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  • Web Council - October 13, 2011
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  • Announcments
    • AccessibleWeb "Accessible Web Design Overview" session on Oct 27, 11:30am in the Allen auditorium
    • November Meeting - Nov 10
      • Short presentations on conferences people have been to
      • Looking for people who have been to conferences, contact Gina if you have a story you want to share.
  • Ruby Thursday - Ivan Storck, Center for Commercialization (C4C)
    • slides on http://staff.washington.edu/ivanoats
    • Using Ruby at C4C
    • Before coming to C4C, Ivan did a lot of PHP projects, consulting for green and sustainable non-profits
      • Big challenges at C4C
      • A lot of systems; time to modernize
      • Too many different silos, too much for staff to deal with
    • C4C update
      • Standardized onto a Ubuntu Linux platform
      • Goals are to
        • Keep costs down,
        • Enable rapid development
        • Yield high value, feature-rich products
      • Using off the shelf, open source software
      • Web framework
        • Sinatra - http://www.sinatrarb.com/
        • Cucumber testing framework - http://cukes.info/
          • Can write test and specifications in plain English
          • You already have a test plan, encouraged to write it down, then automate it
          • Can test lots of different scenarios without writing a lot
      • Express licensing program
      • Deployment
        • With Ruby, usually can be done with one command
        • Do not FTP
          • Seriously insecure
          • Error prone
          • No version control
        • Cloud Foundry - http://cloudfoundry.org/
        • Application service interface
          • Real good for prototyping
      • Octopress
  • Dream Project - Matt Harris
    • Matt Harris, mharris2@uw.edu
    • Works for the Dream Project - http://depts.washington.edu/uwdrmprj/
    • Presentation prepared with Workflowy - https://workflowy.com/
      • Makes outlines really well
    • Dream Project
      • Matt is an informatics grad, helped start Dream Project
      • Worked as developer for Experiential Learning
      • Dream Project got funding from Gates Foundation, hired Matt as their only full time staff,
        • Much of the work is done by the large number of students involved in the project
      • Goal of the Dream Project is to get more kids to college, connect undergraduates to high school students
        • 488 students in the program
      • Each week UW students go out to 16 local high schools, help them through the college admissions process
      • Students run class, lots of student invovlement, and leadership opportunities
        • Students make up steering committee
      • Complexities
        • UW students have option of volunteering
        • Because students run the class, typical instructor access tools don't work
        • The old Dream Project system used PHP tools
          • Required students to sign up in two places
          • Syncing the email list had to be done manually
          • Adding Netids to WebQ and Catalyst gradebook was done manually
      • The new system is named Dream SIS
        • Rails tools connected to UW Web Services - http://webservices.washington.edu/
        • Ruby makes possible quick deployment of tools for the project
        • Easy integration with Web services
          • Person Web Service:student name and netid
          • Student Web Services
          • Registration resource details about student registrations
          • Photo id Card Service: student photos
          • Groups Web Service: populate UW Groups based on current/past enrollment
        • Under the Hood: UW Groups Serivce
          • One-line authorization in .htaccess files
          • Sync with mailman list
          • Built in integration with Catalyst tools
          • Groups can be members of other groups
      • Tracking student activity is a goal
        • The UW does a great job of tracking academic involvement
          • Do not track non-academic involvement much, such as participation in Dream Project
          • Existing tools are disjointed and have high barriers to entry: Advance database, OMA&D SOAR, EXPO
        • Why should we track non-academic involvement?
          • Institutional reporting and accountability
          • Collaboration between programs/departments
          • Simplify data management and data sharing among programs
        • Could we create an open-source activity tracking service
          • Use the Groups Service as an easy open platform for converging the data
          • Provide simple service for anyone to defin a Group or set of Groups as pertaining to an activity
            • Assign relationships between groups
            • Associate groups with time periods
            • Define categories or tags for sub groups
          • Similar need for way to track researchers activities and involvements, since they often cross departmental lines
        • Rails is hosted on a dedicated Red Hat service in department
          • Apache, Passenger, Capistrano
  • Admissions Web Site - Paula Shields, Joel Walters, Kathrine Turner
    • Launched new Web site on September 30
    • http://admit.washington.edu/
    • New features
      • Comments
        • Sometimes respond
        • Transparency is goal
          • Show we are real people, Web site is a live and interactive tool
          • Do not hide negative feedback
      • Experience page - http://admit.washington.edu/StuLife/Experience
        • Put user in the driver's seat, give them control of the experience
          video, audio, pictures
        • Mimic the experience of being a student at the UW; the UW is rich,
          diverse, and messy
      • Mobile view of site - http://udub.zapto.org
        • Works with multiple devices
        • Contains content similar to the desktop site
        • Got it up quick, looking to see if will need a more pared down version
        • In Drupal, using module called Mobile Tools- http://drupal.org/project/mobile_tools
          • Detects device
            • Desktop devices get the full site
            • Mobile devices get the mobile view
            • iPad gets the full site because of its high resolution
          • Currently mobile users can only see the mobile version, will add the ability to see the full site later
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