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A new taxonomy interface

In an effort to provide a better experience when managing taxonomy terms for posts, we have consolidated the multiple taxonomy meta boxes into one easy-to-use interface.

Rather a complete departure from the default experience, the new interface leverages the Select2 library to simplify and enhance it. Each taxonomy is represented by a single input. Clicking or focusing on a given input will provide the complete list of terms for that taxonomy. The terms can also be searched by simply typing in keywords. Both of these features are exemplified below:

An animated screenshot showing an example of the search support.
Too many terms to scroll through? Just start typing to search!

The process for adding new terms to a taxonomy is largely the same as it was previously. For hierarchical taxonomies like Site Categories, click the “+ Add New Category” text and use the small form that pops up to add the new term. For non-hierarchical taxonomies – like Tags – simply type in the new term followed by a comma. While it may seem strange that the process is different depending on the taxonomy type, there are technical reasons for the differences (one being that Categories and other hierarchical taxonomy terms can theoretically contain commas). Aside from those reasons, keeping the two different processes seemed to make more sense than introducing something new and unfamiliar.

A screenshot showing how to add new terms.
Adding new categories or tags will be familiar to those who are used to the old interface.

For the developers out there interested in including their custom taxonomies in this interface, or using it on custom post types, the
wsuwp_taxonomy_metabox_taxonomies
and
wsuwp_taxonomy_metabox_post_types
filters, respectively, are provided for doing just that. The use of these filters will be documented soon!

Edit CSS updated with new features on WSUWP

Version 2.2.0 of WSUWP Custom CSS has been released and deployed to the WordPress platform at WSU.

This release contains a handful of things that may be interesting to anyone spending time editing CSS on their site.

Edit CSS now supports easy saving via AJAX. Rather than click “Save Stylesheet” every time you have a change to save, you can use CMD-s or CTRL-s on your keyboard. A message will briefly show at the top of the screen showing the progress of the save and then you’ll be able to continue working.

Support for full screen editing is also available. Hit ESC on the keyboard whenever the cursor is focused on the Edit CSS window and the code editor will fill the browser window. AJAX saving with CMD-s and CTRL-s works in this view as well.

Thanks to Nate Owen for both of those changes!

Also of note:

  • The CSS preprocessor settings have been removed. These never actually worked in our implementation, so now the clutter is gone. 🙂
  • The font-feature-settings property is now supported.
  • Multiple display properties are supported in a single CSS rule.

Enjoy the changes. If you have any requests for missing properties or new features, please open an issue on GitHub, stop by a weekly open lab, or leave a note in the WSU Web Slack.

Managing editorial access for pages on WordPress at WSU

In a default WordPress installation, users with a role of Author, Contributor, or Subscriber have varying levels of access to posts, but do not have access to create or edit pages. Users with a role of Editor or Administrator have full access to both.

At WSU, pages are frequently more useful than posts for managing large amounts of content on a site. We have made a few adjustments to the Author and Contributor roles so that more users have access to pages without having the full set of capabilities associated with the Editor or Administrator roles.

New Pages

Authors and Contributors can create new pages by default, but must submit them for review before they are published. An Editor or Administrator can review the content and then publish when ready. As long as the page has not been published, the creating Author or Contributor can continue to edit the page and resubmit for review.

Editors and Administrators can always create and publish new pages.

Existing Pages

Authors and Contributors are not able to edit existing pages by default, even if they are assigned as the page author.

If the administrator for the site enables the Editorial Access Manager plugin, which is available for all sites on the WSU platform, Authors and Contributors can be assigned as editors for the page by either role or user. Once assigned as an editor for a page, Authors and Contributors are able to edit all parts of the page and publish their changes at will.

If you have any questions about access to pages and posts by any of the user roles, please feel free to stop by open lab on Friday mornings or in the WSU Web Slack team at any time.

New WordPress Plugin: WSUWP Content Visibility

Management of page visibility has long been on the list of features in progress for WordPress at WSU. Today, the WSUWP Content Visibility plugin is available for activation on your site!

WSUWP Content Visibility is a WordPress plugin used to control the visibility of content for groups of authenticated visitors. The interface for managing the visibility of content is built into the Publish area of a page or post.

Four groups are provided by default:

  • Members of this site include anyone that appears in your site’s list of users. They can be subscribers, authors, editors, or administrators.
  • WSU Network ID (NID) includes anyone that has a valid WSU NID. They do not have to be members of the specific site.
  • WSU Students includes anyone that has a WSU NID and is a student.
  • WSU Employees includes anyone that has a WSU NID and is an employee.

If a non-authenticated user arrives on a page restricted by WSUWP Content Visibility, the user will be redirected to a login screen. If an authenticated user arrives on a page and is not a member of an assigned group, that user will be redirected to the home page.

For more details, check out the plugin documentation. If you have any questions or run into issues, please stop by open lab, join our Slack team, or open an issue on the GitHub repository.

Releases: WSUWP Platform 1.4.0, WordPress 4.4.2

WordPress 4.4.2 was released yesterday 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 4.5 is scheduled for April.

What follows here is the full release information for WSUWP Platform 1.4.0, from our open source project on GitHub.

This is the thirty-third production release of our open source WSUWP Platform project. The official tag of this release is 1.4.0.

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

Enhancements

  • Upgrade WordPress 4.4.2
  • Allow network admins to promote users of their network to network admins.
  • Search site URL as well as site name in each network’s quick search under My Networks.
  • Enable zip file uploads for all sites. “Extended” networks are no longer used.

Bugs

  • Clear the wsuwp:site cache key for a domain/path when a site is deleted.
  • Ensure the “View” link is consistently places in the admin header when editing a post/page.
  • Fix logic to determine if My Networks menu should be shown. Users of multiple networks will now see My Networks.
  • Fix mistyped branch used for provisioning in Vagrantfile.

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!

Releases: WSUWP Platform 1.2.0, WordPress 4.1.1

WordPress 4.1.1 was released today and the WSUWP Platform was immediately updated to match. There are no big changes in WordPress as this is only a maintenance release. 4.2 is slated for April.

While we have deployed several versions of the platform into production over the last couple months, this is the first official release in a bit. What follows here is the full release information from the open source project on GitHub.

This is the eighth production release of the WSUWP Platform. There have been 10 deployments to the WSU production environment since the last release. The official tag of this release is 1.2.0.

A full changelog is available. Here are some notes:

Enhancements

  • Updates to WordPress 4.1, then 4.1.1.
  • Upload limit is now 200MB, added .eps as an allowed filetype.
  • Initial steps at an enhanced “My Networks” screen.
  • Make new site creation a bit more friendly.

Bugs

  • Resolve PHP errors where a screen type was being checked before we knew a screen was there.
  • Clear domain/path request cache on new site creation.
  • Allow the extended network option to be set when editing a network.
  • Display the correct value for extended network in some cases.
  • Avoid using Batcache for WP Document Revisions

New Plugin: Duplicate and Merge Posts

One of the most requested features for the WSUWP Platform has been the ability to work on a draft of an existing post over time without saved changes overwriting the original until it was ready. There are several options out there for WordPress that meet various workflow requirements, but it was the Duplicate and Merge Posts plugin that seemed to fit the average workflow the best—and it works.

As of today, you’ll see this plugin in your dashboard available for activation. Once activated, any saved posts or pages will have an option to Duplicate and Edit the item.

Duplicate and Edit
Duplicate and Edit

Clicking this button will create a copy of the post or page with “[Duplicated]” in front of the title. A new series of options will then be available in the Publish box for Go to original post, View Side-by-side difference, Merge back to Original Post, and Save as New Post. You can probably imagine what each one of these does, though we’ll have expanded documentation up shortly.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 3.28.24 PM

Merging back to the original post is key. This overwrites the original post or page with the content of the duplicated item. An entirely new home page can be built out in secret and then merged back in when you are ready to launch.

If you go to Settings -> Duplicate & Merge in the dashboard, you’ll see options to restrict the capability for duplicating and merging posts to certain roles. In the future we’ll enable the ability to submit items for review, we just need to figure out the right workflows for that.

We’re excited about this plugin as it solves one of the key questions we’ve been asked since starting our effort to bring everyone to WordPress. It is a new addition, so please let us know if you see anything that looks like a bug or if there’s a feature you’d like to see.

WSUWP Platform upgraded to WordPress 4.1

WordPress 4.1 “Dinah”, named for jazz-singer Dinah Washington, was released today. Around 10:30am, the central platform server was updated to coincide with the release. This was a very smooth cycle with some great progress and included contributions from a record 283 people!

Many improvements will be unnoticeable on the surface at WSU, as much of the work was done to improve code we will take advantage of while building the platform. Look for those that are missing from the list below on your own personal installations of WordPress as they are pretty fantastic.

Log Out of All Other Sessions

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.05.27 PM Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.06.02 PM

New session tracking will watch for other browser and computer sessions that are using your credentials when logged into the platform. If you are concerned about what other machines are currently logged in, you can check your profile by clicking on your name in the top right. At the bottom of your profile page will be one of the two screenshots above, allowing you to clear all sessions.

In the future this will be expanded to list all of your sessions so that you can see what computers may be logged in.

Just Write

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 3.10.25 PM

As you can see in the screenshot above, the distractions around the post editor have been removed as I write this post. If I’d like access to other options at any point, a move of the mouse outside of the editor will cause the screen to re-fill so that I can save, add categories, or update the post as needed.

This feature is off by default, and can be enabled in many contexts by clicking on the distraction-free writing icon in the upper right of the editor.

A new default theme – Twenty Fifteen

Most of the sites at WSU will be using our Spine Parent Theme to be a part of the overall brand presence. We do have sites being used by students and classes that will now have access to the new default theme—Twenty Fifteen—as part of their suite. As a blogging focused theme, Twenty Fifteen does a great job of allowing you to focus on your content while also offering many customizations to the look and feel on the front end. I’ve been using it on my personal site for months and have been happy thus far!

Feedback

We’re always looking for feedback around the WSUWP Platform, the Spine, and anything else web related. Please reach out over email (jeremy.felt@wsu.edu) if you have any questions. We also have a great open lab session in ITB 2025 every Friday morning from 9:30am-11:30am where we discuss the web at WSU.