Week Beginning 24th August 2015

It was another short week for me this week, as I was off on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I had to spend a little time whilst I was off fixing a problem with one of our WordPress sites. Daria alerted me to the fact that the ISAS conference website was displaying nothing but a database connection error, which is obviously a fairly major problem. It turned out that one of the underlying database tables had become corrupted, but thankfully WordPress includes some tools to fix such issues and after figuring that out I managed to get the site up and running again. I’m not sure what caused the problem but hopefully it won’t happen again.

I attended to some further WordPress duties later on in the week when I was back at work. I’ve set up a conference website for Sean Adams in Theology and he was wanting a registration page to be set up. I was supposed to meet with his RA on Thursday to discuss the website but unfortunately she was ill, so I just had to get things set up without any formal discussions. I investigated a couple of event management plugins for WordPress, but the ones I tried seemed a bit too big and clunky for what we need. All we need is a single registration page for one event, but the plugins provide facilities to publish multiple events, manage payments, different ticket types and all of this stuff. It was all far too complicated, yet at the same time it seemed rather difficult to customise some fairly obvious things such as which fields are included in the registration form. After trying two plugins and being dissatisfied with both of them I just settled for using a contact form that emails Sean and the RA whenever someone registers. It’s not the ideal setup but for a relatively small event that we have very little time to get things set up for it should work out ok.

I had some further AHRC review duties to take care of this week, which took up the best part of one of my available days. I also had some more iOS developer account management issues to take care of, which also took up some time. Some people elsewhere in the University are wanting to upload a paid app to the App Store, but in order to do this a further contract needs to be signed with Apple, and this needs some kind of legal approval from the University before we agree to it. I had a couple of telephone conversations with a lawyer working on behalf of the University about the contracts for Apple and also for the Google Play store. I also had email conversations with Megan Coyer and Gavin Miller about the development of their respective online resources and spoke to Magda and Susan regarding some Scots Thesaurus issues.

On Friday morning I had a meeting with Gerry Carruthers and Catriona MacDonald to discuss their ‘People’s Voice’ project, which is due to start in January and for which I had been assigned two months of effort. We had a really useful meeting, going over some initial requirements for the database of songs and poems that they want to put together and thinking about how their anthology of songs will be marked up and managed. We also agreed that Mark Herraghty would do the bulk of the development work for the project. Mark knows a lot more about XML markup than I do which makes him a perfect fit for the project so this is really good news.

This was all I managed to squeeze into my two days of work this week. I didn’t get a chance to do any real development work but hopefully next week I’ll be able to get back stuck into it.