Week Beginning March 24th 2014

This week began with Chris informing me that someone had managed to upload a rogue script to the Burns server that had been sending out spam messages.  Not the best of starts to the week!  I helped Chris clean the server on Monday morning and we managed to strengthen the security somewhat.  It was also interesting to view the rogue script itself – a small but deadly script that enabled the hacker to run any code they wanted on the server.  Hopefully that’s the hole successfully plugged now though.

I managed to spend a bit of time this week working on the redevelopment of the DSL site, something I’ve not had as much time to work on as I would have hoped recently.  I managed to tick off quite a few items on my ‘to do’ list including providing a ‘fixed’ entry heading so that when a user scrolls down the entry page the heading remains visible.  I also added the ‘About this entry’ box to the entry page, which will contain information about when the entry was originally published.  I then implemented the facilities to show / hide quotations and the etymology, using HTML5 local storage to record the user’s choice so that this is remembered whenever they go to the ‘entry’ page.  The ‘Cite this entry’ option was also added – a popup the will work in a similar manner to the HT ‘cite’ options (I still need to know what citation options need to go in this box, though).  I also added in a ‘share’ box, including options to email, tweet, link to facebook etc for each entry and added a ‘browse’ box that will eventually feature the dictionary browse facility.  I also changed the site font to a sans-serif one purely to try this approach out as I was getting a bit fed up with the serif font, and I updated the layout of the quotations to make them appear in a smaller font with less padding to cut down on the amount of vertical space that was being used.

There was another DROG meeting this week, the first one this year.  It was another good opportunity to let people know about the projects and bids I’ve been involved with and also to hear what other developments have been taking place across the School and beyond.

The majority of the rest of the week was spent preparing for and attending the Mapping Metaphor colloquium, which took place on the Friday and also the Saturday morning.  I wrote my presentation and prepared the walkthrough of the website, and also made some last minute tweaks to the website, for example adding in facilities to view a category’s keywords from the search results page and also the category page itself.  I attended the full day of the colloquium on the Friday, which was very interesting.  The Saturday morning was when the focus was on the visualisations and the website, though.  Thankfully this all went very smoothly.  The presentation and walkthrough both went well, there were no issues with the server and the 20 or so people who attended for the ‘hands on’ session managed to access the website and visualisations without any major issues.  The participants filled in some feedback forms (which I have not looked at yet) and the overall impression I got was that people were pretty pleased with how things were developing.