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Latest update messes up browsers

Latest update messes up browsers

by Lars Jensen -
Number of replies: 5
Dear Colleagues,

Be careful doing a svn update right now. The latest version, v. 7037, messes up all screens in both Firefox and IE to the point where they are very difficult to navigate. We had to revert to v. 7022.

In reply to Lars Jensen

Re: Latest update messes up browsers

by Michael Gage -
Hi Lars,

Thanks for the report.

Can you check to see whether you are really using the latest updates to math2.css (or math3.css if you use that?).

The updates are distributed in templates/math2/math2.css   but the 
.css file that is referenced by browsers is located in   htdocs/css/math2.css. 

You either have to transfer the new .css files by hand or , as I have done 
create a link

in htdocs/css   do

ln -s ../../conf/templates/math2/math2.css   math2.css

See if that helps.  If the .css files and system.template files are not matched then things will go wrong.

Let me know if this is the problem -- there could easily be other issues as well.

There are a lot of changes going on in math2/system.templates and math2/math2.css -- which might be what you are seeing.  The immediate mission is to make WeBWorK meet accessibility requirements for low vision which requires more flexible .css.  In the longer term it will make it easier for sites to customize the look of WeBWorK.

-- Mike
In reply to Michael Gage

Re: Latest update messes up browsers

by Lars Jensen -
Hi Mike,

Apparently this was the problem. When I deleted htdocs/css/math2.css and created the symbolic link to conf/templates/math2/math2.css then everything looked good again.

In reply to Lars Jensen

Re: Latest update messes up browsers (NOT)

by Michael Gage -
Excellent.  Thanks Lars.

After 10 years we're in the process of updating WeBWorK's look and feel from the 2003 error when webwork was built to current methods (including AJAX and css).  I expect there may be a few bumps a long the way, so keep the feedback coming. 

There will be more dramatic changes for instructors than for students, at least for now.  The Library Browser 2 is one example -- (it's optional you don't have to use it) -- which allows drag and drop organization of homework sets from the library.  It is not yet 100% functional (the advanced search doesn't work) and we are still are many tweaks away from having it act as smoothly as google apps.  But it has potential.

Take care,


In reply to Michael Gage

Re: Latest update messes up browsers

by Dick Lane -
The symbolic link works, but there is a style change which I would like to undo.

The files login_info.txt and course_info.txt are now shown in a box which is about 14% of the window's width (in a not-yet updated system, their box is about 35% of the window).  This narrowing might be the result of their being in a nested class:  info-wrapper : info-box with id=InfoPanel  (the screen header for a problem set is only in info-box and its width has not shrunk).

Perhaps the new narrow size is 40% of 40% (math2.css has  width:40%  for InfoPanel and for info-wrapper).

How can I
info boxes
to a more

In reply to Dick Lane

Re: Latest update messes up browsers

by Michael Gage -
Probably the easiest way is to use firebug (in Firefox) or
the "web inspector" in safari or similar tools in other browsers.

If you right click on the info-box you will get pop-up menu with "inspect element" which will allow you to see the css tags controlling the image.

There is a width parameter which can be double clicked and adjusted (say set it back to 100% instead of 40%) and lets you see quickly what effect changes have. (there is a width setting which is probably the important one)

You can then make the changes permanently in your copy of conf/templates/math2/math2.css.

I don't know immediately whether that will have other side-effects. The current narrower percentage was an attempt to keep the info-box from taking over the top part of the screen when the window was narrower. --The 40% figure does that. it might be an over-reaction.

When you do svn update your local copy of math2.css will not be changed but will be marked M (for locally modified). Other aspects of the .css file will be updated if they are not close to your modifications.

You can use svn diff to determine what differences remain between your local copy and the svn repository copy.

For power users there is an excellent description of how to use svn at http://svnbook.red-bean.com/

I'm looking for ideas about how to organize "crowd sourcing" the updates to the .css files, and also spreading the word that one can create alternate themes by modifying the .css and template files to meet your needs. Then figuring out how to make these alternate themes available for the rest of the community.