The Omeka dev team has been hard at work making many changes and improvements to Omeka in anticipation of our next major release, 2.0. We will make a release candidate available in mid- to late- October for testing.
We want to alert the community of the changes coming, in hopes that it will help users plan their projects and prepare for theme and plugin development work. The most significant changes in 2.0 will effect sites with customized themes and plugins, and we will outline those changes in Part II.
While much of the work for 2.0 occurred under the hood, web designer Kim Nguyen tackled the challenge of refreshing and improving the look and functionality of the administrative interface. Users will notice that the theme is completely rewritten.
The new Omeka Admin Dashboard is streamlined to improve workflow, management, and overall usability of the administrative side of Omeka. Some notable improvements include:
- Easier access to main admin functions and site settings from the Dashboard.
- Cleaner, more efficient item editing page — no more scrolling to the bottom to click “Submit”!
- Ability to annotate Dublin Core element descriptions, and other element set fields to provide guidance on interpreting fields.
- Option to re-order the admin display of Dublin Core elements, and other element sets, for item metadata entry.
- Easier user management with bulk operations on users.
- Easier customization of site navigation.
Experienced Omeka content creators may need a day or two to get used to a slightly different layout, but we think that everyone will find the changes improve their experience when working with content in the Admin.
The search facility in Omeka 2.0 is vastly improved. Search functions across all of your Simple Pages and Exhibit content in addition to item metadata, as was previously the case. Moreover, plugins can easily add their own content to the search mechanism. If you will be upgrading from an existing Omeka installation, the search index can be easily updated from the administration pages to make sure users can find what they are looking for.
Depending on how your server is configured, Omeka 2.0 will generate jpeg derivatives of many more file types, including PDF files and videos. These thumbnail images will appear in browse and exhibit pages. Additional metadata about files will also be available.
These changes will be most visible to project and content managers. For changes effecting designers and developers, stay tuned for Part II.