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header and footer for collection

Melissa Newman's profile picture
Posts: 112

08 October 2013, 6:59 AM

Are there any plans to make a header and footer plugin for a collection or page.  Basically, most web pages seem to have a header and footer that goes across the whole page at the top and bottom, and then multiple columns in the middle of the page.  Is there any plans to make that functionality available to mahara users?

I have seen discussions about this topic, but people are confused on how to implement it.  Why not implement it in the same way that Joomla implements it?  A template has positions (whereever the coder of the template says they are going to be), and then the user says what information they want in each position.

Or it could simply be when you add a collection, you get to "modify header" and "modify footer" where one can put different information.

Also, in the licenses, why is there not an option that says "Copyright, <date>, <real name>"  Shouldn't it be the final user's decision on if they want to release something as creative commons or copyrighted?

thanks, Melissa


Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

08 October 2013, 11:25 AM

Hi Melissa,

Regarding headers & footers:

For a Page, there are a couple of ways you can accomplish this. Mahara 1.8 (which is currently in the "release candidate" stage of testing) includes a new "flexible layout" system that lets you combine rows & columns (as opposed to Mahara 1.7's layout system, in which you can only define the number of columns on the page).

So, you can now make a page that starts with one "header" row that spans the top of the page, then another row that's split into three columns, then another "footer" row that spans the bottom of the page. Put a Text Box block into that "header" row and "footer" row, and you've manually created the headers and footers for your Page.

If you wanted something more hard-coded, Mahara actually does use a page templating system already (it's the somewhat aged Dwoo, which is a fork of the also aged Smarty). Each Mahara theme is able to override any or all of the page templates in Mahara. So, you could turn on the Page Themes feature (which lets users choose a specific Mahara theme to be used when dislaying each Page). And then write a custom theme that only overrides the page template view/view.tpl (or maybe view/rowviewing.tpl). That does require you to edit a Dwoo template, but you could use the one at htdocs/theme/raw/templates/view/view.tpl as a starting point.

Regarding the licenses:

I think the reason we don't have a "Copyright" option in there by default is because copyright is not the same as license ( see for instance ).  The purpose of the license line is to indicate whether or not other people viewing the page are legally allowed to re-use the content themselves; it's also required if you're reusing someone else's content under various "share-alike" licenses like "Creative Commons With Attribution". If you're not re-using "share-alike" licensed content, and you don't want other people to be able to use your content, then you don't really need a license line -- it's implicit that the data is not legally allowed to be re-used by other people. If you wanted to make it explicit you could put in a "license" that reads "No reproduction allowed without author's permission. All rights reserved."

It is an interesting idea, to add some kind of variable system to the licenses, so that you could put something like {username} in there and have it be automatically replaced with the user's name and {date} with the date. But I think automatic substitution would be inadequate. For instance, if I upload a photo with my copyright into one of my Pages, I don't necessarily want today's date on the copyright line; I want the year that I actually took the photo in, because that's when my copyright began. Also, I might upload a photo that is copyrighted to someone else, with their permission, in which case I need their name on there, not mine. I think what you'd really need is a system where the license selector gives you fields to fill in for your first and last name, and that would wind up being pretty complicated to make it customizable -- maybe just a free-text field would be a better idea?



Aaron Wells's profile picture
Posts: 896

08 October 2013, 11:36 AM

I just saw from your other forum posting that you're using the Ubuntu packaged version of Mahara, which is apparently still on Mahara 1.4. The licenses feature was expanded in Mahara 1.7 to allow the site administrator to define a dropdown menu of customisable license lines which can be selected by the users.



Melissa Newman's profile picture
Posts: 112

08 October 2013, 1:30 PM

Or just copy the format that MS Word uses -- free terxt mixed in with variables.

Melissa Newman's profile picture
Posts: 112

08 October 2013, 1:37 PM

No, mine is 1.7.2, and I just installed it this week.  Sorry, I used softaculos to install it.  I have Ubuntu on my laptop, but I installed it this time with my host provider.


Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3396

15 October 2013, 6:16 PM

Hello Melissa,

The advantage of having the licenses predefined is that you can also search on them in the upcoming fulltext search. Furthermore, it simplifies things for users because not all may know how to spell a license correctly.

You can always choose None selected because that denotes copyright and then add more info in the licensor and URL fields. Or you can create your own "Copyright" line item to be shown in the license drop-down menu. A site admin can define any number of licenses. We only built in the Creative Commons and GNU one. But you can add as many as you want and can also leave it up to the user to add their own.

Please see under "New in Mahara 1.7"  and then the individual license references for more information on where to make the changes.

If you are referring to the "License" block, that is specific to Creative Commons licenses only.




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