Day 2 was a lot of fun. More technical sessions and a hackathon to end the day.
Training & Herding
The presenter did an excellent job, but this one didn’t turn out to be as useful to me as I had hoped. I did stay for the entire session and did find it to be enjoyable. Many cats were used in the slides, and I did learn a lot about Arkansas.
Redesigning Your Site for a Better User Experience
This session would have been more valuable for us a year or so ago while we were forming our web team, but it was still nice to see that were were following many of their best practices anyhow. What really stood out to me was their emphasis on having a good team of people, and don’t rush for deadlines. If it will take a bit longer to get something right, then take the extra time to do it right.
One on One
Lout and I met up with our OUCampus implantation team. I was hoping that they’d go over a bit more, but we did use the time to ask them many questions. Right off the bat they packed the room to discuss with us about our production server environment.
They were very frank and shared many pros and cons of going with Coldfusion vs a more popular language (PHP). We really appreciated their attention to this matter and will share more when we get back to the team.
The development roadmap was great. A lot of the features I wasn’t 100% on when making the decision to go with OUCampus seem to be getting address in the coming year or so. That was extremely good news.
- OCN (OmniUpdate Community Network) : email firstname.lastname@example.org to join
- LDP Forms
- new settings, elements, element properties
- success message can work well with Google Analytics Goals
- Metadata API
- create and manage persistent metadata
- Tag Management
- find and embed related content in XSL
- A little further ahead…
- Image Size Sets
- define multiple custom sizes
- each folder can have its own set
- Custom Asset Types
- Custom User Role
- very granular controls
- Access Control Lists
- multiple groups and users can be added to an access setting
- Feed Manager
- create feeds of structured content
- send items to multiple feeds
- Image Size Sets
Integrating Content from External Sources in OUCampus
This turned out to be nothing too new for me, but at least it confirms that we are thinking along the right path on how we can approach integrating content from external sources.
- cache RSS feeds, cron job to fetch feeds to local server
- minimize external requests
- jQuery Social Stream
- look for slides for code examples
- utc.edu/outc16 – for more info and examples
Bootstrap Form Builder
This was very interesting to see just how much additional functionality could be built to work within OUCampus. The presenter really wen the extra mile.
- customize the <advanced> xml tag
- jQuery Validation Plugin
- Honeypot variables
- optional reCAPTCHA
In preparation for the Hackathon, we attended an extended session on how to create Gadgets. Despite some horrible WiFi issues, we eventually did get the basics down.
- what are they/do?
- web applications
- context aware
- connect via API
- extend the platform
- gadgetlib.js (good starter spot)
- documentation can be found in Gadget Starter
- need location to publish to
- minimum 2 files
- html page (source code of gadget)
- config.xml (info about the gadget)
The Hackathon was great. They fed us dinner, and we broke up in to teams to compete. Our group included Lou, Caleb (developer), Mark (CSS), and myself. We decided to make a to-do, task list manager Gadget.
We drew up a concept, and then divided up the tasks. I turned out to be project lead, and I thought that part went very well. We all had some very great input, and also were willing to contribute to the team in any way that we could.
A huge roadblock that we ran into however was that the development environment that was given to us was not the latest beta version of OUCampus that we we lead to believe it was. Since our Gadget relied on the soon to be released Metadata API found in 10.4, we pretty much wasn’t an hour and a half of attempting to debug and issue that was not our doing. Super bummer for us.
Once that was discovered and a new environment given, we began to make progress. Mark come up with a solid design, and Caleb was able to get a basic list to appear and communicate with the Metadata API. Unfortunately we were not able to complete our Gadget in the given time, but it was a lot of fun and we did learn a lot. Great time.