Go Links Upgrade

Today, July 3rd 2013, Go Links was upgraded. This was a long time coming, as the Go Links service was almost entirely still in its original form (as far as a percentage of code goes).

This upgrade included a lot of behind the scenes work, including an upgrade to the version of Zend Framework and OT Framework. All of the kudos for the work on OT Framework should be directed to Jason Austin and Garrison Locke (Outreach Technology, OIT).

The forward-facing changes most noticeably included a refresh of the theme, to more closely match an NC State look and feel.

Some things have been removed from the application, to provide a more efficient service, and other features were tweaked or moved around into a more logical place.

What’s Gone?

  • “Themed” links, aka IFrame based links, which showed the toolbar at the top of the page. These are gone, and now all links are pure redirects without any toolbar.
    • Why? Because the toolbar caused major problems for printing, as well as introducing an additional level of complexity when trying to display a link on a mobile device.
    • Links now redirect much faster, and work seamlessly on all devices.
  • Google Analytics can no longer be added to links
    • With the theme option being removed, analytics are also removed.
    • Out of over 10,000 links, only 32 used the analytics option (and some of those were mine for testing)

What’s New?

  • Link Directory
    • A major improvement for finding your own links, as well as those that have been created by other people
  • Top 10 Statistics
    • Use this to view a quick snapshot of the Top 10 lists for common statistic categories (browsers, modifiers, referrers, visitor IP addresses)
  • Simplified Link Details layout
    • The link details page is now makes it much easier to find the information you’re looking for.
    • Those things that take longer to calculate (statistics charts) have been moved to a separate section, thereby making the link details much faster to load for everyone.
  • Improved Admin Interface
    • Most users won’t notice, but there’s a much improved administration interface that allows easier searching and management of links, banned phrases as well as investigating wrong links that have been attempted.