At the Ref Desk (12/13/17): Last shift of the year! [more...]
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New Web Design for UIC's Office of Academic & Enrollment Services (AES).

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 7/19/12 (6:58pm)

I'm kind of pooped having spent a fun morning at Dominican University with the "Chicagoland Drupal in Libraries" group. I then hustled back to UIC (thanks Gwen for the lift!) where I had the usual list of web editing chores. I also had enough time to upload this baby:

http://admissions.uic.edu

This marks the final phase of a redesign that I've been working on since the beginning of the year -- spurred on by two requirements:

  1. fresh new look
  2. gots to work on mobile

Happily, 'responsive web design' came along right at the time I was tackling this project. (What's 'responsive design' you ask? When looking at the above page, slowly make the window more narrow. Then go back out. That's responsive design.)

Anyway, I still had to do the 'landing pages'. This one, the Admissions page, is the first of four.

But back to my itinerary: At around 5:15pm, I left UIC and headed over to DePaul for a couple of hours of 'Fun @ the Reference Desk'. It was a relatively quiet night. In Summer, Reference closes an hour earlier (i.e. at 8pm instead of 9pm) so I made it back home before 9pm.

In any case, as I said, long day -- productive just the same.

[Historical note: a certain other unit claimed it was the first to launch a responsive site. Yeah right...]

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Adobe Day at UIC

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 5/9/12 (3:35pm)

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Saw the demo for 'Adobe Creative Suite 6' -- Adobe's software lineup which is about to receive an upgrade. Interesting how the topics tended to reflect developments in the online world: tablet computers, 'cloud' computing and (for Dreamweaver at least) 'responsive' design. Some things were better thought out than others. $300/yr for cloud-based software and document storage seems a bit high. Also, I'm not sure why Photoshop has to do video.

Anyway, interesting presentation nonetheless.

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Check Your Website for Accessibility?

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 4/21/12 (12:11am)

At the UIC Digital Accessibility Expo. http://dae.uic.edu/

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Speaking on Panel about Drupal at 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 3/14/12 (9:14pm)

The 2012 UIC IT Professionals Forum is in two weeks at the UIC Forum (Roosevelt & Halsted). My particular contribution will be appearing on a panel for the following session:

"Which Web Content Management System Should I Choose?"

Many different Web content management systems (WCMS) are in use within the U of I system. They all have both advantages and disadvantages. Come see a panel of Web developers show us the features and deficiencies in the WCMSs their departments use, so you can choose the best one for your department.

I figure I'll talk about the history of Drupal in general, how we've implemented it at UIC's Academic & Enrollment Services, the support we've gotten (mostly pretty good) from Campus IT, plus all the crazy content types we handle: 'Final Exam Locations' for the Office of Classroom Scheduling, 'School Record Types by Country' for Grad Admissions, Registration 'tickets' for the UIC Summer College Program, etc.

(I can't think of one project I've done that consisted of plain-vanilla webpages. Maybe that's why I'm using Drupal.)

UPDATE: Following up on the final thought above... My central theme will be:

"If it's going to be a complicated mess -- best to do it with Drupal!"

UPDATE (4/5/2012): Just finished the panel discussion on CMS's. All we got was 45 measly minutes! I talked mostly about Drupal and how we've implemented it for various projects. That was one half. The other half was giving people tips on what to look for -- and things to avoid -- when shopping for CMS's in general. We could easily have gone for an hour and a half. Nice turn out, just the same.

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Slides: UIC Webmasters Brownbag on Responsive Web Design

Submitted by Leo Klein on Thu, 2/2/12 (8:12pm)

Okay, so here are the slides from my presentation on Responsive Web Design that I gave today at the UIC Webmasters Brownbag. It's not the longest thing in the world -- I was only supposed to talk for 30 minutes but ended up going the whole hour. The group was great -- very engaged and asking a whole lot of good questions.

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1st Day - UIC Fall 2011

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 8/22/11 (2:20pm)

Yippie! The students are back!

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Hommage à Madame - 21 Rue Soufflot, Paris

Submitted by Leo Klein on Mon, 6/20/11 (8:08pm)

This is where it all started -- as anyone who took the year abroad program organized by UIC's French Dept. under the directorship of the incredible Prof. June Moracevich ('Madame') will tell you. Most left after the first year. I stayed for ten.

View Larger Map

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Mommy, They're Speaking in Code Language Again!

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 1/26/11 (3:34pm)

Boy this is a classic: I email one of the IT people at MPOW asking how I can get access to the directory '/usr/local/' on one of the local servers here and he replies:

"You likely need to use: 'sudo -s' to access a root user shell first."

No, really? I'm thinking of returning the compliment and replying to him in Hoch Deutsch.

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Redesign of UIC Admissions & Records Website

Submitted by Leo Klein on Tue, 1/4/11 (11:29am)

As if I didn't have enough to do over the holidays (see below), I redesigned the website template for UIC's Office of Admissions & Records.

Basically what I did was to bring the thing into compliance with the University's new top-level website which they changed at the beginning of the school year.

The holidays are always a great time to do something like this (since basically no one's looking) so you can believe I worked my butt off to get this done on time.

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Screencast on News & Blog Server

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 9/1/10 (9:07am)
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I put together a screencast about our News & Blog server for UIC's Office of Admissions & Records:

http://www.oar.uic.edu/circle

The server runs on Drupal and currently supports 5 different Blogs & News services. Built into the system is a publication workflow consisting of 'Authors' who create content and 'Editors' who give that content final approval. All comments are moderated and easily accessed on one page through a special 'Dashboard' utility.

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