System maintenance planned for Friday, October 19

The Commons will be undergoing important maintenance on Friday, October 19. We, along with other sites hosted at the CUNY Graduate Center, are migrating part of our server infrastructure, and upgrade which will include updated versions of PHP, MySQL, and other important system software. The migration will take place between 9am and 1pm.

We don’t anticipate that users will experience any downtime during this migration. But if problems do arise during this time, please monitor https://commonsstatus.wordpress.com for updates, and reach out to support@cunycommons.zendesk.com with questions. Thanks for your patience.

Commons 1.13.11

I’ve just released version 1.13.11 of the CUNY Academic Commons. This maintenance release includes:

  • The “Try Gutenberg” callout, encouraging users to test out the new WordPress editing tool, Gutenberg.
  • An update to YOURLS, the software powering cuny.is shortlinks.
  • Toolbar-related fixes for the Academica theme.
  • Improvements to invitation email formatting.
  • Improvements to activity items created by non-authenticated blog comments.

For complete details on the release, visit the 1.13.11 milestone.

Commons 1.13.10

I’ve just released version 1.13.10 of the CUNY Academic Commons. This maintenance release is also a major update release for themes and plugins. Fixed in this release:

  • Improvements to the registration process to avoid problems with commons username and email address confusion
  • Improvements to the email notification unsubscribing process
  • Removed unneeded “Topic Status” selector from group forum topic creation process

For complete details, visit the 1.13.10 milestone.

Major plugin and theme updates for September 25, 2018

The following plugins will receive major updates as part of the 1.13.10 release of the CUNY Academic Commons, scheduled for September 25, 2018:

  • Add Categories to Pages. (1.1)
  • Author Avatars List (1.16)
  • Beautiful taxonomy filter (2.4)
  • Blubrry PowerPress (7.3)
  • Broadcast (43.8)
  • Custom Sidebars (3.2)
  • Customizer Export/Import (0.8)
  • Elementor (2.2)
  • Event Tickets (4.8)
  • Fourteen Colors (1.5)
  • GD bbPress Attachments (3.0)
  • Google Forms (0.95)
  • Gravity PDF (4.5)
  • Gutenberg (3.7)
  • Imsanity (2.4)
  • Jetpack by WordPress.com (6.5)
  • Link Library (6.1)
  • List category posts (0.78)
  • Media Library Assistant (2.75)
  • PDF Embedder (3.2)
  • Page Links To (3.0)
  • Query Monitor (3.1)
  • Redirection (3.4)
  • Smush (2.8)
  • The Events Calendar Category Colors (5.3)
  • User Role Editor (4.45)
  • WP Ajaxify Comments (1.6)
  • WP Email Users (1.6)
  • WP Inventory (1.7)
  • WP OAuth Server (3.6)
  • WP Retina 2x (5.4)
  • WPMU Plugin Stats (3.0)
  • Yoast SEO (8.1)
  • YouTube (12.1)

The following theme will receive major updates as part of the 1.13.10 release of the CUNY Academic Commons, scheduled for September 25, 2018:

  • Author (1.31)
  • Basic (1.8) (Themify)
  • ColorMag (1.3)
  • OneTone (3.0)
  • Sydney (1.52)
  • Twenty Seventeen (1.7)

For more details on major update releases, please visit our release schedule and procedures page.


Commons 1.13.4

I’ve just released version 1.13.4 of the CUNY Academic Commons. This is a maintenance release, and also a major update release for themes and plugins. Among the issues addressed in this release:

  • Finalized the migration of our “cron” system to a new set of tools
  • Fixed bug that caused per-site upload limits to be enforced incorrectly in some cases
  • Fixed display bug with “plain text” notice in WordPress editor
  • Performance improvements for avatars

For complete details, visit the 1.13.4 milestone.

A new maintenance release cycle for the Commons

For the past few years, the Commons has seen maintenance releases three times monthly. On the 1st, 11th, and 21st of each month, plugins and themes were upgraded to their latest versions, except in the case of “major” updates, which were done en masse as part of the release on the 21st. Date-based releases are good for predictability and regularity. But they often result in releases on Fridays or over the weekend, when members of our development and IT teams are not fully available. This has led to the occasional performance issue or period of downtime, when a release caused an unexpected problem, and we were underequipped to handle it.

Beginning in December 2017, we will be moving to a new schedule, in order to mitigate these shortcomings:

  • Maintenance releases will take place on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, at approximately 11am Eastern time.
  • Each month’s “major plugin/theme update” release, previously scheduled for the 21st of each month, will now be part of the month’s second release (on the fourth Tuesday). The corresponding blog post will still appear on the 5th of each month.
  • When a scheduled release falls on a major holiday (like Christmas 2018), the dev team may decide to push the release to the following business day. This has always been our informal policy, but this post makes it formal 🙂

Maintenance releases have been added to the Commons Calendar of Events. See https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/events/event/commons-maintenance-release/ for an iCal file that will add the releases to your scheduling application.

The guidelines at https://dev.commons.gc.cuny.edu/release-schedule-and-procedures/ have been updated in accordance with the new policy.

Please leave questions in the comment section below, or direct them to our help desk using the Help button in the toolbar.