T4-Related News

This webpage details University website-related news, from the ISS web team, including anything that may be of interest to web editors / T4 users.

2024

IRIS Profiles - Discipline Imports

The 'Staff from IRIS Discipline' content type quietly stopped importing researcher profiles in mid-April this year.  This was thankfully brought to the web team's attention by both the School of Business and Economics and the IRIS system administrator. 

Initial investigations suggested a change to T4's web object's behaviour.  This is used to read researcher profiles into the CMS, for publication on the University website.  
However, T4 was unaware of any issues with (or changes to) the web object that could explain this issue. 

Following exhaustive black-box testing, the ISS web team deduced that a security update to another component of the T4 platform, or its hosting environment, had the unexpected knock-on effect of disabling the web object's ability to handle relative links.  After proving the efficacy of a work-around, we then modified our IRIS middleware to circumvent this newly emerged constraint to T4's website scraper, to resolve the issue, site-wide.

Accessibility: Keyboard Navigation

In April 2024, the web team introduced additional features to the website to further improve its accessibility for users who navigate using the keyboard.

On all browsers, pressing the 'Tab' key will jump you to the next interactive item on the page (i.e. links).  The University website now has a hidden two link bar that will only appear when the 'Tab' key is used. This allows the user to jump past all the menu links, at the top of the page, to quickly gain access to the main content.  If the webpage includes a side navigation bar, the link bar will also contain a 2nd link, to jump directly to it.

By introducing this feature, the University joins with many other progressive websites (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft) in offering this time-saving courtesy to anyone that; due to illness, injury, or personal preference; uses the keyboard rather than a mouse.

Accessibility: Accordion Content Type

In April 2024, the web team also discovered that one of our most popular content types, the Accordion (used on this webpage), was inaccessible to anyone relying solely on the keyboard to navigate.  Our original designers had inadvertently created a content type that only worked with a mouse!  This inequality was immediately addressed - Accordions are now focusable when you press the 'Tab' key and can be opened/closed by pressing the <Enter> / <Return> key - just like any other clickable link.

Test it out
Feel free to test this new feature out by pressing Shift-Tab to select the previous Accordion item and then pressing <Enter> to close/open it.
(Note: Tab skips you to the next focusable element on the page, whereas Shift-Tab goes to the previous one).
If the accordions are not accessible to you, via the keyboard, your browser has not yet read the newest version of our site's JavaScript (browsers tend to read this only once in a while, to speed up your page loads).  In this case, simply use Ctrl-F5 (or else Ctrl-Shift-R) to tell your browser to reload the page without cutting any corners.

Accessibility: Image ALT text

In mid-May 2024, The 'Description' field, in the media library was made mandatory for all users.  This field is necessary for the image's alt text - the description that explains the image to people with visual impairments.  

If you add a new image (or edit an existing image) in the media library, you will have to fill the description in before you can save your change. 

students with backpacks

E.g.: For the above image, the description could be 'Two students, in a busy outdoor area, on-campus, wearing colourful NUI Galway-branded backpacks; one maroon, the other yellow'.
You can use up to 400 characters in the description which should be more than enough for all needs.
Tip: If in doubt, select the description and use ISS's useful bookmarklet #5 to quickly count the characters.

If you add a new document to the media library, you will also need to supply a description before you can save it (e.g. 'Instruction Document').  This will not be used but this is a small price to pay to ensure the accessibility of images, into the future.

December 2023

T4 Upgrade

T4 will be upgraded in mid-January from version 7.4.004 to 8.3.18.
The upgrade process will begin on Monday Jan 15, at 5pm and is expected to be completed by 9am the following day.
The CMS may not be available during this time; but even if it is, please do not make any edits during this upgrade window, as your changes will not transfer over to the new version.
 
This upgrade will significantly change the CMS's user interface.
 
Please note: The website / pages, produced by the CMS, will not change in any way - nor will the process of editing web content; however each screen in the CMS will look very different, as the following 3-minute video shows:

Note: The above video is best viewed in full-screen (use Alt-Enter after you start the video).