News and Updates: Summer 2013

During the summer of 2013, the Writing@CSU site was substantially recoded and redesigned. As part of efforts to release the site as an open-source project, it was revised to allow any institution or group to customize it for their local contexts. Using the free Raillo ColdFusion server, we created a test server, recoded the site from the ground up, and added tools that allow for extensive customization. Then we have tested it for compatibility with commercial ColdFusion servers. The new open-source version of the Studio is slated for release in the fall of 2013, once the documentation has been completed. The site will be available through GitHub (and most likely on open-source sites specifically for the ColdFusion development community).

In addition to changes supporting the open-source project, we added new tools to the site

Overall, you'll see a new, modern design that moves the navigation menu to the top of the page. The customization tools take advantage of new banners, color schemes, and simplified layout options. To support use of the Studio in older browsers, we have enabled fall backs to simpler layouts and older tools should the Studio detect a browser that cannot use the newer features of the site.

As part of the design updates, we have also created new navigation tools for the class pages. The new, simplified navigation menu is available through the top menu and through a new menu icon (Menu Icon) located on the upper right side of each of the class pages.

A significant part of the efforts to update the site and prepare it for release as an open-source project was provided by Gavin Miller, an undergraduate at Colorado State University who works at the Institute for Learning and Teaching. Gavin has taken the lead on several new features, including the file tool, chat program, and text-messaging system. He has done a significant amount of quality assurance and is taking the lead on developing the documentation for the project.

Please look for news and updates about the open-source project. Our goal is to have the Studio available for use on both Windows Web servers and LAMP servers.