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Web Communication Jeremy Felt

Open Lab Schedule – December 2016

With the pending slowdown of the holiday season, we’re going to pause open labs for a few weeks. Here’s the plan:

  • December 11, 2016 – Open Labs in ITB 2025 as scheduled from 9:30am-11:30am
  • December 18, 2016 – A more informal Open Labs in ITB 2006 from 9:30am-11:30am
  • December 25, 2016 – No Open Labs
  • January 1, 2016 – No Open Labs
  • January 8, 2016 – Back to normal with Open Labs in ITB 2025 from 9:30am-11:30am

If we don’t see you before the end of the year, have a happy holiday!

WSU Spine 1.3.0 Released

The latest version of the WSU Spine framework has been released as 1.3.0.

As always, if you are using a manual build of the WSU Spine, we recommend updating as soon as possible.

To automatically receive the benefits of bug fixes like this, we recommend using the latest version of the Spine from the centrally hosted repo.wsu.edu server. A full explanation of the hosted repository is in the project’s readme file.

https://repo.wsu.edu/spine/1/spine.min.js

https://repo.wsu.edu/spine/1/spine.min.css

Please visit the WSU Spine release page for a list of all changes made in this release. Thanks!

Releases: WSUWP Platform 1.3.5, WordPress 4.2.3

WordPress 4.2.3 was released today and the WSUWP Platform was immediately updated to match. There are no large changes, though several bug fixes and two security fixes were included. WordPress 4.3 is scheduled for August.

What follows here is the full release information for WSUWP Platform 1.3.5, from our open source project on GitHub.

This is the fourteenth production release of our open source WSUWP Platform project. The official tag of this release is 1.3.5.

A full comparison of changes is available is available. Here are the notes from the release:

Enhancements

  • WordPress 4.2.3
  • Support *.wsu.edu addresses locally in addition to *.wsu.dev. This should be transitioned out to WSU Web Provisioner in a future release.
  • Add basic munin support locally. This is not fully developed.

Bugs

  • Process user capabilities properly when moving a site between networks.

WSUWP Platform WordPress Plugin Updates – July 22, 2015

Howdy! We keep regular tabs on the plugins we include as part of the WSUWP Platform and frequently update as they are released. We haven’t yet talked about this as we do it, but today’s a great day to start.

Here’s what changed on the platform today:

  • Updated Akismet to 3.1.3. This was a small change that doesn’t affect our use of Akismet.
  • Updated WordPress SEO to 2.3.1. A full write-up on the changes in 2.3 is a good place to start in exploring and understanding changes.
  • Updated The Events Calendar to 3.11. A full write-up on these changes is also a good place to start in exploring changes. We’ve also updated Events Calendar Pro and Community Events to their matching 3.11 versions.
  • Updated Gravity Forms to 1.9.12.1. A full write-up on these changes is available as well.
  • Our own WSU University Taxonomy has been updated to 0.3.0. A post on this will be up in the near future once we’re more comfortable with how things are going. Feel free to dig around for the changes though. 😃

If you have any questions about any of these plugins, please reach out. As always, we have open labs in ITB 2025 every Friday morning from 9:30am-11:30am. Everyone is welcome to stop by!

Spine Parent Theme 0.22.0 Released

Version 0.22.0 of the Spine Parent Theme has been released and deployed to the WSUWP Platform. This is actually the 9th release since the last announcement of 0.20.1. We’re still working on our workflow for release posts and many of the changes are back-end or very minor. All are included here.

  • Provide a filter (spine_get_campus_home_url) to override the campus home URL in child themes. (0.20.2)
  • Refactor handling of Open Sans fonts so that only one request to Google for font files is made vs the previous configuration where multiple requests may have been possible. (0.20.3)
  • When using the Bookmark theme, do not show the gray WSU background on the home page. (0.20.3)
  • The class section-wrapper is now attached to any section wrapper by default in addition to the wrapper class specified in section configuration. This will help target all wrapped sections in a page. (0.20.4)
  • Add filters and actions so that child themes can alter how sections are built. (0.21.0)
  • Add support for custom section IDs in each section’s configuration. (0.21.0)
  • Link article thumbnails to their respective article. Previously there was no link. (0.21.1)
  • On some imported content, featured images may not be available. In these cases, we should not output the HTML markup for handling these images unless an actual source exists. (0.21.2, 0.21.3, 0.21.4)

New Features in 0.22.0

Columns in the page builder have always had their titles output as H2 elements. In 0.22.0, these titles can be configured through the column’s configuration to display as H2, H3, or H4 header levels. Column titles will continue to default to H2.

In the notes for 0.20.1, we announced that background images could be assigned to sections with the caveat that JavaScript would be required for them to actually work. As of 0.22.0, this JavaScript runs in the theme by default. If you provide a full image URL for “Background Image” when configuring a section, this will be converted to an inline CSS background image property after page load. In the future we’ll provide support for mobile detection and image handling as well. For now, the same image will appear on both.

Styling around the WSU Spine with custom CSS

The WSU Spine was built to provide a consistent brand framework for use throughout the University. It exists in sort of a balancing act trying to allow great flexibility while maintaining a familiar look and feel for visitors to WSU web properties.

The Spine is structured as such:

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 5.46.58 PM

The primary site navigation and brand elements are inserted as part of the #spine container. All content appears in the main element.

It is important to keep this page structure in mind when styling a page through CSS. The Spine provides default styles for many different elements to establish the initial consistent look and feel. It also relies on some of these styles to properly display a consistent experience in the Spine area itself.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.00.36 PM

If you look at anchor (a) elements specifically, you’ll see a few default styles in the Spine. The above two are pulled directly from spine.css. All anchors are set by default to have no text decoration and to be crimson. Anchors inside the #spine container are set to be gray, but they retain the other default property applied to all anchors on the page of text-decoration: none.

A common custom style here is to add underlines or other properties with the intent of changing the anchor elements in the page content. When dealing with general elements such as anchor, some specificity is required to make sure only the intended styles are modified.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 5.58.06 PM

Prefixing the rule with main applies the intended style and leaves the #spine container as is. Not prefixing the container causes the Spine to lose its default display properties with unintended consequences.

If you’re targeting a specific page, let’s say this current post, you can still use main in addition to other body classes.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.07.53 PM

Anchors in the Spine will remain without underline, those in the main content area will have an underline, and those in the main content area of single pages will have a dashed underline and a lighter font.

Being aware of the Spine structure and targeting elements with the appropriate specificity will go a long way in maintaining the consistent look and feel that visitors expect. We’ll also continue working to provide more explicit defaults for crucial parts of the Spine to help prevent accidental overrides.

If you’d like to dive any deeper on this or have thoughts to share, we meet weekly on Friday mornings for open lab where this discussion would be perfect. 🙂

WSU Spine 1.2.4 Released

The latest version of the WSU Spine framework has been released as 1.2.4.

As always, if you are using a manual build of the WSU Spine, we recommend updating as soon as possible.

To automatically receive the benefits of bug fixes like this, we recommend using the latest version of the Spine from the centrally hosted repo.wsu.edu server. A full explanation of the hosted repository is in the project’s readme file.

https://repo.wsu.edu/spine/1/spine.min.js

https://repo.wsu.edu/spine/1/spine.min.css

Please visit the WSU Spine release page for a list of all changes made in this release. Thanks!

Spine Parent Theme 0.20.1 Released

Version 0.20.1 of the Spine Parent Theme has been released and deployed to the WSUWP Platform. This is actually the 7th release since the last announcement of 0.19.0. Many of the changes were quickly made during the development of the new WSU home page and are minor. I’ll include those as well!

  • Fix a non-working featured image meta box. (0.19.1)
  • Fix a misspelled filter for BU Navigation controlling the “Overview” text in the Spine. (0.19.2)
  • Fix an issue in which duplicate HTML titles were displayed (0.19.3)
  • Add the ability to assign section labels to page builder sections to aid with organization of sections that do not have column titles. (0.19.4)
  • Fix the Twitter account used when sharing via Twitter. Previously, the configured account would not have appeared. (0.19.4)
  • Apply mobile unfloat to large images so that text wraps properly. (0.19.4)
  • Add awareness of an individual article’s image status with has-background-image, has-featured-image, and has-thumbnail-image classes at the article level. (0.19.4)
  • Adjust main header styling when bookmark style is in use. (0.19.4)
  • Allow for use of parts/footers.php inside main by child themes. (0.19.5)
  • Navigation menus other than site and offsite will retain all custom classes. Previously, we would strip everything except for those expected by the Spine. (0.20.0)
  • Site and path classes are now applied to body to help maintain common styles throughout multiple sites. Path is the root path of the site, not the current path being viewed in a site. (0.20.1)
  • All singular page views now have single applied as a class to body. All not singular views have not-single applied. (0.20.1)
  • Add proper current and dogeared classes when BU Navigation is active. (0.20.1)
  • Add a customizer option for future support of “open by default” search behavior in the Spine. (0.20.1)
  • Hide Open Sans details when off. Show when on. (0.20.1)
  • Update signature link to HTTPS for wsu.edu. (0.20.1)

One other very interesting feature that was added in 0.20.0 is the ability to assign background images to sections. While it will be excellent in the future for various uses, it is currently in early stages and you’ll need custom Javascript to take advantage of this near term. As an example, we’re using this on the WSU Home page to handle the delayed loading of the fixed backgrounds as you scroll through the page. An option is also available to add a separate mobile background so that bandwidth can be limited. As this feature is expanded, we’ll talk more about the possibilities.

Open Lab Recap – February 20, 2015

This is a recap of topics covered in our weekly open lab, held every Friday morning from 9:30am-11:30am in ITB2025.

We talked about the Overview link automatically created in the Spine navigation when a section label is itself a link to a page. There is a way to change the actual text of “Overview” by setting the title attribute in the WordPress menu management screen. You can also add a generic link to the menu with “#” as the URL. This will create a section label without automatically generating an Overview link. The behavior of this is something that should be better documented on this site. We’ll work on getting something up in the near future.

External links in the Spine navigation and general content have Google Analytics campaign data attached to them. Not every URL accepts this parameters nicely. We need to look at whether external links should have campaign data to begin with. This will be tracked under issue #20 on the WSUWP Analytics repository.

Links marked to open in a new tab do not always respect that setting, even when using cmd-click to open the link. It appears this is an issue with the scripting we’re using for Google Analytics and it will be fixed in a future release under issue #225 on the WSU Spine repository.

It would be great if you could convert one layout to another on the fly in the page builder. At the moment an entire new section must be added and content copy/pasted to the new area. This will be tracked under issue #177 on the Spine Parent Theme repository.

The Carson College of Business home page was having some issues when we tried using the new Duplicate and Merge Posts plugin. I’ll be taking a closer look at that to find any bugs. Also, proper styles should applied to category specific calendar pages.

There should be a way to exclude labs from the labs.wsu.edu landing page until they are ready. Most of this will take care of itself when we have a better landing page that shows off recent posts from all the labs that are active instead of links to the labs themselves. This will be tracked under issue #2 and issue #3 on the labs.wsu.edu repository.

The WSUWP Content Syndicate plugin can pull in posts from other sites using the WordPress JSON API, but not yet with RSS. We should have a shortcode that will pull in an RSS Feed and display it as well.

The last modified date seems to be 8 hours off in the list table for posts and pages. This will be tracked under issue #22 on the WSUWP Admin repository.

Previewing a page builder page that contains an iframe does not work in Safari. It does work fine in Chrome. This is tracked under issue #154 on the Spine Parent Theme repository.

We also talked about text not wrapping properly around left aligned images. We’re working on exploring that a bit in issue #178 on the Spine Parent Theme repository.

Beyond bugs… 🙂 I also showed a brief example of the new interface that we’re working on to assign Active Directory editor groups to pages and posts. This work is coming along nicely and a first release will be available soon.