Archiving Slack Channels

Since we’re making channels in Slack via our project creation, it made sense to archive them when the project was completed. In projects (this particular post type) we have a custom field for the start date of the project and one for the end date of the project. Step one is to check on updates whether the post has the end-date field filled out. In my case, this is one of the legacy ACF fields that survived my great metadata purge. So checking it is done like so . . . The Slack archive API piece looks like this. And finally we run this function when projects are updated like so. We’re still experimenting with this workflow and archiving is a decent start. You can easily reactivate it and results still turn up in searches. It’s likely we’ll also rename it from p-whatever to z-whatever to get it out of the way.

WP API Posts Plugin

This is a little plugin I wrote while working with Jon Becker to build out the Ed Leadership Hub site. Essentially, we wanted students to be able to fill out a quick form and build out a profile page. As is my my wont, I went the Gravity Forms route. They could give a short bio, twitter account, and their portfolio URL. We’ll be tying in the the posts via Feed WordPress but it seemed like more hassle than it was worth to map the author id to this page. Pretty fun to be able to build out a solution on-the-fly and since all students were going to be in rampages I didn’t have to worry about WP not being upgraded or running from a non-HTTPS server. This chunk of the plugin builds out the HTML from the shortcode. You can see the data-url, data-num elements being populated. There’s a few other things in there I haven’t yet activated. Using data elements is the easiest way I’ve seen to pass variables to the javascript . . . the javascript looks for the altlab-getsposts id and then pulls the data elements from it. Once again, there’s some extra stuff in there for down the road that I haven’t implemented here.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-30

Mens Agitat Molem – Futility Closet In 2010 Jeremy Wood walked around the campus of the University of Warwick with a GPS device to “draw” a map at 1:1 scale. Altogether he covered 238 miles in 17 days. Web Maker – A blazing fast & offline web playground data warning’s a bit scary sounding but this is pretty much your own personal next-level codepen The Difference Between URLs and URIs Actually, that’s called a URI, not a URL… The response to this correction can range from quietly thinking this person needs to get out more, to agreeing indifferently via shoulder shrug, to removing the safety clasp on a Katana. This page hopes to serve as a simple, one page summary for navigating the subtleties of this debate. AMD shares are soaring: Ethereum miners are renting Boeing 747s to ship graphics cards to mines — Quartz “Time is critical, very critical,” in mining, Marco Streng, chief executive of Genesis Mining, a major ethereum miner, told Quartz. “For example, we are renting entire airplanes, Boeing 747s, to ship on time. Anything else, like shipping by sea, loses so much opportunity.” John Popper From Blues Traveler Will Not Stop Posting Aerial Pictures of My House That’s when a Blues Traveler fan threatened to send the Mexican mafia to Rutherford’s house. qrpike/Web-Font-Load: Install all […]

Event Calendar & Participation

One pretty common need I’m starting to see around community-engaged learning is a way for students/faculty to submit events to a central calendar and then indicate their participation in various events. That comes with various program requirements. People want specific reflection patterns per event and have different ideas around what an event counts for in their program. That comes with additional metadata requirements, dashboard views etc. We did something like this with cultural events when we made the RVArts.org site.1 I’ve got at least three programs interested in this process and some are pursuing products like Give Pulse. So I took advantage of the request from the da Vinci Center to look at how quickly we could make a functional prototype that would – create a calendar of upcoming approved events for students allow students to submit reflections on those events with a particular structure allow students to submit additional events for approval generate data visualization and reporting for student reflection and for program analysis purposes I took the more difficult route and assumed we’d have no user accounts just to see what that felt like. With user accounts this become easier. Even with this restriction I was able to build out a functional custom theme in around three hours. Next time, it’d be considerably faster. We could easily bring […]

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Outboard Memory – Query Thumbnails & Crop Images CSS Trick

Two little tricks that came up this week . . . Random Posts Must Have Featured Image Set Sometimes you want to query a random set of posts but only return those with featured images . . . you can using ‘meta_key’ => ‘_thumbnail_id’ like so . . . Handy. At least for me. object-fit: cover; Now that I’ve got featured images, I usually have a variety of aspect ratios making uniform layouts a pain. Often I’d have set those images as background images to deal with different aspect ratios and do a cover. Something like this. I was never a big fan of this method as I don’t like creating inline css and that’s the only way I could think to do it with dynamically created content in php or javascript. If just felt awkward. Enter object-fit and if you already knew of it I don’t know why you didn’t tell me. You can see the difference it makes in the two examples embedded below. Not earth shattering but really handy for stuff I do all the time. See the Pen GvNdjv by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen.

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Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-07-23

MS Paint has had a bit of an upgrade • Eurogamer.net “Your elevators are very confusing,” I suggested when I finally got to Microsoft. But it turns out that the man I was meeting did not agree. They’re amazing, he explained. You get used to them and then all other elevators are rubbish. I am paraphrasing, because this article is not really about elevators, but he laid out a glorious scenario where you check in at the front desk in the lobby and by the time you get to the elevator bay, your private elevator is already waiting for you. Valet service! This was the world this man from Microsoft already lived in. This was the sparkling water he drank every day. Make Concrete Roman Again! But he reminded Titus of his basic challenge—that it was, “indeed, no easy task to give novelty to what is old, and authority to what is new.”  Steve Schoger some nice simple web typography tips The Evolution of Trust Ze Frank – Wikipedia Discussing his work in the digital medium, and the potential of new platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Frank said, “For me, experimentation is not about the technology. In an ever-changing technological landscape, where today’s platforms are not tomorrow’s platforms, the key seems to be that any one of these spaces […]

Giant machine with small man

IdeaX Proposal – Tiny Targeted Tools

Image from page 98 of “Illustrated catalogue and general description of improved machine tools for working metal” (1899) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) I submitted to one of our regional instructional developer organization (Instructional Development ?Educational Alliance Exchange)1 this AM. We’ll see if it gets accepted but given my recent reflection on things that seem to have worked in Rampages, the chunk I left out that’s built in Google, Jim’s recent post from Australia, and Alan and Brian‘s continued SPLOT work . . . it seemed like a nice chance to spread this particular word to a VA audience. I also find that articulating concepts like this for other audiences helps me better articulate why I think this work is important. I can’t just say “SPLOT” and have my six friends understand what I’m going to talk about. There’s a place for that.2 The Proposal There is a tendency to make or buy tools that try do everything. As a result we end up with a massive tool that does most things poorly and few things well. Learning goals get obscured by the increasing complexity involved in navigating the compromises inherent in the omni-tool. It’s not focused on a particular discipline or kind of thinking. While generic tools have their place, […]

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What is Rampages? Part Two

Image from page 776 of “The Ladies’ home journal” (1889) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Continuing on from Part One . . . I have way too many examples. If you read this blog often, you’ve probably seen most of these being born1 but this is my first attempt at organizing and a more cohesive structure around key categories/processes and all in one place. This isn’t my normal pattern as I’m more of a folksonomic structure guy rather than taxonomic. What this has done is remind me of just how much work has been done in a relatively short time. I’ve only been here three years. Rampages is roughly three years old but wasn’t publicized initially and then had some rough growing pains. The last year or so I’ve been trying to convince people my department still exists . . . and still people find ways to do tons of amazing work. I’m not even including the stuff we do outside of WordPress. I’m only scratching the surface but this post keeps getting longer and longer. I threw a bunch of the links here. Some will be duplicates but there’s plenty of additional sites as well. Courses Rampages supports faculty teaching the full continuum of courses at VCU- from augmenting traditional […]

What is Rampages.us? Part One

I’m going to be attempting to explain what rampages.us is to a group on Tuesday. I’ve been struggling with a more digestible version of this for some time. While true, saying “Whatever you want it to be,” isn’t what people want to hear. Giving people something more concrete to think through what the site can do makes sense. These categories, however blurry and overlapping, provide some entries to additional thoughts and will likely help me organize my brain around this a bit better. Outside eyes are helpful so if you see stuff I’m missing or explaining poorly please throw me a comment here or on Twitter. While some of the details are specific to our version, I think the general arguments might be of use to others. If you end up doing that (or have already done it), throw me a link as I’d love to see how other people do this. Technically Speaking Rampages.us is a large WordPress multisite installation started roughly three years ago. Our community currently has over 24,000 sites and 22,000 members. WordPress is an open source platform which runs a huge portion (~30%) of today’s Internet and is the most popular CMS in the world. That matters for a variety of reasons. WordPress is free. This dramatically lowers barriers to access for our students while […]