yourarthere.net

Version Control with CodeIgniter

Posted in backend, coding, organization by Brittany on April 3, 2010

When it came to redesigning yourarthere.net, we had a problem with the base_url() function regarding assets. Eventually we want to convert the v1 directory redirect to just a root url with the contents of the v2 directory in its place. Long story short, we found Shawn McCool’s lovely article on managing assets with CodeIgniter and followed his tutorial. All you have to do is add his path_helper file, autoload some helpers, and edit the applications/config/config.php file. Instead of using his function as asset_url(), we took it a step further by making it a version_url(). So our config looks like this:

$config[‘base_url’] = “http://yourarthere.net/”;

$config[‘version_path’] = ‘v2/’;

So now, whenever we call version_url(), we generate the base_url with the version_path. Below is an example of how we are linking an asset (replace parenthesis with correct php format):

<script type="text/javascript" src="(?php echo version_url(); ?)assets/js/validation.js">

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Frontend Design – Version Discussion

Posted in design, research by Lin on February 15, 2010

VERSION 2 Improvements

Homepage

  • Pull some work/information from the old site
  • Use standard ad sizes to place under Spotlight News
  • Huge image on top (2 columns)
  • No color, only one for hotlink
  • Incorporate Georgia font into site, sans-serif for small text
  • JQuery slider for featured artists?
  • Truck only logo
  • Controller nav (What’s New, Login, Search) + basic website nav (About, Apply, Artists, Support)
  • Facebook + Twitter icons/link
  • No friends
  • “Follow” + “Share” on every page

Member Page

  • Rename Guestbook to something else (make it a JQuery form to send messages)
  • Big image for member page
  • Avatar = most recent work (no actual images of person)
  • Include their news feed, recent activity, and “Guestbook”
  • No bio, just an Artist Statement that’s short or has a “Read More” option

Website Designs

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VERSION 2 Progress

  1. I found a nice website that might be similar to what we want to achieve with YAH: http://mesa.cityofgrace.com/ It has a very nice image scroller (but made with Flash) under the basic navigation and a very nice calendar below it. The footer also looks very professional and clean.
  2. Standard web ad sizes are located here:  http://www.iab.net/iab_products_and_industry_services/1421/1443/1452 At the bottom of the webpage, there are various sizes of rectangles, banners, buttons, and skyscrapers.
  3. “Guestbook” can be renamed to “Contact”?
  4. Pictures from artists are hard to come by on the old YAH site….
  5. The Homepage design will be posted once Chris is done with it. Here is what I gave him to play with anyways:  

Frontend Design – Version 1

Posted in design, research by Lin on February 8, 2010

Design inspired by MOG, Humble Voice and myglassart.org.

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Drupal: an overview

Posted in backend, coding, research by callibeth on January 31, 2010

I’ve been struggling to learn the Drupal framework for the past 3 weeks, and, on the whole, I’m impressed. It’s a substantial framework, and quite complicated, but it’s flexible and powerful. Separation of content and structure and presentation is a priority of the Drupal designers.

The White House website runs on Drupal, and so do the websites of The United Nations, Forbes, The Grateful Dead, and The Onion, among others. Links to well-known Drupal websites are listed in this article, which also explains some of the features of Drupal in the section “10 Reasons to Use Drupal”: http://tips.webdesign10.com/drupal/about-drupal-311.html.

I’ve found the vocabulary a little confusing. As a matter of fact, the word “vocabulary” is used in Drupal to mean a set of categories, and the sets of categories make up the taxonomy of the system. I’m not convinced that the taxonomy is so much better than WordPress, given its comparatively complicated nature. Or maybe I just don’t understand it yet.

There are modules which add functionality to the Drupal framework. Various image modules manage the uploading and storing and access of images, including automatic thumbnail generation. The Content Construction Kit allow you to create your own custom content types. Each time you post a new Page or Story (which, along with Image, are the three core content types), you can choose whether to promote it to the home page, whether comments are allowed (and more options within that), you can choose an Image to associate with the page.

I’m still partial to CodeIgniter because of its clarity, while recognizing that Drupal is more fully developed as a CMS. Drupal requires that you wrap your head around a fully implemented system whose underlying code is relatively opaque. There’s a good article here that compares WordPress, Drupal and Expression Engine (which runs on CodeIgniter): http://www.thesitewizard.com/general/wordpress-vs-drupal-vs-expression-engine.shtml

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jQuery: What the web needs

Posted in coding, research by Brittany on January 29, 2010

According to the official website, jQuery is a fast and concise JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions for rapid web development. jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.

For the” I-want-it-now” phase in technology, I believe jQuery is the ultimate answer in advancing the idea of what a web page can accomplish in a matter of seconds. There are some developers that look to Twitter as a major step in revolutionizing the way we can do web design and development. Interestingly enough, a lot of jQuery tutorials boast being “Twitter-like.” Here are some links to handy tutorials:

The real beauty of this language is that it can be adapted to any framework that’s out there. Jigniter is a cleverly-titled website that provides information on combining CodeIgniter with jQuery. Along with tutorials, they have a nice list of recommended books to read for those who want to have a break from the computer. As of this post, I’m unaware of any other websites that are completely dedicated to one framework/CMS and jQuery integration.

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A little history and list of possible features for the new yourarthere.net website

Posted in research by Owen on January 11, 2010

yourarthere.net is a web hosting consortium for artists/designers, art organizations, and activists I created in 2004 while a director of Your Art Here.

The original plan, was that in addition to the very low costs, personal support, and feel-good non-profit nature, the yourarthere.net website would network artists by providing not only links to members of the yourarthere.net community, but also by featuring one artist or group each month on the website with an image and link to the member’s website. Unfortunately, this turned-out to be more work than expected for one person.

So, the goal of our project is to redesign the yourarthere.net site to make it and the organization as sustainable as possible. I’ve listed important results to consider below.

  1. The main goal is to make the yourarthere.net project sustainable. Here are some things I think will help that:
  2. Feature artists and galleries on the website.
  3. All news and arts content will be user-generated.
  4. Email announcements will be automated.
  5. Consider carrying advertisements on the website. See: e-flux.com
  6. What should we do to make yourarthere.net more competitive (better hosting plans, support, etc.)?
  7. Add an easy-to-use CMS like indexhibit.org for artist websites.
  8. How to make payments easier? (currently set-up as PayPal subscriptions but if user’s cc changes it breaks the subscription, and we have to set it up again.)

List any possible features you can think of in the comments!

  • Login section for members
  • Member pages that they can update
  • Member news that appears on 1. their page and 2. a public feed on the yourarthere.net home page
  • Calendar of events (list or calendar view on Home page)

What is possible: A conversation

Posted in research by Owen on December 23, 2009

This blog organizes and documents a collaborative effort to redesign yourarthere.net as a “crowdsourced” site. The new website will be database driven and allow members to add news updates and other content related to art exhibitions and events.

The first steps will be to consider what is possible. We’ll research and evaluate example sites that allow multiple users to update content (text and images) that have well-considered layouts with multiple “nodes” containing said content. For example, here are two great sites.

wordpress.com is the free blogging site we’re using. Their home page (you may have to look at it with another browser if you’re logged-in) displays images and titles from the latest posts by a random selection of bloggers using their service.

canopycanopycanopy.com is the domain for Triple Canopy online magazine that features various creative and socially-conscious writings. Their home page includes a few of the recent ones.

Lastly, the home page for wired.com includes images and text from articles about tech and culture.

Continue the conversation by replying to this post with examples and comments about what is else is possible for this project!