers our mobile web presence and desktop portal.

2013-04-02 15.50.00

Modo Labs’ current offerings, Mobile Campus, and Kurogo, are being renamed as follows:

Mobile Campus -> Kurogo Campus Professional
Kurogo -> Kurogo Campus Community
and -> Kurogo Core

The latest version of Kurogo Campus Community, 1.8, was announced and released during the conference. The 1.8 version includes a number of new enhancements already present in Kurogo Campus Professional. Highlights include a desktop interface similar to our desktop portal view, as well as a lot of behind the scenes enhancements like better theming and config handling.

Modo Labs laid out a road map of Kurogo including the following information:

- Community Edition 1.8 out today!
- 1.9 (mostly updates for the Campus Professional version) 2013 late Q2
– Improved admin panel/self admin
– New templates
- 2.0 Q3 2013 for both Community and Professional versions.
– Revamped frontend based on UX widgets
– Data Retrieval via JSON, RSS, SOAP, which is attached to the widget, which is then attached to the module.
– JQuery bundled in project.
– Able to include an individual screen/page as a native app.

I attended the developer track session in the afternoon where we went over the creation of a custom module, in this case, to pull questions from Stack Overflow. The custom module included the creation of 4 main classes: Module, Model, Retriever, and Parser. This session helped me to better understand the current module structure.

I look forward to continuing to support our instances of Kurogo as the platform grows and develops.

New Portal and Mobile Site Features!

Some new features have been added to the desktop Portal and mobile site.

- Accordion style dining menu. Based on user feedback we’ve made it easy to see the menu information all at once and to compare venues from a panel on the desktop Portal. Depending on the time of day, it defaults to expand a different meal category by default.

- Post module. This module presents avenues to post information to feeds that the Portal consumes. You are encouraged to contribute to these platforms with relevant content which will be featured in the Portal.

- GO module. This module is intended for mobile. It provides a text box for entering GO shortcuts so you are able to take advantage of GO shortcut redirection more easily on your mobile device.

Please visit: or to use these features.

Many thanks to those who have provided feedback via the feedback form and those who have provided support and guidance in the development of modules for the Portal.

New GO Feature, Add or Remove Admins from Multiple Shortcuts

A little feature has been added to GO today, the ability to add or remove an admin from multiple GO shortcuts.

You’ll find this feature under the “View/Edit” tab of the self-service admin interface. There is now a field for entering a single admin username. The user will be added or removed as an admin of any codes you check before hitting the corresponding submit button. A handy “check all” box allows you to make an addition for all shortcuts that you are an admin of.

You are not able to remove yourself as admin from a shortcut if you are the only admin via this feature. Instead you are prompted to add another user as an admin to discourage the orphaning of GO shortcuts.

I hope this feature makes the administration of your GO shortcuts easier and more enjoyable!

Usability Surveys on LIS Web Pages

The LIS web team is at it again! In a effort to improve the user experience on the LIS website we are conducting usability testing. For a few weeks you’ll find obtrusive mint green boxes in the corners of the Library, Helpdesk, and LIS pages. These are very short usability surveys. Simply click on “Give Feedback” and then answer each question by clicking the location you’d go to find various pieces of information on each page. Each survey contains only a handful of questions so please participate when you have a moment.

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

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.


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 “[the directory where the file is located]/file/[the name of the file with its extension]


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

Weekly Web Development Round-up October 3-7, 2011

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.

Web Portal, home to our mobile portal and web portal has recently seen an update to the web portal customization options. This includes the ability to customize portal panels in the left and right columns independently. Panels can now be chosen from the full list of currently available modules. You still have the option to toggle default modules off and rearrange modules. This goes for the modules that appear in the navigation and the ones that appear as panels on the home page.


Working papers published by the Economics department are now automatically added as projects in MiddLab. We’ll be adding other feeds to MiddLab in the near future.


The MiddSTART site got a minor facelift. You can now view the MiddSTART Success Stories and special categories of projects, like Scholarships.