Monthly Archives: April 2009

GO Faster!

The Edge Hill GO portal has recently had a couple of little updates, both of which I hope will improve your usage of it.

Until recently whenever you logged into GO you where taken to your last used Tab at this address https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/. This was all well and good when the majority of people only had the one “Home” Tab.

GO Home Tab

A selection of people had also added their own custom tabs by clicking the old “New Tab” link, or now the “+” link at the end of the list of Tabs. But this behaviour wasn’t prevalent across the majority of users.

Performing Arts users have had their own Tab for a while now, and also recently Health students have had a Health Tab. Students have had the “Student Central” Tab for some time too now which contains a growing number of services.

GO Home - Student Central Tabs

Always going back to your last Tab on login meant an extra click to get back to Home. Or if you used a Tab regularly you couldn’t bookmark it’s address individually, or have multiple GO Tabs open at once in your browser. Since in my work for the Faculty of Health I will be driving them to make more and more use of GO and the services it provides I need a solution for this problem.

GO Tabs are now individually addressed in GO. This means your Home tab is always accessible at:

https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/

Other university provided Tabs are available at addresses such as:

https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/student_central
https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/health

With custom tabs that you’ve created being available at addresses like this:

https://go.edgehill.ac.uk/tab/news

This’ll hopefully help people get to where they want to go faster 🙂

Other news.. To also improve uptake of GO usage in the Faculty of Health I’ve spent a lot of time speeding up the page load times of GO. I think this is an important aspect because people just don’t use slow unresponsive systems. A few facts and figures.

Before my work a standard GO Home Tab took 2-3 seconds to load and made 34 database calls.

Since my work a standard GO Home Tab takes 0.5 seconds to load, makes 13 database calls, and uses a third less memory resources on the server, which makes for a much faster experience. (I hope at least one or two people noticed!)

Steve Daniels

Happy 2nd Birthday Web Services Blog

Happy Birthday

Today is the second birthday of the Web Services blog! Is it really a year since the last birthday and two years since Alison’s first post?!  Yes, it really is.

The frequency of posts has dropped off in the last year – we’ve crept up to 201 posts – but we’ve still covered a lot. Here’s a few of the bigger topics:

So a busy year, and that barely compares to what’s coming up.  We’re in the middle of redeveloping Faculty and Department websites, starting with the Department of Magic.  In the last few months we have given GO a facelift, ready for new features and integration of the staff intranet.

Interesting times ahead, so keep reading for the next year in the life of the Web Services blog.

Encarta bit by Wikipedia: Another triumph for Web 2.0

Microsoft announces the closure of Encarta later this year after losing ground over the years to freely available reference material on the Internet and on web sites like Wikipedia.

“People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past,”

the software maker said in a notice posted on its MSN website. As described in a Bits blog, the Wiki-dominance is so far-reaching that it got 97% of the visits that Web surfers in the U.S. made to online encyclopaedias, while Encarta was second with 1.27%.

Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years. However, the category of traditional encyclopaedias and reference material has changed. Now Encarta itself has fallen victim to changes in technology. Well, it looks like Wikipedia is here to stay without strong rivals on the net, the question is for how long?

The plug will be officially pulled in October of this year but Microsoft will also stop selling the Encarta products by June. RIP Encarta 1993 – 2009.

Janeth