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Open Lab Recap, Spokane Edition – March 23rd

Today was our first open labs session at WSU Spokane! We had 2 sessions, the morning in PBS and the afternoon in Academic Services. We had a nice turn out at both and are looking forward to our next at the end of April.

Spine Theme Updates

We briefly touched on a few of the updates from yesterday’s Spine Parent Theme release. Most of them are tweaks to existing behavior and styles to provide incremental improvements. A couple are new – specifically background images on columns.

Join the WSU Web community

A Slack team is available for questions, discussion, and general collaboration. Anyone with a wsu.edu email address can join without an invite. We also have a GitHub organization available where all of our work is published as open source.

Background images on sections and columns

In the page builder interface, images can be added as backgrounds to both sections and columns. Click on the gear icon to add each. At the moment, you’ll need the full URL to the image. We have issue #292 open in the Spine Parent Theme repository to track improvements to this interface in the future.

Content Syndicate

We walked through the ins and outs of the WSUWP Content Syndicate plugin, which is enabled on all sites by default. We even updated the documentation to link to a better document for how dates can be formatted.

Managing Menus

We walked through the interface for managing offsite and site menus, including the process it takes to remove or rename “Overview” links in the menu. This is something we should document and we now have issue #296 open in the Spine Parent Theme repository to do so. The BU Navigation plugin is also available for a different way of managing pages in menus in a more hierarchical way.

Plugins

We went down the list of available plugins on the platform and walked through examples of Duplicate and Merge Pages, Gravity Forms, MailChimp, and TablePress.

Lunch

At this point, we took lunch and moved to a different location on campus to continue open labs. ūüĆģ

Afternoon session

Some of the stuff we covered in the afternoon session is repeat or very specific to individual sites. I’m going to break things down into some bullet points here.

  • Basics and the future of the People Directory.
  • Using the WSUWP Content Syndicate plugin.
  • How events can be submitted through the Community Events plugin or managed without the plugin.
  • How to access the Edit CSS screen.
  • How to manage ticket numbers associated with work orders in Gravity Forms and possible conditional logic associated with that.

March 18 – Open Lab Recap

Hi there! Here’s a brief recap of the topics we discussed in open lab this week.

Spine Updates

Jeremy demonstrated the recent enhancements and bug fixes he has made on the Spine. Check out his post to read about the changes that have been made. They are slated to be released next Wednesday.

Menu Item Highlighting

Sheilah mentioned that if a page being visited is not in the site navigation, but is a child of a page that is in the navigation, that parent page should be highlighted as current. This issue has already been tracked on the Spine Theme repo (#228), but we bumped it up to high priority.

“Quarters” Layout Behavior at Smaller Widths

Sheilah bought up that four column layouts¬†collapse down to two rows of two columns at smaller screen widths. We don’t want to suddenly change this behavior as¬†it¬†has been the default since (presumably) the release of the Spine, but since it is inconsistent with the other layouts –¬†the columns should stack and all be 100% wide on smaller screens – we may add a utility class that can be added to four-column rows to make them behave in a¬†more expected manner.

Content Visibility

Sheilah asked about the possibility of restricting¬†a section of a site to be available to only a few specific¬†users.¬†Leveraging the¬†WSU Content Visibility plugin is probably¬†best way to handle¬†such a task, but it would need to be able to support adding individual NIDs and apply a page’s settings to its children.¬†These features were tracked as issues on the plugins Github repo.

University Taxonomies on Events

Phil bought up that it would be valuable to have the University Taxonomies attached to Events. This should be easy enough to do!

Email Services

We had a good discussion about the pros and cons of different email sending services and options. Many colleges and departments are handling their own sending, and those present today related their experiences with using MailChimp and phpList, and the merits of using UComm’s¬†Crimson Communiqu√©¬†distribution service.

Content Overflow

Javier pointed out that¬†horizontal scrolling isn’t available¬†when a page has content that is wider than the browser window.¬†In such cases, the overflowing content is simply cut off with no way to access it. We weren’t able to find a fix at the time but will continue to troubleshoot the issue until we do!

Google Calendar Embeds

Joyce asked about adding support for Google Calendar embeds for one of her site users. We added this as a high priority enhancement (issue #31) to the WSU Embeds plugin.

Thanks to everyone who attended. Until next time!

Upcoming Open Labs Schedule (Including Spokane!)

We have a change of venue for our normal, weekly open labs next Friday. On March 18th, we’ll be in the CUB, room 208 from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Same format, same everything else, just a slightly different location. And who knows, if we like it we might try to keep it. ūüôā

We’re also making a trip up to Spokane on Wednesday, March 23rd to hold 2 open labs sessions. One from 10:00am to 12:00pm in PBS 118 and another from 1:30pm to 3:30pm in SAC 313.¬†If you’re in Spokane, stop on by!

March 11 – Open Lab Recap

Howdy! Here’s a recap of the topics we discussed during open labs this week. We’ll turn comments on at some point in the near future. For now, if you have any questions or suggestions, check out the WSU Web Slack team.

Background images on columns

Background images can now be assigned to columns in the page builder interface. Use the gear icon on a column to bring up the interface to enter the image URL. This is similar to how background images can be added to sections.

The background image itself will only take up the size of the content in that column. The equalize class can be assigned to a section to make all column heights equal in that section.

TablePress DataTables Row Grouping

We’re not entirely sure how to use this feature yet, but we’re looking into it. ūüôā

Gradient backgrounds

While Marsha¬†was showing off the work she’s been doing on https://hws.wsu.edu, we explored CSS gradients vs image gradients. ColorZilla provides a gradient editor, which is a good resource for generating CSS gradients.

Are testimonials worth it?

Sheilah brought up an interesting resource that seems to claim that social testimonials are better than talking about yourself. The UI of goodui.org is a little strange though, so it’s hard to tell if it really is bad. We seemed to have some group agreement that fake testimonials are bad, authenticity goes a long way. (And talking about the work you’re doing isn’t bad at all.)

More flexible roles

There are several roles and capabilities that need work throughout the platform. Joyce brought up an issue where some folks may only need access to add calendar events, but should not be able to publish posts and pages without review. We’re tracking our wishlist of future roles and capabilities on GitHub in WSUWP Platform issue #274.

People Directory discussion

We talked through some of the current status of the people directory, including the possibility of mass importing users by WSU NID. If you have examples for how you would like people records to appear when syndicated on your site, please chime in on Slack. We’ll be looking to add a couple other HTML templates soon to cover some basic cases.

Thanks everyone!

March 4 – Open Lab Recap

The session started off with Jeremy giving an overview on setting up and developing locally in a virtual environment. He also pointed out the Spine Child Theme Skeleton and the Plugin Skeleton as bases for people to work off of.

Topics discussed and bugs found

WSUWP Platform: Colorbox Рa lightbox plugin for jQuery Рis available on the platform via the Custom JavaScript Editor. Jeremy gave a brief demonstration on how to set up a basic implementation.

The Social & Economic Sciences Research Center offers a survey design clinic.

WSUWP Platform: The DataTables Row Grouping extension for TablePress has been added to the platform.

WSUWP Platform: The people directory, People Display and Content Syndicate plugins were briefly discussed. The people component of the Content Syndicate plugin will be broken out as a standalone plugin.

Spine Parent Theme: The templates aren’t set up to show authorship data from the Coauthors Plus plugin.

 

 

 

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!

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… ūüôā 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.

July 11th Open Lab Recap

Apologies for the lack of updates over the last few weeks! Here’s hoping we can get back on a regular schedule. Even though no recaps have been posted, open lab has been in session every week. We had 15 attendees for today’s session, including a handful of new faces.

Topics discussed and bugs found:

WSUWP Platform: It appears that the WSU SSO Authentication plugin is not being activated by default when a new network is created. This was a bug and was resolved shortly after the open lab under issue #171.

WSUWP Platform: Network admins do not currently have the ability to promote other users to the network admin level. Issue #172 has been opened to address this.

Labs@WSU: We’re just starting to talk about this a little more and will continue to spread the word as we sort out some of the details. Our intent is to have a labs.wsu.edu space available for any lab at WSU to have a free site with features and content organization common to a lab’s general needs. Jake Leachman’s HYPER lab¬†was our first test and we’re looking to expand. If anybody is interested in this, please contact Jeremy Felt.

WSUWP Platform: Discussed some of the possibilities around enqueuing custom Javascript from outside CDNs and the various needs of custom Javascript entry in general. This is a feature that is not yet enabled in production, but will be available in the near future.

WSUWP Platform: We need to start documenting several parts of the platform. Two areas were brought up today. First, how is PHP code introduced into the system. We’ll want to lay out what the review process looks like for that. Second, how users are added and managed at the global, network, and site level.

Web: Some kind of newsletter would be nice from the web team to keep everyone apprised of recent updates. Right now, web.wsu.edu is likely the best place. We can create a newsletter from that content.

Web: Where do we host large files? Chemistry currently has a couple videos that are many hundreds of MBs in size. We don’t want to handle the upload through WordPress, but we should have another solution where those files can be uploaded and then served.

WSU Spine Parent Theme: At this time, we link to facebook.com instead of the default WSU Pullman Facebook account in the parent theme. Issue #72 has been opened to resolve this in the theme.

WSU Maps: We covered the embedding of maps in WordPress with the shortcode that is now available. We also went through some of the custom functionality that is available to groups of the University when requesting a custom map from University Communications. This can all be done through maps.wsu.edu.

WSUWP Platform: We should document the best way to use YouTube embeds so that they are responsive and mobile friendly. The default oEmbed method works, but we can probably do a bit better to make this flexible.

WSUWP Platform:¬†It would be interesting to see how well the WordPress iOS and Android apps work for publishing to a multi-network platform. I’ve opened issue #173 to track progress on this.

That’s that. See everyone next week!

May 30th Open Lab Recap

A very belated recap at only 15 hours away from the next open lab!

We had a great turnout again, with 11 total in attendance, and there was plenty of good conversation.

Topics discussed and bugs found

WSUWP Platform: We’ll need to do some work to better clarify how the platform can be used to host various intranet type sites where only certain groups have access to both the back and front end. We have the ability to make sites private, but there are issues with hosted uploads being accessible to everyone. This is something we’ll need to keep on the radar as we continue building things out.

General: Related to the intranet topic, we do have a regex that matches all WSU IP addresses. Jeremy Bass sent that out in an email after the session. We should also discuss if there is a place where that makes sense to be published.

WSUWP Platform: The space restrictions for sites are handled in a better way now. We have uploads capped at 50MB per file across the board with no maximum limit on total used space. We talked about raising the limit to 100MB in the near future, though it may not be necessary. See the next item for other considerations around that.

WSUWP Platform: Can video files be uploaded? Technically, though the current maximum upload size can restrict that. WSU does have a video server that is better equipped for hosting videos, though we should figure out how to best provide that as a service if possible. Nonetheless, we should remove MOV, WMV, and AVI files from the allowed upload list and add MP4 as an acceptable video format. We should also test some short videos from iOS and Android to see what the experience is like. (Filetypes were adjusted in #151 and deployed as part of v0.7.5 of the platform)

WSUWP Platform: It may also be desirable to handle CSV, XML, and SVG files. We need to explore the list of possible file types and the security implications that may come with each.

WSUWP Platform: Gravity Forms is now available as a plugin on the platform. There is still plenty to learn about the plugin, but we were able to cover some introductory material. Basic forms can now be created through WordPress. Forms that require more advanced logic around inventory or pricing should go through Magento.

Magento: Magento will be available for testing soon with a store that will wipe out daily. We talked about how tiered pricing could look like for internal and external users of a college site. We also walked through some basic scenarios for the use of Magento.

Spine Parent Theme: A “header” layout option will be added to the page builder. Follow progress on #45 in the Spine parent theme repository.

General: We talked briefly about the new Pullman WordPress Meetup that was created. This will be a way for those in the Pullman area to get together outside of work and talk WordPress. Please join the group for updates. Our first meetup is June 18th. Brought up the new Pullman WordPress meet up as a way to find WP folks.

WSUWP Platform: We discussed the need to enable site paths that are two levels deep. Sites at domain.wsu.edu/site/subsite/ can then be created. Issue #152 has been opened to track this.

Spine Parent Theme: Revisions are created each time a post is previewed when using the page builder. This is likely because of the way content is compiled before a view can be shown. We’ll need to check upstream to see if this is something that can (or should) be modified.

See you all tomorrow!