Final Project Update – Blog #7

The time has come where this week, each group presented their websites to the class. I was unable to see the final product of Team Cobra’s work, but given what I have heard them accomplish in the past, I am sure it was beautiful. Seeing though the website of Regent park was a good illustration of how fluid website design and creation processes can be, given the difference in approach they used to layout their content. I liked the before and after images idea, and I also found that their essays were better presented and easier to follow than my groups website.

Overall though, I would say that I am quite happy with what my group and I have put together as out final project. Sure there are some blank parts of missing information, needed images, and some final touches that need to be added, but as a whole I would say our structure and content are there for a user to have a somewhat enriching experience. The only thing that I am disappointed with is the fact that we could not include an oral history component where the interviews could be listened to. I think that would have added a level  of information to the website that would truly elevate the information of Ukrainian-Canadians by providing that primary research component. Nevertheless I am still happy with everything else created, and looking forward to when we all get together and present our websites to the organizations and institutions we have all been working with for the past semester.

Cleanup: changing the favicon

The favicon is the tiny image that appears in your firefox or chrome tabs when you’re browsing on a site – it’s a little visual reminder of where you are, that helps you scroll through your tab.

Right now, your favicons are all the same – they’re the default favicon of the required+ theme. To change them, all you have to do is:

  • in Photoshop or whatever, create a tiny (16x16px or 32x32px) image that represents your site somehow (it could be a K for kensington, or maybe the MHSO has one already on its main site, etc.).
  • save it in .png format and name it favicon.png.
  • upload it to your child theme directory (required-starter).
  • ta-da! you’re done!

This is another little thing that would be worth tidying up before you hand the sites over.

Customizing the Footer

Hi everyone,

I think it would be nice if everyone could change the footer code in a way that still gives props to the upsteream developers, but also allows folks to take some credit for what you’ve done.

To do this, you will have to write a small amount of php and put it in your “functions.php” file.

the current footer is generated by this function:

add_action( 'required_credits', 'required_sample_credits' );

function required_sample_credits() {
        _e( '<p>This site runs on the <a href="http://themes.required.ch/" title="required+ Themes">required+ Foundation</a> Theme. Based on the awesome <a href="http://foundation.zurb.com/" title="Rapid prototyping and building library from ZURB.">Foundation</a> Framework by the humble folks at <a href="http://www.zurb.com/" title="Design for people">ZURB</a>.</p>', 'requiredfoundation' );
}

To change it to something else, you can try something like this:

function my_credits() {
        _e( '<p>This site was designed by [INSERT YOUR NAMES] as a final project in <a href="http://2012.hackinghistory.ca">Hacking History</a> at <a href="http://history.utoronto.ca">U of T</a>.  Special thanks to <a href="http://themes.required.ch/" title="required+ Themes">required+ </a> and  <a href="http://foundation.zurb.com/" title="Rapid prototyping and building library from ZURB.">ZURB</a>for the tools that made it possible!</p>', 'requiredfoundation' );
}


remove_action( 'required_credits', 'required_sample_credits' );
add_action( 'required_credits', 'my_credits' );

I haven’t checked the code, but this should work. To change the layout, so the footer isn’t quite so big and obtrusive, you’ll have to change footer.php itself by copying required-foundation/footer.php to required-starter/footer.php and making your changes there. The main thing would be to switch the “four columns” to “eight columns” (you’ll see it if you look).

Blog 18 Marketplace Culture and Urban Expansion Part 2

In response to public pressure, Premier William Davis withdrew provincial support on June 3, 1971 stating that “If we are building a transportation system to serve the automobile…the Spadina Expressway would be a good place to start. But if we are building a transportation system to serve the people, the Spadina Expressway would be a good place to stop.”[i] Since 2004, Kensington residents and local businesses have taken active measures to preserve the market’s distinct pedestrian culture through the organization of monthly pedestrian Sundays. During these events, sections of Augusta St., Baldwin St. and Kensington Ave. are closed to vehicles, transforming the streets into a pedestrian mall and stage for live entertainment and games.[ii]

 


[i] Bradburn, Jamie. The Canadian Encyclopedia, “Toronto Feature: Spadina Expressway.” Last modified 2012. Accessed February 7, 2013. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/toronto-feature-spadina-expressway.

[ii] Levin, Laura, and Kim Solga. “The Drama Review.” Building Utopia: Performance and the Fantasy of Urban Renewal in Contemporary Toronto. 53. no. 3 (2008): 37-53. http://bf4dv7zn3u.search.serialssolutions.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Building utopia: performance and fantasy of urban renewal in contemporary Toronto&rft.jtitle=TDR (Cambridge, Mass.)&rft.au=Levin, Laura&rft.au=Solga, Kim&rft.date=2009-01-01&rft.pub=MIT Press Journals&rft.issn=1054-2043&rft.volume=53&rft.issue=3&rft.spage=37&rft.externalDBID=n/a&rft.externalDocID=208299404 (accessed February 7, 2013). 47.

Blog 17 Marketplace Culture and Urban Expansion Part 1

As early as the 1960s, homeowners, tenants and merchants faced external threats to the historical landscape and distinct marketplace culture of the neighbourhood. An early example was the 1966 Metro Expressway Plan, a joint initiative between the federal, Ontario Provincial and Toronto Municipal governments to construct a network of freeways for Metropolitan Toronto.[i] Particularly concerning to residents of Kensington Market and surrounding neighbourhoods was the proposed Spadina Expressway which was expected to direct heavy traffic through the Cedarvale Ravine and down Spadina Avenue to Bloor Street.[ii] If completed, this new route would have carried traffic off of the expressway causing congestion on local streets. Grassroots opposition began in October 1969 when a coalition of students, academics, politicians formed the “Stop Spadina, Save Our City Co-ordinating Committee” (SSSOCCC) and launched a public campaign against the expressway project.

 


[i] Shaw, Jennifer Lyn. University of Toronto, “Resistance amidst disorganization:Understanding the nature of community organizing in Toronto’s Kensington Market.” Last modified 2005. Accessed January 25, 2013. http://search.proquest.com.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/docview/305376842/previewPDF?accountid=14771. 63.

 

[ii] Bradburn, Jamie. The Canadian Encyclopedia, “Toronto Feature: Spadina Expressway.” Last modified 2012. Accessed February 7, 2013. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/toronto-feature-spadina-expressway.

Final Project Update – Blog #6

So things have been going well with the website. I was in charge of putting images found so far online, but the real challenge emerged when trying to find a format or layout to display them. Issues with files sizes, layouts, complex plugins, etc., started to emerge, which became a real pain. Finally though I was able to come across a gallery plugin called wp Dreamwork that was exactly what I was looking for. Acting like a slideshow, images are on a timer to change every so often, but also have a tumbnail gallery so that users can free choose which ever one they want to explore. There is also an option to full screen images and zoom into a document to view smaller objects and words, which otherwise might be hard to see. Overall I am very pleased with this plugin and am awaiting further images from my group members to upload.

I also tinkered with the layout of the website, changing page names, and putting the about section now on the front page so that the user can become aware of the sites intent right away, rather than having to go digging for it otherwise. Follow this link to http://mhso.hackinghistory.ca/ check out the progress!

Another late update

Matt reminded us in class that the blogs have been neglected so I’m updating mine, even though it’s late.  This week we made a l0ot of progress but also had some frustration.  Eva and I scheduled to go to the MHSO and finish uploading images that we could then put up on our website.  Unfortunately, someone has the scanner booked solid until tuesday so our work will have to wait until then.  However lots of other things have been completed.  I helped Anesty a bit with his Joe Romanov information and it gave me a good idea on what to create for mine.  I want our interview descriptions to be symmetrical so this really helped.  I also went through an insane amount of photographs trying to figure out what would look good oin the website.  On top of that Paul and I found a plugin called flipbook that makes the images in our gallery appear as though they are being presented in a scrapbook instead of the typical boring gallery display.  It’s down to the wire on this thing, but we have everything besides our popcorn app and scanning complete.  Really looking forward to see how the website looks!

Reinvigorating Research

It’s march and staying on top of all my obligations have been tough. But trekking out to the sheppard and Bathurst with my bff liz today was certainly worth it.

In the period of research I was assigned, I had a really hard time getting enough information to form a sufficiently substantial piece of writing. More importantly, the historical narratives I was able to synthesize made a lot of sense, but i couldn’t find a personal stories, specific details, to anchor my writing.
At the Archivist the person who was helping us was great, and introduced me to a book about a bakery at spadina and dundas. The history of the bakery illustrates perfectly the historical narrative I tried to making in my piece of writing and will be the first of many specific stories that I can use to anchor my writing for the 10s and 20s in Kensington.
So now that I have new information, I can do some serious revision and reorganization of my section in the coming week and I might try to trek out one more time to find some other sources like that.

Attending the inaugural event for the KMHS was great fun today too. The turn out was great, we got a nice compliment from dennis in his opening remarks, and the speakers were fantastic. I was certainly reinvigorated today about our project and ready to hit the home stretch in stride.