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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. 🙂

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. 🙂

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 – a lightbox plugin for jQuery – is 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… 🙂 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!

May 23rd Open Lab Recap

Another good turnout today, especially for a slow Friday right before the holiday weekend. Thanks everyone!

At the beginning of the session we did an overview of the current content creation status in the WSUWP Platform. We walked through the newly deployed Page Builder area to show off the new functionality and discussed some of the work that can be done through the customizer. We also highlighted the framework that exists behind the Spine as it is becoming much easier to visualize in combination with the Page Builder. I think this will continue to be a focus over time as we introduce new features to this and other platforms. The possibilities for the content created throughout the University are pretty amazing!

Topics discussed and bugs found

WSUWP Platform: Talked a bit about how the Javascript and CSS editors inside the dashboard could be used together to do some pretty cool stuff with the theme. The CSS Editor is already available in production, the Javascript editor is forthcoming. We want to make sure these are handled properly on the site level, with a possible option to add common CSS and Javascript at the network level.

WSU Spine / Spine Parent Theme: How will galleries and slideshows work? We’ll have some good defaults in place soon. At the minimum, a gallery of images will be displayed with a nice modal interaction to view each of the images. The best method for prepping these into a slideshow will need to be worked out over time. There are also opportunities to handle this all with custom Javascript and CSS, but it will be nice to have a clean solution for everyone.

Spine Parent Theme: We briefly discussed what the default template should be. Right now the Builder Template appears when a new page is created. It may make more sense to show a standard page layout. We’ll also want to revisit some of the existing page templates now that the builder is available as they may not be necessary.

Spine Parent Theme: Through some of the discussion during lab hours and some after, it’s apparent that we can probably do a few things to make custom header graphics easier to implement now that the page builder is available. We’ll explore adding a header section that can be customized accordingly.

WSUWP Platform: Upload settings should be set to 50MB by default. The default site level setting was currently 1.5MB, which is way too low. This is actually a setting that could be changed at each individual network level, but it does make more sense to have that as a global setting. #132 will make its way to production early next week to resolve this.

WSUWP Platform: XLS should be allowed by default. This is also a network level setting that should be controlled globally. Also in #132, due early next week, we’ll be adding XLS, DOC, PSD, AI, EPS, and ZIP files. This is very much subject to change over time, mostly for security reasons.

WSUWP Platform / Spine Parent Theme: How will comments be handled? There seems to be a general agreement that comments should be available, though disabled by default. We want to avoid using a comment service such as Disqus or Facebook. We should look into a university license for Akismet. We’ll need to work within the spine parent theme to handle the display of comment forms. I’ve opened issue #38 on the parent theme and #133 on the WSUWP Platform to track this.

WSUWP Platform: Useless new user emails with passwords are still going out. We’ll be working on making the user process much better in the near future. Emails should be relevant and it should be easier to ensure that users added are valid users on the WSU network.

We almost talked about labs.wsu this week, but then I missed it. I’ll make sure that this is brought up in next week’s session as I’d like to continue spreading the word on that initiative.

Thanks again to everyone who attended. Everyone is welcome to come hang out next Friday!

May 16th Open Lab Recap

We had a great turnout at today’s open lab with 10 total attendees across 6 different colleges and departments. Thanks to everyone for coming!

A projector was brought in this week so that we could demo a few of the things that will be appearing in production soon on the WSUWP Platform. I think that helped not only as a way to demo features but to dynamically walk through some of the questions that came up. In the future there may be some room for prepared slides to walk through various concepts.

Topic discussed and bugs found

Spine Theme / WSUWP Platform: When watching over a shoulder while configuring a site on the platform for the first time, it’s easy to see how the navigation menu area that is currently setup can be confusing. We have spaces for onsite and offsite navigation, but should do a better job by creating default menus that items can be added to. As it stands, menus need to be created first, and that process can be confusing.

WSUWP Platform: The logic controlling authentication needs to be fixed so that a double login is not needed. Right now, when you login for the first time at a site, you are redirected to that site’s network. If this network does not match the site perfectly, another authentication is required to setup the right cookies for access. This should all be handled on the first round. Track this issue on GitHub – #125

WSUWP Platform: We walked through an overview of the page builder that we hope to have in production within the next week. We talked about the concept of building pages as blocks and how this can apply to various sites that are built at the University. There is a lot of excitement around this feature.

WSUWP Platform: Explored some of the basics of TablePress, which is about to be added to the production environment. This will make managing large amounts of tabular data much easier than attempting to do everything in HTML. It also provides some great default features for sorting, searching, and formatting.

WSUWP Platform: Answered some questions about WordPress roles and capabilities, including the specific use of filters for has_cap and map_meta_cap. A couple resources on this topic were shared, including the video below. The slides from that video are a great read on their own. Another great talk that I didn’t remember at the time is Andrew Nacin’s “Current User Can Watch This Talk”, which is also embedded below.

Labs in WordPress: We had a good initial conversation about how a lab could be defined in the context of hosting on the web. Our first labs.wsu site was configured today and I look forward to discussing this in detail with many others in the near future.

See you all next Friday!