WordPress Comment Spam
We are testing a change to our filtering this week that may result in an increase in the number of spam comments posted to your site. If you notice an increase, please let us know. This test will run though Friday, August 26 at the latest.
Drupal Permissions Changes
Since September 2015, there has been an issue where applying permissions to sub-pages in our Drupal sites would occasionally remove custom permissions at lower levels. We’ve corrected this so that changing page permissions now works as intended and have reviewed our Helpdesk tickets since last September to ensure that the permissions of everyone who reported a problem are back in place.
- Native fonts: The WordPress dashboard now takes advantage of the fonts you already have, making it load faster and letting you feel more at home on whatever device you use.
- Inline link checker: Ever accidentally made a link to https://wordpress.org/example.org? Now WordPress automatically checks to make sure you didn’t.
- Content recovery: As you type, WordPress saves your content to the browser. Recovering saved content is even easier with WordPress 4.6.
Course Hub “Panopto” Resource
In preparation for Middlebury’s pilot of the Panopto video recording and streaming service, we have built a Panopto integration into the Course Hub which allows instructors to provision course folders and appropriate groups with just a few clicks.
Fixes and Tweaks
- The link to WebMail in the MIIS site header was changed to go/newmail as all MIIS faculty, staff and student mailboxes have been moved to the new cloud-based email system.
- Reverted a code style change that caused the input fields in the WordPress MailChimp widget to disappear.
- The “download” attribute is now supported for link elements in the Middlebury Drupal site. This can only be added using the HTML button in the editor at this time. The attribute means that the image or document file linked to will be downloaded rather than opened in the browser window. This only works in Firefox, Chrome, Opera and the Android browser at this time.
- Fixed an issue with Panopto SAML2 authentication to ADFS caused by the roll-over of ADFS’s “signing cert”. Updating this cert configuration will be an annual task in the future.
Middlebury is approaching the start of the undergraduate academic year, this is the time where faculty are thinking about course web sites. The college has also started the transition from Moodle to Canvas, a new Learning Management System (LMS) that is developed and hosted by Instructure. Like Moodle, faculty can create their Canvas course sites...
As you may have heard, Middlebury is in the process of moving our e-mail infrastructure to the cloud in stages – see http://go.middlebury.edu/cloud for details. While this has generally gone smoothly so far, there can be issues if people who have been migrated try to access other mailboxes that have not, or vice versa, especially on Macs. (Outlook for Windows generally works well, possibly after some adjustments as explained at http://go.middlebury.edu.mailmove.) In most cases we can move mailboxes together with the people who access them, but due to the nature of Public Folders they all need to be moved at once (currently scheduled for 8/30).
Bottom line: Mac users may find themselves unable to access Public Folders between the time that their own account is moved and August 30th. (Middfiles and other file servers will be unaffected; this is only for shared folders in Outlook e.g. department calendars.)
If this is an issue for your work, please comment here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss so we can find a solution.
We appreciate your patience as we strive to keep our systems functioning optimally.
Middlebury College ITS
We have removed the PRiNZ themes from being available on our WordPress sites. Sites already using these these should not notice any change, but you will no longer see them in the list on the Appearance -> Themes page in the site dashboard. The themes are no longer supported by the vendor and cause issues with the WYSIWYG editor in recent versions of WordPress.
Fixes and Tweaks
- Fixed an issue where, when fetching the content of gallery captions in our Drupal sites, the results weren’t properly filtered and content from the pages images were embedded in was being displayed instead of the caption field of the image itself.
- Enabled multi-file uploads for the Museum website.
- Removed the image tags field from File Uploads on the MIIS website.
There is an ongoing issue with selecting individual images within Drupal gallery content types. Instead of the expected behavior of adding an individual image to the list, instead, when clicking on an image, the contents of the entire folder will display in the gallery. To work around this issue, create a tree item to contain each of your gallery items, and select that item when setting up the gallery. Then, adjustments to the gallery items can be made by adding/removing images from the container, but not within the gallery edit form itself.
For additional questions or help with a change to a gallery content type you manage, please fill out a Web Helpdesk ticket.
Fixes and Tweaks
- The vertical index of the modal dialogs in Drupal was increased so that it is higher than other elements on the page, such as the tan taskbar, ensuring these page elements don’t bleed through.
- Fixed the modal dialog on the Monster Menus Copy/Move page in Drupal so that the Add and Replace buttons work as intended.
- Resolved a number of issues with captions and modal dialogs in the Gallery content type in our Drupal sites ensuring that the modal tree browser is displayed when editors click the Add button and that images in the gallery are shown if users have can read them.
We are pleased to announce a change we are making to Middlebury’s email and calendar service. After years of running these applications on our own infrastructure, we are moving them to the cloud—specifically to Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of services.
There are several benefits to this move:
- Stronger security. Microsoft is able to devote more resources to security than we ever could. As hackers become increasingly sophisticated, this has never been more important. Microsoft’s cloud-based services include an important second level of security that recognizes “trusted” devices, which can include mobile devices or a home computer. This means that even if someone learned your user name or password, they still would need a special code to access your account from a device other than your own. Middlebury users will not be compelled at the outset to use this service, though we think it will be attractive to many people and we will be encouraging and supporting its use going forward once the transition to Microsoft’s cloud-based email and calendar service is complete.
- Better and faster access. Putting data in the cloud will allow us to automatically synchronize data across devices and provide better and faster access regardless of your location.
- Increased storage. Microsoft’s scale allows it to provide greater storage capacity at less cost. This means we will be able to back up data on a nearly real-time basis. And you no longer will need to worry about size of your email archive.
We don’t anticipate any significant disruption in services when we make the change. If you use Outlook, the switch will happen overnight, and your mailbox and calendar will look exactly as they did the previous day once you restart your computer. In some cases, it has been necessary to replace your outlook profile, but if that is necessary, we’ll assist you. The webmail site is very similar to what you are using today, but there are slight differences consistent with a new version. For those employees who use an email client other than Outlook or webmail, we will provide instructions on how to adjust your account settings.
The process of transitioning mailboxes and calendars to the Microsoft cloud service will begin next week and continue through September, with faculty and students transitioned before the start of the semester and members of administrative departments scheduled by department in batches with advanced notice and on premise support. The schedule of moves is available here: http://go.middlebury.edu/cloud.
This fall we will begin a transition of content currently stored on Middfiles to the cloud. This change will bring with it many of the same benefits as those described above and in addition facilitate collaboration – allowing you to share your data with colleagues at Middlebury and elsewhere with ease. We’ll keep you posted as we get closer to that move.
We are excited to deliver these significant improvements to the services we provide to the community. Once complete, we are confident they will result in better service with a reduction in cost and risk. If you have any questions, please contact our helpdesk at email@example.com.
The Middlebury ITS Team
We’re investigating reports of an issue with authentication into Middlebury Google services. We will provide more information shortly.