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August 21, 2007

The Big Day

So today is The Big Day™ for UM Wiki and we're pretty excited. To summarize what's new:

  • Look and Feel This is the first thing you'll probably notice although it's merely cosmetics. The attempt was to bring the appearance of the wiki more inline with U Relations provided guidelines. There's room for improvement on this front still but any nearterm changes will be minor.
  • Updated Edit Functionality Courtesy of an add on called Nat Edit we now have a helper toolbar on the Edit Screen. More info on this will be forthcoming.
  • Shorter URLs Links to wiki.umn.edu/twiki/bin/ will now automatically redirect to wiki.umn.edu/. Thus wiki.umn.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome will become wiki.umn.edu/view/Main/WebHome. This should make for more readable/e-mailable and even speakable UM Wiki links without breaking links to the longer paths.
  • Permissions Check Before Save This is the single most important change and we couldn't be more thrilled about it. When you save a Wiki Topic now, UM Wiki will automatically check to see if you will still have access to that Topic with your new changes in place. If the answer is "no" then you will see an alert asking you to go back in the browser and check your changes.
  • Plug-in Updates UM Wiki uses a lot of TWiki plug-ins to provide enhanced functionality. A large number of these plug-ins were due for an update.

We'll be rolling these changes out gradually over the course of the morning and into the early afternoon. Please let us know via e-mail to wiki@umn.edu if you notice any problems on the production server. There will likely be a brief outage to bring shorter URLs into effect. Please allow for intermittent availability between 12pm and 1pm.

August 20, 2007

Office 2007 - Updated

UPDATE: Eric and Justin did some tag team work on this and have managed to make the wiki aware of the new Office 2k7 file formats on dev. We expect to move this over to production shortly.

Word to the wise. Office 2007 files (docx) seem to be mistyped according to Internet Explorer. Those wishing to attach files of type .docx to the wiki would be better served using NetFiles or saving their documents in the more compatible Office 97/2003 format.

It's also worth considering if you need a binary format for your data at all. After all a Wiki Topic provides much of the functionality and formatting of a basic word processing doc.

We need to do more testing on this issue and hope to have a better solution sometime after we complete our fall updates.

August 16, 2007

Custom Header Graphics

There is a new variable being used now to specify the header text. It is %WEBTITLE%. So whereas in the old wiki you had to provide a graphic with your title, you can now simply add

* Set WEBTITLE = whatever you want the title to be

to your WebPreferences topic. If you have an existing WEBLOGO graphic with the title as part of the image that you don't want to change, you can use

* Set WEBTITLE =  

to clear out the UM Wiki from the header.

For even more customization you can now create a topic named WebTopBar in your Wiki Web and completely customize your header.

Wiki-Dev is Back!

We're up and running again. Our test server does not have the necessary disk space to host the attachments from production. What this means is although your wiki topics (pages) will have all of their text, attached graphics and docs will likely not be available. If this makes testing difficult or you have concerns about this send e-mail to wiki@umn.edu and we'll work with you to get the material you need to show up on wiki-dev so you can test properly.

Test Server Down

Wiki-dev is currently not responding due to a lack of disk space. While we had copied wiki data over from UM Wiki Tuesday 8/14, the attachments were not copied over to wiki-dev until last night. We misjudged the disk space on the test server (similar hardware/software but unfortunately not the same drive capacity of our production environment). We'll post a note here when the server is back in business. Again this is a space issue and not directly related to the changes we'll be making to production next Tuesday.

August 15, 2007

Tired of being locked out?

Ever put a small typo in a ALLOWTOPICCHANGE statement? I know I have, but as an UmWiki Administrator, I have the luxury of being able to edit a page regardless of its' permissions. Very handy, but it also is easy to forget how frustrating this can be for a regular user.

To help alleviate that frustration, we are testing out a new feature on wiki-dev.umn.edu where the user will not be able to save a topic if they have will not have access to the topic in the future.

To clarify, TWiki (the software behind UmWiki), always would check if you had permission to change a topic, based on the current topic settings, not the future settings. Which meant a small typo or accidental formatting, could remove your permission to edit the topic after the save. UmWiki will now additionally check that you will still be able to edit the page once you have saved.

This issue was more than an annoyance, as it hindered people using the wiki, rather than facilitating their work. In fact, with just a character out of place, a user could be locked out of their entire Web, prevented from even seeing the issue.

So please go ahead and test this new safety net. Hopefully there aren't any issues, but its better to find and fix them now.

August 14, 2007

Fall Changes

Big changes are a brewing at http://wiki-dev.software.umn.edu this week. We're requesting that our users take a peak at what's new now and provide us feedback through wiki@umn.edu and the comments on this blog. We've moved over a snapshot of production data from this morning. We did NOT move attachments. No changes made to http://wiki-dev.software.umn.edu will affect your live data on http://wiki.umn.edu. To see what's new and what we're planning to migrate to production check for posts with a category of Fall 2007. If testing goes smoothly we'll be migrating these changes to the production wiki on Tuesday, August 21.