My Notes of the Cascade 7 Webinar

My notes from the webinar about Cascade 7. Hannon Hill should have a video of this webinar on their site in a week or so.

June 5, 2012

Bradley Wagner


  1. Portability
  2. Performance
  3. End-user experience
  4. Interface/usability


  1. Released May 8, 2012
  2. Over 65 downloads
  3. 2 Betas and client survey
  4. 400+ Votes satisfied
  5. Features for all stakeholders and user

DEMO: Content Portability

whole-site export that downloads .csse files

DEMO: Database export utility

everything expect binary files

DEMO: Site Clone/Copy

It keeps local references local to the copied site, and
external references (_common) stay external.

DEMO: Move/Rename Unpublish

Auto-unpublish when assets are moved/renamed. This
works on manual as well as expired assets (expiration folder

DEMO: Modules

Easy way to add content e.g. twitter feed.

New >> Block >> Twitter Feed

Also swap out assets (blocks) on a page. with Inline

It dynamically updates the published page with new

DEMO: Spectate Connector

SAS marketing tool. Makes (empty) forms really easily.
Create connector in Cascade first, then use a new button on wysiwyg to drop
in form. Also, processes form data e.g. send email.

DEMO: Features – Caching (index

Speeds up render on Cascade.

DEMO: Features – Improved History

Type ahead with action list when users scroll over

DEMO: Features – Global Search

Type ahead added.

DEMO: Improved HTML5 Support

Embed video as HTML5. CAVEAT: Chrome doesn’t like
to render videos inline, but Safari will (Why?)

Also, improved Tidy – HTML5 nicer

My Questions:

Q: How does site copy handle locked files?

A: (They didn’t answer, but I think it will make a copy of the last saved version.)

Q: How does it hand internal asset references? One of
the problems we have when we copy now with 6.10.9 is
“hotlinking” images (or other assets).

A: It keeps local references local to the copied site,
and external references (_common) stay external.

Other Answers

Common assets (e.g. _common) need to exist before a site is copied.

Transport passwords are encrypted.

WordPress University

Stephanie Leary
Website Administrator, Texas A&M University

October 7

CMS Capabilities

  • posts and pages
  • scheduled publishing
  • basic workflow
  • easy media embedding
  • excellent seo
  • ubiquitous feeds

Killer Feature is the User Interface. (made by happycog)

Post vs. Page

Posts have…

  • included in feeds
  • categories
  • tags
  • excerpts
  • comments and trackbacks
  • custom fields

Pages have…

  • not included in feeds
  • page parent (not categories)
  • template
  • menu order
  • comments and trackbacks
  • custom fields

Pages can…with plugins

  • included in feeds
  • categories
  • tags

The dirty little secret because pages are posts and posts are pages.

Things that are posts

  • blogs
  • news archives
  • press releases
  • podcasts
  • newsletters
  • magazines
  • journals
  • …

Things that are posts

  • anything you want in a feed
  • anything organized by date

Things that are pages

  • anything that does not change often
  • anything that is not organized by date

Other things

  • media uploads
  • users
  • links


  • installation
  • file import
  • basic options
  • reading settings
  • permalinks

Less blog, more CMS

  • magazine-style home pages
  • great url structure
  • no category or archives
  • contextual navigation
  • breadcrumbs
  • subpage listings

Magazine Layout

  • multiple content areas
  • category sections
  • list of subpages
  • widgets

Required theme files

  • index.php
  • style.css

Other recommendations

  • functions.php – this is where you define widgets
  • screenshot.png

More files

category.php = global category theme

category-6.php = category theme for catid=6

How a theme file works

  • get_header
  • The Loop
  • get_sidebar
  • get_footer

sandbox, hybrid, thematic themes to start looking at

Inside The Loop

  • title
  • content/excerpt
  • date
  • categories
  • tags
  • author
  • custom fields

Complicating matters

  • custom loops
  • multiple loops

Modify the query (query_posts)

  • limit
  • offset
  • parent
  • categories & tags (include/exclude)
  • sort order
  • type
  • author
  • status


one included by default – get_sidebar()

can use more than one with php file include syntax


theme/plugin hybrid

can be defined in functions.php or installed as part of a plugin

Built-in Widgets

  • archives
  • categories
  • calendar
  • links
  • RSS
  • pages
  • meta (log in/out, feed)
  • recent posts
  • tag cloud
  • text


6735 plugins and growing

Plugins can…

  • add widgets
  • create template tags
  • modify loops
  • create shortcodes
  • alter user roles
  • provide custom fields
  • alter write screens
  • add JS libraries

Putting it all together

We want…

  • pages
  • a blog
  • subscribe to comments
  • a podcast
  • a contact form w/spam guard
  • a private area
  • users to be redirected on login

Sidbar login plugin

Peter’s login redirect

Problems with private

visibility: menus

granularity: groups

privileges: roles

Plugin to fix this – Role manager (for now)

[PressThis podcast talks about world press]

Hiding the admin area

  • sidebar login
  • front-end editor
  • P2
  • posthaste

Moving servers

  • changing domains
  • edit database fields
  • use config file constants
  • changing directories
  • maintaining permalinks

Caching Plugins

  • WP Cache
  • Super Cache
  • W3 Total Cache

What’s New in 2.9

  • image editor
  • trash (posts, pages, comments)
  • new excerpt filters
  • easy changes to contact profile fields
  • included handbook (printable)
  • category-slug.php

What’s different in MU

  • each user gets a blog
  • each blog gets a set of db tables
  • users can’t upload themes or plugins
  • site-wide plugins installed for all
  • site admin screen (and role)

Calendar plugin: AMR ICAL Event

Implementing Reason CMS with Small Teams and Small Budgets

Nathan White
Web Application Developer, Carleton College

Charles Fulton
Computer Support Specialist, Kalamazoo College

Steve Smith
Reason Programmer/Analyst and System Support, Luther College

Melissa Dix
Assistant Director for Web Services, Beloit College

October 5

Presentation style is round robin each college sharing some details of their implementation.

Uses WYSIWYG editor also developed by Reason.

Allows ‘type’ creation: like ‘page’ or ‘form’ or ‘WhatEverIWantToNameIt’

Uses Google Docs Form tool (e.g. Form Builder)

Using WordPress MU as a Web Content Management System

Sarah Barnes
Web Developer, West Virginia University

Alisha Myers
Professional Technologist, West Virginia University

October 5

Why use it

  • Core is solid but doesn’t do everything
  • Extensible open source
  • Available to more people over a in-house solution
  • It works because of the admin side: multiple managers managing multiple users
  • Create multiple themes and lock them down from changes
  • Admins can approve plugins

Why not use it

  • Media library: everything all together organized by day, month. Plugin to fix: custom upload directory
  • Running PHP on page/post needs plugin
  • Forms have issues. Plugin to fix: Contact Form 7

Audience Input:

Plugin for images: NextGEN Gallery

twitter: srbarnes

twitter: alynnmyers

My interest in Special Interest Groups @HighEdWeb 2009

My interest in Special Interest Groups @HighEdWeb 2009 and why:

  • Marketing and Communications: I work for a group called Communications and Marketing; we need to market the dry topic of information technology. But seriously, I think it is a delicate subject in higher education. We don’t have the budget that Sapient has, and we have to be more tactful than corporate America.
  • Leveraging Social Media/Networking tools: using social media is the norm today. Students coming to college use (some forms) of social media without batting an eye. We need to be comfortable with it. We need to use it as a marketing tool just like we used older forms of communication.
  • Accessibility: I’ve heard it summarized best this way, “Making anything accessible to the disabled makes it more accessible to the abled.” We need to make our communications accessible to the challenged not just because it’s the law, but because it makes it more accessible to the masses.
  • Usability and Usability testing: Like accessibility, usable design is universal. If it is good for a few chances are it’s good for the many. We need to make the web usable the first time or it wont get used and other aspects of our business will suffer – marketing, accessibility, management, etc.
  • Content Management: When we manage content well it makes life a whole lot easier. A Content Management System (CMS) can take care of a lot of above e.g. accessible, usable blogs with links to twitter/facebook/myspace.

Reposted from

SXSW Day Four

Shift Happens: Moving from Words to Pictures

See for t-shirts.

Sunni Brown, Dave Gray, Lee LeFever, Dan Roam, Tom Crawford
Book: Back of the Napkin

“Visual thinking is king”
Use cortex, ??, picture superior affect
“You can’t do system work without visual thinking”

Ultimate Showdown of Content Management System Destiny

Georege DeMet, Colleen Carrol, Steve Fisher, Matt Mullenweg
WordPress (was the crowd favorite)

Book: Mark Boulton, Five Simple Steps: Designing for the Web
See: tamka
See: bbpress
See: wpmu

They all have a “shopping cart” install of modules/plugins.

2009 WaSP Annual Meeting

Derek Featherstone, Aaron Gustafson (IE8), Glenda Sims, Stef Sullivan (Adobe), Henny Swan

The Dawn of the Education Era – WaSP Interact is a project for educating the next generation of proper web standards

Adobe is working on standards documents: Flash accessibility

IE8 has a compatibility list. They started from ground up with a copy of CSS 2.1 on their desks.
IE8 will report usage stats to the mothership. Then add to the List sites that don’t comply with CSS 2.1 (and other requirements). Then it will push the list out to clients with regular updates like Microsoft Security Updates.
code can contain meta tags to force use of IE8 mode and ignore the list:
meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=8″

SXSW Day Three

Web In Higher Education

Brad Ward & Dylan W

See reason cms
See uwebd
See IBM accessibility software, they took over watchfire? to continue the conversation

The talk was nice. Not a whole lot was accomplished though – unless getting grievences off your chest is an accomplishment.

After the conversation was pre-party for the web award show. Then the web award show. It was ok – free food and 1 drink – but still ok. Baratunde killed at the end – skittles r evil!