KB Advisory Group Meeting Minutes - 2014-11-21 - November 2014
KB Monthly Meeting Minutes for (Month Year).
Attendees: Weizhong Wang, Teresa Arauco, Charlene Krembs, Kari Skeim, Jay Fleisher, Noel Kim, Brian Longfield, Amy Holevas, Xander Zamba, Dave Devereaux-Weber, Lauren Meyer. Jon Miner, James Lloyd, Jesse Czech, Lauren Meyer, Susan Flanagin , John Cowsert (UIllinois), Eric Smith (Xavier)
New KB sites since Last Monthly Meeting
- No new KB sites this month.
Changes and Improvements since Last Monthly Meeting
- Linktopic dual functionality
Weizhong: In the KB Admin Tools, we have a number of custom tags, such as LinkDoc. When you enter a document ID number in the Editor screen, highlight that number and click on, for example, the LinkDoc button; a pop up window appears asking whether you want to open this link in a new window. After you answer yes inside the pop up window, or decline, a dynamic link appears in your document editor. The LinkTopic custom tag works the same way.
The two LinkTopic options available work as described below:
- Start at the Topics listing in the KB Admin Tools that displays a Topic ID number in the parentheses next to each topic.
- In the HTML editor, enter topic ID number and highlight it. Click on the LinkTopic button. The dual functionality happens at this point.
- A pop up appears asking if you want the topic to appear in plain text OR of you want it to appear as a hyperlink. Choose accordingly and then respond to the second pop up window
- A plain text Topic name can then be decorated by CSS.
- A hyperlinked Topic name appears which point to all documents associated with that topic.
Josh Harder: The text in the pop up windows can be made more brief--perhaps consider refining the language asking "do you want to open this link in a new window? Y/N. Many users do not spend time reading the longer instructions in pop up windows.
- Firewall against spam messages via feedback
Weizhong: Much firewall work happens behind the scenes. The biggest security threat in KB comes from SQL code injections. Malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution. In the last couple years we have logged and monitored all query streams in KB to see if they are suspicious.
- Search for malicious patterns.
- Query and IP number sent to a table. Next attempt is blocked.
About a month ago, spam messages came from different parts of the KB: Feedback, Suggest a Document, Suggest a Keyword. Spammers used brute force to circumvent the security in place: the simple arithmetic expression. Spammers from Russian and China were the most prevalent offenders. We have collected a broad range of malicious IPs. We also collect certain keywords and block those submitting them.
Spammers also flooded the feedback with hyperlinks. Now, KB feedback is limited to 10 hyperlinks per message. We have seen dramatic decrease in spam messages since putting this in place. There is yet another firewall at the web server layer.
Weizhong: This was an idea from NIU. They expressed a need to delineate content for faculty/staff versus students. Cornell expressed the same need some time ago. In response, I have created a new field in the document editor called Audiences. At first we thought Audiences could be global. Audiences such as applicants, parents, alumni etc could be sharing docs across campus. NIU, however, had a more specific need: the wanted to limit Office 365 documentation only to staff and NOT students. NIU students are not using 0365. The decision was made not to take Audiences in a global direction, but instead, a site specific direction.
The Audiences function is described below:
- In a KB site with no Audiences defined, "No audience selection = All audiences" will appear in the KB Admin Tools document editor designating the content is intended for everyone to view. (e.g. No audience association). In a KB site with Audiences defined, "Audiences can be added or created via the Topics" tab will appear in the KB Admin Tools document editor.
- Similar to the way topics works, Audiences are maintained under the Topics.
- The Topics was chosen because of its resemblance to the sorting function of Topics.
- The Audiences function organizes and categorizes content and filters by the selected Audience delineation(s).
- We defined a number of fixed audiences that cannot be changed, (e.g. unable to edit the name and ID behind the audience name).
- There are 8 fixed groups: Faculty, Parents, Staff, Alumni, Students, International Students and Applicants.
- Custom audiences can be defined. (e.g.the DoIT Help Desk KB has a subset of users called HDQA. That very particular set of users can search for documents that pertain only to them.
- The Unified sites (like Berkeley, U of I, etc) which aggregate content from smaller sites will look at fixed/shared audience assignation. Documents defined to to that Audience can find what they need more quickly.
- Can turn Audience drop down off at the Site Preference tab > Searching Sorting.
- Audiences can also me made into navigational links on KB Site side modules.
- A specific "aud" variable/ flag is carried in the urls of: feed, search results, RSS. (Example: landing page https://kb.wisc.edu/yourKBsite/search.php?aud=25). One could make a higher level link and separate their KB site into smaller sections.
Josh Harder: Is there an overlap with Campus Access feature in the KB.
Weizhong: Audiences comes from the complete opposite angle. Audiences don't have affect on user permissions at all. The KB does not do a check permissions. A user identifies themselves as X consumer by selecting an Audience from the available Audiences found in the drop down menu. Topics and Audiences work together as a filter. Example:
- Choose all documents in topic of Fresh Food.
- Choose a specific Audience from the dropdown list
- Documents for a very specific audience will appear.
David Devereux-Weber: So the User identifies him/herself by choosing from drop down, the User is Self identifying. An international student will see docs that pertain to her self identified audience. Authentication is not used with Audiences.
Jon Miner: InCommon higher education identity management member logic in shib defines a user as X . So the KB could use the data provided by InCommon. Most partner schools use shib. When you use IP servers, standard attributes will give you identifiers for student, faculty, employee. Since the KB is integrating through InCommon, we should be receiving the default attribute from other institutions. That is the precise purpose of InCommon.
Weizhong: We use User Affiliation on the default landing page to match who you are.
Jon Miner: Shib logic may fall apart if an undergrad/ grad student is also an employee.
Weizhong: We could get more sophisticated by adding comma delimited audience types. IDPs out of UW give the KB one attribute, "eddp". Discovery service will give you only certain info (restricted info). Group Authorization would work better.
Josh Harder: So this function is similar to flag filtering. There are such terms as flag, tag or label tha do such grouping. Perhaps another term can be use along with the word Audiences...so the function is easier to identify.
Weizhong: That is correct. I was reluctant to use the name "Audiences". Audience flags are not useful unless people come up with own scheme and structure. In the Unified KB, I am considering replacing Top Docs link, Newest Docs link and changing them to/ various Audiences.
Josh Harder: Users need suggested best practices for setting up a function like this.
Weizhong: I agree. We spoke to the University of Maryland. While they had a successful wiki, the naming standards for Labels and tags were too varied, for example "Higher ed", "higher education". It became problematic.
Amy Holevas: Do you apply a flag one document at a time?
Weizhong: The Batch Update logic will be updated by next month.
Let me give a brief Batch Update demo and show you where the Audiences field will be. With Batch Update, you may change attributes in multiple documents. Batch Update takes list of doc ID numbers, which are comma delimited. Paste the document ID numbers in the Comma Delimited field. Pick and choose documents from the list presented to you and then the choose attributes to update.
Teresa: Please be mindful to return the Batch Update flags to "Unchanged" if you choose not to change anything. If you select Reset Topics and then not choose to make an update, by leaving the Topics unchanged (e.g. unchecked), making a change in another attribute and clicking "update" , this will reset the document's Topics to no topics chosen.
Weizhong: There is no undo button, you would need to update the documents one by one. The Batch Update tool is very powerful but should be used with caution.
Background: Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) requested the Fixed centered search only (without content/side modules) as a landing page. This is the one that is used only by Unified Sites--this is now changed. CVTC wanted to use this style as their landing page and have the color scheme be different from document page.
This can now be modified in the Site pref tab > Full view layout CSS link. In the past, the logo had fields for an image path, and logo image size..all this was shared with landing page and doc pages.
Now the KB allows Admins to specify two logo images: one for the landing page, one for the site page. This allows you to independently style landing page w/o breaking normal document page.
On the Google landing page, the image appears large, once you select the document, the Google image is very small and at the top of the page. Soon, the KB site name logo, which appears in a larger size on the landing page will appear smaller in size in the document page.
Josh Harder; The website creation site, Square one has a logo creation tool that uses jquery libraries . With a Square One account, you may create a logo and purchase it for $10 as a *.PNG file.
Weizhong: KB usage is on the rise. The number of documents is growing. Number of document hits, are also on the rise. An upgrade of is being considered for a late spring timeframe. This is relevant to new option of recycling doc. A retired doc is no longer useful, some people retain unneeded documents for their records, others let unneeded purged documents collect dust.
The "Recycle a Doc" function is described below:
- Click on the Documents tab > Recycle a Doc link.
- This randomly selects a Purged document from the Trash.
- This will also reset the Activation and Expiration dates.
Dave Devereaux-Weber:When a document is replaced: if someone has linked to that document in its former state, will they be led to NEW (recycled) document?
Weizhong: When you look at a document, you can click on the "Linked from" button to see if the document is referenced by another doc in KB system.
Jon Miner: Is there a database issue that makes this necessary? Why recycle an ID number? Is the deleted documents table getting longer and longer? If so, the table can be pruned.
Dave Devereaux-Weber: Build a function that addresses: "Do my documents have references to obsolete docs?" function.
We can do a "check for purged documents", just like the Links From button found in the document information table, thereby check to make to it safer.
Jesse Czech: Can a email, or a prompt warn the author that your document is being purged or reassigned to a new owner?
Dave Devereaux-Weber: It would work much like the Batch Update: doc 3 refers to doc 1?
Weizhong: Batch with sharing access presents a lot of challenges.
On-going and Proposed Changes
- More layout selections: We want to make it easier to customize the KB User Interface. Different departments and Institutions have unique branding needs. We want to make it easy to use, even if you don't know CSS.
- Responsive menu bar (dropdown) - This is in the works.
- Cherwell request lookup from within the KB - look up records from ITSM tools, so far it only looks at incidents, we want to expand the search to look at Cherwell Requests.
- Personalized document search criteria in KB Admin - is there a way to set a default for the growing number of filters?
- Mouse-over glossary link item popup from Ara - Glossary is pretty much a mini document. Office 365 has a glossary of terms in their KB site. The Glossary function has a specific first-letter search. You may also search a glossary item by the Topic(s) that its assigned to. We are working to have a pop appear over a linked Glossary term. We would like the definition to appear in pop up window. Longer definitions should have a "Read more" link that leads to glossary page itself. Instead of the unabridged definition appearing, we can cut off at x number of characters. We will update the Glossary KB User's Guide document instructing users to keep the glossary definition short and simple.