Mercury News and Events

Mercury News and Events

Mercury (Hg) is a central repository for sharing news and events at Georgia Tech. It can be used to publish news and events to any campus website, but cannot be used with websites hosted outside our campus network.

The basic concept for using Mercury is that a campus unit will have a news and events group created on the Mercury server (http://hg.gatech.edu/).  The unit can then add the Mercury Hg Reader module to their website to pull news and events from their Mercury group and display those items on their web pages.

Please note: The Mercury system is only available on-campus or while connected to the Georgia Tech VPN.


Mercury (Hg) Documentation

root Thu, 07/06/2017 - 17:21

Introduction to Mercury

Introduction to Mercury
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What is Mercury?

Mercury is a Drupal-based content syndication system used to input news and events (plus related photos and videos) for websites. It is the back-end source for the Daily Digest, Campus Calendar, and News Center, as well as for news and event listings on dozens of other campus websites.

How Does it Work?

Communicators all over campus enter news and events (plus related photos and videos) into Mercury, which can then be shared among all users of the system. This way, you only have to enter and edit your information in a single place, but it can be shared with lots of different sites. Items entered into Mercury are associated with users’ groups (more on that in a minute).

News and event items can be distributed to websites by building feeds of those items within Mercury. Other websites are configured to periodically visit Mercury to make a copy of the items contained in a feed and display them on the site. In a typical Mercury installation, the website will “check in” with Mercury every hour to get the latest copy of a feed. Therefore, depending on how your website is set up, items you enter in Mercury may not immediately appear on your website.

Main Parts or Sub-systems

Mercury consists of the following sub-systems.

Groups

All Mercury users are members of two or more groups (at a minimum, a Mercury training group plus the Georgia Tech Events Calendar group). Groups serve as buckets for content associated with the group's focus. Groups are typically set up for a main academic unit or office, but separate groups for a sub-units unit can be added as needed. For instance, a research center could have its own Mercury group separate from its parent school or interdisciplinary research institute. To request that a new group be established, please visit the 'Request a Group' form in Mercury.

Users, Roles, and Permissions

Users are associated with groups and may have varying roles within those groups — typically authors or publishers. It is possible to have different roles in different groups.

  • Authors have the ability to create content within their assigned groups, but it stays in draft form.
  • Publishers can publish content to make it live and available to other websites.

Content

As noted above, content consists of news, events, images, videos, profiles, and a few other types discussed elsewhere.

Content entry forms provide many fields, so these items should be flexible enough for most purposes. For assistance with creating news and events (and related photos/videos), visit the how-to pages for creating news and events.

Feeds

The major point of difference between Mercury and your average content-management system is Mercury's feed system. Content can be organized (arbitrarily or via a selection of rules) into XML Feeds, which can then be displayed by remote sites (like yours). The Feeds system allows you to organize any content from Mercury — your own and others' — to populate your news and events pages, and the XML output format gives developers the flexibility to show those pages in a wide variety of ways.

Feed Readers

This is the code on your site that allows it to read the feeds you create and to display them. We offer a number of tools, including a Drupal module, for getting this set up.

What's in a Name?

In Greek mythology, Mercury was the messenger of the gods. Likewise, Mercury is our divine method of communicating and sharing information.

When you visit the website where you enter content into Mercury, you'll notice that it starts with “Hg”, which is the symbol for the element Mercury on the periodic table. And well, heck, we're geeks: so we can do that ... sort of thing.

Mercury Users Guide

Mercury Users Guide
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esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:38
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This section provides an introduction to using the Georgia Tech Mercury (Hg) News and Events system.  None of the information in this section is Drupal specific - it's just being housed here for historic reasons.

If you are looking for information on how to install and manage the Mercury Hg Reader module, we have a separate section about Mercury Developers Guide.


Table of Contents

Getting Started with Mercury

Getting Started with Mercury
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First Step: Logging In

When you log in to Mercury for the first time, a Mercury user account will automatically be created for you.  The login link is on the upper left of the Mercury website at http://hg.gatech.edu/

Please note: The Mercury system is only available on-campus or while connected to the Georgia Tech VPN.

A group administrator cannot give you access to a group in Mercury until you have logged in for the first time.  So, if you expect to use Mercury and haven't ever logged in with your Georgia Tech account (e.g. gburdell1), please do so now.

Your Default Groups

As soon as you log in, you will become a member of two groups: Georgia Tech Events Calendar, and Hg Training.

The Georgia Tech Events Calendar group is a group in which all Mercury users are a member with the basic role of Author. Currently the main calendar on the Georgia Tech Web site is populated with any event created in Mercury that is in a published state, and part of the Georgia Tech Events Calendar group. This allows users to keep internally focused events on their own sites and only promote events open to the campus on the main calendar. Therefore, when entering events get in the habit of selecting the Georgia Tech Events Calendar group with your group selections if you want your event to appear on the main calendar. Note that you're also required to select one of your "home" groups.

The Hg Training group was set up for temporary training purposes. This group serves as a testing ground for helping users become familiar with generating Mercury content. However, any images, videos, or published content you add to this group will be viewable by others in the Mercury system.

Permission to Publish

In order to publish an event or news item in Mercury you must be a publisher of a group outside of the default groups. For most major campus units, there is already a group set up - consult the groups directory to request membership from the group's manager. If none of the existing groups apply to your needs, you can use the Group Request form to submit a request for a new group.

Once you have been set up within a group, your first step to enter content into Mercury is to select the appropriate group on the right-hand side of the page. Once your group is selected, you will be given numerous options to create content on the left-hand sidebar.

Groups, Users, and Roles in Mercury

Groups, Users, and Roles in Mercury
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About Mercury Groups

Groups serve as buckets for content, and are often associated with an academic unit or office. Separate groups for sub-units can be added as needed. For instance, a research center could have its own Mercury group separate from its parent school or interdisciplinary research institute.

However, the main purpose of groups is not to sort or categorize content, but to control who can edit (and delete) content.

Users are associated with groups and may have varying permissions within each group; it is possible to have different roles in different groups. All Mercury users are members of one or more groups (at a minimum, your major affiliation plus the Hg Training group).

Consult the groups directory to request membership from a group's manager. If none of the existing groups apply to your needs, please use the Group Request form to submit a request for a new group, or the Update Group information form to send correct managers for a group.

A tutorial is available for managing group memberships in Mercury.

About Mercury Roles

Each Mercury group has different sets of permissions for different users. Each permissions set is collected into a "Role", of which these are the main types:

  1. Author
  2. Publisher
  3. Manager
  4. Administrator

A tutorial is available for changing a user's Mercury role.

Author

Almost everyone you add to your group will have this role. An author can create content, but cannot make that content live (i.e. Publish it) and often cannot edit other people's content or feeds. This role is mainly useful if your group wants to:

  • have some users moderate content before it is made public,
  • allow people from other units to create draft content for your group, or 
  • allow people from other units to automatically add their events/news to your group/calendar.

Warning: if you make someone an Author in your group, they can publish your group's items if they are a Publisher in any other group.

Publisher

Publishers can create, edit, and publish content and feeds. They can also act as moderators for Author-created content.

Manager

There can be only one...manager of a group. Similar to being an "Owner" of a web hosting site, it allows Mercury support staff to know who is primarily responsible for a group. They have the same powers as an Administrator, but can also bulk remove or modify more than one user at a time using "Operations".

Administrator

This role can add new members to a group, and can allow people to become "Authors", "Publishers" or "Administrators" for a group.


Groups and Users Sub-Topics

Managing Group Memberships in Mercury

Managing Group Memberships in Mercury
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To add or remove a person, you must have the role of Administrator for that group.

Adding a Person

  1. On a Group page, find and select the Group tab at the top of the page (after the "View" tab).
  2. Select the "Add people" link.
    The shortcut to this link for any group is: http://edit.hg.gatech.edu/group/node/#/admin/people/add-user, where # is the group ID number.
  3. In the User name text box, type the name of the person you want to add.
    • If their name automatically appears as a drop-down after a few moments, select their name in that drop-down.
    • If not, the person needs to log in to Mercury, so that their account can then be found in the system.
  4. Check the boxes next to the Roles this person should have within your Group.
  5. Select the Add users button at the bottom of this page.
  6. If successful, you will see a message at the top of the page that says "[User Name] has been added to the group [Group Name]."
  7. You can return to the Group tab page by selecting the Group link in the breadcrumbs, after the name of this group.

Removing a Person

  1. On a Group page, find and select the Group tab at the top of the page (after the "View" tab).
  2. Select the "People" link.
    The shortcut to this link for any group is: http://edit.hg.gatech.edu/group/node/#/admin/people, where # is the group ID number.
  3. In the Name text box, type the name of the person you want to remove and select Apply.
    • If their name automatically appears as a drop-down after a few moments, select their name in that drop-down and then select the Apply button.
    • If not, you may have misspelled their name (or they may be a member under their GT Account, e.g. gburdell3).
  4. Find this person's account in the table at the bottom and select the Remove link in the farthest right column for their row.

    (Only the Manager of the Group can remove more than one user at a time using "Operations".)
  5. Select the Remove button on the next page.
  6. If successful, you will see a message at the top of the page that says "The membership was removed."

Changing a User's Role (Permissions) in Mercury

Changing a User's Role (Permissions) in Mercury
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To be able to change a person's Role (permissions), you must have the Role of Administrator for that group.

Changing a Person's Role

  1. On a Group page, find and select the Group tab at the top of the page (after the View tab).
  2. Select the People link.
    The shortcut to this link for any group is: http://edit.hg.gatech.edu/group/node/#/admin/people, where # is the group ID number.
  3. In the Name text box, type the name of the person whose role you want to change.
    • If their name automatically appears as a drop-down after a few moments, select their name in that drop-down and then select the Apply button.
    • If not, you may have misspelled their name (or they may be a member under their GT Account, e.g. gburdell3).
  4. Find this person's account in the table at the bottom and select the Edit link in the farthest right column for their row. (Only the Manager of the Group can modify more than one user at a time using "Operations".)
  5. On the next page, check or uncheck the boxes next to the Roles you want to add or remove.
  6. Select the Update membership button at the bottom.
  7. If successful, you will see a message at the top of the page that says "The membership has been updated."

How to Share Content Between Groups in Mercury

How to Share Content Between Groups in Mercury
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The Interface

At the bottom of most every type of content in Mercury, you will see a section called Groups audience, which will let you choose from a list of the Groups of which you are a member. You can select more than one Group by holding down the Command or Control button while clicking on each group's name.

Your current group (example: "School of Awesomeness") will automatically be chosen. As appropriate, you might also get permissions to share your content with other groups you belong to (perhaps an affiliated School or Department).

Don't Use Groups as Categories

One of the most basic ways you can sort your Mercury content is by using Groups. However, since the purpose of groups is to control who can edit (and delete) content, you will have more control over which items show on your website by using manual feeds and talking with your counterparts in other groups about news or events you would each like to share.

How to Safely Share Content with Other Mercury Groups

If you want to share content between groups, you need to contact the group manager and make sure you both have the same understanding of what kinds of news/events to share and when. This is especially important if:

  • A group is using automatic feeds, as any content you share may automatically be added to their calendar or list of news items.
  • One of you edits or deletes a piece of content that the other group needs.

Sharing Events with the Main Georgia Tech Calendar Site

To have your event show on the main Calendar site, check the box labeled Include this event on the Campus Calendar (within the Categories and Keywords section).

Canceled or Postponed Events

If an event is canceled or postponed, rather than deleting it from the system, add the word “CANCELED:” or “POSTPONED:” to the beginning of the event "Title". This will prevent broken links and confused users who may be looking for updated event information. Currently, events are never removed from the main Calendar site, so this also helps clarify their status on that website.

Sharing News with the Main Georgia Tech News or Research Horizons Sites

Institute Communications

First, contact an Institute Communications person from the Media Relations, Campus Communications, or the Research News teams. Tell them about story you have that you think would be great on one (or both) of these sites.

Categories

If research-related, check the box next to the most appropriate topic under "Core Research Areas".

If not research-related, let Institute Communications know which of these categories your story best matches: Business and Economic Development, Campus and Community, Earth and Environment, Health and Medicine, Science and Technology, or Society and Culture.

Create and Attach Media Files Correctly

In addition, it is especially important than any media on a news story for one of these sites be correct in its:

  • Aspect ratio: a 16 by 9 ratio is needed
  • Order of the first and second images: the first image listed is used as the Thumbnail or small image, while the second image chosen under "Media" is shown at the top of the full story page for this news item on those sites. The only exception to this is that any story with a video will automatically use the video instead at the top of the full story page.

Feeds in Mercury

Feeds in Mercury afrank30 Tue, 08/04/2015 - 16:45
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What is a Feed?

A feed is a list of content items from Mercury. Feeds let you organize any content from Mercury — your own and others' — and then display it on other web sites. The two most common types of content you will find in feeds are events and news.

Manual versus Automated Feeds

Content can be organized into two types of feeds in Mercury:

  • As an arbitrary Manual Feed, where you have complete control but must make every change yourself
  • Via a selection of rules in an Automated Feed that you set up once and don't have to touch again (unless you want to adjust those rules)

Examples of Automated Feed Usage

Commonly, people use relative dates, limit them to just one type of content (such as events only), and then connect these to hg_reader blocks and pages on their web site.

However, you can also use these to find related content, without connecting the feed to a website (thanks to Kathleen Moore for this idea!). For example, you could make an automated feed that helps you curate content you might add to a manual feed. It could search by keywords, or show content from other people's groups.

Examples of Manual Feed Usage

Commonly, people use this to control which news stories or events show up on the homepage of their website.

The only drawback to a manual feed is that nothing is added or removed from them, without someone's intervention.

Feed Readers

Readers allow your web site to pull in the feeds you create and display them on your site. Georgia Tech's Institute Communications offers a Drupal module, HG Reader, for getting this set up.

Feed Item Limits

As of the September/October 2017 Mercury refresh, all feeds can now contain a maximum of 200 items.

  • For an automated feed, any items beyond 200 items will not be displayed.  
  • For a manual feed, any new items beyond 200 will not be added.

Mercury Feeds Sub-Topics

Finding the ID for a Feed in Mercury

Finding the ID for a Feed in Mercury
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In Mercury, a feed ID is a five- or six-digit number that uniquely identifies a single feed (or list) within Mercury.

A feed ID is different from the ID for an individual news or event item.  Make certain you are getting an actual feed ID and not the ID for a single item within that feed.

Where to Find the Feed ID

First, you need to find a feed. Navigate into one of the groups you belong to in Mercury, and search the middle of the page for the "Group Feeds" section. Underneath it are listed any feeds already created for your group.

Select the Title of one of your fields listed in this table (for example, "Events: GT - Past 1 and future 6 months"). This takes you to the page for that feed.

The feed ID is the number shown in the URL (web address), after the phrase "node/", when viewing a feed in Mercury. For example, in the URL http://hg.gatech.edu/node/416041, the feed ID is "416041".

Using Another Group's Feed

If you want to use a feed from another group, all you need is this ID number and you can use that feed on your site, too! You are not required to have a Mercury account to include feeds on your site. If you do not have an account and wish to display an existing feed, contact the administrator of that group to get the feed ID number.

Creating an Automated Feed in Mercury

Creating an Automated Feed in Mercury afrank30 Tue, 12/30/2014 - 14:11
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Getting Started

  1. Log in to Mercury (at http://hg.gatech.edu).
  2. Select the link for your group (example: "Office of Something Awesome") in the column on the right side of the screen.
  3. Select the green Create automated link in the Feeds section of the left column.

Rule of Thumb

Tailor your feed output (using the options under Show items where...) to the smallest set necessary for your needs.  The more items you include, the harder Mercury has to work to assemble your feed, and the slower your website will get each time it connects to Mercury to get an update of your feed.

Consider limiting any archive feeds to no more than two years worth of news or events.  Chances are good that no one is really going to want to wade through anything more than that on your website.  If your unit's leadership wants to highlight specific news or events from an earlier time, just create a static "Historic Highlights" page and post the relevant information to that page so that interested site visitors can easily find it.

Create Your Feed Filter

NOTE: The filtering tools changed significantly after the September / October 2017 Mercury refresh.

  • For Item type is any of..., chose only those items types that you need.  A good practice is to create only single-type feeds (i.e. one feed for news, and a second feed for events).
  • For Group, choose the name of your group.  Otherwise, you'll be pulling items from every group in Mercury, which is never a good idea.
  • To limit items based on dates, use:
    • Event start for an events feeds
    • News dateline for a news feed
    Next, select a filter type:
    • after
    • on or after
    • before
    • on or before
    • between
    Next, enter your actual filter.  Below are some examples of commonly used filters:
    • now - the exact moment that the feed is being assembled
    • 2 months ago
    • 3 years ago
    • 2017-05-15 - A specific date in year-month-day format
    • For more possible date formats, please see the PHP Guide to Relative Date Formats
    As an example, 'News dateline' 'after' '1 year ago' will give you a feed of all news from the past year.

At any time, you can select APPLY FILTERS to see what Mercury items you get.  If you don't get anything, then either you set up a rule wrong, or there just isn't any content yet that matches those rules.  (It's always helpful to have a least one item in the system that matches the feed you are creating, just to act as a sanity check that you have your filter rules entered correctly.)

Feed Item Limits

As of the September/October 2017 Mercury refresh, all feeds can now contain a maximum of 200 items.

  • For an automated feed, any items beyond 200 items will not be displayed.  
  • For a manual feed, any new items beyond 200 will not be added.

    Creating a Manual Feed in Mercury

    Creating a Manual Feed in Mercury dgivens8 Fri, 09/23/2016 - 17:26
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    A manual feed is a feed which all items are pre-selected/approved. For more information, see the documentation on automated versus manual feeds.

    Getting Started

    1. Log in to Mercury (at http://hg.gatech.edu).
    2. Select the link for your group (example: "Office of Something Awesome") in the column on the right side of the screen.
    3. Select the green Create manual link in the Feeds section of the left column.

    Name Your Feed

    Title the feed something descriptive that will allow you and others to identify it through a search.

    Create Your Feed Filter

    NOTE: The filtering tools changed significantly after the September / October 2017 Mercury refresh.

    A feed filter for a Manual Feed is strictly to help you find content to add to your feed.  It will have no effect on your actual feed.

    The filter rule that appears by default is “Item type.” Once you’ve selected a type, you can then use the “Add a rule” drop-down menu to add additional filter rules such as “Core research area” or “Keyword.”

    Once you’ve finished adding the desired filtering rules, select the Apply Filters button and you’ll see the available news items below.

    Move Content Into the Feed

    The list of news items you’ve filtered out now appears on the left side of the screen under your filters. Once you’ve looked through the available items and picked the news titles you want to appear in your feed, drag them to the “Feed items” box on the right side of the screen.

    Don't forget to Save your changes before navigating off to another page.

    Categories and Keywords

    Categories and Keywords
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    Mercury provides a variety of ways to categorize and tag your content, and understanding their meanings will help you to utilize them effectively.

    Core Research Areas

    Georgia Tech has organized its research into core areas of special interest, and encourages you to tag News items with these areas in Mercury.  These research area tags are used to help find stories:

    • By those reading our news sites, such as the main NewsroomResearch Horizons, and Research (which pull almost all their news from Mercury)
    • By Institute Communications staff, to filter stories from our many brilliant units to feature on these central news sites
    • By individual units to highlight their news stories based on topic (using Feeds)

    List of Research Areas

    Georgia Tech has organized its research into the following core areas of special interest:

    • Bioengineering and Bioscience
    • Cybersecurity
    • Data Engineering and Science
    • Electronics and Nanotechnology
    • Energy and Sustainable Infrastructure
    • Manufacturing, Trade, and Logistics
    • Materials
    • National Security
    • People and Technology
    • Public Service, Leadership, and Policy
    • Renewable Bioproducts
    • Robotics
    • Systems

    Categories

    Category tags allow for easier sorting of content items.  Event category tags will help visitors browsing events on the main Georgia Tech Events Calendar to narrow down the list to those types of events they are most interested in attending.

    News, Image and Video Categories

    • Institute and Campus
      • Alumni
      • Arts @ Tech
        • Community
        • Education
        • Exhibitions
        • Performances
        • Art Research
        • Student Art
      • Congressional Testimony
      • Economic Development and Policy
      • Institute Leadership
      • Special Events and Guest Speakers
      • Student and Faculty
      • Student Research
    • Research
      • Aerospace
      • Architecture
      • Biotechnology, Health, Bioengineering, Genetics
      • Business
      • Cancer Research
      • Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
      • City Planning, Transportation, and Urban Growth
      • Computer Science/Information Technology and Security
      • Digital Media and Entertainment
      • Energy
      • Engineering
      • Environment
      • Life Sciences and Biology
      • Military Technology
      • Music and Music Technology
      • Nanotechnology and Nanoscience
      • Physics and Physical Sciences
      • Policy, Social Sciences, and Liberal Arts
      • Robotics 

    Event Categories

    • Arts and Performance
    • Career/Professional development
    • Conference/Symposium
    • Other/Miscellaneous
    • Seminar/Lecture/Colloquium
    • Sports/Athletics
    • Student sponsored
    • Training/Workshop

    Invited Audiences (for Events)

    This option lets you indicate who your event is aimed at. You can choose more than one audience, if you'd like, by holding down Control/Command while clicking on each audience.  Setting the invited audiences allows people to narrow down which events they might be interested in when browsing events on the main Georgia Tech Events Calendar.

    You can choose one or more of the following audiences:

    • Undergraduate Students
    • Graduate Students
    • Faculty/Staff
    • Public

    Keywords

    Keywords allow you to tag Mercury content for later sorting.  This can be helpful when you need additional categories that aren't included in the shared Categories already offered.  Keywords:

    • Are not generally displayed on central news or events sites, and are more often used for your unit's web site.
    • Must be spelled and capitalized identically in order to be used for sorting and filtering.
    • Are entered as a comma-separated list of terms describing the item, e.g. "aircraft" or "5th street."
    • Should be kept as short and as plentiful as possible
    • Should not be a repeat of the item title.

    Adding a News Item to Mercury

    Adding a News Item to Mercury
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    Preparatory Steps

    Log In and Choose Your Group

    After logging in to Mercury, your first step to enter content is to select the appropriate group on the right-hand side of the Mercury site.

    Select the main group to which this content is relevant.

    Once your group is selected, you will be given numerous options to create content on the left-hand sidebar:

    Add Media (Optional)

    If your news item will include any images or videos, you have to upload those first, before adding a news item. Learn how to upload an image or upload a video to Mercury. 

    Beware of Copy and Paste!

    Microsoft Word and some other applications use several characters that do not work well on the Web. Common examples are ampersands (&), angled quotes (single and double) and long dashes (en and em dashes).

    For most long fields in Mercury, you can get around the vast majority of these issues by clicking on the paste from word button. However, this button is not available for short text fields without an Editor Toolbar (particularly of note: Title, subtitle, summary sentence and any field that might contain a name with apostrophes. If you cut and paste from Word into these fields, you may want to re-type any punctuation from the pasted text as a precaution. Another approach is to put your text into a plain text program first (Notepad for PC or Text Edit for Mac) and copy and paste into Mercury from there.

    Sharing With Georgia Tech News and Research Publications

    Please see the guidelines for sharing news with the main Georgia Tech News Site or the Research Horizons Site if you are preparing this news item to be shared with either group.

    Create Your News Item

    From the left-hand sidebar, select Create News or Create External News

    Required Fields

    Title

    Your news item might be shown in places other than your website. So, choose a Title that:

    • clearly explains what your news item is about to a general audience (try to highlight the most important thing about it).
    • is self-explanatory even when not on YOUR website.
    • is concise, around eight words, so it doesn’t run over when feeding into other places across various websites.
    • has a catchy or informative headline that will inspire the reader to actually read your news story. 
    • you will not need to change, as changing the title cause duplicates on the news site or break links to this story.

    Summary Sentence

    • Provide information that adds to the information already given in the Title, and use only 10 to 12 words at most.
    • This will show up on gatech.edu's GT News feed (if you share with their group).
    • This often displays below the headline, so don’t be repetitive.

    Dateline/Location

    These fields auto-populate with today’s date and Atlanta, GA — in most cases, leave as is.

    Contact

    If someone has questions, who can answer them? Or, who’s the author? 

    Include that person’s name, email address, and phone number.

    Groups

    If you want this article to show up in multiple places, select all the relevant groups.

    The news sites where this item will show up. Your group (example: "Office of Awesome") will automatically be chosen. As appropriate, you might also get permissions to share your news item with other groups (perhaps an affiliated School or Department). This allows you to syndicate the content to other sites.

    Default Workflow

    Change the workflow from “Draft” to “Published” so that your item shows up in news feeds.

    Unless you’re not finished, in which case, save as a Draft to come back to publish it later.

    Recommended Fields

    Body

    You can give a fuller description of the news item here. It can have lots of details, and multiple paragraphs are allowed. Avoid leaving the Body section blank. 

    This section should provide information about the news item itself, such as whether it’s part of a series, activities that will take place at the news item, or context of why a speaker is relevant to campus. If you are copying and pasting text, refer to the “Beware copy and paste” note above. Hyperlink websites in your text (e.g., if your text reads “clough.gatech.edu,” make sure that text is clickable). For longer URLs, hyperlink words to the website so the URL is not messy within the news item link (e.g., for a long application link, use the words “Apply online,” and hyperlink those words to the application URL). Be as specific as possible, but know that you can link to other pages for more information (such as agendas, directions, or speaker bios).

    Related Links

    Drop this area down and include any relevant websites — perhaps any organizations/Schools/Units associated with the story. 

    Repeat important links from the Body section here to make sure readers can find the information.

    Category

    The goal of these tags is to make your news item easier to find on OTHER news sites (especially the very large Newsroom site). Choose the category that best fits your news item. To select multiple categories, hold down the “Control” (ctrl) key while clicking each applicable category.

    Keywords

    These help your news item be associated with others that are about the same thing, and it also can be used to feed websites. Make sure you spell words correctly, place commas correctly, and try to use keywords that auto-populate as you type so you’re not creating too many new ones.

    Commas will separate each keyword, so some things may need to be altered to work as keywords (e.g., “School of Literature, Media and Culture” should be entered without commas, or else it will be processed as “School of Literature” and “Media and Culture.”)

    Core Research Areas

    If your news applies to one of the Core Research Areas, check the corresponding boxes accordingly. Your selections here should match those in the “Category" and "Keywords” sections. 

    Optional Fields

    Summary

    This appears in the news feed the day your news item occurs. Your summary should be one to two sentences in length, and can expand a bit from the Summary Sentence.

    You may also use the same copy from the Summary Sentence — these two never show up at the same time. Be aware that this does not fill the main body space on the news item listing itself; the Body field will do that.

    Subtitle

    Give a little more detail than what's in the Title, and do not repeat the Title.

    Media

    Type in the title of any image or video you have previously uploaded associated with this listing. Results will populate as you begin to type.

    File attachments

    This is an opportunity to attach files that do not fit into the image or video category, such as a PDF application, guidelines, or reports. However, this requires the user to download a file to be able to view it (unlike photos or videos items), so make sure anything you’re attaching here is worth the user’s time to download. News item flyers are generally better included as images rather than attachments.

    Adding an Event to Mercury

    Adding an Event to Mercury
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 12/30/2014 - 15:49
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Preparatory Steps

    Log In and Choose Your Group

    After logging in to Mercury, your first step to enter content is to select the appropriate group on the right-hand side of the Mercury site.

    Select the main group to which this content is relevant.

    Once your group is selected, you will be given numerous options to create content on the left-hand sidebar:

    Add Media (Optional)

    If your news item will include any images or videos, you have to upload those first, before adding a new event. Learn how to upload an image or upload a video to Mercury. 

    Beware of Copy and Paste!

    Microsoft Word and some other applications use several characters that do not work well on the Web. Common examples are ampersands (&), angled quotes (single and double) and long dashes (en and em dashes).

    For most long fields in Mercury, you can get around the vast majority of these issues by selecting the paste from word button. However, this button is not available for short text fields without an Editor Toolbar (particularly of note: Title, subtitle, summary sentence and any field that might contain a name with apostrophes. If you cut and paste from Word into these fields, you may want to re-type any punctuation from the pasted text as a precaution. Another approach is to put your text into a plain text program first (Notepad for PC or Text Edit for Mac) and copy and paste into Mercury from there.

    Create Your Event

    From the left-hand sidebar, select Create News or Create External News

    Required Fields

    Title

    Your event might be shown in places other than your website. So, choose a Title that:
    • clearly explains what your event or news item is about to a general audience (try to highlight the most important thing about the event).
    • is self-explanatory even when not on YOUR website.
    • is concise, around eight words, so it doesn’t run over when feeding into other places across various websites.
    Canceled or Postponed Event Titles

    If an event is canceled or postponed, rather than deleting it from the system, add the word “CANCELED:” or “POSTPONED:” to the beginning of the event "Title". This will prevent broken links and confused users who may be looking for updated event information. Currently, events are never removed from the main Calendar site, so this also helps clarify their status on that website.

    Summary Sentence

    • Give information that adds to the information already given in the Title, and use only 10 to 12 words at most.
    • This will show up on gatech.edu's GT Events Calendar or News feed (if you share with their group).

    Location

    You only need to enter information into the FIRST box. Type at least the Building and Room Number but, for events with an off-campus audience, consider adding the Full Address in case they need directions.

    Contact

    This is very helpful for your audience if they have questions, especially when your event is shown on OTHER CALENDARS (i.e. not yours). Include a specific name, department, email, and phone number.

    Invited Audience

    • Choose the audience for which this event is intended: the public, students, faculty/staff.
    • You can choose more than one audience, if you'd like, by holding down Control/Command while clicking on each audience.

    Event Category

    The goal of these tags is to make your event easier to find on OTHER calendars (especially the very large GT Events Calendar).

    There’s a checkbox labeled "Include this event on the Campus Calendar” (within the Categories and Keywords section). Including events on the campus calendar is as simple as checking this box. To exclude them from the campus calendar, leave the box unchecked.

    Groups

    The calendars where this event will show up. Your group (example: "Office of Awesome") will automatically be chosen. As appropriate, you might also get permissions to share your event or news item with other groups you belong to. This allows you to syndicate the content to other sites. Be sure to check with the managers in that group to clarify whether they want you to do this for their group, as their may be an approval process they would prefer.

    Default Workflow

    Choose "Published" or your item stays hidden and will not show up on any calendars or news feeds. Once published, anyone in the Mercury system can find your event and add it to their manual feeds.

    The Draft option is there for times when you need to save incomplete work and come back to it later, or to show to others before making it live.

    Event Time

    A calendar will pop up and allow you to select the Date, but you must type in the Time.

    Specify a From and To date/time for your event. The To date is not required, but to make your entry as useful as possible, please include a To date with an ending time if your event takes place during a specific time. Be sure to indicate AM/PM. You can check the box, if relevant, for an “All Day” event.

    Repeat

    These options will be useful if your event takes place over a series of days or several times in a specified time frame. A couple of examples:

    • An event happening over multiple days: If you have a three-day seminar that occurs February 1 - 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., you would select February 1 for the From date and 9:00 AM for the time. For the To date, you would also select February 1, but 4:00 PM for the time. Under the Repeat options, select “Every” in the Frequency drop-down menu and “Days” in the Period drop-down menu. In the Until field, you would select the day after the last date of the seminar: February 4. This will make your event repeat in the calendar each day through February 3.
    • An event occurring at a regular interval each week/month: Perhaps you have a recurring event that takes place on a specific day of the month, such as the second Monday or last Friday. You can find those options under the Advanced section of the Repeat options. Example: If a lecture series occurs on the second Monday of the month throughout the semester, you would enter the first time it occurs in the From and To fields, then select “Every” in the Frequency drop-down menu and “Months” in the Period drop-down menu. In the Until field, you would enter a date after the last lecture takes place, but before the second Monday of the next month. Then, in the Advanced options, select “Second Monday” under the Day of Week list. This will list your event in the calendar on the second Monday of the month within the range you selected. You can also add or exclude dates from a series. Say your March lecture is postponed a week; you can add the date for the March event in the field under the Except options, and provide the date it is rescheduled in the field under the Additional options.
    Repeat vs. Individual events (and Copying)

    One thing to note about using the Repeat options versus entering individual events for an ongoing series is that if you use Repeat, the event title will be the same every time it shows up in the calendar. When entering an event like the lecture series example, you may prefer to have a speaker’s name or subject in the title for each occurrence so that more details are available upon viewing the title. If this is the case, you will need to forego using the Repeat options and instead enter a separate event for each occurrence of the lecture series.

    If you want to make multiple copies of a similar event, you can use the "Clone" tab to make a nearly exact copy of an event, and then just update a few of the details.

    Optional Fields

    Summary

    This appears in the calendar feed the day your event occurs. Your summary should be one to two sentences in length, and can offer details not found in the Title or Summary Sentence.

    You may also use the same copy from the Summary Sentence — these two never show up at the same time. No need to include the date, time, or location here, as they have their own places. Be aware that this does not fill the main body space on the event listing itself; the Body field will do that.

    Body

    You can give a fuller description of the event here. It can have lots of details, such as times, agendas, etc. Multiple paragraphs are allowed.

    This section should provide information about the event itself, such as whether it’s part of a series, activities that will take place at the event, or context of why a speaker is relevant to campus. Avoid leaving the Body section blank. If you are copying and pasting text, refer to the “Text” note about using the "Paste from Word" button. Read through your text for duplicate information you’ve already specified, such as the date, time, and location, and delete those pieces. Hyperlink websites in your text (e.g., if your text reads “clough.gatech.edu,” make sure that text is selectable). For longer URLs, hyperlink words to the website so the URL is not messy within the event link (e.g., for a long application link, use the words “Apply online,” and hyperlink those words to the application URL). Be as specific as possible, but know that you can link to other pages for more information (such as agendas, directions, or speaker bios).

    More Location details

    You may specify phone number, URL, or email if you choose. 

    If your event is open to the public or at a location to which attendees may need a map, you can also reference map.gatech.edu. Select the name of your chosen building, then select the share link on the pop-up to get a direct link to that building on the map. (Tip: If you have trouble finding the share link for a building on the map site, check if your web browser is using any Ad blockers.)

    Related Links

    Select the arrow to expand this section. Include any relevant links, such as speaker bios, school or college websites, registration or application pages, or other links for more information. Repeat links from the Body section here to make sure readers can find the information.

    Keywords

    Begin typing relevant keywords here to see what has already been used. When possible, use the same phrasing, wording, capitalization and spacing as keywords that appear while typing, so that related events can be grouped together. Commas will separate each keyword, so some things may need to be altered to work as keywords (e.g., “School of Literature, Media and Culture” should be entered without commas, or else it will be processed as “School of Literature” and “Media and Culture.”)

    Media

    Type in the title of any image or video you have previously uploaded associated with this listing. Results will populate as you begin to type, with media from your group showing towards the top of this list.

    File attachments

    This is an opportunity to attach files that do not fit into the image or video category, such as a PDF application, guidelines, or reports. However, this requires the user to download a file to be able to view it (unlike photos or videos items), so make sure anything you’re attaching here is worth the user’s time to download. Event flyers are generally better included as images rather than attachments.

    Adding an Image to Mercury

    Adding an Image to Mercury
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 12/30/2014 - 15:58
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Step by Step Instructions

    1. First, edit the image, if needed, on your computer. Best practices for images are:
      • If large, consider re-sizing your image to exactly the size that will look good on the desktop version of your site.
      • Use a consistent aspect ratio for your images: we recommend a ratio of 16 by 9, unless your image will only be for headshots or for Hg Reader thumbnails, which use a square 1:1 ratio.
      • Choose a good name for your image (all lower case, use hyphens instead of spaces, avoid punctuation, short but descriptive).
      • Make sure your filename ends in either .jpg, .jpeg, .png, or .gif (all lower case).
    2. Select Create Image on the left side, and follow these instructions:
    3. Provide a basic title for the image, which will appear next to the photo once the event is posted.
    4. Select Browse or Choose File and find the image that you would like to include, then select Upload
    5. Select any appropriate categories from the list and enter any keywords for the image.
    6. Choose the appropriate group(s) in the Groups audience field.
    7. Select Save

    Image Naming for Ease of Access

    You can make it easier to find images in Mercury by using a simple pattern for the Title field, such as:

    • Organization name or abbreviation: Clough
    • Significant subprogram or subcategory for your organization: Art Crawl, or Students
    • Date image was created or uploaded: 2013
    • Short phrase describing image (1-4 words): Winners in photography

    In this example, your title for this image would be: "Clough Art Crawl 2013 - Winners in photography"

    Remember that this title field will be visible to the public, either as an image caption on some News sites or as alternative text for screen readers.

    Where to Add Images for News/Events

    On both the Create Event and Create News pages, you can add Images under the section called Media.

    To attach individual images, start typing the title of an image you've created into one of these Media fields.

    Adding a Video to Mercury

    Adding a Video to Mercury
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 12/30/2014 - 16:02
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Overview of Steps

    1. Upload your video to YouTube and add accessible captions.
    2. Choose a good name for your video.
    3. Select Create Video on the left side and follow these instructions:
    4. Enter a title for the video, which will appear next to the video within a news or event item.
    5. Enter the ID for the video in the YouTube ID field.
      • The ID can be found by clicking on the “Share” link below the display of your video on Youtube.com. The series of text and/or numbers after “http://youtu.be” is the ID. For example, in the YouTube Share link “http:// youtu.be/123XYZ,” the video ID would be “123XYZ.”
    6. Select any appropriate categories from the list and enter any keywords for the video.
    7. Choose the appropriate group(s) in the Groups audience field.
    8. Select Save.

    Video Naming for Ease of Access

    Make it easier to find videos when trying to add them to news items. Use a simple pattern for the Title field, such as:

    • Organization name or abbreviation: Clough
    • Significant subprogram or subcategory for your organization: Art Crawl or Students
    • Date image was created or uploaded: 2013
    • Short phrase describing image (1-4 words): Winners in photography

    In this example, your title for this video would be: "Clough Art Crawl 2013 - Winners in photography."

    Where to Add Videos for News/Events

    On both the Create Event and Create News pages, you can add videos under the section called Media.

    To attach individual videos, start typing the title of a video you've created into one of these Media fields.

    Tips and Tricks for Mercury

    Tips and Tricks for Mercury
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 08/04/2015 - 17:17
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    This section is for tips and tricks to making Mercury easier to use.  Feel free to add to this section any tips or tricks you've discovered.


    Tips and Tricks Sub-Topics

    Quick Guide to Fields in Mercury Events and News

    Quick Guide to Fields in Mercury Events and News
    Category
    ab89 Mon, 01/28/2013 - 09:59
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    This page highlights the main fields (boxes to type text into) that need to be completed for each type of content in Mercury. The OUTLINE for this page is below:

    Always-required Fields for Both Events and News

    These are the fields you will ALWAYS have to enter for EVERY type of information (news, event) you put into Mercury:

    Title

    Your event, news item, or image might be shown in places other than your website. So, choose a Title that:

    • clearly explains what your event or news item is about.
    • is self-explanatory even when not on YOUR website.

    Summary Sentence

    • Provide information that adds to the information already given in the Title, and use only 10 to 12 words at most.
    • This will show up on the Georgia Tech Events Calendar or News feed (if you share with their group).

    Groups

    The calendars and news feeds where this information will show up. Your group (example: "Clough Commons") will automatically be chosen. As appropriate, you might also get permissions to share your event or news item with other groups you belong to (perhaps an affiliated School or Department).

    Default Workflow

    Choose "Published" or your item stays hidden and will not show up on any calendars or news feeds.

    Required Fields for Events

    Below are the additional required fields you should fill in for each event.

    Event Time

    A calendar will pop up and allow you to choose the Date, but you must type in the Time.

    Invited Audience

    • Choose whether your events is for: the public, students, faculty/staff.
    • You can choose more than one audience, if you'd like, by holding down Control/Command while clicking on each audience.

    Event Category

    The goal of these tags is to make your event easier to find on OTHER calendars (especially the very large GT Events Calendar).

    There’s a checkbox labeled "Include this event on the Campus Calendar” (within the Categories and Keywords fieldset). Including events on the campus calendar is as simple as checking this box. To exclude them from the campus calendar, leave the box unchecked.

    Optional Fields for Events

    It is not required, but it is highly recommended that you also fill in these other fields for events:

    Location

    You only need to enter information into the FIRST box. Type at least the Building and Room Number but, for events with an off-campus audience, consider adding the Full Address in case they need directions.

    Contact

    This is very helpful for your audience if they have questions, especially when your event is shown on OTHER CALENDARS (i.e. not yours).

    Body

    You can give a fuller description of the event here. It can have lots of details, times, agendas, etc. Multiple paragraphs are allowed.

    Optional Fields for News

    To best publicize a news item when you share it, especially on the GT Events Calendar/News feed, it is highly recommended that you also fill in these other fields:

    Category and Core Research Area(s)

    These tags help people (including Institute Communications) sort through the HUGE number of news items to find topics of most interest to them.

    Body

    This is where the text of your news article goes. Without it, your news article will just be a title and summary sentence.

    Fields for Images

    If you plan to use an image with your event or news item, create it FIRST, before creating said event/news.

    Title

    Make it easier to find images when trying to add them to news items. Use a simple pattern for the Title field, such as:

    • Organization name or abbreviation: Clough
    • Significant subProgram or subcategory for your organization: Art Crawl or Students
    • Date image was created or uploaded: 2013
    • Short phrase describing image (1-4 words): Winners in photography

    In this example, your title for this image would be: "Clough Art Crawl 2013 - Winners in photography."

    Image (Browse / Choose File)

    Upload the file for your image or picture.

    Where to Add Images for News/Events

    On both the "Create Event" and "Create News" pages, you can add images under the section called "Media."

    Start typing the Title of images you've created into these fields to attach individual images.

    Cloning Mercury Content

    Cloning Mercury Content
    Category
    afrank30 Thu, 12/15/2016 - 11:03
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    If an article you want to re-share is already in Mercury, it is recommended that you simply locate it and add it to one of your feeds.  However, sometimes you may need to duplicate that item, such as if the focus of the piece needs to be changed to work for your own unit's website.Image removed.

    Copying or Cloning Content

    1. Select the Clone Content tab at the top of an item's page in the Mercury system (http://hg.gatech.edu/)
    2. Change the Title field to remove the text "Clone of"
    3. Make sure the correct group is chosen under Groups audience
    4. At the bottom, change Workflow to Draft
    5. Select Save (but only after taking the above steps first).

    Mercury Developers Guide

    Mercury Developers Guide afrank30 Fri, 12/13/2013 - 16:55
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    This section provides help, tips and tricks for using the Mercury Reader (hg_reader) module for Drupal 7, or other techniques, for bringing Mercury news and events into your Drupal website.

    If you are looking for assistance with posting news and events to the Mercury server, we have several Mercury Users Guide.

    Methods for Bringing Mercury into Drupal

    Drupal sites on campus have three options for getting news and events from this campus repository:

    1. Using the Mercury (Hg) Reader module provided by Institute Communications (only available for Drupal 7 at this time)
    2. Using a custom module to grab XML Feeds of content, which can then be parsed and stored locally on your Drupal site.
    3. Using Feeds Extensible Parsers to bridge between a Mercury XML feed and Drupal's Feeds Importer.

    By far, the first option is the easiest one to implement, and is thus the recommended option as well.


    Mercury Developers Topics

    Mercury Reader Installation

    Mercury Reader Installation esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:41
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    The Communications Team at Georgia Tech developed a module, Mercury Reader (hg_reader), to provide turnkey access to importing news and events from Mercury into your Drupal site. If you just want a simple news or events page or pages, and you don't need to amend the data once it comes out of Mercury, Mercury Reader is a powerful ally.

    Installation Instructions

    Install the module as you typically install modules (upload to /sites/all/modules, enable on the module configuration page.)

    Check module permissions to make sure the proper roles have access. The permission options include:

    • Administer Mercury Reader — A permission for users with a "Super Administrator" role (i.e., a role with access to advanced site configurations)
    • Manage Mercury Nodes — A permission for users with an "Editor" role (i.e., a user who does typical content management tasks)

    Next, either select an existing content type to serve as your "Mercury" content type, or create a new content type, and select the checkbox under Mercury settings of the content type's configuration settings.

    Create a new node of your Mercury content type, and provide the Feed ID number for your Mercury feed in the Mercury settings field set. You can also specify how many items to display from your feed. The Feed ID number for your feed is part of the URL for your feed in Mercury (i.e., for the URL http://hg.gatech.edu/node/1234 the feed ID would be "1234.") Save the node and you should now see Mercury items from your feed appear the body of the node.

    Mercury Reader Common Issues

    Mercury Reader Common Issues esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:36
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    This page details common issues that are encountered with the Mercury (Hg Reader) module.

    Images Not Showing for Events on my Site

    If you are using the Mercury Reader (hg_reader) module on your site, then it is currently designed to display images for news items, but not for events. To change this, you'll need to edit the feed template (hg_feed.tpl.php).

    Theming Mercury

    Theming Mercury
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:56
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Mercury Reader's out-of-the-box appearance can be customized to meet your unit's needs.  The sub-sections below describe different ways of custom theming Mercury blocks and pages on your Drupal 7 site.


    Mercury Theming Sub-Topics

    Editing Existing Mercury Reader Theme Files

    Editing Existing Mercury Reader Theme Files
    Category
    esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:31
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    This page documents how to customize your Mercury feeds using changes to your local theming files, which are identified by the file-type ".tpl.php".  Both full item pages (/hg/item/item-ID) and feed lists in blocks and pages can be custom themed.

    To override the templates listed below, make a duplicate of the desired template in your local theme directory (usually located at sites/all/themes/YOURTHEME/templates), and modify as you see fit. Template-specific documentation is included in the templates themselves. Be sure to convert underscores to hyphens in your templates (use hg-feed.tpl.php instead of hg_feed.tpl.php.)

    There are three templates included in Mercury Reader:

    1. hg_feed.tpl.php - Controls the appearance of a feed
    2. hg_item.tpl.php - Controls the appearance of full item displays
    3. hg_media.tpl.php - Controls the appearance of the related media box shown on item pages.

    Custom Theming Examples

    Removing Images From All News Lists

    You could copy the hg_feed.tpl.php file to your theme's templates directory, and then alter the markup so that no thumbnail images are included in a list of news. This would change all lists of news in every Mercury block, or Mercury node on your site.

    Removing Images From a Specific List of News

    To do this, you'll need to first create a template file that corresponds to a class provided in the "Feed Classes" field that you added to your Mercury block, or Mercury node. For example, if you added the class "newslist," you'd need to copy the hg_feed.tpl.php file to your theme's templates folder, and then rename it hg-feed--newslist.tpl.php (note the use of hyphens instead of underscores in the template file.) You could then alter the hg-feed--newslist.tpl.php file to suit your needs, and any Mercury block or Mercury node that has the "newslist" class listed in its Feed Classes field will display its content based on the markup of the hg-feed--newslist.tpl.php file.

    Note: currently if you want to have a multi-word class in your Feed Classes list you'll need to use underscores instead of hyphens for the class, but be sure to stick with hyphens for the template file. This will be fixed in a future update to the Mercury Reader module.

    Restyling Mercury Feeds and Content With Only CSS

    If you don't want to mess with template files you can also just make use of the "Feed Classes" field to add CSS classes that will apply to a particular Mercury block or node, and then add your desired styling based on those classes to your subtheme's style sheets. All of the classes you add via the Feed Classes field will be output in the outer wrapper <div> of a Mercury feed, or item. For example, if you added "newslist" to the Feed Classes for a Mercury block, the outer <div> of that block would look like:

    <div class="hg-feed-wrapper newslist">

    Theming a Mercury Image

    Theming a Mercury Image
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 03/03/2015 - 12:14
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    When using the Mercury Reader, you can reference an image attached to a news story or event and display it elsewhere in different sizes.  Please note, however, that the range of sizes available depends on the size of the image the story creator uploaded - if that person uploaded only a small image, you won't be able to get a larger version out of Mercury.

    You will first need to get the image node ID.  One way to do this is to right-click on the image on the story or event page, and open it in a separate tab or window.  Look at the URL of the resulting page - the long integer near the end of the URL is the ID number.  In the URL "/hg/file/41282/200xX_scale", the image node ID would be "41282".  The code after the integer (in this case, "200xX_scale") is the format of the image.  If you want to display this image somewhere else, but in a different size, just change that code to one of the other image style presets in Mercury

    Of course, this doesn't help if you wanted to change the display of the image when it is displayed in a node dynamically generated by Mercury Reader (when you are using just the reader, without making local copies of your news stories and/or events.)  If you want to change the default display of images in Mercury Reader's dynamically generated nodes, you'll have to create a custom template.  Here is an example of code you could use to make all images appear in the "200xX_scale" format:

    <img src="/hg/file/<?php print render($items[0]); ?>/200xX_scale" alt="<?php print($element['#object']->title); ?>" class="<?php print render($classes); ?> field-name-myfield-image-file" />

    Image Style Options in Mercury

    Image Style Options in Mercury
    Category
    esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:20
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Below is a list of preset image styles (mainly based on size) that you can use when theming Mercury items.

    • 100x133_scale_crop
    • 100x75_scale_crop
    • 100xX_scale​
    • 150x112_scale_crop​
    • 150x150_scale_crop​
    • 150x200_scale_crop​
    • 150x84_scale_crop​
    • 150xX_scale​
    • 1920x700_scale_crop​
    • 200x150_scale_crop​
    • 200xX_scale
    • 250xX_scale​
    • 300x400_scale_crop​
    • 400x225_scale_crop​
    • 400x300_scale_crop​
    • 400xX_scale​
    • 40x40_scale_crop​
    • 40xX_scale
    • 600xX_scale​
    • 80x80_scale_crop​
    • 80xX_scale
    • 860xX_scale

    Using the Mercury Reader API Functions

    Using the Mercury Reader API Functions
    Category
    afrank30 Tue, 03/03/2015 - 11:46
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Module developers can utilize API functions within the Mercury Reader module to fetch data and files (including images) from the Mercury server.  This would allow you to write a custom module to format that data for your users without having to recreate all of the code needed to interface with the Mercury server.  All of the hg_reader API functions can be found in the hg_reader.api.php file, and some of the more useful ones are documented below:

    The "hg_reader_get_file" Function

    To fetch files (including images) from Mercury, we'll be using the hg_reader_get_file function (found in the hg_reader.api.php file). You must pass it three parameters:

    1. type: is this an 'image' or a 'file'?
    2. int: the unique Mercury ID number for the image/file that you are displaying (sometimes called the node ID)
    3. option: only required for images, where you can enter one of the preset image style options.

    Why Use hg_reader_get_file?

    Because hg_reader will cache the image as befits the friendly, fluffy little creature it is.

    What if I'm Not Using hg_reader to Retreive my Mercury News and Events?

    If you are pulling in Mercury content via Feeds and making local copies on your website, you can STILL use this function. All you need is to:

    • enable (turn on) the hg_reader module
    • create a Mercury block for each feed you are importing (you don't have to show these blocks on any pages: they are how you create a local hg cache that lets you leverage hg_reader's API)
    • make sure your import is capturing the node id number of those images (because you need an image's Mercury nid to use the above function)

    Example Code for Images

    In your template file for a field or content type, you can call an image in Mercury using this code like this:

    print hg_reader_get_file($type, $id, $option = 'original');

    Alternatively, to display a 200-pixel wide version of the image that accompanies your news item, you might use this code:

    print hg_reader_get_file('image', 232661, '200xX_scale'); 

    Function Code From API

    Below is the full code of the hg_reader_get_file function.

    function hg_reader_get_file($type, $id, $option = 'original') {
      switch ($type) {
        case 'image':
          // We still want to support the deprecated function signature.
          $format = (isset($_GET['f']) && $_GET['f']) ? check_plain($_GET['f']) : check_plain($option);
          echo hg_reader_file_helper($type, $id, $format);
          break;
        case 'file':
          $option = 'other';
          echo hg_reader_file_helper($type, $id, $option);
          break;
      }
    }

    Importing News and Events via Feeds Extensible Parsers

    Importing News and Events via Feeds Extensible Parsers
    Category
    esembrat3 Mon, 02/02/2015 - 13:49
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Feeds Extensible Parsers is the module normally used to do XML and JSON imports of news and event data from the Mercury server.  (This module supersedes an older module called "Feed XPath Parser", which is no longer supported and should not be used.)

    Editor's Note:  While this method is being utilized by some units on campus, it can not be recommended due to the Feeds Extensible Parsers module still being in a beta release since April 2015, and not being covered by the Drupal organization's security advisory policy.  We strongly recommend that you try to utilize the built-in functionality of the Mercury Reader Module whenever possible, and only use Feeds Extensible Parsers as a last resort.

    Setting Up Feeds Extensible Parsers

    1. Install CTools and Job Scheduler (dependencies of "Feeds")
    2. Install the Feeds module
    3. Install the Feeds Extensible Parsers module.
    4. Go to the Feed importers on the Structure administrative menu to create a new importer that you will use to map Mercury content to your local news/event content types.

    But, before you get started with building importers you’ll want to first set up your content types with fields that match the basic structure of Mercury news/events, such as adding fields for a summary, summary sentence, related links, boilerplate, etc. For fields that can have multiple values be sure to also configure your local node’s field to do the same (such as with related links, or keywords.)

    For images associated with a Mercury item you can either map/store the node ID of the image (which would then require using hg_reader functions for building the display of the images,) or download the image directly to your site 

    Feeds Settings

    Basic Settings

    If you prefer to create a content type to use as an importer, you can assign one under “Attach to content type,” or you can choose to “Use standalone form.” The standalone form usually works for most purposes. All standalone importers can be found at yoursite.com/import

    Periodic import - If you want imports to run automatically then choose an interval. For most cases it’s best to have it automatically import only twice a day, and then manually override it if you want something to show up sooner.

    All other setting can be left as is.

    Fetcher

    • Fetcher - Select HTTP Fetcher.
    • HTTP Fetcher Settings - Leave as is (don’t check either option)
    • Parser - Select XML XPath parser

    Processor

    • Processor - Skip down to Processor (we’ll return to XPath XML processor settings after mapping) and select the Node processor option.
    • Node Processor Settings - If you plan to add additional fields to your news/event nodes that are not populated from Mercury you’ll want to set it to update existing nodes. If you plan to only include Mercury content in your local nodes you can opt for Replace existing nodes, but most users stick with the Update existing option.

      For Text format it’s best to select an input format that allows most block-level HTML tags, or at least the same options that you see in the body field of Mercury items. Select your content type that you want to map Mercury content to, the default author of your local nodes (typically a site administrator), and an Expire setting if desired (usually this is left at Never).

    Mapping

    • Node Processor Mapping - Now you’ll want to add the mapping for the fields of your local news/event content type that you plan to populate with Mercury content. For each field select the “xpathparser” option, then a field from the target drop-down, and select the Add button. Note that you’ll need to select a field to serve as a unique target. For this choose the “GUID” option for the target, and you’ll later map this to the item’s Node ID in Mercury.

    XML Parser Settings

    Now that you’ve identified the fields to be mapped you need to provide an XPath value for each field.

    Enter “node” for the Context field.

    For each field that you’ve added you’ll want to provide the appropriate value based on the XML tags in Mercury’s feeds. So for instance with your title field you’d enter “title”, for the body field “body,” etc.

    For the “field_image” above note that it’s set to use the “image_full_path” value. This will return the full path to the image file on Mercury, and since it’s mapping to an image field in the local content type it will pull a copy of the image down to your server and store it with your local node. However, you can not map image titles or descriptions from the Mercury version to the additional fields available with an image field type (such as the alt text, description, etc.) So to display the full details of a related image it would be best to instead map the image’s “nid” value in Mercury and use hg_reader functions to build the display of the image in your local content type where you could add a title and description as intended by the original contributor. If you went this route you would need to provide the XPath value as: hg_media/item/nid

    The same could be done if you were to set up a field in your local node to store video files uploaded to Mercury. Note that these days most users are uploading YouTube IDs instead of the actual video file, but you would still want to build the display of the YouTube video via its Mercury “nid” value so that you could display the title and description as intended by the original contributor.

    For related files that are uploaded with a Mercury item you can map them as actual files and download them to your server (use the “full_path” value), but you will lose the option of including the title provided for the file.

    You may instead choose to set up related files as a “link” field type in your local node so that you can include the provided title of the file. The Feeds module will allow mapping for both the title and link values of link fields (link fields are provided by the link module: drupal.org/project/link)

    Alternatively, you could set up separate media content types in your local site and map all media from your news and event feeds, but it’s preferred that you leverage the hg_reader functions as much as possible to display Mercury content.

    Note the “@id” entered for the “guid” field above. This is referring to the node ID that’s published in the XML feed as an attribute of the node element in the XML tree (i.e., ). This is stored as a unique value for your local news/event node and will help prevent duplicates being imported to your site (check out W3schools.com for more on the Xpath syntax: http://www.w3schools.com/xpath/)

    However, note that it’s only unique to the importer, so if you have two importers set up for two different Mercury feeds and an item is added to both of those feeds it will still be duplicated on your site.

    You may want to also map the “changed date” (Xpath value = changed) to your local nodes to help Feeds identify when an item has been updated in Mercury.

    Once you’ve got your importer set up you can go to /import on your site to view all importers created, and initiate a pull from Mercury (as well as delete items pulled in from Mercury.)

    Fields

    Each one-to-one mapping within XPath is composed of a few common types:

    • String literals are marked by "Text". Best used for static values for a field.
    • @attribute selects attributes on a tag (such as href, class, id).
    • value/ selects a tag.

    Pictures / Images

    Full Import

    Note: If the website in question is using OIT Web Hosting, you may have to contact OIT Web Hosting support to enable curl_init()

    To retrieve photos (with metadata) imported, follow the directions below:

    1. Install the Mercury Reader (hg_reader) module.
    2. If you open up hg_reader.api.php, you can read all about the Mercury API. The function in question is this:
    function hg_reader_get_file($type, $id, $option = 'original')
    /**
     * This function fetches files (including images) from Mercury.
     *
     * @param string $type
     *   Either "image" or "file"
     * @param int $id
     *   Either a Mercury image node ID or a Mercury file ID (note that this corresponds to node/files/
     *   item/fid within a node's XML.
     * @param string $option
     *   For images, the name of the Mercury ImageCache preset desired.  For files, this option will be automatically set to "other."
     */

    So in your own theme template file, if you insert:

    print hg_reader_get_file('image', 232661, '200xX_scale');

    You'll get a 200-pixel wide image of the chair of the physics department. Furthermore, hg_reader will cache the image as befits the friendly, fluffy little creature it is.

    XPath Import

    Another option is to simply import the image path URL using XPATH and the XML.

    • concat("http://hg.gatech.edu/",hg_media/item/image_path)

    Please note that this implementation may have firewall issues when viewing images from off-campus.

    For more information

    Forcing Updates in Mercury Reader

    Forcing Updates in Mercury Reader afrank30 Thu, 02/12/2015 - 09:14
    Drupal Version
    Tags

    Have you made a new event or updated one of your news items in Mercury, but those changes are not showing up on your website?

    This usually means you need to flush caches for Mercury on your site, forcing it to go check for the latest items and updated information.  Flushing caches just means wiping clean the temporary files Drupal produces to help speed up your website and rebuilding them with the latest settings, content, and configurations. You can learn more on drupal.org's article on clearing caches.

    You can flush caches two different ways:

    • Log into your site (NOTE: you may need Administrator privileges to complete the following steps)
    • Navigate to the Mercury block that is out of date, or to a news or event item's individual page
    • Select the grey button that says "Flush this item from the cache". You will find this link directly underneath the page title and above the body text on the page, as shown below.

    Configuring Mercury Reader Blocks

    Configuring Mercury Reader Blocks esembrat3 Fri, 02/22/2013 - 08:34
    Tags

    This page details the common ways that blocks are configured to take full advantage of Mercury's rich feature-set.

    Show only Current Events in a Block

    • When you create a feed in http://hg.gatech.edu/, be sure to set Event Start Date to the following:
      • "Is greater than or equal to"
      • "now"

    New events not showing?

    If you notice your front page's events are out of date, add “?clearcache=1” to the end of the URL in the address box of your browser, so you have http://MYSITE.gatech.edu/?clearcache=1.

    Selecting Specific Mercury Items in a Block

    Create a page or add a block, You will see a pair of boxes on the page edit form: "Feed ID," and "Maximum items." 

    • Feed ID: The feed ID is the five- or six-digit number shown in the URL when viewing a feed. You can find this within Mercury at http://hg.gatech.edu, for a feed that you or someone else has created. For example, the Georgia Tech homepage feed is available at http://hg.gatech.edu/node/42142, and the feed ID is 42142. You are not required to have a Mercury account to include feeds on your site. If you do not have an account and wish to display an existing feed, contact the administrator of that feed to get the ID number.
    • Maximum items: The maximum number of items you wish to display, or 0 for unlimited.

    When you save the page, you should see the feed items listed below the body copy, if there is any. Each title will link to the full item at /hg/item/item-ID.

    Re-order or Reverse events

    If you notice your block or page is showing events backwards, check the "Reverse sort" checkbox on the Mercury configuration form.

    Experimental and Deprecated Mercury Projects

    Experimental and Deprecated Mercury Projects klp Thu, 03/03/2016 - 17:59

    GT Calendar

    GT Calendar afrank30 Thu, 11/07/2013 - 10:13

    GT Calendar Configuration/Usage

    GT Calendar Configuration/Usage afrank30 Tue, 06/24/2014 - 15:11

    GT Calendar Installation

    GT Calendar Installation afrank30 Tue, 06/24/2014 - 14:18