Recently in WOU website Category

Web updates not showing up?

| No Comments

A few people are reporting that they make web edits on the X: drive, save the file, but the changes never actually show up on the web.

If this is happening to you, the first thing to check is the label on your X: drive in My Computer. It should say "wouwebsite$ on 'Samba 3.3.4 (firefly)' (X:)". If your X: drive says 'sundown' instead of 'firefly', it means that your X: drive was set up manually at some point, and so it couldn't get changed automatically when we changed everybody else's.

Right-click the drive and choose Disconnect, then log out and back in to your computer, and whether you see an X: drive and that it says firefly instead of sundown. If you see that, everything should be fine now, except that if you use the Terminal Server, you need to make sure to check there too.

If you don't see an X: drive after logging back in, let me know. You can reconnect it by going to the Tools menu at the top of the My Computer window and choosing "Map network drive" which should pop up a dialog box. Choose X: from the Drive menu, and type "\\firefly\wouwebsite$" in the Folder box. (Don't type the quotes, and make sure you use backslashes \ rather than normal slashes /.) Make sure the "Reconnect at logon" box is checked, then click Finish and you should be all set.

EDIT: We have now changed things so that you can no longer make changes if your X: drive is connected to the wrong place. If you went into your X: drive and saw only a text file that told you to come here, that's why. If you go through the above process (remember to do it on the terminal server too, if you use it) and it does not fix anything, please let me know!

All recently changed files in the old server (sundown) have been moved to the new server (firefly) as of 1:00 AM on Monday August 30. Again, please let me know if anything is missing or looks wrong.


| No Comments

As of a bit after 5:00 PM Friday, our main webserver is running on Apache, rather than Sun's Java Enterprise System Webserver as it has been for years. Originally this change was meant as a test, but by late Friday night (AKA Saturday morning) things looked good enough that we decided to run with it.

Unfortunately, what looks good at 4:00 AM isn't always so great by the light of day. Ever since then I've been running around putting out fires.

Here's a brief list of the problems we've seen (most are already solved.)

  • Cold Fusion (.cfm) pages don't work on the new server. All those sites I've found have been redirected back to the old server where they do work.

  • Blog admin didn't work. I had to point that back to the old server too, for now.

  • Portal single-signon links weren't all working. The link for blog admin is fixed. The WOUAlert link isn't fixed yet, but at least I know the problem and am working on it.

  • PHP pages using old-style code block tags didn't work. Some people were coding PHP using the old, deprecated <? ?> tags to delimit blocks of PHP code. The correct way to do this is <?php ?>. I had to tell the new webserver to allow the old-school code, but we really need to get rid of it because it can get mixed up with other languages. BTW, this is what caused the quick links on the homepage not to work, so I'm not totally innocent here myself.

  • Old-style PHP database calls didn't work. I replaced the PEAR/DB module so some of this stuff will work again, but there might be other stuff made without PEAR/DB and with obsolete database tags that won't work until it is rewritten.

  • Overly tight security settings. Some pages weren't able to get external files that they needed and so were erroring out.

There's more, but I need to get back to that WOUAlert problem.

Contribute is fixed

| No Comments

OK, I take back everything I said about Adobe's tech support after the first time the Contribute server failed on us. What? You say you didn't hear what I said about them? That's probably a good thing, considering some of it was unprintable.

Anyway, this time I actually got a competent support engineer, and I didn't even have to battle my way up the hierarchy for more than a few hours (let alone three days like last time, grumble grumble.)

What impressed me the most about her was not just that she knew what she was talking about, but that she kept after the problem. We had one possible solution that would have taken a couple of days to implement, and instead of just sitting back and waiting, she kept working on our issue. That floored me; maybe I've just had bad luck with corporate tech support, but I've never yet dealt with someone who would do that.

Anyway, she came up with a simple solution that I hadn't tried because it didn't seem to make any sense... but it worked like a charm. You may have noticed that the login delay is now much shorter, too.

So, tech support saved the day!

Contribute woes

| No Comments

The Contribute Publishing Server is down again. This is really frustrating; it was running great for months and then bam, two major failures since the beginning of February. Nobody can log in to the system at all.

Last time I had to reinstall the whole system and recreate all the site settings by hand (a tedious process for thirty sites) because when I tried restoring the backed-up settings the problem came right back. This time, even that doesn't work; the problem occurs even on a totally fresh install with no sites defined.

I was able to demonstrate this to one of Adobe's senior tech support engineers, and she confirmed this was a previously unknown program bug and submitted it to the CPS developers. They are supposed to get back to me within one business day, but it's now been longer than that, so tomorrow morning it's time to start pestering them again.

It's frustrating because I still think this is a good product... at least it makes my job as an administrator much easier when it it working correctly. We'll see how things go, I guess.

Things are rolling along. As you've no doubt noticed, more and more pages are going live with the new design. Things will slow down a bit as our student helpers have fewer hours to work, but you will keep seeing progress.

The next big issue is training the web editors in various departments to use the new system. The main differences from the old system are as follows:

So, again I've been too busy to blog much. The web conversion project is moving along nicely, but is eating up almost all my time. If any of you are waiting on me to do something and I haven't responded in some time, please feel free to bug me again. I know I've made some people wait too long for stuff; I apologize for that. Of course, these days we all know what it's like to be understaffed; people have been understanding, for which I'm grateful.

Anyway, we've made major headway on phase one of the process, which is creating the rough-draft PHP files. I have five UCS students working on this, who all deserve mention for their hard work: Jonathan Guillen, Ronni Luchterhand, Mark Lyons, Michael Orr, and Courtney Wehner. Read on for more about the project...

Web conversion underway

| No Comments

Wow. Once again, it's been a long time between entries, but this time I have a valid excuse. I've been working my tailbones off now that the website conversion has finally moved out of the preparation stages and into full swing!

The first stage involves creating new versions of pages on the WOU website. These new pages end in .php instead of .html or .htm, because they are written in the PHP language. You may be relieved to know that PHP can have HTML freely mixed in with it, so you won't have to learn a new language to work with these pages.

These pages will eventually become the real pages on the website, but for now, the original HTML pages are still there and are not being changed. Each department will be able to look at the new PHP pages and approve or change them before we make them live, and the HTML pages will still be kept in an archive folder for reference, at least for the first while.

The first parts of the website to be fully converted will be the admissions process pages, in other words those that prospective students need to see during the admissions process. The home page will also be updated; you've seen its new look for months now, and that won't change much, but we have a lot to do "under the hood", so to speak.

Stay tuned for more info!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the WOU website category.

World-Wide Web is the previous category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.