Lots of stuff, big and small, in the new Populi release

Our development guys put in a late night last night to push a number of updates live. This is a pretty far-reaching release, encompassing everything from minor interface-jiggering to substantial hardware updates. All in all, Populi is now more stable, quite a bit swifter, and more usable than it was the last time you logged in. We've got some of the higher-profile items listed after the jump, and a full list available for our users to read in our help system. Some of these updates trickled out over the past few weeks in response to customer needs, so maybe some of this is old news. Anyway, without further ado:

As mentioned before, we've adopted a Privacy Notice, Copyright Policy, and Terms of Service which govern the day-to-day use of Populi.

New servers: Our page hits have been doubling every month, and we’ve been experiencing some growing pains. So we've obtained a new server cluster which considerably improves our speed and stability, while also affording us some much-needed room to grow. These upgrades included a brand-new, dedicated Email server. Email is a storage and performance hog, and putting it on its own server substantially streamlines the workload for our other servers. Email's a lot snappier, and so is Populi as a whole.

Unicode Support: Need to write an email in, say, Hebrew? Now you can. We've added UTF-8/Unicode support to Email (and throughout Populi, for that matter).

We've beefed up course cloning so it better reflects and enables the kind of usage our customers need from this feature. Faculty can now clone courses right from the course instance page, with the ability to clone only specific items. Even bigger, Registrars can use the new Import Courses feature to clone some or all courses from one academic term to another. Populate an entire term with courses in a few clicks. You can even include course data (assignments, reading lists, etc. ... everything but faculty, students, and schedule) in the import.

Export your Gradebook to Excel, and import a .CSV database/spreadsheet into your gradebook. This means you can, among other things, import Scantron test scores straight into Populi.

Again, check the November 23, 2009 Release Notes in the help system for a complete list of updates.