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Since Monday 03 October 2005 04:30 pm

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This Week's Tweaks

Thursday 29 April 2010 03:42 pm

posting on Thu as taking Fri off to have a nice long weekend with Mon being a bank holiday and the university closed

Safety records
updated safety records to make the 'options' for each field more consistant. Updated student/staff records to show correct options.

classes/ classes sort
as per previous post, updated to allow for 'preset' headings to be applied. Bug fix in add/remove classes - could not remove all 'off-cluster' classes.

logging update
as per previous post, the inc_functions log function updated to allow for more detailed logging by the file_manager tools - will now track upload, move, copy and delete of files. This will aid us in troubleshooting user issues with file uploads (assignments, class content).

template website
updated to allow for RewriteEngine to make unfriendly "showPage.php?page=blahblah' style url into blahblah.htm (as per SIPBS website).

radiation database
created 'process' list - list of  all functions/forms and reports the new version of the database will have

class rep - news edit
uploaded fix for class rep news editing - was on DEV, but somehow not managed to upload changes made end Jan 10 to LIVE.

file manager
disabled moving submitted assignments to pdp / myfiles. They can still be copied

quizzes
disabled any edits on live quizzes that would break student attempts (e.g. removing questions) or advantage / disadvantage the students who had started (e.g turning off feedback). These changes can be made but the quiz must be taken offline first.

altered the feedback on multiple choice questions hopefully making this easier to understand

widgets
Added a very simple widget for finding buildings on campus using the university map pages and an admin user lookup widget.

 

 

 

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class sort & widget-box

Tuesday 27 April 2010 04:55 pm

updated class sort page to allow users to make use of 'preset' sorts - cluster, year and code/name ordering. This is primarily aimed at departmental admn staff who may have dozens of classes in their list, and will set up an automatic set of cluster-year headings (e.g. bioscience - year 1, bioscience -year 2 etc) to help quickly organise large lists of classes.

 

Widget-box now has a refresh button to fix page stalls encountered by some users

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logging update

Monday 26 April 2010 04:41 pm

log_event function in inc_functions updated to capture file_manager events (upload, move, copy, delete) to make log analysis of file_manager possible.

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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 23 April 2010 04:39 pm

SCRIPT tutor
updated 'tests' tool to allow for archiving of old tests. Updated staff 'class view' of results to account for archives.

assignments
reworked the receipts code so that its easier to add in cc to departmental contact for late assignments (updated myAssignments, file_manager/files)

file name length
updated the max file name length from 39 to 90. Not sure why it was so short (maybe trying to be convervative with database space back in the late 90s?). Updates to db tables (content: link) and include/file_handler and file_manager/config.

class rep polls
the class rep tools have been updated to include class polls. Also update the poll tool to allow for up to 10 options and improved the 'completed polls' page to have filters and date limits.

discussions
'locked' class discussions are now private for those on the class list/ teaching on the class.

PG DB
updated student reports to better indicate month deadlines for each report associated with the student

quizzes
updated quizzes so that cannot make changes to a quiz that impact live/saved/ in-progress quizzes e.g. changing number of questions in a quiz would cause saved quizzes with more/less questions to not reload. Users can no longer remove/add questions or change a quiz format from formal/ self assessment without warning/ confirmation.

bookings tool
now exports to .csv format

widget-bar
tweaks and updates to try and resolve bugs experienced by testers

radiation database v2
created new data structure for v2 db on DEV server. Created use-case docs.

 

 

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UVLE & Portal - latest progress

Wednesday 21 April 2010 03:19 pm

the portal side of the unified VLE has been making steady progress over the last few months. We've visited the University of Edinburgh as well as St. Andrews to see their uPortal installations in action. Edinburgh have a very mature setup, having used uPortal for a number of years to provide portal services to applicants, students, staff, alumni and guests. The portal is strongly embedded into their IT culture, with users and providers alike making extensive use of the system as a platform for communication and information, with an impressive array of 'widgets' available ranging from news feeds, timetabling and VLE through to finance and personal data management. St. Andrews have just launched the student version of their portal and are hoping to build on its success with portals for staff and others. Both institutions have been very helpful, providing us with their insight, expertise and experience of managing their portals.

Taking our lead from these institutions, the portal evaluation group have set up a basic uPortal server so we can evaluate it more fully and try adding 'widgets' of our own.  uPortal appears very flexible, if a bit complex 'under the bonnet' (its been a long time since I've done much with Java and Tomcat, so I've left that to others with more expertise in these technologies in the group), so while they get to grip with the install and configuration, I've been working on content provision, creating a couple of SPIDER widgets.  These allow uPortal to display a user's custom classes and news feeds (click on thumbnail below for a screen shot).

 

Once I had a grasp on how uPortal's widget administration works, I configured these widgets which now work well, pulling live class/news data directly from SPIDER.  Together with the two Michaels, we're planning on creating a widget format (probably based on Atom/RSS) that can combine the data from Moodle (Core VLE) and SPIDER together, so we can present unified "class" and "news" widgets, and potentially many more.  uPortal looks to be a very promising system which should provide a good framework for a portal to both unify the VLE systems and act as a 'front door' to many other university web systems.

see http://support.learnonline.strath.ac.uk/updates/ for the latest on the unified VLE project.

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content file name length

Wednesday 21 April 2010 02:36 pm

updated character length of class files to 90 characters (updated inc_functions/cleanFileName limit to 90 and db content: link from 150 to 300)

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discussion update

Tuesday 20 April 2010 01:03 pm

Class discussion for classes that are 'class list limited' are now also restricted to the students in the class + teaching staff. Previous to this, they were open, which kind of contradicted the notion of the class being restricted.

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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 16 April 2010 04:41 pm

Research admin
fixed a series of bugs in the travel awards application tools (files not uploading at all) and ended up overhauling all the logic in the whole script.

Polls
updated polls to be accesible to class rep users. Testing on DEV server, ready to go I think, but will hold off putting on live until Monday in case any bugs crop up.

Safety/ Radiation
updated Safety tools home page to use tabs - should be a bit easier to use as its now better organised. Moved the Safety Records database out of the Research Admin tools (not sure why it was there...) and updated it to work with standard admin/user access rights.

Started to spec the "radiation database v2". Even put together a Gant chart in MS Project listing the main tasks required.  Initial table design done, will implement on DEV next week and start to recode the main scripts.

Metabolomics
set up a template site for the Metabolomics research group.

Bugs: Class > Category download & Class sort
Fixed bug in category download zip that was missing files with a deactivation date. Fixed bugs in auto-update of classes and myClasses that was messing up when users had headings for their classes. Thanks to nataku for spotting these issues.

Widget bar
the Widget bar (beta) is now on live SPIDER, available as an option in mySettings for the buttons and menus navigation interfaces (not available in classic or text only mode). The widget bar allows you to add a set of up to 5 tabs of widgets that can contain any number of SPIDER based widgets (blog, classes, FAQ, news etc) as well as external widgets (gmail, twitter, digg, facebook, google etc), news feeds (SPIDER, BBC, slashdot) or any external URL/ rss feed that you want to add.

 

 

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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 09 April 2010 03:39 pm

PG DB
minor refinements to last weeks updates. Abstracted some code into functions shared between scripts (staff view of reports), fixed bug in programme/student reports that was mis-saving report due months when deleting reports.

PDP
bug fix in PDP progress (staff view) which was missing out the 'year' of credit gained/ satisfactory progress in 'counsellor view' (was working in class view). Updated the MPharm year 4 reflection and planning extension to display tick/crosses (changed ext_info config to allow for field as well as table matching for completion check).

Navigation options
completed testing/ tweaking of menu navigation. Now on live. Uses CSS to format unordered lists with rollover effects to give a menu. Degrades gracefully in older browsers. Big improvement comparedd to the old Javascript version which was clunky and hard to update.

myClasses
Added the sort classes tool that has been on DEV for a while - needed the update to the menu nav to make this live. Fixed a couple of bugs that had crept in (adding classes and auto-update feature) resulting in headings/ ordering being lost

Portal & VLE team
found a good wiki at the University of Washington evaluating different portal tools. Using info on that site to put together a 'criteria' document to better evaluate/ justify proposed use of uPortal. Still interested to see how the SPIDER 'widget-bar' and portal navigation could/ will work with this kind of tech. Had meeting with VLE team to discuss progress and next actions. Meeting with VLE tech folk late next week for further planning.

Radiation database
had a meeting with Safety Services to discuss the redevelopment and expansion of the current Radiation database. Plans to add sealed sources, improve bin handling, update reporting etc. Need to formalise requirements, replan database structure and go over procedures to create final design.

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This Week's Tweaks

Thursday 01 April 2010 03:09 pm

PGn
minor changes to the postgraduate network website login page to allow for buggy flash when viewed in Linux (cant put div over flash movies) - rejigged the 'sign-in' box so it doesn't overlap the flash content.

SCRIPT
bug fix - label Rx not saving correctly due to calculation Rx code - share field in database, calc data was over-writing the label content. Renamed form values and this now works as it should.

PG DB
updated reports pending tool so that it now includes reports that are 'empty' as well as showing reports in progress (saved but not submitted). Spent a lot of time tracing a bug causing a 20second delay to script - turned out to be due to a student having a 0 start date... Updated staff progress chart to be supervisor filterable so can limit 'supervisor 1 students, 'supervisor 2 students' etc. Minor tweak to colour/ layout to make 'crurent' pending reports more obvious and distinct from 'future' reports for the session.

file storage
updated student file storage to 50Mb - updated scripts to use global var $global_student_max_storage

widget-bar
on DEV server - modified to allow for multiple tabs of widgets

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