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January 09, 2007

Warwick iCast – Week 11

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • How Warwick is helping the development of hybrid cars
  • Symmetry, maths and our world


New Features

There has been a major new release of BlogBuilder this morning with a few new important features that users may be interested in.

Rich Text Editing


Users of SiteBuilder2 may be familiar with the JScript editor that is used to edit SiteBuilder pages, called TinyMCE. This editor has now been implemented into Warwick Blogs to allow users to create entries in a much more user friendly way than the current Textile2 editor.

As this is a new feature and has been generally untested, this is turned off by default. To turn it on, click "Admin" in the top right hand corner of your blog's homepage, then click "Settings", and finally change the setting of "Default editor for creating new entries" to WYSIWYG Editor. All new entries that you create will then use the new editor (entries created in the WYSIWYG Editor can only be edited in the WYSIWYG editor, and the same goes for the Textile2 editor).

Editing with TinyMCE

Notable advantages of using the WYSIWYG Editor:

  • You can use keyboard shortcuts and formatting buttons similar to most word processors
  • There is a spell-check button that allows you to check the spelling on your entry
  • There are easy buttons to allow you to embed images (both in your gallery or from your hard drive) and videos
Google Analytics

One of our most requested features is to provide statistics for users' blogs - how many people are reading the blog, where are they coming from, which entries are most popular. Rather than create a fully featured stats package from scratch, we decided to make it easy to use Google Analytics to monitor your blog.

For information on how to use this, please refer to this FAQ.

Other updates

There have been a number of other minor bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • The photo editor has been upgraded to the latest version, with improved red-eye reduction and other improvements to features
  • Bugs related to posting trackbacks have been resolved
  • The "Create entry" page should now load faster than before (we realise it took a very long time sometimes)
As always, any comments, bug reports or notes can be posted on this blog entry or on the Blogs Forum.

December 19, 2006

University relations with student organisations

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/ump/?podcastItem=admin_week1.mp3

This episode we talk to the authors of a report examining the changing relationship between student representational bodies and universities.

Plus:
  • What future for the A level?
  • Issues with assessment
  • Overseas staff recruitment


Introducing the University Management Podcast

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/audio/ump/

I’d just like to introduce a new service – the University Management Podcast.

This is a new podcast focussing on issues relating to the management and administration of universities. Whilst the main emphasis will be on the UK HE sector, I hope to include content from HE managers in other countries as well.

Each podcast will include comment and discussion on issues in HE as well as features and examples of practice from around the sector. Whilst in the early days I expect a large number of Warwick people to be involved, as the podcast develops I expect a broader range of people from other insitutions to appear.

Please feel free to let me have any comments on the service or its content:

  • What topics do you want to hear covered?
  • Do you want to take part?
  • Are you inspired/annoyed by something you hear?

Feedback from listeners is going to be a big part of the podcast and I would like to include comments and input from people responding to topics covered, so get writing or why not record your own audio repsonse and we can add it to the regular release.


December 05, 2006

Week 10 – Warwick iCast

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • The links between obesity and diabetes
  • Helping the UK’s Poinsettia growers
  • Is your diamond natural or manufactured?


November 28, 2006

Week 9 – Warwick iCast

Writing about web page http://www.warwick.ac.uk/go/icast

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • Cancer, statistics and ethnic representation in medical trials
  • How to custom build a diamond (and why you might want to)


November 22, 2006

Warwick iCast – Week 8

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • The struggle to pay council tax
  • Encouraging healthy lifestyles for children and families
  • NHS Centre for Involvement


November 16, 2006

New release

A new release of BlogBuilder today has added a few new features and fixed some bugs that may be of interest to users:

  • We have tweaked the CSS in blogs slightly and as part of this have added two new styles to pick from, Simplicity and Floral, with a variety of colours. You can use these on your blog by going to “Admin” and then to “Appearance”
  • It is now much easier to use the Textile function to do tables, as we have provided some global CSS classes to style them with:

outline:

table(outline).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

border:

table(border).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

divider:

table(divider).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6

You can also combine these classes by putting a space in between the class names:

table(outline divider).
|_. Header1|_. Header2|_. Header3|
|Cell1|Cell2|Cell3|
|Cell4|Cell5|Cell6|
Header1 Header2 Header3
Cell1 Cell2 Cell3
Cell4 Cell5 Cell6
  • You can now choose how many entries to display on your blog’s home page by going to “Admin” then “Settings”
  • We now allow per-blog and global aggregation by author with the user’s usercode, for example http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/news/author/cuscav

For the more technical amongst you, we also now support Microsummaries, allowing users to get live titles in bookmarks in certain browsers.


November 14, 2006

Warwick iCast – Week 7

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • Training the next generation of complexity scientists
  • The work of the WIMRC?


November 09, 2006

Slow posting of entries

Many users may have noticed over the past week or so that the posting of entries has occasionally (with no real correlation to time of day or what is being posted) been extremely slow, and this has led to a few cases where people have accidentally posted two of the same entry by clicking the “Publish Now” button twice.

We have made improvements to two areas which we believe may have been contributing to the problem, and have released these changes this morning onto BlogBuilder.

If you experience any issues with publishing an entry, for example where the entry takes more than 15 or 20 seconds to publish, then it would be extremely helpful if you could email us at blogs@warwick.ac.uk with the time of day, the content of your entry and all the settings on the “Create entry” screen (Who can see the entry, who can comment on the entry, whether the entry is show in collections, whether the entry has “Show trackbacks” and “Send Technorati ping?” checked).


November 06, 2006

Warwick iCast – Week 6

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • A centre for complexity science
  • Is ‘glocalisation’ necessary?


November 02, 2006

Jonas Mekas – Brief Glimpses of Beauty

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/meadgallery/

We would like to hear your thoughts on the exhibition. We want your comments and opinions on the piece in whatever format you like – text, audio or your own videos.

Either add your thoughts to the comments on the iCast blog, or send them to t.abbott@warwick.ac.uk.


October 31, 2006

Warwick iCast – Week 5

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • Detecting Pre-eclampsia
  • Challenges for the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
  • Increased pressure on Accident and Emergency


October 24, 2006

Warwick iCast – Week4

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/icast/

This week on Warwick iCast:

  • Biopesticides – Research and Policy
  • Translating the works of Orhan Pamuk

August 30, 2006

New features

A new version of BlogBuilder has been released today with some new features:

Textile 2

In order to provide better editing capabilities for entries and comments, we have upgraded the markup library that we use to Textile2, which supports new features such as tables and footnotes. The full list of Textile2 features are available for viewing here

Obviously with such a large change there may be minor errors that occur. Any problems can be reported here or on the Blogs Feedback Forum

“Watch this entry for new comments”

You can now “watch” or subscribe to entries in order to be notified by email when there are new comments on them. You can stop watching them at any time by clicking the link in the notification email. To watch an entry, check the checkbox underneath the comment form when you make a comment or click the link at the top of the list of comments for an entry.

Requesting Deletion of a comment

If you make a comment and wish for it to be deleted by the author of the entry, you can now click a link at the bottom right of your comment and send an email directly to the author of the entry.

Scheduled Entries

It is now possible to schedule entries to appear at a time in the future, for example if you wish to maintain a regular posting schedule on your blog or if you wish for it to appear, for example, after a lecture or assignment deadline.

Collaborative Draft Editing

When you save an entry as a draft, you can now allow other people to view it before it is published by giving them the link to the draft entry. To get this link, click on the title of the entry from the Admin Entries screen.

As always, if there are any problems, feel free to comment on this entry.


August 21, 2006

New version

There was a new release of BlogBuilder today with some new features and improvements:

In–Browser Photo Editing

Edit images

You can now edit photos to touch them up and make them more blog–friendly after uploading them by clicking the Edit image icon in the gallery (or the "Edit image" link on the Admin Your Images page). This will allow you to use a number of tools to perform minor modifications to your image (resizing, cropping, rotating, enhancing, even adding a lomo filter or snow) and save the changes to your blog.

Other Changes

There have been a few other minor changes, mainly in that any problems that users have experienced in writing single–line comments or entries and the end being cut off (particularly after using an acronym such as WGA) should not appear any more.

There have also been some minor changes to the way that blogs send RSS feeds to help speed up requests if information has not changed, and users can access ATOM feeds of pages by appending /atom or ?atom=atom to the URL.


August 14, 2006

Blogbuilder update

There has been a new release of Blogbuilder today with a few improvements and new features:

Alumni Permissions

Alumni Permissions

As well as writing entries that can only be seen by staff and students, users can now write entries that can be seen by all Alumni users who log in with their WGA users. This will not work retroactively and Alumni users will not be able to see "University–only" entries (only "University & Alumni" entries). If you find that the Alumni permissions do not work for you, then you may well have one of the old Alumni accounts we created before we had a proper authentication system that points to the WGA. If you are having trouble, let us know and we'll check out your account.

If you have joined the WGA and wish to maintain access to your blog after your ITS usercode expires, see this entry

[media] Tag

The Warwick Blogs syntax (Textile) has been extended in order to allow users to post sound or video files on their blog that are hosted externally, such as MP3 files that are uploaded to a hosting account or video files from YouTube or Google Video.

You can put these onto your blog by taking the URL of the MP3 or video (or the URL of the YouTube/Google Video page where it is located) and wrapping them in a [media] tag as follows:

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_YMigZmUuk[/media]

Which will produce the desired result:


August 02, 2006

Downtime 4/5/6 Aug

Writing about web page http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/insite/newsandevents/intnews2/NE100000021421/

Just a quick reminder: Warwick Blogs, like most other IT systems, will be unavailable for at least part of the coming weekend, Sat 5th and Sun 6th Aug. Depending on the exact order in which the maintenance work is done, Blogs may be gone from as early as Friday evening at 6pm, and may not reappear until Monday morning.