Perspectives release notes for 3/18/16

In this release ...

  • Customizable text color and text atop the cover image
  • New block type for text above media element
  • Consumption analytics for story pages
  • Prep work for embeddable Open Performance goal tiles
  • Selected bug fixes and tech tasks

Previous Perspectives release notes:

February 23

January 29

December 18


Customize text color via toolbar dropdown

You’ll notice a new icon on your story’s text edit toolbar. When text is highlighted, the colored square becomes a drop-down, letting the story author choose from the selected theme’s color palette, or use new colors on the fly by entering a hex value.

Add text to hero image

In the February 26 release notes, we alluded to a short-term work item to enable text on the specialized hero image block.  Well, the wait is over.  Users can now add text atop the cover image and, with the new text color customization feature, can alter the text color to make it visually stand out from the cover image.



New block type: text above media elements

A new component block format is now available for story authors to use.  Available in one- and two-column layouts, the new format gives the user the ability to group text and media vertically in a single block.  

You might be thinking, “But I can do that already by placing a text block above a media block on a page.”  And it’s true, using two blocks in sequence works well for linear desktop viewing.  But these new block formats are absolutely critical for two scenarios: 1) viewing a two-column layout on a mobile device (where the media elements now stack with their corresponding headers correctly), and 2) using presentation mode.    



Page view and referrer analytics for stories

Consumption measures are incredibly important sources of feedback. If a user understands which of her stories are being viewed most often and how those viewers get to the story pages, she can make more informed decisions about what data narratives she publishes and how she promotes them.  So for those domains with Perspectives enabled, their Analytics pages now contain metrics for total stories and top stories, story page view over time and top story referrers.

And going one step further, story authors can now, with one click, navigate from a story directly to the individual analytics page for that story.

Open Performance applications preparing for embeddable goal tiles

We also dedicated a significant portion of the previous two sprints to improving the backend applications powering Open Performance.  This work positively impacts the stability and performance of the solution for our existing customers, and it paves the way for the impending work to make goal tiles embeddable on story pages and elsewhere on the internet.

An aside on the team’s to-do list in March and April ...

We’ve built some extra headroom into the March development cycles to let us respond quickly to any unexpected issues that arise as we continue to deploy and support our early adopter Perspectives users. In the meantime, and into April, we’ll be focusing on the following new development work:


  • Ability to use public visualizations built atop private datasets
  • Embeddable Open Performance goal tiles
  • Image refinements: drag-and-drop uploads, in-situ cropping, a cross-domain image repository and automatic image resizing for page load times across device types
  • Table improvements: resizing columns and the option to wrap vs. ellipsize cell contents
  • Interaction improvements and bug fixes to support our early adopter customers


Selected bug fixes and tech tasks

  • Fixed several issues with the story tile
    • For signed-in users who have access to the underlying story page, the tile loads its contents (title, description, image), even if that story is private
    • All instances of story “widget” are renamed to story “tile”
    • Correct layout of the tile on the story preview page
    • Tile image will render the hero image from the underlying story
    • Tile’s title loads consistently (no longer displays ellipses at a browser zoom level less than 100%)
    • Google fonts now load correctly in story tile
  • Added more robust error tracking for failed saves; improved corresponding messages to users
  • Admin and super-admin credentials override any sharing scenarios
  • Sharing improvements: user with no specific role on the domain is now able to see the edit page, instead of seeing a 404 error
  • Redirected stories requested over non-ssl (that is, http) to ssl (https) automatically, rather than showing 404 error
  • Made significant improvements for IE 10 and 11
    • Story page, visualizations and third-party embeds now render properly and in a timely manner
    • User can return to the visualization configuration modal from a story page by clicking “Edit”
    • Rich text edit toolbar is now accessible in IE 10
  • Deleting a story now entirely prevents the “view” page URL from rendering; likewise, the “view” page for unpublished stories no longer renders
  • Browser no longer loads out-of-date cached version of page if browser navigation buttons are used
  • Scripting prohibited in story footer
  • Administrators viewing stories from /admin/datasets page are now automatically routed to the “edit” view
  • Maps on story pages no longer zoom when the viewer is scrolling down the page with the intention of continuing the scroll
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