Archive for the ‘Code’ Category

Holiday Treats from Omeka S

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

With the temperatures dropping and the semester coming to a close, the Omeka Team has gathered a little bundle of Omeka S treats to brighten your holiday:

Also, the Omeka Team is taking a much needed holiday break between December 22 and January 4, since George Mason University is closed during that period. So, you all should take a break, too, and we’ll all return in the New Year.

Finally, this is our opportunity to thank the Omeka User Community for their support of our work during 2016. Your continued input and support is essential to the our success. Thank you!

VRA Core Plugin Ready for your Visual Resources

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Today, we are releasing the first direct outcome of an initiative funded by the Getty Foundation to make Omeka more usable for visual culture and art history projects: a VRA Core Element Set plugin.

The plugin adds elements from the VRA Core metadata standard to an Omeka site, but it does not replace the existing Dublin Core metadata fields. It includes representations of all the XML elements and attributes from VRA Core. The plugin will help art historians, librarians, and students describe visual resources in more complete ways. Read more about how to install and configure the plugin in the end user Documentation.

Our work represents an effort to address the needs of art historians wanting to build research and teaching projects in Omeka. Over this year, we will design new themes and develop plugins that prioritize some of those needs.

This initiative emerged from feedback we received during RRCHNM’s two digital art history summer institutes, also funded by the Getty Foundation.

The plugin is currently an alpha version — ready for testing and feedback, but not quite yet ready for production. Please test out the plugin, and let us know how it is working for you on the forums, or watch development and add issues on the GitHub repository.

Get your Fresh Omeka S Alpha Here!

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

For some time now, the Omeka team, with funding from the Mellon Foundation, has been hard at work on the design and development of Omeka S, which is a new software package designed for medium and larger organizations.

Since Omeka S development is ongoing, we’ve decided to make it easier for interested developers and testers to try out the most up-to-date version of the software. From this point forward, every two sprints (roughly four weeks) we are going to package a zip of the software for easy installation, and a change log.

An outgrowth of lessons learned and feedback from Omeka users, Omeka S shares an ethos with Omeka Classic (2.x), but none of its code. There are a nice range of features for Omeka S that should make it appealing both to cultural heritage institutions and academic and research libraries, including:

  • the ability to administer many sites from a single installation;
  • a fully functioning Read/Write REST API, which the system uses to execute most of its own core operations;
  • the use of JSON-LD as the native data format, which enmeshes the materials in the LOD universe;
  • native RDF vocabularies (DCMI Terms, DCMI Types, FOAF, BIBO);
  • and a set of modules to aid integration with Fedora, DSpace, Zotero.

A manual for end-users explains the key elements of Omeka S, such as Items, Item Sets, Resource Templates, Media, Users, and Sites.

We hope that after reviewing the technology requirements, you’ll take a few minutes to install

We welcome your feedback on the Dev List.

New plugins, a theme update, and exciting things ahead!

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Omeka team is happy to announce new and updated plugins and themes.

Geolocation is now updated to be compatible with the Omeka 2.x series. Geolocation allows you to pin a location for your items onto a map, and display a map showing all the geolocated items.

geolocation2

 

srchByMetadata

We are also happy to release a brand new plugin for Omeka, Search By Metadata. It allows site builders to build navigation between items by turning any field into an automatic search for other items with the same data. If you want to guide your visitors from one item with the subject “Digital Humanities” to a list of other items with that subject, this plugin lets you do that quickly and easy through the admin interface.

 

Finally, we are releasing an update to the Seasons theme. In the spirit of breaking expectations, there is now a fifth season — “night”. The night stylesheet is a dark style, suitable for displays of artwork.

seasons-night

 

More is on the way, and in the next two weeks we’ll spend less time talking about what we have produced and more about what our community has been up to. There are great new plugins and themes coming Omeka designers and developers out in the world. So, for a special Day of DH post we’ll draw attention to them and their work, and show our appreciation.

More improvements to Omeka with version 2.0.2

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

The Omeka team is happy to announce the release of Omeka 2.0.2!

This release includes several bugfixes, including one that is especially important for the Exhibit Builder plugin. Anyone working with exhibits in the Omeka 2.x series is strongly encouraged upgrade to Omeka 2.0.2.

There are also fixes to improve error reporting for more server configurations, fixes to user permissions, and expanded localization.

In addition, there are significant performance improvements, especially when using advanced search for items.

Last, the “Berlin” theme is now available as a responsive theme that comes packaged with Omeka!

theme

Please read the full release notes for more details.

 

Omeka 2.0 Drops today

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

The moment that you’ve all been waiting for is here!

Well, at least, it’s the moment that we at Omeka HQ have been waiting for, and working towards for many months now.

Omeka 2.0 is now available for download!

The  most important improvement is a completely revamped admin interface, which includes many features to improve workflow and make it easier to build your sites. The search functionality is also dramatically improved, and covers much more of the content in the sites.

400px-Dashboard2

The basic package includes three plugins and two themes, and sports a host of good new features. Omeka users will notice improvements right away with an upgrade to 2.0 or the launch a new installation. For example, site administrators have much better tools to build custom site navigation without having to hack around in the code (Check for “Navigation” under the Appearance settings.) Also, you’ll notice major improvements in file handling. Now you can reorder item files, and the system produces derivatives (thumbnails, etc.) from a much wider array of file types, not just image files.

The increased control extends to the updated ExhibitBuilder, as well. Now site users have a great deal more flexibility in designing their exhibit architecture. We have eliminated “Sections” from the exhibit structure, so that exhibit designers can create parent and child pages as their content requires. Furthermore, if a user wants to use an item in an exhibit, she can choose from any of the item’s files.

Omeka designers and developers will also find things to love in the new version. The software includes a more concise function list that dramatically decreases the complexity of creating new themes and plugins. So, we hope to see an increase in contributions of add-ons from the wider Omeka community.

In addition to all of this basic Omeka goodness, we’ve updated many of our most downloaded plugins to go with the new version (Follow the links below). Never fear, we are busy updating and improving the rest and they will be available for Omeka 2.0 soon!

Take things out for a spin and let us know what you think.

Plugins updated for Omeka 2.0

Happy Holidays! Omeka 2.0 Release Candidate Available

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well you just might find
You get what you need

With the immortal words of the Rolling Stones, we offer the Omeka 2.0 release candidate. New and improved based on the feedback and testing from the 2.0 Beta, this version of the software makes it possible for Omeka fans to get started on new projects today.

The Omeka Team is putting the finishing touches on updated themes and plugins that usually accompany our full release package. In the meantime, designers, developers, and translators can work with the core software, the default and Seasons themes, and the COinS and SimplePages plugins.

Omeka 2.0 sports a host of shiny new and improved features, including:

  • an administrative interface that has been redesigned to improve workflow;
  • an improved ability to customize site navigation with drag and drop;
  • the opportunity to select a homepage from a range of available pages;
  • the addition of Dublin Core Metadata fields to Collections;
  • the ability to add comments or instructions to metadata fields for other users;
  • the creation of thumbnail images for a fuller range of files;
  • and, the availability of a new site-wide search.

Moreover, plugin and theme developers will discover more streamlined code, fewer functions to know (without any loss in capability), an increased number of hooks and filters, and greater overall consistency in how to use them. All of these improvements have been carefully documented by the Omeka Dev team.

Check out the screencast to get an overview of 2.0 goodness, and then go download your copy of the release candidate to get started!

Introduction to Omeka 2.0 from Omeka on Vimeo.

Omeka 2.0 Beta ready for testing

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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.

Fun New Things for Omeka 2.0 (Part 2): Core Changes

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Following up on the previous post, here, we want to talk about the broad contours of changes coming in Omeka 2.0 that will be most important for theme and plugin developers.

First and most important, the codebase of Omeka is being extensively cleaned up. This should not only make the code faster and leave a smaller footprint, but also make it easier to find your way around the code to see how things work.

Broadly speaking, unnecessary or redundant functions and methods are being removed. This includes many of the wrapper methods in some of the core code used by plugins. The various functions used to access metadata about collections, items, and other kinds of content are also consolidated from collection(), item(), etc. into one function, metadata(), for all.

Some of these changes will require updating your existing themes and plugins. We are keeping a running list of changes to help you anticipate the updates you will need to make for your plugin and theme customization.
One example is that the directory named “archive” will be called “files” in 2.0. The “files” folder that currently resides in the “archive” directory will be renamed “original.” We will provide specific instructions for renaming those folders to ensure that the transition to 2.0 will go smoothly. .

As always, you can keep up to date with the most recent changes by watching Omeka on GitHub.

Many thanks to our users, theme developers, and plugin developers for your feedback and questions that led to these and many, many other improvements to Omeka in our upcoming release of Omeka 2.0.

The developer team of John Flatness, Jim Safley, and myself have worked very hard over the past months to implement these changes. We hope that you are as excited about these changes as we are, and eagerly anticipate your feedback in mid-October when the release candidate is ready.

EAD & VRA Core Plugins Arriving

Friday, June 18th, 2010

We are excited to announce two new Omeka plugins that were developed by the folks at the University of Virginia’s Scholar’s Lab. Ethan Gruber took the lead and since he knows much more about the EAD Importer and VRA Core plugins than we do, we asked him if we could cross-post his Scholar’s Lab blog entry, Expanding the Capabilities of Omeka here. Ethan is a web application developer for Digital Research and Scholarship, a division of the University of Virginia Library.

Note: Plugins available for check out through SVN for now, but will be available to download as zip files through the plugin directory in the near future.

Because I have a keen interest in the description of cultural heritage artifacts and in doing interesting things with metadata, in recent months I have developed a handful of Omeka plugins to meet these interests. My first foray into plugin development for the application was with the EAD Importer. The EAD Importer, as the name suggests, extracts item-level metadata (along with a bit of collection-level metadata, like rights) from Encoded Archival Description finding aids and generates a CSV file which can be imported through the CSV Import plugin developed by the Omeka crew. The plugin would be useful to archivists who would like to use Omeka to build online exhibits of their collections. I took this framework a step further to create a plugin that is capable of importing any flat XML into Omeka by transforming that file into a CSV file.

Most recently, I have turned my attention to expanding the descriptive abilities of Omeka into the realm of collections of artwork. Omeka items are described with Dublin Core, which is capable of describing anything, though not particularly well. I developed VraCoreElementSet, which incorporates VRA Core fields into the Edit Item form. VRA Core is a much more semantically appropriate schema for describing art and artifacts. Since it was conceived as an XML standard (not strictly a flat list of fields), some elements have hierarchical sub-componenets. For example, a work may have several agents involved in its production, and each agent has a name as well as a role, culture, birth date, and, as the case may be, a death date. The VraCoreElementSet plugin creates a table for agents so that a user may enter this data separately. Then in the Edit Item form, the user may select VRA Core agents from a drop down menu restricted by the records in the agents table. Records may also be exported to schema-compliant VRA Core XML. There is still some work remaining on this plugin, but it is well on its way toward completion.

Now that the Scholars’ Lab has contributed EAD Importer and VRA Core Element Set plugins, Omeka may attract new institutional users from the library, archive, and museum fields, who may have otherwise settled for proprietary applications to disseminate their digital collections.