Permalink 05:31:21 pm, by mholmes, 21 words, 184 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 40

Hums site update for new Dean

At AS's request, updated the People page on the Hums site to account for changes in personnel in the Dean's office.


Permalink 12:41:25 pm, by sarneil, 137 words, 481 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 180

illegal character in rss feed from uvic events calendar

Determined after a couple of hours of testing that a posting in the uvic events calendar contains the control character 0016 (synchronous idle). The constructor for the RSSReader in the hums site reads that in to a string and then attempts to parse the string into an XML structure. The parsing fails so the php process fails so the user sees an empty white page.

I added a line of code to the constructor which strips out all control characters (except carriage return and line feed) after the string is read in, but before it is parsed into XML. That seems to have solved the problem.

I wrote to Dave Wolowicz and suggested that the Rss output from the events calendar should be stripped of control characters that XML doesn't support before being shipped out to the client.


Permalink 02:25:57 pm, by sarneil, 114 words, 487 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 90

Web coordinators meeting Feb 11

Jes is creating a website all about creating Cascade websites at UVic www.uvic.ca:8080/communicationsmarketing/websites. It's not complete yet. Cathie is going to offer support for "writing for the web" based on the model used for cascade support (namely, once a month instructional session and once a week drop-in session. Details coming by end of month at http://www.uvic.ca:8080/communicationsmarketing/websites/home/training Their suggestions for writing style: - assume document is being scanned rather then read closely - each session is a conversation initiated by user, write accordingly - read-able.com is a site to test the reading level of your page, they suggest grade 8 for general audience pages


Permalink 09:09:09 am, by sarneil, 194 words, 512 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 300

engl : state of current site

The current English department site is dependent on a content management system. The people in the department I've talked with find the system brittle and fragile, so are unwilling to make substantial modifications as they fear bringing the entire department site down. I haven't used the system myself.

They want a new section in their site dedicated to featuring specific course offerings. They are not confident they can add this to their current site. They have decided to create a word-press instance within their current account to accommodate the "featured courses" stuff while they are building their new cascade site.

So we temporarily have an unconventional situation of a proprietary website infrastructure which has a word-press instance stuffed into a folder in the middle of the site.

I made a backup of the site as it existed before adding the WP folder, just for safekeeping. I assisted MH (post-doc) in getting the WP instance set up and configured. In a couple of weeks of use, there have been no collisions or corruptions of the proprietary CMS or the WP instance, so it looks like this setup will survive until replaced by the Cascade site.

Permalink 09:01:27 am, by sarneil, 125 words, 533 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 90

dean's expectations of features to emphasize in humanities cascade sites

Met with the dean to go over content features he wants explicitly covered in each department site:
- value of humanities/field of study
- career possibilities
- 'how to apply' as clear and simple as possible
- community outreach/public events
Individual departments may include these features and access to them as they wish (navigational structure, feature buttons, tertiary).
These expectations are in addition to the standard ones of providing information primarily to students (potential and current), secondarily to others.

Treatment of required content (courses, programs, faculty, research areas, resources, etc.) is up to department, but expects to see either Grad Student / Undergrad Student or Future Student / Current Student as primaries with appropriate subprimaries (i.e. current/future or grad/undergrad respectively) below that.

Permalink 08:54:54 am, by sarneil, 146 words, 542 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 360

engl : summary of work done to create site plan

KB of English has been designated the contact person for the migration of their website to Cascade. Current site is in a unique situation (documented in separate post).
Met with KB a couple of times to go over expectations and workflow. He used Economics as a model site. On my suggestion he also looked at other Humanities sites for possible treatments and to ensure he included in the design features the dean of humanities wants explicitly covered:
- value of humanities/field of study
- career possibilities
- 'how to apply' as clear and simple as possible
- community outreach/public events

He's submitted a spreadsheet which Judy and I reworked (added some subprimaries to make some of the secondary lists shorter, and more consistent with other humanities departments). KB looked the revised spreadsheet over and is now formally reviewing it with the English dept committee.


Permalink 11:23:45 am, by sarneil, 76 words, 670 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 180

hisp : help Judy on new dept site

Judy did the undergrad section of this site before Christmas. Got feedback from DR on content in that section, plus structural changes to other sections (generally simplifying the structure with few pages covering wider audiences rather than having a number of pages with a lot of duplicate information each targeted at a specific audience). Helped Judy figure out renaming conventions, reorganizing of content from larger number of previous pages to smaller number of new pages, etc.


Permalink 03:49:50 pm, by sarneil, 191 words, 610 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 240

hisp : plan for current and new site

After discussion with Martin on managing requests to maintain current hispital site and on Judy on the status of the new Cascade site, met with Judy and DR to work out a plan. DR will limit requests to upgrade current site to minimum. Judy will copy and paste content from existing site into Cascade structure (which we've already built), for Dan to edit, and will note where content is missing or duplicated. DR will then provide missing content and resolve duplications (as needed). Judy and DR to sort out exactly who will do what kind of edits.

Judy migrated the biggest section (undergraduate) for DR to review while Judy is away the last two weeks of the calendar year.

I helped her with rewriting some of the relative links (some of which were relative to pwd and some of which were relative to root of site - neither of which of course were any good in the new environment). Also had to rewrite relative links to old exams, exercises etc. as absolute links as the new site will not be on the save server as the collection of exams, exercises, etc.

Permalink 03:42:30 pm, by sarneil, 63 words, 629 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 60

medi : add Stories of Gold stuff to dept site

MM sent a request to shuffle content out of the medi-online page to a resources at other places page, which I did (involved, of course, fiddling with the famously fragile navigation scheme in one css and two js files). Added some new content to the medi online page to replace the stuff that had been transferred to the resources at other pages page.


Permalink 11:39:36 am, by sarneil, 134 words, 605 views   English (CA)
Categories: Activity log; Mins. worked: 120

medi : update navigation

Reorganized the items and subitems (renaming, shuffling of order) in the nav system on the dept site. Notoriously tricky to do because of the interactions between the css for the shields and the javascript array that contains the information used to generate the cells containing the shields.

Whole thing is brittle: the last main item must not contain any subitems or the whole thing fails. If you add a seventh shield to the home page, it's almost impossible to get the right-most one to not be cropped.

Also there is a duplicate js structure for the navigation for all other pages on the site, so had to modify that.
Finally, for those subitems I put in new main menus, I had to edit the link to the image in the html for those pages.

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Update of Humanities Sites

This blog is for work done creating and major updating of departmental and similar sites. Routine text edits etc. are logged in the Depts blog.


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