Omeka 2.0 Beta ready for testing

The Omeka team is very happy to announce that a beta release of Omeka 2.0 is ready to download and explore!

Omeka 2.0 beta includes many new features for users and developers alike. For users building collections, we hope that the completely redesigned admin interface will make building collections, creating sites, and using Omeka generally to be much easier. For theme and plugin developers, the substantial changes to the core Omeka code should help make your code faster and easier to write, more consistent, and easier to read.

Who should try Omeka 2.0 beta?

As beta software, it is not ready to be used for public sites, and we anticipate that bugs and quirks will appear as you try it. It is shipping with only one theme, and only the Simple Pages plugin. It is ready, however, for the curious (and adventurous) to try the new features, start preparing to migrate your sites from 1.x to 2.0, and most importantly to provide feedback to us before a stable version is released.

In particular, if any of the following describe you, you might want to try Omeka 2.0 beta:

  • You are considering using Omeka for a new project, and want to decide if Omeka 2.0 is right for you;
  • You currently have a site using Omeka, and want to start planning for how workflow on the admin side might change in the move to Omeka 2.0;
  • You manage an Omeka site that you have customized with your own themes or plugins, and want to start assessing what will be required to upgrade them to work with Omeka 2.0;
  • You develop plugins or themes for Omeka, and want to see what’s new and what will be required to upgrade them or start fresh work for Omeka 2.0;
  • You have a test installation of Omeka (NOT a site in production!), and want test doing an upgrade to Omeka 2.0.

Remember, Omeka 2.0 beta is not entirely stable, and might still have bugs. Do not try to update any Omeka site to 2.0 if losing any data from it is not okay. If you have a testing site that you would like to try updating, follow these instructions.

Major changes and features of Omeka 2.0 beta

Site Building

A new navigation settings screen lets you customize the site navigation in one place, across all themes:

  • Pages can be added or removed, and their link text customized;
  • Page order in navigation can be changed via drag-and-drop;
  • The homepage can be selected from a drop-down list of available pages;
  • Plugins can make pages they manage available to the navigation settings screen.

Metadata and Files

Many new features for managing metadata and files are available:

  • Collections now have the full Dublin Core element settings;
  • An explanatory comment can be added to all Dublin Core elements;
  • Thumbnails are now produced for all file types;
  • Plugins and themes have much greater ability to customize how metadata is displayed.

Search

Search functionality has been greatly improved and expanded:

  • Search includes boolean, keyword, and exact match options;
  • Search encompasses all record types (item, collection, etc), and can be constrained to particular types;
  • Plugins can make their content searchable.

Theme and Plugin Development

The tools available for theme and plugin developers have been greatly streamlined and simplified:

  • The number of functions to be familiar with has been reduced by approximately 40%;
  • Hooks are available to modify nearly all admin pages;
  • Using hooks and filters has become much more consistent;
  • Omeka’s core code is greatly simplified to make it easier to see and follow patterns;

Documentation

Our documentation for developers has been radically updated and improved. Documentation for Omeka 2.x will no longer be available or maintained in our “codex” wiki. Instead, it has moved to Omeka’s pages in ReadTheDocs. The documentation source files are in ReST format and maintained in github. We hope this will let us be more responsive to problems and suggestions for improving our documentation.

Providing Feedback

For those testing Omeka 2.0 beta and wishing to provide feedback or submit bug reports, we have several channels available. To distinguish questions about the unstable Omeka 2.0 beta from those about the stable Omeka 1.5, we have a new distinct forum for feedback on Omeka 2.0 beta. This is probably most suitable for testers interested in exploring the new admin interface and exploring the visually apparent changes in Omeka 2.0 beta. For theme and plugin developers examining and working directly with the code, questions are always welcome on our dev list, and issue reports — not to mention pull requests — can be made on Omeka’s github pages.

11 Responses to “Omeka 2.0 Beta ready for testing”

  1. Ivette Vargas-O'Bryan

    When will this version be ready for public use?

  2. Dennis

    Can’t wait to check it out, thanks!

  3. Daniel Lind

    I would like to check out the new beta! Du you have an public beta for evaluation, or do everyone has to install the beta individually?

  4. Patrick Murray-John

    Daniel — Right now, we don’t have a public sandbox, so the only way to try the beta is to follow the link and install it on your own server.

    Ivette — As beta software, we are asking early adopters and developers to give it a try to help us discover remaining bugs. Thus, when a stable release is available will depend on what bugs are found, and how long it takes to fix them.

  5. Andrew

    To Omeka developers and all volunteer contributors working on v2.0, THANK YOU. You guys are doing such incredible work…it is thanks to Omeka that the public archive that I am fortunate to coordinate can exist online! Best wishes in this season of Giving Thanks, and I hope your winter holidays give you the peace and rest you deserve, and prepare you for another successful year. All the best.

  6. Kyle Banerjee

    Is anything known about which plugins are being worked on and when they might be read for testing? Dropbox and CSVImport are especially interesting to us. I’m finding that if I try to install any plugins, I get 500 errors for my entire Omeka installation

  7. Patrick Murray-John

    Kyle,

    Good question. We are working on updating plugins in parallel with responding to feedback about the core beta version. The plugins that have always come packaged with Omeka (Simple Pages, Exhibit Builder, and COinS) will be packaged along with the release as usual, tentatively slated for mid-December.

    Other plugins are being updated according to our best sense of usage and importance to various projects. The first tier of priority for plugin upgrades includes these plugins (among others):

    * CSV Import
    * Dropbox
    * Contribution
    * Guest User
    * Simple Vocab
    * Search By Metadata
    * Item Order
    * Terms of Service

  8. Iwe Muiser

    Congratulations on the first beta of Omeka 2! We are very interested in using it.
    The whole admin part looks a lot cleaner. It’s great that ordering the metadata types is easy now, as is the moving save/delete box.
    I like the admin strip on top of the public site’s screen when logged in (maybe it’s an idea to add an edit button to each item when logged in?).

    Is there a reason why images can not be individually set to public / featured? In our project we have images with a watermark for public viewing and without watermark for internal use. I read a similar question in the forum. Is this being worked on?

    Some quirks I encountered when I first installed it (including transfer of a subset of our database):

    * “The ImageMagick directory path does not work.” even though the path is the same as the other installation. Then, when an image file is uploaded, no error appears, but no thumbnails are made either.

    * Perhaps it is an idea to indicate that the collection needs an index update for the search function.

    * Autocomplete in the tags section of item edit doesn’t seem to work anymore.

  9. Patrick Murray-John

    Thanks for the feedback!

    Some of these might be better addressed in the forum topic for 2.0-beta, but here’s two quick:

    I don’t think we have plans to make files public/private in 2.0, but we’ll keep it in mind as a feature for future versions.

    Thanks for catching the autocomplete bug! It’s fixed now.

  10. Sotiris Paleologou

    I can’t install omeka 2.0 beta. Says ”
    Omeka has encountered an error

    To learn how to see more detailed information about this error, see the Omeka Codex page on retrieving error messages.”
    Can you imagine what is going wrong?

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