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Web Communication Release Notes

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.

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.

Spine Parent Theme 0.26.0 Released

Version 0.26.0 of the Spine Parent Theme has been released and deployed to the WSUWP Platform. This is actually the 22nd release since the announcement of 0.22.0. 😅

As mentioned then, we’re still working on the workflow for release posts. Often the changes are very small and incremental, though it’s best to get the info out there.

Here are all the notable changes since that last announcement.

  • New: Apply improved default styling for content on top of slideshow and banner sections added with the page builder.
  • New: Apply improved default styling for galleries. Specifically, these now respect the columns setting.
  • New: Remove an extra space when generating a page’s HTML title.
  • New: Consolidate a large amount of admin CSS and clean up the page builder interface styles.
  • Add a default print stylesheet. We hid the print action from the Spine on the platform a while ago, disabling the JavaScript previously used to print. This default print stylesheet makes the experience nicer for those who choose to print with their browser. (0.25.3)
  • Provide the option to assign background images to columns in the page builder interface. (0.25.2)
  • Use the site’s configured Twitter handle when sharing through the article’s header or footer area. Previously this was set to @wsupullman. (0.25.2)
  • Include a parts/share-tool.php template for use when overriding the share tool area on individual articles in child themes. (0.25.2)
  • The default secondary color when using the Bookmark styles is now Criimson. (0.25.1)
  • Merge the default WordPress “Site Identity” and Spine “Main Header” sections in the Customizer. This may be confusing for a bit as we figure out the best way to show this information. (0.25.0)
  • Set Open Sans as the default font family for new sites. (0.25.0)
  • Set the default Spine grid style to fluid for new sites. (0.25.0)
  • Set the default page template to Builder Template for new sites. (0.25.0)
  • Allow author pages to be disabled through Advanced in the Customizer. (0.24.2)
  • Remove the print icon from the Spine header and style remaining icons to fit. (0.24.0)
  • Provide social sharing icons on single post content, controllable via the Customizer. (0.24.0)
  • Clear floating elements above .article-footer. (0.24.0)
  • Deprecate the “light” and “vellum” color variants for the Spine in the Customizer. (0.23.4)
  • Fix an issue where the “Bleed left” option was set true by default. (0.23.3)
  • Add support for slide titles in the page builder. (0.23.2)
  • Allow for the positioning of featured images when used as backgrounds. (0.23.0)
  • Apply a default style to dd and dt elements in Events Calendar Pro. (0.22.6)
  • Allow for custom post types to support the page builder interface. (0.22.4)
  • Provide the X-UA-Compatible meta tag with a value of IE=EDGE in HTML to try and force new versions of IE out of compatibility mode.

Well then. Here’s to a shorter release list next time! 👋