Archive for the ‘Documentation Updates’ Category

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.

New and Improved Documentation

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The Omeka team is very happy to announce some new and improved ways to help you get the most out of Omeka.

First, we have done some housekeeping work on our main documentation page. We’ve removed some clutter and added some better developed resources to make it easier for you to find what you need to get started.

Second, for people writing themes or plugins, or just making tweaks and adjustments to existing one, we have done some work to formalize and clarify how to write documentation for functions. We’ll be aiming to revise existing documentation to make it consistent with that template. This will be a community effort. Following a call to help us make Omeka better, we have a documentation working group of active Omeka users to whom we are very grateful for helping with that effort.

Last, we have introduced a new component to our documentation: “recipes” that provide real problems and solutions that the community has encountered. Like the function documentation, we invite anyone to register on the Omeka wiki and contribute. There is also a guide to how to write recipe pages. If you have created a particular effect or solved a small issue, you can help the Omeka community by sharing what you came up with. If you have learned from a thread in the Omeka forums, writing a recipe that distills your new knowledge is a great way to solidify it while you help others.

Help Us Make Omeka Better

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

We are well into our fourth year of the Omeka project and are very pleased that there is a strong community of users and developers working in Omeka.

Thank you to those who already help in a variety of ways:

  • helping fellow users on the forums and developers’ group;
  • tweaking existing Codex pages that you think need a little love;
  • chatting with fellow Omeka developers on the #omekaIRC channel;
  • sharing your finished Omeka projects in the Showcase wiki.

In our continued efforts to ensure that this open-source project belongs to and is cared for by the community and not solely by CHNM, we are seeking volunteers from the community to help improve the documentation by forming a new Documentation Working Group.

We convened such a group over a few phone calls in 2009, and as a result we reorganized the Codex and added many more pages and documented many more functions.

This time around, we want the group to identify areas that need attention in theming and plugin development and customization. Such work may include defining helper functions, identifying useful patterns for plugin and theme development, enhancing explanation of the theme API, adding use cases for customizing specific design elements, or contributing other pages and elements to improve the depth and coverage of the documentation. We want members of this group to be active and regular contributor/editors to the codex and to the community, even if this is your first step toward becoming an Omekan.

We plan to conduct most of the working group discussions on the forums in the Documentation Working Group category, and anyone may subscribe to the discussions. While we will appreciate suggestions, we may ask users with many suggestions to help in the process of documenting.

We all benefit from the community’s participation and the variety of ways that you help fellow Omekans. We hope that through this effort to improve the documentation, we can expand the community of participants.

Stable 0.10 Release

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Just in time for the holiday season, the Omeka team has a special gift for you: a stable version of Omeka 0.10. This version is a recommended upgrade that fixes several bugs since the 0.10beta release, and includes the following changes:

  • Updates to the SimplePages plugin to fix a permissions problem with displaying public pages
  • Prepackages the HtmlPurifier plugin with Omeka, which adds an extra layer of security to both administrative panel and public-facing forms
  • Improvements to styles and markup in the two pre-packaged themes

So go download the 0.10 stable version of Omeka, and let us know what you think in the forums, on the dev list, on Twitter!

As a holiday bonus, we have also upgraded some plugins and released some new ones.  For your treats, check out the plugins page.

Add an Advanced Search

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Omeka’s How To, or Codex, section offers a wide array of information ranging from step-by-step tutorials for managing your archive to more general instructions on adding and modifying PHP functions in your theme.

One good example of the nuggets nestled in the codex is an instruction on how to add an advanced search to your public site. The advanced search is similar to what is available to you on the /admin/items page, and allows one to search or browse by a specific field which can be quite handy.

Follow the instructions and paste the code into your theme’s item/browse page to give your site’s users an easier way to mine the archive.

Screencast Friday 2: Adding Items

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Today’s tutorial demonstrates how to add an item to an Omeka installation. Next week we will tackle editing and deleting.

Happy Friday!