New Gateway

June 5, 2013

At Michigan we were inspired by Duke ( to replace the standard Sakai !gateway site with a custom one. We considered Drupal as a front end briefly, but eventually settled on a custom page served via Apache from the  Sakai /library webapp. We may revisit this decision.

The requirements were just three: it should be easy to update by content specialists (and not require a build), it should adapt to smaller screens, it should be fairly lightweight.  Additionally would need work on the portal to redirect anon and logged out users to this page (thanks to Patrick Haggood  UMICH-594 and SAK-22991).

Here is the end result.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 8.10.52 AM

  1. This is a carousel (adapted from that was fairly light weight, fairly accessible and easily extensible to function via Entity Broker feeds from the announcements of a special “Gateway Admin” site.  The Announcements tool has a set of templates that the communications team uses to create the messages.
  2. This is reserved for important system announcements. Normally it is grey and boring – but if there happens to be a visible HTML resource at a specified location in the “Gateway Admin” site it will show that and the background will go to a defcon3 yellow.
  3. This is a rolling Qualtrix poll managed by Steve Lonn.  The iframe points to a document in the /Public folder of the !admin site that he edits whenever he needs to change to a new poll. Not ideal and way too much iframe resizing, but it was the easiest way to put control of the content where it belonged.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 8.38.54 AM
Last – the same simple page adapts to small devices: this is done via @media queries.  Future work should do something more reasonable. As it stands mobile users are downloading content they are not seeing.

In the future it would be good to also point all the content areas (“New to CTools”, “Helpful links” etc.)  to resources in the “Gateway Admin” site so that they can be changed as needed on the fly.

The source for this is at:

and the URL is: