Webmaster E-mail Now Serviced by TSC Helpdesk

All e-mails sent to webmaster@uww.edu are now managed by the TSC Helpdesk. This will allow us to better track requests and provide updates to customers on the status of their request through the iConnect tech support system.

Please continue to send your support requests to webmaster@uww.edu or directly to helpdesk@uww.edu. Once you’ve made a request for a content change or reported a bug on the UW-Whitewater website, you can log in to iConnect and view the status of the ticket for any updates. Otherwise, a member of the web team will follow up with any additional information as needed.

We’d like to thank the TSC Helpdesk for assisting us in more effectively providing support for the many services we provide and we’d like to thank you for your cooperation as we work out any kinks in this new support model. Thanks!

Posted in General Web, Support

We’ve been busy

Though you wouldn’t know it from our social media neglect, we over here at the web team have been busy in the last two years since this blog was updated. We’ve moved offices to 1002 Andersen, where we have a lovely view of the parking lot and a bookcase that desperately needs filling. We’ve had some staffing changes and taken on a few pretty big projects – so here’s a quick update on what we’ve been up to.

As mentioned in a previous post, we were kind of pushed into the project that has become one of our largest efforts of the past year. When our previous CMS software Collage ended development, we settled on a new CMS called Ingeniux and began the transition process. It’s been a worthwhile change, but a long process as well. The University’s 20,000 (yup, that’s right) web pages are under a complete redesign to present a more unified feel and the whole transition won’t be complete for another year. But for those of you who remember the old sites, just take a look at the new homepage, College of Letters and Science page and other main pages to see a few examples of how the new system is changing our look.

(Check out this page for more information on the project and a way to track our progress.)

We’ve also recently made great strides toward a mobile-supported web presence. In April of this year we launched our first “responsive” websites. Responsive design is a way to develop sites that automatically rearranges the content based on screen size – someone viewing our site on a desktop monitor will have a different experience from someone viewing the same site on a tablet, but both will see the same content. Try resizing your browser window to see this technology in action. Today, most of the sites in Ingeniux are responsive.

Going responsive means we can continue to provide our same web experience across all devices, though mobile users are now directed first to the mobile landing page we’ve developed (m.uww.edu) for a simplified view of the home page and some quick-links to the most popular pages.

Mobile traffic is still fairly low – about 7.5 percent – but we’re expecting that number to double each year. This year is already proving that expectation to be realistic – unique mobile visits are up 190 percent this year from last year.

So that’s some of how we’ve been filling our days – check back here for updates as more campus sites get a new look, a riveting treatise on the finer points of search engine optimization, and the gradual progress of our currently empty bookcase!

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Posted in CMS, General Web

Upgrades all around

It’s been a week of upgrades here at UWW Web Team central. Last Thursday we made a major upgrade to the Calendaring system over at events.uww.edu, we also add many new calendars to help fill out the categories available.

This week we have on tap a search upgrade for UWW Maps that should make finding things on campus a bit easier on the map (www.uww.edu/maps). Last but not least is an upgrade of Blogs@UWW scheduled for friday morning. Both these upgrades should be unnoticeable for users but we do suggest blog users refrain from administering their blog between 5-7 am on friday.

Posted in Campus Maps, General Web

New browsers and our support

As new browser versions are released the iCIT Web Team rigorously tests each major version for changes that may harm your browsing experience. In the last month we’ve been a little over loaded in testing Safari 4, Firefox 3.5 and our continued testing of IE 8.

After initial analysis we have green lighted Firefox 3.5 for support on UW-W web sites. This doesn’t mean that campus systems are unaffected by the update but as you browse www.uww.edu you should not be affected. At this time we are still testing IE 8 and safari 4 and recommend campus staff not upgrade to the latest versions of these two browsers. For those who have IE 8 We have forced the IE 7 compatibility mode on until we are ready to support IE 8.

Please see the iCIT blog for more information on our browser support project.

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Posted in Browsers, General Web

IE 8 releases into the wild

After a number of betas and release candidates Miscrosoft quitely released IE 8 last week. As with any new browser release there will be some issues that pop-up with some of our web pages, the iCIT web team has taken a proactive approach on IE 8 and using the built-in compatiblity mode option in IE 8 to force, for now, all pages on www.uww.edu, library.uww.edu and uc.uww.edu into IE 7 compliance mode, until a time when we can ensure that these sites and pages are IE 8 compliant at which time we will unlock the sites from their compatability mode. For the official iCIT response to IE 8 see the iCIT blog

For the official Browser support guide, see our chart on the web team website.

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Posted in Browsers, General Web

Google launches Chrome

September 3rd Google Officially launched it’s own forey into the browser game. It’s Browser called Chrome is a lightweight, multi-threaded, WebKit based browser. Using the same rendering engine as Apple’s Safari Browser came as a surprise to me as Google has been very friendly to the Mozilla Foundation for years, the makers of Firefox, in fact Google injects a good deal of the foundation’s income through a partnership to have the default Firefox page a Google search page. These technicalities aside I think it’s clear that Chrome is not meant to be your everyday browser. You’ll still use Firefox or IE or Safari for that; what Chrome is meant to do it is provide a sand boxed environment for web applications to run in, so that if an application crashes it only takes that tab with it and not the whole browser.

I think that Google might have started to create something that will be helpful, not right now, but in the near future as companies start to roll out more SAAS applications and the need to run multiple web applications at a time is more commonplace. Currently the only real advantage to Chrome is if you use AJAX heavy web applications where Chrome’s new JavaScript parser “V8″ excels.

Will people use it this way only time will tell.

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Posted in Browsers, General Web

Interactive map launched

Today we launched a new interactive (Google) Campus map , http://www.uww.edu/maps/ that should make finding resources on campus easy and fun.  While it’s currently a basic map with buildings and a few major resources, over the next few months we’ll be adding new features as well as increasing the amount of information displayed about locations we are currently mapping. So check back frequently as we make updates. See something we missed, or have a  suggestion? Let us know by filling out our feedback form.  Your suggestions will help shape our plan for new features and upgrades to current ones.

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Posted in Campus Maps

Browser Updates

Yesterday Apple released the final patches to safari 3 to clean up a nasty vulnerability that allowed remote execution of code. All safari users should make sure they update to version 3.1.2.  Also last month Firefox 3 officially launched on June 11th. Currently we are testing both browsers against our current sites and services. Most services and sits that functioned in Firefox 2 will also work in Firefox 3. However there are large differences between safari 2 and 3 so we are leaving Firefox 3 and Safari 3 as a tier two browsers until we can officially support them. Happy browsing! and please send us an email if you find a page that doesn’t work right in FF 3 or safari 3.

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Posted in Browsers, General Web

Serena ends development for Collage

Hello,
I wanted to let everyone know that Serena the company that owns our Collage CMS product has decided to stop development on the product. This means that there will be no new versions or enhancements to the product. While we still have support into the foreseeable future, we (the Web Team) believe that this is an opportunity to look at alternative solutions.

So what does this mean for you?

At this point nothing will change; we will continue to use Collage while we evaluate our future direction. In the upcoming months we will be calling on you to aid us in requirements gathering and product evaluation.
As I can only assume many of you will have questions; please post them below and I will respond to them the best I can.

Joel

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Posted in CMS, General Web

New IE8 beta released.

With the release of IE8 beta 1 yesterday to developers/public, the web is becoming an exciting and scary place. Once released into production IE8 will round out the group of having all four of the major browsers, those being: IE8, FireFox 3, safari 3 and opera 9, being for the most part standards compliant and all passing the Acid2 CSS test. Which should allow web designers and developers to provide better consistency across all updated browsers.

This however still brings the question of old browsers and legacy/third party web applications that require older and for the most part specific versions of a browser and can we fully support web standards and at the same time ensure that these older and out of date browsers can still use the website in a acceptable manner that is the challenge that we face as web designers.

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Posted in Browsers, General Web