blogs, other, what's up, wikis

a glance back

Enej, Will and I have been presenting at the Vancouver WordCamp and then during UBC’s Open Access week and somehow in both presentations we were going back through the history of UBC’s Open Learning Platform (the pilot and non-approved name for UBC Blogs, Wiki, CMS and related apps).

I’ve realized that I don’t really¬†have a documented overview on how we got here, and even worse – what is the current state of the platform and plans for the future.

So, I have quickly put together basic wiki page (see it embeded below) on some (definitely not all) milestones of historic development of our platform. Hopefully, we will work on this page and also add more granular pages on specific and important points and decisions.


  • MovableType based blogs, number of websites running on various technologies


  • WordPress based, Campus Wide Login (CWL) enabled launched, over 700 users/blogs migrated from MovableType
  • Common Look and Feel (CLF) introduced by UBC Public Affairs
  • MediaWiki gets CWL and CLF treatment and becomes UBC Wiki -


  • CWL enabled for hosting websites
  • Around 20 websites on the server by the end of 2009


  • UBC blogs gets new social homepage and social (buddypress) network
  • CTLT and PA partner and becomes UBC CMS and inherits PA’s
  • Minimal WordPress Hybrid theme becomes the parent theme for most of CMS websites
  • Wiki Embed Plug-In developing allowing for UBC Wiki (MediaWiki) content to be embeded into UBC Blogs, UBC CMS (WordPress)


  • over 10,000 blogs and over 500 active, domain-mapped websites. Over 15,000 users of which over 12,000 students.
  • Continual improvement of our platform - the main developments:
    • Solid back-end: partitioned mySQL to 256 databases; Both blogs and CMS have load balancer in front of 4 app servers and master/slave db servers.
    • Extending our UBC CLF theme - almost all sites run on this theme - see manual
    • Writing plugins to support UBC community, under CC license, over 200k downloads from only!
    • Established great user community through monthly larger clients' meetings, end users' support through open web clinics twice a week, community based UBC wiki documentation


  • MediaWiki upgraded to include Visual Editor
  • New WordPress Service -- UBC Course Spaces -- launched in beta.