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Another tasty menu update

Here’s a little pre-weekend prezzie for all site managers! We just rolled out a small back-end menu update that should make site maintenance a little easier for you: you now have the ability to switch your main navigation from horizontal to vertical and vice versa.

In the past, site managers who have wished to change their menu formatting had to send a request to the Service Desk. Applying the change is now as simple as ticking a checkbox in your site admin.

menuTo change your main menu:

  1. Sign into your site admin
  2. Go to Configuration > Site Settings
  3. Select or deselect the Horizontal Navigation checkbox under General settings
  4. Click the Save configuration button at the bottom of the page

The horizontal menu is now the default menu for newly created sites. No more having to send an additional request to have your horizontal menu activated when creating new sites!

When formatting your menus, please keep in mind that horizontal menus have less space for top-level parent items. The number and length of parent items should be carefully considered to ensure all menu items will be visible in the menu bar.

Related links:

Iteration I77

Iteration 77 will run from June 30th until July 22nd. Work undertaken includes:

summary

type

priority

milestone

storypoints

status

eCal: Course sets missing from programs on /study/2016-2017

bug

highest

E-calendar 7.3

2

closed

db servers over capacity

bug

highest

3

closed

Translation of block titles and block content unavailable

enhancement/new feature

high

Translation 7.1

3

closed

migrate /channels to D7

bug

high

D7 – Data Migration

3

backlog

Replace Study top search bar – currently presenting error

bug

high

E-Calendar 7.2

1

closed

[Events] Attachment titles

enhancement/new feature

high

Events display 7.1

1

closed

Nursing program content missing from eCal 2016-2017

support task

high

E-calendar 7.3

2

closed

Adjust placement of blue line in org chart

enhancement/new feature

high

Custom modules 7.1

1

closed

Important Dates filters fail for Term and Faculty/School

bug

high

Custom modules 7.1

1

closed

List block: Allow site managers to select files from the Library for Documents

bug

medium

Block templates

2

closed

Dashboard: Intial setup

enhancement/new feature

medium

Dashboard 1.0

2

closed

Dashboard: Site analytics

enhancement/new feature

medium

Dashboard 1.0

3

closed

Statement blocks mis-aligned when title field previously populated

bug

medium

Block templates

1

removed

Map LDAP for new AD group to /mpcl

support task

medium

Site Management 7.1

2

closed

Campaign tracker code inaccessible to anonymous users

bug

medium

Blocks & Slideshows 7.1

1

closed

List Block: full-width blocks display body content below image

bug

medium

Block templates

2

closed

Overlapping Statement blocks on french pages

bug

low

Block templates

0.5

closed

Re-style ‘Notes from the Lab’ section on the /headway home page

enhancement/new feature

low

WordPress 3.0

2

removed

 

 

I49

Iteration 49 will run from Sept 22th until Oct 10th.

Work undertaken includes:

  • Maps deployment
  • Profiles testing
  • Site migration
  • Converting HR modules d6 to d7
  • Improve homepage search
  • Newsroom upgrade for D7
  • Site migrations

I48

Iteration 48 will run from Sept 2th until Sept 19th.

 

Work undertaken includes:

  • Maps deployment
  • Tools for upgrading profiles
  • Improve homepage search
  • Deploy GSA Onebox
  • Twitter on wordpress
  • Newsroom upgrade for D7
  • Site migrations
  • Migration tools for custom content
  • Translation server : Channels

New toolbar on all McGill.ca pages

How many clicks does it take you to check your email from any McGill website? We at CCS have been working on a solution which will make it a one click situation.

The Pinned Access bar has been on our radar for sometime — it’s embarrassing to write how long. We asked the question, how can our 107,517 recurring daily visitors access the most popular tools such as webmail quickly without resorting to a time-consuming series of clicks?

Our answer was to group the most visited tools and encourage you to tack them to the top of the screen. The Pinned Access Bar is a simple solution that has been visible on the homepage, but now will follow you around when visiting other McGill.ca properties. We think this addition will save you valuable time accessing daily tools like email and myCourses.

The CCS webteam initiatives sometimes take longer to push forward. Servicing client request and making large scale system deployments usually take up the bulk of our time. However, it’s gratifying when we can push innovative and fun tools like this forward too. We feel its important to provide a friendly experience on any device, easy access to common tools and a regular feedback process where we can sit down, face to face, with students and faculty and see what needs improvement. If you see us out there with a box of coffee and a laptop, stop by and say hello and share your thoughts to help us improve your McGill web experience.

Iteration 14

We’ve just embarked on Iteration 14 which will focus on the new Channels system  as well as the News Room site.  Iteration 14 will run for three weeks from July 16th through to August 1st.

Work underway this iteration includes:

  • UI and backend work related to the upcoming release of the new McGill Channels system.
  • Adjustments to revision handling in eCal system.
  • An update to our blogs.mcgill.ca WordPress theme.
  • Data migration related to an upcoming restructuring of the /gps and  /applying sites.
  • A social media book marking block.
  • A redesign of the HR home page to make it appropriately semantic and accessible.

Iteration 13: Update

Iteration 13 ran from June 14th through to July 11th.

It was a four week iteration the focused primarily on addressing a few remaining issues with the Channels system.  The following work was undertaken and completed in I13:

  • UI and backend work related to the upcoming release of the new McGill Channels system including:
    • Date presentation
    • Location presentation
    • Display of channels archives on the new /channels site
    • Improved handling for all day events
  • Bugs and data migration related to the eCal system.
  • A bug with the megamenu system preventing block configuration from working properly.
  • Code review for our parters in Libraries and ISR.
  • Data migration related to an the restructuring of the HR site.
  • Data export for Important Dates

A total of 86 story points worth of work was completed in Iteration 13.

Iteration 13

We’ve just embarked on Iteration 13 which will focus on the Channels system and run four weeks from June 14th through to July 11th.

Work underway this iteration includes:

  • UI and backend work related to the upcoming release of the new McGill Channels system.
  • Bugs and data migration related to the eCal system.
  • Bugs related to the display of varsity sports and news content on the new Athletics site.
  • Code review for our parters in Libraries.
  • Data migration related to an upcoming restructuring of the HR site.
  • Internationalization of the site manager feedback form.

Iteration 12: Update

Iteration 12 ran from May 22nd through to June 13th.

It was a four week iteration the focused primarily on addressing a few remaining issues with the Channels system.  The following work was undertaken and completed in I12:

  • UI and backend work related to the upcoming release of the new McGill Channels system.
  • Communication preparations for the upcoming Channels switchover.
  • Issues with intermittent Javascript errors occurring on all WMS sites.
  • Presentation of newsroom news data in the new channels system.
  • An upgrade to Drupal’s Drush command line interface.
  • Investigation of duplicate Google Analytics tracking codes on WMS sites.
  • CSS bug that causes unusual tight-hand-side presentation on resized browsers.
  • A number of small bugs related to the eCal system.
  • Custom display of Athletics hall of fame data in preparation for Athletics go live.
  • Deployment of Site Manager feedback form on all WMS sites.
  • Code review of modules submitted by our partners in ISR.
  • Creation of wireframes for upcoming McGill Profiles results display work.
While progress was made on some of the following issues, they were not closed and have been push forward to future iterations.  Many of these items were pushed out of I12 to accomodate newly discovered issues related to the Channels system:
  • Custom presentation of important dates events data in the new channels system.
  • Issues with thumbnail images occasionally failing to load on McGill home pages.
  • Usability testing and possible deployment of revisions to home page navigation.
  • The integration of all WMS sites with a single internationalization server.
  • The deployment of an internationalized interface for Student Accounts tuition fee table information.
A total of 103 story points worth of work was completed in Iteration 12.

Lucene Revolution

I’ve just returned from Boston where I spent a few days at the Lucene Revolution conference. I attended the conference because we’ve been using Apache Solr for a couple of years now at McGill. Solr is a search engine sitting on top of the Apache Lucene library. Currently we’re using Solr for local search on each of our WMS sites, and more extensively on the course calendar site for searching programs, courses and faculty information. Eventually we would like Solr to meet all our search needs.

I learned a lot at the conference, including:

  • We’re on the right track with our Solr installation, but:
    • We need to upgrade to the latest stable version (happening soon).
    • We need to load balance our search servers properly so indexing goes to one server while searching is done from another.
    • The load balancing means we need to set up proper replication (also happening soon).
  • Solr could be doing so much more for us, like:
    • Full global crawl and search using something like Nutch on top of Solr to do the crawling.
    • BI data processing, along with the Hadoop stack.
    • Specialized search services such as channels, classifieds, and other data collections around campus.
    • Library collection data processing.
  • Other people are doing some very interesting things with Solr:
    • The Library of Alexandria uses Solr to index full contents of thousands of their manuscripts and books in five different languages.
    • UCLA is using Solr to process data retrieved from all TV news broadcasts for the past few years as part of their communications studies program.
    • A few people are using Solr to index Wikipedia content in various different ways.
    • The Internet Archive (aka The Wayback Machine) uses Solr to index their seven petabytes of archive data.
    • Solr is being used to process social networking feeds in real time, using machine learning to add value to the data.

There was a lot of talk about Hadoop at the conference, which is another open source project by Apache. Hadoop allows large scale distributed processing of data, so that extremely large datasets can be processed across many servers quicky and efficiently. We don’t currently have a good use case at McGill for using something like Hadoop, but the BI initiatives currently underway in IT Services could look at it for deep processing of our enterprise data, and our global search needs may become complex enough to warrant that kind of scale.

 

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