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Web Communication WSU Spine 1.4.3 Released

WSU Spine 1.4.3 Released

The latest version of the WSU Spine framework has been released as 1.4.3.

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 server. A full explanation of the hosted repository is in the project’s readme file.

Here’s a recap of the changes from this release.


  • Adjust Spine colors for various themes and nav elements. See #353 for the discussion and #381
  • Allow multiple nav sections to be open at the same time in the Spine. See #367
  • Allow the current nav section to be toggled closed. See #386
  • Several adjustments to test HTML markup to help better describe expected conditions of the Spine.

Bug Fixes

  • Only apply box shadow to #glue on .spine-mobile-open. See #374
  • Remove spine-mobile-open from html on resize to full screen. See #375
  • Apply a max width of 100% to figure. See #382
  • Allow other HTML tags inside anchor elements in the Spine navigation. See #385

If you run into any issues with the Spine or have suggestions, please feel free to open a new issue on the GitHub repository, stop by Open Labs on Friday morning, or bring it up on the WSU Web Slack.

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.

Open Lab in Spokane on May 4

The web team will be making a trip up to Spokane on Wednesday, May 4th for another open labs session. Stop by PBS 118 from 10am to 12pm or SAC 313 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm and join the fun. Bring any web related questions, we’ll bring a thing or two to talk about as well.

See you there!


Heads up – previous generation template outage

Just a heads up for everyone –

On Monday, April 18, 2016 there will be a short outage of the previous generation template. All sites that use templates from will be affected. IT will start work on a server starting at 7:30 am, and the outage should only take 10-20 minutes.

This will not affect any site using the current Spine template.


Spine Parent Theme 0.26.2 Released

Version 0.26.2 of the Spine Parent Theme has been released and deployed to the WSUWP Platform. We released 0.26.1 last week with one change that is included in the enhancements list below. Enjoy!

Bug Fixes

  • Remove some over-bearing flexbox rules from slideshow content styles. This solved a content issue, but also created some bugs for those who had already styled their slideshow content.


  • Adjust the Twitter share text to only be the post/page title and not the full HTML title of the document. This makes sharing more comfortable and less likely to overrun the 140 character limit.
  • When naming a section through its configuration, show the title immediately in the builder interface rather than waiting until after the page is saved.
  • Process mobile section background images properly on page load when the window width is less than 792px. Mobile section background images can be added through the section configuration. These should ideally be much smaller in size to enabled speedier loading on mobile devices.
  • Section deletion confirmations! Now it’s less easy to accidentally delete a section from the page builder interface.

Spine Changes

  • Deprecate lightest, lighter, gray, and darkest color selections for the Spine. If you have already selected one of these colors, it will remain. If not, these will no longer be available. We would suggest switching to one of the supported color options—White, Dark, Darker, and Crimson.
  • Change the naming of “Default (white)” to “White” to put less stress on it being a default. It’s actually a really great option.

WSU Spine 1.4.1 Released

The latest version of the WSU Spine framework has been released as 1.4.1.

An initial release with the most major changes went out as 1.4.0 and then a bug fix went out about an hour later to correct a regression.

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 updates like this, we recommend using the latest version of the Spine from the centrally hosted server. A full explanation of the hosted repository is in the project’s readme file.

Please visit the WSU Spine 1.4.0 release notes for a list of all changes made in this release.

Spine 1.4.0 Release Notes

As promised a week and a half ago, a new version of the Spine is pending release. We were originally hoping to get it out the door last Wednesday, but decided to let it soak a bit longer. We’re now looking at deploying the new version in the morning on Wednesday, March 30th.

In the meantime, check out the changes included with that new release below. We’ll send out another notification when the release is actually deployed.


This release refactors how the Spine is handled on mobile devices. Previously, we shared the logic used on larger views for calculating the heights of and resizing #glue and main as the browser resized or the document scrolled. Not using aposition: fixed header had a tendency to cause issues when scrolling through the menu on both iOS and Android devices. Android devices had troubles scrolling at all.

We now move elements in the DOM around a bit when a mobile view is detected. The Spine’s header becomes a fixed element at the top of the screen. The #glue is moved into its own #scroll element that is allowed to scroll separately from the document as a whole. The navigation appears and disappears smoothly and is much more useable on iOS and Android devices.

This is all handled in JavaScript, yet significantly reduces the amount of Spine JavaScript necessary on mobile devices. No change in markup is necessary on individual pages, it will just work.

See #314, #318, #332, #333, #334, and #337 for the majority of mobile related changes.

Framework Fixes

  • Treat mobile navigation the same in Fluid, Hybrid, and Fixed grid layouts. 990px is the mark at which we show mobile navigation. See #338.
  • Refactor how #glue positioning is handled on scroll. This fixes a bug where the navigation could appear jumpy at certain spots depending on the size of the document and the size of the window. See #342.
  • Along with that, simplify how min-height is calculated for main. See #343.
  • Calculate the height of the area exposed by the Spine action links based on window, not main so that things don’t disappear in a strange way. See #341.
  • Improve the focus state of Spine action items. Previously they would get lost if navigated through by keyboard. See#340.
  • Provide explicit button types for button elements added to the DOM by the Spine. See #347.
  • Remove a line-height: 1em rule applied to figcaption that squashed text in captions.
  • Simplify and document scripting to add active, dogeared to nav. See #328.


  • Remove unused implementation of Spine analytics in favor of jTrack. See #326.
  • Remove the dump function that was provided to aid in code debugging. This was not in use anywhere in the Spine. See #327.
  • Remove a series of unused SVG assets. See #325.
  • Remove our custom Open Sans fonts. This font should be loaded via Google’s CDN instead. See #309.

Development Changes

  • Apply an initial JSCS configuration based on the jQuery style guide. All JavaScript code must now conform to these standards. See #348.
  • Introduce CSS linting. The configuration file explains this best.
  • Use PostCSS to apply vendor prefixes. See the configuration file.
  • Replace the Ruby based grunt-contrib-sass with the much faster grunt-sass. See #322.
  • Revisit and clarify JSHint rules. See #335.

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 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.


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.


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

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.