Website Training, Maintenance and Changes

Hello, registered WSU website creators. I wanted to give you a peak into the future on these topics:

Routine Maintenance

With the winter shutdown fast approaching, we’re going to need to do a little bit of routine maintenance during that time. This will include breaking and reforming all the links on the whole site. That is, we’ll take all those {{f:13526q345}}-type thingies in the code and turn them into ‘/profiles/group/group/This_Person.php’-type thingies in the code. Then we’ll turn around and go backwards and turn them back into {{f:13526q345}}-type thingies (which are actually called “dependency tags”). And then we will republish the whole site. This will do two things:

  1. It will re-connect pages that are not properly linked to with the dependency tags. If a page or image gets moved, the person moving it will know that there are pages using it where it was and they now need to get republished with the new location. When our site was built last year, it initially was set so that links in the Parameters and Multi-Edit weren’t using dependency tags, so over time as many pages or images have been moved or deleted, there have been no warnings and just an increasing number of errors.
  2. This will highlight broken links and images on our pages. When we run the dependency scan to re-link the files, it will check to see if something is there. If there’s nothing, it will publish “broken link” highlighted next to the bad link. This looks awful, but it’s better than suckering a user into clicking on a dead link.

What you need to do to get ready

  1. Make sure that your pages are checked in. It’s very easy to open a page and leave it “checked out” for months at a time. There is a Gadget called “My Checked-Out Content” that will show you everything you have checked out and let you click on the little lightbulb to check it back in if you aren’t actively working on it. From the directory view, files that you have checked out are highlighted in yellow and can be checked in by clicking on the lightbulb, but it will only show you files in that directory. The purpose of this is to simply make sure that your pages are actually OK to be published. IF they are not, see step two.
  2. If you have a page that you’re working on that you want to make sure it NOT published during this time, send us a message through the form at or at (the site form is far less likely to get lost in the shuffle, however.) It will get published anyway, but we can go back and revert or unpublish any files we know about.

We will send out a notice the day before we do this.

Web Trainings

We’ve got the schedule filled out through February, and note that we’ve switched up the the days and times to more broadly cover people’s availability. (Also, the schedule display has been updated to display the training times.)

As always, feel free to review the training videos at any time. They are, unlike this email, brief and to the point.

Design Changes

There have been some design changes that you probably haven’t noticed and will be some minor design changes coming in the near future that are mostly little tweaks. We are more or less perpetually refining things, but we don’t always make a big deal about it. An upcoming one you MAY notice, depending on your attention to detail. The “In This Section” menu will have its spinning triangle replaced with a spinning "hamburger.” The “hamburger” icon — three horizontal lines — is universally recognized as a menu icon. The triangle … well, it was trying to be directional and imply that you could move it, but it doesn’t really communicate the menu nature of what’s going on in that spot. So, we’re swapping it out. It’s a little thing — four letters of code — but it also is a big thing because it requires republishing the entire site. See Routine Maintenance above.

Other changes are, at the time of this writing, also likely to happen over the break, but they are a little more experimental. They will be noticeable when they happen. They may happen at the same republishing time or we may need to republish again towards the end of the break — or we might not need to republish at all. It just depends on how we ultimately build them.

Feature Improvements

OU Campus — our content management system — is scheduled to upgrade to version 10.15 on Friday, Dec. 12 (next Friday). It’s mostly a bug fix, but it will also EVENTUALLY add the ability to do file uploads in the forms that OU builds. We probably won’t have that feature right away as it requires some additional configurations on the backend that we won’t have set up. But it will be coming in the near future.

Unrelated to the OU changes, we will also soon have an improved campus directory on the main website. There will be pages for both faculty/staff people and departments. The people will be pulling from Banner data; the departments will be pulling from a semi-curated list. We’re still working on the details of this project, too, but it will happen soon.

You can sneak-peak the Faculty & Staff directory here. This is a working search of 3000 faculty and staff (the data is from almost two years ago, so don’t get excited if people are missing or included who shouldn’t be or numbers are wrong or whatever). If you take a peak and it’s broken, well, it is on “www-test” and as such is likely to be in flux at any given time. This will also integrate with the Profiles by matching up the email address in the directory with one in a profile and providing a direct link to the profile, if one is created for that person.