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Start Spreading (your) News

Up till now, QuickSites and UT Drupal Kit have provided the UT Newsreel, which displays news article listings from news.utexas.edu.

Our upcoming release, scheduled for the second week of February, will add the ability to create full news articles directly within your site, and to add “Latest News” listings of these articles to pages.

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Coming Soon: UT Drupal Kit 2.3

We are on the cusp of releasing our latest iteration of UT Drupal Kit: version 2.3. As with its predecessors, this release includes Drupal updates and also comes with a number of new features.

Highlights

  • Security updates: Drupal 7.50 & contributed modules. Developers with existing Drupal Kit sites should follow UT Drupal Kit update steps as soon as possible.
  • An events content type is available as a standalone download.
  • Announcements can be displayed on the homepage or sitewide, with a variety of display options.
  • Drupal Kit sites can now be installed on or migrated to Pantheon‘s hosting service.
  • Twitter widget improvements: accessibility & retweet profile images.
  • Blocks from any contributed module can be configured to be available in the drag-and-drop Page Builder tool.
  • <object> and <param> tags (in addition to <script> and <iframe>) are now allowed to trusted content editors via the Blocks interface.
  • Pathologic and View Unpublished modules added.
  • A “Last Updated” timestamp can be displayed on a per-page basis.
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Yes, Drupal Kit does responsive tables

One big advantage of building a website with UT Drupal Kit is that, out of the box, your site is fully responsive. Regardless whether it’s viewed on a desktop, tablet, or smart phone, content fits intelligently to the screen width.

To qualify as fully responsive, that means that tables also need to fit. This is no straightforward task. How, for example, should the following table fit into a portrait-oriented phone display and still be readable?

HTML table with four columns

There are a number of approaches that tackle this challenge. The design firm behind the homepage redesign, Springbox, selected the Filament Group‘s “Tablesaw” approach, and when we set out to build a Drupal distribution for the UT community, we concurred with that decision.

How the Drupal Kit does analytics

You’ve built your shiny new Drupal Kit website. You’ve launched it, to roaring intradepartmental applause. But now your boss wants metrics on who’s accessing what. You’ll need some kind of analytics tool.

Since this desire for site statistics is so ubiquitous, we decided to bake it into the UT Drupal Kit. For some time now, the most widely adopted solution — both on campus and in general — has been Google Analytics, and we saw no reason to diverge from this. The Drupal Kit is thus set up to send tracking data to a user-created Google Analytics account. It also integrates with Google’s next-gen analytics tool, Tag Manager, which significantly widens the ambit of site metrics.

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Getting to know Page Builder (part 2 of 2)

Part 1 of “Getting to know Page Builder” discussed the conceptual approach that Page Builder takes to arranging content. In Part 2, below, I discuss how we built this in Drupal. This post is primarily useful for developers using the Drupal Kit who may want to do things like create their own Page Builder templates.

Page Builder is a custom Drupal module for assembling page content using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. To first get an idea of the end-product in action, watch this video demo.

The following explains how it all works within Drupal.

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Page Builder UT QuickSites

Getting to know Page Builder (part 1 of 2)

Last week, ITS released our 2.0 version of the UT Drupal Kit. It adds quite a lot to the University web developer toolkit, supplementing the centralized CMS ecosystem that has so far consisted of the University Blog Service and the (now legacy mode) UT CMS.

What, exactly, does it add? In addition to the UT-branded theme we’re calling “Forty Acres,” it has a custom, drag-and-drop interface for assembling pages, whose functionality was developed by Springbox. We’ve dubbed our broader re-tooling of this “Page Builder.”