Productive Winter Intersession 2012

This past intersession I made some changes to the library’s website. Firstly, I upgraded PHP that came with Redhat so we can update our blog and add some more functionality. I had to use a different repository for the server to upgrade mysql and PHP, which took some time…but I think it worked out in the end. However, I think it’s important to upgrade our Redhat license so we still have access to Redhat sanctioned updates. I don’t know if RH will ever update PHP, but it’s kind of necessary when you’re doing more modern web work that require php-xml for APIs.

Speaking of APIs, I connected our public Google calendar to our website. I think the embedded calendar for G Calendar leaves a LOT to be desired. You can’t control the display of events, the calendar/agenda views look clunky, and you’re pretty much SOL if for some reason G Calendar goes down. As a response, I used Andrew Darby’s setup that he published in Code4lib. I made some modifications, such as using updates to depreciated code (split was replaced with explode) and re-wrote the PHP code so it returns today’s library’s hours for the front page of the site.  I also learned a great deal about the Google Calendar API and the Zend framework to develop the code for the project. Basically, events made in the public G calendar are downloaded into a MySQL database, then retrieved later.

I also built a mobile website for the library which can be found here – http://m.library.citytech.cuny.edu .  We’re still prototyping it, but I think it works well for most cross-platform/browser/devices. It’s based  on the jquery mobile framework, which seems to be prevalent in other mobile sites, most notable at the North Carolina State University’s library mobile site. I also patched in Darby’s code to retrieve the hours.

Lastly, I moved our e-resources over to Drupal for statistics. Most of the work was based on Leo Klein’s utility in views. I hope it provides a smoother workflow for the other librarians.

More on the list include:

Updating the staff/research guides wiki

Updating drupal 6 security

Creating a drupal 7 testing server

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