This has been a big month for Total ReCal. We’ve now perfected our event importers for Blackboard assignments and academic timetables, and we’ve started working on the main web application (screenshots too). We’ve also launched a beta registration page for interested staff and students to sign up for early access. Finally, our Talis Keystone service that the University has recently purchased will be in place very soon meaning we can also start importing book return dates for staff and students.

After numerous code re-writes we’ve got a rock solid API for adding, updating and deleting events in our Nucleus data store. Our import code has also had many updates to support logging of changes to events which will be invaluable to students to keep them up to date. Once the main Total ReCal application has been developed we’re going to sit down and work out how we’re going to best make use of these logs.

When a lecturer calls in sick the central timetabling department isn’t informed (unless it will affect lecturers for a long period of time). Therefore based on our current nightly timetable imports we won’t find out about any changes. We’re going to develop a tool for faculty administration staff to make changes to events as they’re going to be more aware of what the situation is day to day. This means that we can then inform students of changes that day as soon as someone changes it.

In terms of the front end, I’ve forked our common web design, called it ‘common web design x’, made it fluid to adapt to browser size, made it completely semantic HTML5 based, and taken the concept of progressive enhancement to new levels. It will also make use of our new OAuth 2.0 based single sign on service that I’ve written and it will automatically adapt to mobile layouts.

Mobile CWD v0.0000001 alpha

So after much messing around we’ve finally got a semi-decent mobile stylesheet for CWD web sites. For the moment we’ve only worked on getting mobile Safari to look right however now we’ve got a platform on which we can hack in support for other popular mobile browsers such as Opera Mobile.

Here are a few examples:

Print From My PC mobile edition

Print From My PC mobile edition

Gateway mobile editon

Gateway mobile editon

Only a few sites are working correctly at the moment, and there are a few other bugs that we need to iron out such as a flash that appears when some sites are loaded and some other funky quirks however we’ll do our best to fix these and ensure that future sites all work as expected from now on.

If anything is breaking monumentally please let me know, abilbie@lincoln.ac.uk. Thanks.

Ready for prime time

The CWD is now implemented on more than 50 University of Lincoln websites and blogs (see http://lost.lincoln.ac.uk/cwd/2.2/logs/) and after many hours debugging and testing it’s finally ready for prime time.

Proudly introducing


From tomorrow (17th August ’10) we’ll begin the process of updating sites to point at the new address and also updating the sites to version 2.3 Dallas Dhu which has been in development for the past 2 months. Tomorrow I’ll put up a post detailing the changes in 2.3 as well as some updated documentation that Nick has been working hard on.