Archive for the ‘Developers’ Category

Omeka developers are all over the map (in more ways than one)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016

We recently put out an unscientific survey to get to know who our Omeka developers are and what we can do to help them. All the responses are greatly appreciated. We’re just starting to look through the information, but here’s some things that stand out immediately.

14 Countries, 4 Continents

omekaDevMap

This map only reflects the responses from the developer survey — we know from forum conversations, the dev list, and conferences that people in more countries are using and developing with Omeka. We are very gratified to know that Omeka is helping people in so many different places.

CTOs, Librarians, Archaeologists, and more

We asked about the job titles of people who are doing Omeka development work. Consultants, part- and full-time developers, and managers of different kinds are also in the mix. This is both gratifying and challenging. Gratifying, because such a diversity of people creating with Omeka is very much in the spirit and goals of RRCHNM and the Omeka team. Challenging, because there are many different audiences that we need to speak to, probably in different ways. Similarly, we asked how people came to develop with Omeka. Many of you are self-taught, while some are coming from professional training in some form or another.

Strongest message: Give us examples

We were not surprised to see a desire for more example code, but we were surprised to see how prominent that desire was. We’ll want to figure out what kinds of examples are most helpful — examples of using a specific function? combining functions toward a more general outcome? something else? The ‘recipes’ that we had for Omeka 1.5 were surprisingly popular, so that will be a starting point.

We’ll be posting more thoughts based on the survey results, and inviting willing developers to create some guest posts in this space about their work in the coming weeks and months.

We very much appreciate the responses, and all your work.

Patrick Murray-John
Omeka Director of Developer Outreach

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.

Accessibile Omeka

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

The Omeka team is committed to designing software accessible to all possible users. To demonstrate this commitment, the team has recently published an accessibility statement.

Together with the statement, we completed and now provide a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) (pdf link) for the core Omeka software and its bundled plugins and themes. Some academic, cultural, and government institutions require VPATs before they can commit to using a software product like Omeka. The form was created by the Information Technology Industry Council to assess the level of accessibility as defined in Section 508 of the Americans with Disabilities Act, for software, hardware, and other technology-based services. Standard questions simplify the process of reviewing the level of accessibility for a platform or application.

As of Omeka 2.3, the admin dashboard, and every theme developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (RRCHNM), include Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) landmarks and skip navigation links. The ARIA landmarks allow screen reading technology used by visually impaired individuals to identify areas of the screen, such as the main menu, navigation, or content area. Skip navigation links help users with screen reading technology or those using a keyboard to navigate to go directly from the start of the page to the main content – try loading your admin dashboard and using the tab key to navigate the page to see how it works.

The responsibility for launching a 508-compliant Omeka website resides with you. Omeka is free, open-source software, and we cannot guarantee the same level of accessibility stated in the VPAT once a site has been customized by individual developers and designers. The Omeka team remains committed to creating accessible resources and we encourage those who develop for Omeka to do the same.

We are interested in your feedback, please share your thoughts about this accessibility statement with us so that we can continue to improve the statement and the software.

Omeka 2.1 Release Candidate, updated Berlin theme, and a RESTful API

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The Omeka team is very happy to announce important releases: an overhauled version of the popular Berlin theme, and a release candidate of Omeka 2.1

The updated Berlin theme features much cleaner HTML5 code and separation of content and presentation, and improved styling for the Exhibit Builder plugin. Sites using Berlin should upgrade to this latest version.

A release candidate of Omeka 2.1 is also ready for download.  As a release candidate — not a final release — you shouldn’t  upgrade your existing Omeka sites quite yet. Instead it is a preview for Omeka for developers and early adopters to try before we are ready for a final release. We especially want to invite feedback on its most important new feature,  a REST Application Programming Interface (API) for the Omeka installation.

Adding an API brings us better in line with a principle we at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media hold very important: the idea that data should not be locked into any one platform without a way to get it out. Some mechanisms for data exchange such as ATOM and other XML and JSON output formats have long been present in Omeka for retrieving data about items. The full API, however, exposes data about collections, files, item types — indeed, almost all the data that makes your Omeka installation tick. Plugins can also easily tap into the API, making sure that data they store can be available for outside applications.

But we also want other applications to be able to push data into Omeka, too. For most records, then, applications will be able to add, modify, or delete data in Omeka. Our hope is that this will facilitate a long-standing desire to make it easier for other systems to sync records with an Omeka site, or simply to migrate data from another CMS into an Omeka site.

Don’t worry, if you do not want to turn on the API, you don’t have to. Permissions to modify any data are only given to existing users of the site who have been given a key by an administrator. The same permissions by role apply to the API, so users with the “researcher” role will not be able to do anything through the API that they cannot do through the regular admin interface.

Instead, we want the release candidate out in the world so other developers can try out the API and give us feedback on it before it takes its final form. Afterall, the API is all about better interaction with other systems, and so we need to hear about how you all make use of it, to what extent it does what you need, and whether there are aspects that could be improved.

Or, if you want to try to latest Omeka in a new installation, possible remaining bugs and all, we definitely want to hear your feedback, too.

To begin exploring the API, start by reading the documentation for it. Our own inimitable Jim Safley has also produced example clients for Javascript, PHP (using Zend Framework 2), and Python that show some examples of how the API could be used. These should not be taken as the “official” clients to use. In fact, we hope that many people will create clients to demonstrate different approaches to using the API.

In addition to the bundled plugins Simple Pages and Exhibit Builder, developers might also want to download the release candidate versions of Geolocation and Commenting to see how plugins can be part of the API.

If you are a developer and have an interest in making data more open, we hope you will try the release candidates of Omeka and of these plugins and give us your feedback on the dev list.

It’s May, and We’re Hiring

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Things are cooking right along here at Omeka, and as usual, we’re looking for more qualified hand to help us build. See the following developer add for details. We begin reviewing applications today, and will do so on a continuing basis.

Junior PHP Developer — Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (Contract, Fulltime, Onsite preferred)

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media <chnm.gmu.edu> is looking for a junior PHP developer (contract, preferably onsite) to join our innovative and energetic team in working on Omeka <omeka.org>, our FOSS Zend-based content management system and web publishing platform for cultural heritage materials.  You can see the code at <https://github.com/omeka/Omeka>.

Required:

  •     Proficiency in PHP (1-2 experience years)
  •     Proficiency in Javascript (1-2 years experience)
  •     Strong Object-Oriented programming skills
  •     Familiarity with the MVC design pattern
  •     Familiarity with Zend Framework
  •     Excellent communication skills with others at all levels of programming skill
  •     Ability to balance competing needs and priorities in designing code
  •     Creativity in problem-solving, and openness to experimenting with unfamiliar approaches

Preferred:

  •     Experience working on open source software projects
  •     Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and graphic design principles
  •     Experience with Amazon Web Services and other cloud services
  •     Experience with github
  •     Experience with PHPUnit testing framework
  •     Background or experience in the Humanities

With guidance from our Lead Developer and Omeka Dev Team Manager, and in collaboration with other developers and members of CHNM, the new team member will work primarily on various aspects of our Omeka content management system.

Duties:

  • Resolve issues in the core Omeka core
  • Develop and maintain Omeka plugins and themes
  • Build and customize new sites with Omeka
  • Help to design and implement future versions of the core Omeka codebase.
  • Contribute to other ad-hoc projects within the CHNM ecosystem.

CHNM is the leading producer of open source tools for humanists and of award-winning history content on the Web (for example: Zotero, Omeka, teachinghistory.org and the Bracero History Archive). Each year CHNM’s many project Web sites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn and conduct research. CHNM is located at George Mason University, which is 15 miles from Washington DC, and is accessible by public transportation.

Please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@chnm.gmu.edu. We will begin reviewing materials immediately.

A shoutout to the Omeka community

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Following all the exciting work and news coming from Day of DH, the Omeka team wants to keep that spirit going by giving a shout-out to all of the people using — and improving — Omeka by sharing the wonderful materials they have.

We’d like to thank all the people who have contributed to Omeka by submitting questions in our forums. These are great people building great new sites, and doing DH by building, tweaking, asking questions, and making new ways to publish their work and holdings.

In the last year or so, we’ve also seen a noticeable increase in the number of people who suggest ideas, insights, and sometimes even code. Sometime this comes via our forums, sometimes via the dev list, sometimes via GitHub. From whatever path it comes, it is always welcome and a wonderful part of doing Digital Humanities in a collaborative way.

We want to highlight a few examples of recent contributions from the Omeka community:

  • Erin Bell has a project that calls for optimizing how we expose Geolocation data, as part of the ongoing awesomeness of Curatescape (a recent winner of an NEH-ODH startup grant).
  • Lincoln Mullen had a great idea to make the workflow for his project easier: an “Add Item” link from the admin bar. He’s added his Add Item Link plugin to the list of plugins for you to enjoy, too.
  • Dave Widmer has also been giving us great patches to improve our code.
  • Daniel Lind noticed that dates in Omeka were stored in a format that doesn’t work well across locations, and so we made that change and it will be part of our next release.
  • Iwe Muiser has submitted several issues and fixes to how Omeka users can interact with the site.
  • Katherine Lynch has noticed places where we can improve our ADA compliance, and is submitting helpful patches.

Many individuals are submitting translations since our recent move to internationalization via Transifex, with some notable contributions by:

We appreciate all of the small things that you do, and sometimes those are the most important. All of these individual contributions help extend the reach of Omeka, and more broadly, DH, as wide as possible.

I also want to thank our long-time friends at Scholars’ Lab , creators of the great Neatline suite of plugins.

Last but not least, Anne Wootton and Bailey Smith have been hard at work producing plugins and a theme for the PopUp Archive, an archive for sound files of all kinds. This involves sharing PBCore metadata, audio files, and connecting to the Internet Archive. They’ll be describing their work and their plugins and theme in next week’s post.

I hope that gives just a small taste of the activities surrounding Omeka, and the range of people who are part of the community.

What comes next?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Here at Omeka HQ, we’re in the final stretch of work on the 2.0 version of the software. We expect that the release, which will come toward the end of October, will bring a range of wonderful improvements for both end users and developers. The result will be a version of Omeka that far surpasses the original instance that we first launched in February 2008. But, even at that point, Omeka was a simple open source web publishing platform with big ambitions. During the last four and a half years, supported by the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Library of Congress, the software has experienced extraordinary growth and refinement. Now we offer and support dozens of plugins and themes, and our work on internationalization has made it possible for users to work in over twenty languages.

While the Omeka team has concentrated on serving the basic needs of libraries, museums, archives and scholars, our users have been producing rich sites that offer access to primary materials and expert knowledge in new and interesting ways. This year alone, we’ve had over 8,000 downloads of the software from our site and that doesn’t account for the installations that are happening using the various one-click options from web hosts or are being cloned from the github repository. One look at the long list of sites in our Sites Using Omeka page will reveal both the flexibility of the platform and the creativity of our users. These sites are just a sample of the work being done with Omeka (and if you have a site that’s not on the list, by all means, add it).

The development community has built amazing extensions of the basic software, taking it beyond the use cases that we originally imagined. Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History and Digital Humanities has released the MobileHistorial/Curatescape system for doing mobile public history work. And the University of Virginia’s Scholars Lab has recently released the Neatline suite of plugins for spatial and temporal work. Omeka also plays nicely with the LOC’s Viewshare visualization tool. These extensions and integrations exemplify the ways that Omeka can serve as a platform for new interpretative work in digital humanities and cultural heritage.

We always meant for Omeka to serve a segment of the cultural heritage community that would not be developing plugins or customizing themes. One of our initial goals was to make it easier for small institutions with few employees or a dedicated group of volunteers and little in the way of technical budget to bring their materials and perspectives to a wider audience through the web. In October 2010, we launched Omeka.net to begin to serve that audience. Today we have over 5,500 users working on roughly 3,800 sites, and we’re experiencing a growth rate of around 120 sites a month.

Together the rich community that has formed around Omeka and the ways that subscribers are using Omeka.net to share their materials more than fulfills our original vision for the software. Now the question is:

What Comes Next?

Moving forward after the release of 2.0, we have three main goals for Omeka:

  1. We are committed to making cultural heritage materials and scholarship more discoverable on the open web. The Omeka Commons project will allow us to do that by offering Omeka site administrators a way to share their items at a central point of discovery. The Commons visitors will be able to search for content, share and embed those items, and also follow that content back to the originating site. Soon, we will need testers (those using Omeka 1.5 and higher) to share their materials with the alpha version of the Commons. If you’re interested in participating, drop us an email (commons@omeka.org).
  2. We will work to more fully integrate Omeka with existing GLAM and scholarly communications platforms. We firmly believe that content and data silos prevent innovation, so we are developing ways for Omeka to integrate with the places that users already create and share their work, such as YouTube, Vimeo, the Internet Archive, and institutional repositories. Also, we see linked open data as central to the larger goal of integration and we are working on ways to facilitate the linking of Omeka content.
  3. Finally, we are well aware that many open source software ventures fail because they fall on the shoulders of a single developer. After nearly five years, Omeka continues to grow and thrive, due in large part to our user and developer community. We remain committed to fostering the vibrant community that has grown up around Omeka, and we will support that community through responsive forums, easy to understand documentation, and ongoing collaboration with developers, designers, and end users. At the same time, Omeka will continue to be an essential part of our own grant-funded work at RRCHNM, assuring the software’s core development and long-term sustainability.

Stay tuned in the coming months for more news on our plans!

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.

Spring Development Opportunities

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Things are cooking right along here at Omeka, and as usual, we’re looking for more qualified hand to help us build. See the following developer add for details. We begin reviewing applications today, and will do so on a continuing basis.

Junior PHP Developer — Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (Contact, Fulltime, Onsite)

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media <chnm.gmu.edu> is looking for a junior PHP developer (contract, preferably onsite) to join our innovative and energetic team in working on Omeka <omeka.org>, our FOSS Zend-based content management system and web publishing platform for cultural heritage materials.  You can see the code at <https://github.com/omeka/Omeka>.

Required:

  •     Proficiency in PHP (1-2 experience years)
  •     Proficiency in Javascript (1-2 years experience)
  •     Strong Object-Oriented programming skills
  •     Familiarity with the MVC design pattern
  •     Familiarity with Zend Framework
  •     Excellent communication skills with others at all levels of programming skill
  •     Ability to balance competing needs and priorities in designing code
  •     Creativity in problem-solving, and openness to experimenting with unfamiliar approaches

Preferred:

  •     Experience working on open source software projects
  •     Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and graphic design principles
  •     Experience with Amazon Web Services and other cloud services
  •     Experience with github
  •     Experience with PHPUnit testing framework
  •     Background or experience in the Humanities

With guidance from our Lead Developer and Omeka Dev Team Manager, and in collaboration with other developers and members of CHNM, the new team member will work primarily on various aspects of our Omeka content management system.

Duties:

  • Resolve issues in the core Omeka core
  • Develop and maintain Omeka plugins and themes
  • Build and customize new sites with Omeka
  • Help to design and implement future versions of the core Omeka codebase Contribute to other ad-hoc projects within the CHNM ecosystem.

CHNM is the leading producer of open source tools for humanists and of award-winning history content on the Web (for example: Zotero, Omeka, teachinghistory.org and the Bracero History Archive). Each year CHNM’s many project Web sites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn and conduct research. CHNM is located at George Mason University, which is 15 miles from Washington DC, and is accessible by public transportation.

Please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@chnm.gmu.edu. We will begin reviewing materials immediately.

Come Develop with the Omeka Team!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media is looking for a new contract developer to join our innovative, energetic, and hilarious team of developers. With guidance from our Lead Developer and Omeka Dev Team Manager, and in collaboration with other developers and members of CHNM, the new team member will work primarily on various aspects of our Omeka content management system. Duties may include helping to resolve issues, building new sites with Omeka, developing plugins and themes, and helping to design and implement future versions of the core Omeka codebase, as well as contributing to other ad-hoc projects within the CHNM ecosystem.

You can see the code at https://github.com/omeka/Omeka. Some other CHNM projects are at https://github.com/chnm.

Required

  • Proficiency in PHP and Javascript
  • Strong Object-Oriented programming skills
  • Familiarity with the MVC design pattern
  • Familiarity with Zend Framework
  • Excellent communication skills with others at all levels of programming skill, from “Hello World!” novice to seasoned guru
  • Ability to balance competing needs and priorities in designing code
  • Creativity in problem-solving, and openness to experimenting with unfamiliar approaches

Preferred

  • Experience working on open source software projects
  • Familiarity with HTML5, CSS3, and graphic design principles
  • Experience with Amazon Web Services and other cloud services
  • Experience with PHPUnit testing framework
  • Background or experience in the Humanities

CHNM is the leading producer of open source tools for humanists and of award-winning history content on the Web (for example: Zotero, Omeka, teachinghistory.org and the Bracero History Archive). Each year CHNM’s many project Web sites receive over 16 million visitors, and over a million people rely on its digital tools to teach, learn and conduct research.

Our preference is for a freelance developer who can join us onsite at George Mason University, which is located 15 miles from Washington DC, and is accessible by public transportation.

Please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@chnm.gmu.edu. We will begin reviewing materials immediately and will close the position on November 15.