Central Web Services and University Relations and Marketing Web Communications Team, in partnership, is pleased to announce Version 1.2.0 of the OSU Homepage has been released on the evening of December 22nd.  The main feature that this release brings is the ability for inclusion of an alerts region to prominently display alerts, whether it is from the Emergency Response Alerts, or to other alert aspects, such as University closures due to inclement weather.

The full list of items performed in this release are highlighted below.

What’s Next? We’ll be performing some close out tasks on Version 1.2.0, and then per our Home Page Release Schedule (at the bottom of this note), we’ll be starting the next cycle.  Feature input for the next cycle, version 1.3.0 is open, from now through January 15, 2011.   Please note:  Any minor fixes will continue to be performed in maintenance releases, such as 1.2.1 or 1.2.2, etc, between minor/major release cycles.

Version 1.2.0 Release Items:

Emergency & Alerts Functions:
These functions allow for displaying alerts prominently on the main oregonstate.edu page, and allowing for University Relations and Marketing management of alerts to the main page.  In the event of high traffic, there is the availability to create a light version of the home page, that does not bring in the numerous images from the full home page, but allows for alerts to be displayed.  In addition, this release allows for sharing of the alerts data for the mobile platform, at m.oregonstate.edu to be able to receive alerts.

alert image feature for homepage

  • alerts creation
  • alert region pushing
  • alerts editing
  • light version management
  • light version creation
  • Footer “light” setting
  • Home Page JSON data sharing (for mobile apps and alert updates)
  • Other Features:  Allow for individual site campaign settings in the Make a Gift link in the top hat that is included on other sites.
  • Make a Gift additional setting

Bug fixes: As with all software, ours is no different.  Every piece of software has bugs, so we continue to look for and fix bugs in every release.

  • main content cookie default tab resets on deletion
  • Many minor bug and css fixes across all regions (Home Page Related)

Code Improvements: Code improvements are based on re-architecting code to improve re-use, performance, readability, and usability.

  • top hat refactor
  • Centralize cache code and other region functions
  • Clean up management interface internals
  • Implement “output” functions for greater site management flexibility
  • Enhanced region sharing docs

The Software Development Life Cycle

When we first went on this journey of recreating the home page this past year, I set forward a strategy to look at the home page like any other piece of software that is developed by those big commercial companies, ie. to bring it into a software development life cycle.  As part of the software development life cycle, we have released several versions to date, including many small dot releases, those 1.0.1 and 1.1.1 type of releases.  Without the notion of a software development life cycle, it is hard to plan in a software development organization.  For all the other Universities that don’t do this, I would have you consider taking the same approach.  So now on to the next set of items that we can bring to the home page.  We look forward to hearing any ideas, so please share your ideas.

Home Page Release Schedule:

1.0.0  May 17th, 2010          (initial launch)
1.1.0  September 1st, 2010        (Actual: September 17th)
1.2.0  December 1st, 2010        (Actual:  December 22nd)
1.3.0  April 1st, 2011

2.0.0*  September 1st, 2011
2.1.0  December 1st, 2011
2.2.0  April 1st, 2012

3.0.0*  September 1st, 2012
3.1.0  December 1st, 2012
3.2.0  April 1st, 2013

* Major versions may be substituted with minor versions if no major feature release is included.

Feature Input cutoff dates (ideal):
These dates are when feature input for the upcoming releases are cut-off to proceed to release management of the next release.

x.0.0   May 15th  (May release meeting, June/July/August develop, August test/qa)
x.1.0  September 15th (September release meeting, October/November develop, November test/qa)
x.2.0  January 15th (January release meeting, February/March develop, March test/qa)

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