Sept 19, 2018 Minutes

3:00p.m., 19 September 2018. NH 3318



Donald Duff-McCracken (Chair), Melissa Holst (Secretary), Iva Badjan, Lannois Carroll-Woolery, Daniella Cross, Michelle Douglas-Mills, Graham Faulkner, Laurel Forbes, Tasha Glover, Tom Graham, Andrea Jennings, Joe Kwan, Carrie Nickerson, Liam Morland, Isaac Morland, Kevin Paxman, Trevor Ridgeway, Elizabeth Rogers, Carlos Saavedra, Andrew Smith, Heather Wey, Chao Yang


Herbert Balagtas, Dawn Charlton, Chris Francis, Marlon Griffith, Kayla Snyder, Michael Tjendra


Cynthia Breen, Janice Cooke, Beth Cotter, Sarah Forgrave, Troy Grandy, Danielle Jeanneault, Jim Johnston, Adrienn Kennedy, Stephenie Koerne,  Martin LeBlanc, Christie Ledgley, Andrew McAlorum, Melanie Scott, Lori Suess, Jodi Szimanski, Claire Taylor, Susan Shifflett, Mirko Vucicevich, Annaka Willemsen

Approval of the minutes of March meeting

The minutes from the previous meeting were accepted as distributed.

Business arising

  • No new business arising.

Waterloo Stories update (Iva Badjari, Tom Graham)

Iva and Tom attended the meeting and presented an update on “Waterloo Stories”.  View full powerpoint presentation.

  • Looking to capture relevant stories within the University and cap on our two key audiences – Alumni/Donors.
  • Working group to discuss, set timeline and set future priorities, better understand the challenges and how we can work through them.

Waterloo Content Management System (WCMS) training update (Andrea Jennings)

Migrations and training – by the numbers

  • 865 sites live
  • 51 in progress on pilots
  • WCMS training courses: 4,334 attendees
  • WCMS drop-in lab attendees: 1,436

On Web Resources

WCMS SEW courses

  • All SEW courses offered throughout September and October are posted on the Web Resources website.

Revamped WCMS how-to documents

  • We’ve given the WCMS how-to docs a facelift. Let us know if you have any feedback!

Drop-in lab

  • Check the website to stay up-to-date! Regularly scheduled WCMS Drop-in lab hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm in MC 2060. If you require special arrangements outside of the regular drop-in hours please contact Andrea,

What’s happening with the WCMS?

WCMS SEW100 & SEW101 now on LEARN
Change to graduate student access to systems/services
  • As of January 1, 2019, graduate students not paid by Human Resources will no longer be included in the employee security group. All graduate students are in the IdM-SA-Graduate Studies security group.
  • If you control access to a system(s) that includes graduate students, you may need to allow access to all grad students via this security group, instead of using the employee security group. This would impact WCMS authentication-required sites; also web forms configured to only allow employee access.
New Training and Support team members!
  • Anna Quijano has joined our team for the fall term as a co-op student. Anna will be providing WCMS training and support, migration and quality assurance testing services, and creating and maintaining course and online documentation.
  • Start of a new term is a great time to review site permissions!
  • IST-WCMS playlist is available. The playlist will answer questions like: What is responsive design? What is Drupal, and why do we use it? How do I create and maintain an effective website within the WCMS?
  • Have you hired a co-op student to work on your website?  See this list of resources that will help them get up to speed.

Google Search Appliance replacement (Joe Kwan)

  • Current GSAs reach end-of-life around the end of March 2019.
  • Google has not announced a replacement product for the GSA, all organizations using a GSA must find/develop a replacement if they want to continue to offer search.
  • UW works with a reseller to license the GSAs.
  • Our reseller has identified a replacement search vendor; Mindbreeze.
  • Because of the potential cost, RFP may be involved.
  • If anyone else has any particular interest in search and can commit either time or budget they are welcome to contact Joe Kwan, Manager, Web Development, IST.

MC outage incidents (Joe Kwan)

  • Portal had no outage incidents, but there was observed performance degradation on high-traffic days that occurred during the outage (Orientation).
  • WCMS had two reported incidents:
    • homepage reported a rollback of content to pre-outage content.
    • Site owners reported loss of content that was edited on September 4 and 5.
  • Both WCMS incidents were traced back to a human error and gap in communication.
  • We are working with the infrastructure team to review the events and see what can be done to prevent these in the future.

WCMS development priority update (Joe Kwan)

  • Stated priority for the past year has been Drupal 8 (D8) development.
  • Late summer the team assessed its progress and decided to pause D8 work due to a number of factors:
    • Reduced developer capacity.
    • D8 Learning curve.
      • D8 has been rewritten from the ground up and is not in any way a simple upgrade from Drupal 7 (D7).
    • Ongoing challenges with contrib modules, particularly those with no stated upgrade plans to D8.
    • Unforeseen technical and non-technical challenges.
  • As a result the WCMS team will be refocusing on D7 development for the remainder of the year.
    • Most of that capacity has already been taken with work on D7 features that we have previously deferred in favour of D8.
  • There will be a Friday Morning Seminar later this year where Kevin Paxman will go into more detail about where we are at with D8.
  • The goal is for the D8 project to be restarted, with the help of the Project Management Office, in January 2019.

GDPR update (Joe Kwan)

  • Legal and Immigration Services (LIS) has received the opinion from Gowings (France-based law firm retained to consult).
  • LIS has contacted specific units on campus (IST, RO, GSPA, others) to complete a questionnaire.
    • Purpose of questionnaire is to inform further discussions with Gowlings as well as prepare a possible series of lunch and learn session to inform campus about GDPR obligations.
  • LIS will reach out when there is more to do, but overall recommendation is to continue with status quo.

WCMS Technical update (Kevin Paxman)

  • “Automatic” maps on events and services were disabled due to Google’s changing embeds using their API from a free to a paid service; we will be restoring maps with the 2.7.0 release, now using OpenStreetMaps. No intervention is required – maps will automatically reappear.
  • We put the release of 2.7.0 on hold around the power outage; work has resumed and we hope to be in testing in the couple of weeks.
  • Our big project for this and the next few sprints is work on Important Dates; aside from that, tickets, in this sprint include network alerts for the IST site, vote work, bug fixes and cleanup, module updates, and support for embedding individual Facebook posts.
  • The WCMS team members who attended Drupal North this summer will present on their experiences at the October 12th Friday morning seminar.

Legacy domain redirects discussion

  • For domains that were retired and content moved into the WCMS, and we “owned” or “took over” the server, we set up redirects.
  • Guideline was to set up an HTTP redirect, and if the legacy site had HTTPS, HTTPS as well (but otherwise, not).
  • Regardless of this, both HTTP and HTTPS are always “ captured” by our redirect server.
  • If a redirect isn’t set up for HTTPS:
    • If the domain is not “something”, or a domain that we have already set up, visiting over HTTPS will show a certificate mismatch error which visitors would have to bypass to go further.
    • For “something” and “bypassed” domains, visiting over HTTPS will show an error message.
  • How important do you feel it is to go back through all existing redirects and adjust them to support HTTPS? (Note: * domains and domains require a different fix).
    • Specific server for HTTP suggested.
  • Do you currently expect that all redirects work over HTTP and HTTPS?

Naming for iCal discussion

  • In pre-responsive WCMS, calendar feeds were linked from the sidebar with the text “export event calendar”.
  • With responsive redesign, this was moved to the “tabs” at the top of the page and for space reasons the text was shortened to “calendar”.
  • There was some thought that people wouldn't’t understand what was meant if this was labeled “iCal”.
  • Over the last few months, we have seen a number of tickets come in where people expected the link labeled “calendar” to switch to a calendar view instead of downloading a calendar file.
  • We are looking to rename the link – what should the name be, keeping in mind that it must be short?
    • Selected: export

Other business


Meeting adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 4:22 p.m.

Next meeting

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

NH 3318