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SPIDER's blog

Since Monday 03 October 2005 04:30 pm

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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 30 July 2010 03:13 pm

fixed bug that was preventing 'research leader' users from completing reports for students when they were 'assessor' as well as research leader.

radiation database v2
completed 'undo' facility. Added 'bin' manager. Added pdf label generator for disposals. Rationalised view history/ use stock code.

activities tool
updated actiivty to allow user to choose related "form" for projects (differences between bioscience and pharmacy projects). Update add/edit project to account for this. Updated student view of activities to allow browsing of all projects (some minor changes still needed - filter list, names on project form).

SPIDER core code updates
recent changes made on DEV put on live system - core code behind class, discussions and news updated to take advantage of more modularised, function based code. Various files involved include/inc_discussion_x, include/inc_functions_x, spider/showClass_x, spider/showDiscussion_x. Allows /spider/mobile/ site to work and should improve/ ease future development of various widgets and uVLE links.

Class co-ord now stored by username instead of email address (historically this allows non-sipbs users to be listed on classes; now that SPIDER uses the DS for authentication, easier to use usernames to tag the co-ords).

Ditched tables for layout, replacing with div and CSS where practical, on class and discussion pages.

https://spider.science.strath.ac.uk/spider/mobile/ now up and running for testing. Currently News and Classes have been 'mobiled', with discussions and some 'tools' in the pipeline. Works best on iOS and android (webkit) type browser, should be ok in mOpera (works ok on the simulator). Hopefully we'll get feedback from other mobile users about functionality and usefulness.

researchadmin tool
fixed bugs in pFACT submission tool.


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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 23 July 2010 02:58 pm

added in a mode where quizzes can be run showing feedback for incorrect answers but not indicating which of the other options are correct. only relevent for single answer MCQs.

year coordinators
added year coordinators to the tabs in 'myDegree'. Added in on tools -> edit programme

class descriptors
fixed a bug where the MCE editors didn't display correctly & wouldn't allow text to be entered on certain versions of firefox on windows

added in a new page and got the abstracts to submit correctly

exam questions
this is now live for testing / suggestions to a small number of people. All working but needs quite a lot of cleaning up

added in a link so that admins can change user details displayed on the website. this is because a lot of sipbs phone extensions are changing with the new building. This involved allowing sub-admins to change user details but they can't do anything too dangerous

sipbs web pages
got lumbered with updating these but haven't done anything beyond thinking about it.

Posted by tim

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Last Week's Tweaks

Tuesday 20 July 2010 02:57 pm

forgot to do the blog last week but it was quiet. Ian is taking some well-earned time off.

exam questions
had to rethink the parse of the access data as about 300 questions were coming through bad. Put in sanity checks on the questions and different parse routines to try if they failed these. This eventually worked. There was an additional question type in there so the question editor had to be changed to accomodate this.  Also put filters on everything by class / author / words in question so questions can be found easier.

added 'researcher profiles' where people can put up their details / papers / research area to facillitate collaboration. This is finished except for picture upload / resize to avatar which isn't done yet

Posted by tim

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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 09 July 2010 04:51 pm

Research Admin - PFact
updated with extra field to store whether PIs contract lasts for duration of project

added new template site for powderdata.net website

updated manageClass to store co-ordinators using username instead of text values for name/ email (only on DEV due to other changes going on to includes and showClass etc). Various other scripts updated to reflect this, with shift to using 'is_class-cordinator' function from inc_function_status (questionnaires, discussions, whatsnew).

now has db_query_count($sql) which returns a int value for the number of items in a result set

rewritten/ modularlised as per other recent tweaks (showX and getX functions). Mobile version limits to 2 session tabs.

rewritten/ modularised as per others. Mostly completed. Still need to update "actions".

exam paper generator
importing old data from access. PDF format improved. Minor modifications to various features.

fixed image/ file browser to work with v3 of tinyMCE.

updated 'add' post function to use pop-up in screen.


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Wednesday 07 July 2010 11:09 am

added clamAV antivirus to SPIDER.

- downloaded source release from http://www.clamav.net/
- compiled and installed
ends up with:

/usr/local/bin/clam* (clamscan - runs a scan, freshclam - updated vir db)
/etc/clamd.conf       - config for demon (not running just now)
/etc/freshclam.conf   - config for update (added proxy)
/usr/local/share/clamav   - the virus database

then added php-clamav, a PHP library which can lever clamAV


- compiled and installed, copied clamav.so to /usr/lib64/php/modules
- added clamav.ini to /etc/php.d


restarted Apache.

Tested with /test/clamav.php

echo $c


ClamAV version 0.96.1 with 803850 virus signatures loaded

Next - add a clamav scan to files submitted to SPIDER via file manager - example code at:


Function definitions at:


*edit* This is up and running on spider. It lets students upload assignments etc. with viruses but emails us the path. Class materials will be rejected if they contain viruses and the user advised to update their anti-virus software



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Monday 05 July 2010 04:51 pm

had to delete a load of files from the disk array - fastest way from (admin) dos prompt:

rmdir /s/q foldertokill


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This Week's Tweaks

Friday 02 July 2010 04:38 pm

info/ departments
updated showDepartment to filter out inactive staff, show last login to admin.

PDP progress
added date to credit gained/ satisfactory progress (on screen and export) to allow easier recognition of when staff have 'signed off' a PDP.

showClass/ mobile
rewrote showClass page - modularised data, categories, news and discusssion functions. Mobile version now works to show class categories list. Still need to rewrite showContent to display the actual files.

 mobile login page  mobile home page
  mobile class list   mobile class categories

SPIDER (and the other SIPBS servers) moved from Todd wing server room (to be demolished from August) to the new server room in the "Hamnet Wing" of the new SIPBS building. System down for about 3 hours to allow for disk & cables to be removed, physical server relocation, then the fun of putting it all back together and reconfiguring it. Changing IP had all sorts of knock on effects to the slave and dev servers and our development machines, so lots of changes to /etc/conf files. Double the fun as we were moving offices the day before.

Class Review
started to build class review pro-forma system to allow staff to record class reviews.

quizzes now have sections to allow staff to designate sub-sets of questions e.g. 3 of 5 in section 1, 2 of 5 in section 2 etc. Ready for testing.


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