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Information Technology Unit

Common Serena Issues and Solutions

1. Avoid MS Word and other text editors

Problem: Serena Collage and other content systems often have problems interpreting the ‘hidden code’ that MS Word and other editors create behind the scenes.  Although that code is not seen when copied/pasted, it remains in the system and creates problems loading the text, saving the page, and uploading it.

Solution: When copying text, whenever possible, first copy the content to Notepad.  Formatting will be lost, but this too can often be an advantage as formatting should be recreated in Serena.

2. Do not copy tabels

Problem: In even the most advanced content systems, copying tables typically can fail, creating garbled text or unformatted tables.

Solution: For simple tables, recreate the content in a new table.  Serena does have the ability to generate tables of any size. Contact IT for a brief demonstration.
For complex tables, take a screen-shot of the table and include it as an image.  This will retain the original look and feel and save time, as well as allow for an easy upload.

3. Use simple file names – for new web files or photos.

Problem: UIC’s web server, tigger, and its implementation of ‘codewrap’ to run our php driven content, do not allow special characters in file name, such as ‘&’, ‘ ‘, ‘$’, ‘#’ and others.

Solution: In general, it is good practice to use short, concise, and lowercase letters without spaces or dashes, to avoid potential problems.  In our implementation, they should be entirely avoided.  Also, convert or ‘re-save files’ with long filenames or any special characters before uploading photos

4. CGI error , script not found, et al

Problem: The link to content exists or was uploaded, but the content was not, or the content cannot be displayed.

Solution 1: Is the file extension one of 30 common extensions?  ‘.jpg’ or ‘.Jpg’ may be allowed, but ‘.jpeg’ is not.  This is due to the campus implementation of codewrap. Codewrap is designed to provide a safe environment to run php and only allows the .php extension by design.  However, we have created additional exceptions to allow common files to be included, as our entire web site is under the codewrap area of our ‘tigger’ UIC web server.  (Provide all allowed extensions).

Solution 2: Was the link to the file uploaded, but not the page?  Check to see if you uploaded the page to the stage server only.

Solution 3: Is this a news article or event?  If so, it may be expired, or the metadata for ‘TheDateTime’ has not been set.  This metadata field will prevent the file from being uploaded from the server, and in fact ‘old’ content which exceeds a time limit of either 6 months or 1 year will be removed from the server.  However, the link to that file may not necessarily be deleted.  If this is observed, delete the file from the server (after creating a copy if you want to reuse it later).  It will also no longer show up on the ‘events’ list.

5. My event or news item is not showing up.

Problem: The field ‘TheDateTIme’ is not properly set, there is an error with the file, or on the listing page, the # events exceeds the limit of those displayed (varies by dept).

Solution: Check the field ‘TheDateTime’ under metadata, see other solutions for potential file errors, or contact IT to see if the # events are not properly cleared.