Feature Ideas

Ok, have been compiling a list of features, wish list stuff, and felt I'd post them out and see what percolates up.

I've been studying the forums, but have not discerned any info on the following. If there is another location to go for the following, please let me know.

- Right now there is toggle to allow public viewing per item. Any plans to provide the ability to toggle down the the Element?

- In multiple images per item, the ability to rearrange image files sequence? Only way now it appears is to upload files in the desired sequence. Any plans to make administration of these image files sequence easier?

- Image file viewer. I have not installed the lightbox addon yet, and this may provide more granularity, but any plans to enhance image viewing capabilities? You end up with the original upload, a thumb and sized image file per upload from what I can tell. To provide researchers more granularity, access to either the original uploaded file (exposing an original file is not always desired of course), is the objective. One such applet that works very well, and placed here as an example, is the Bischen web based image viewer. http://wiki.collectiveaccess.org/index.php?title=Bischen

Overall question is, is are there plans to enhance the drill down into viewing image files? Which brings up several other features surrounding images...

- Watermarking. To be able to watermark say, not the thumbnail, not the original upload, but the sized for web viewing???

- Right click disable for images? Of course not a complete protection schema. But throwing up a Right Click Disabled pop up when that is attempted with a short message that administers a 'Copyright' type bullet, customizable...

- Conversely, if an image has passed muster for Rights management and is allowed to be yanked down, possible to provide a 'Download Link to the original image file', based on a per object toggle that permits, or denies, download?

- A 'link to object' capability. Meaning, and this is an increasing need I see in the areas I work in... since objects are being uploaded and deposited into asset managers, providing the ability, via permissions, to link to an object for placement in a forum, a blog, a web page, etc... one of the growing pains in the arse is to know an asset manager repository may contains oodles of images, yet the ability to link to the 'sized' version of an image, or link to an audio or streaming video file, is non existent. Means having to deal with a file, twice. When having the ability to link to a file, that is permitted to be linked to, would provide the ability of say, a YouTube like ability to provide access to file already deposited into an asset manager.

- It gets deeper... when uploading an image rendered for the internet, one must (or should) save out to the Adobe sRGB color managed space. It is a common mistake for images to be saved out to Adobe RGB and then uploaded into a repository where the original files are rendered via Imagemagick, GD, whatever, into thumbs and sized. Most web browsers cannot render image files on the internet because they do not read the icc profile. Adobe RGB results in a muted, washed out, appearance. But one needs Adobe RGB for print purposes. The problem becomes, we quite possibly end up with a slew of files. From say, a RAW capture, converted to whatever the next flavor is i.e. TIFF, JPEG, PNG, whatever, and after post processing is completed (color management, sizing, cropping, whatever else needs to be attended to for the image) from there one should then Save Out to *both* Adobe RGB and Adobe sRGB. At this point we could have three files: RAW, and two versions of Adobe RGB (for print) and Adobe sRGB (for the web). Only the sRGB should be uploaded and rendered into a thumb and sized.

Having said all that tho, it becomes cumbersome to know we must have an alternate backup and storage schema, for these other files... in our simple example, RAW and Adobe RGB ready for print versions. What I am suggesting is, it would greatly enhance the function of an asset manager to be able to upload all related media to an item, thereby being able to 'store' a RAW, a print ready, and whatever other associated media that goes with an object, but then selectively upload the web ready images only that would be converted into thumbs and sized media. Being able to store every digitized file that is related to an item, so it becomes retrievable for even just print purposes, though there are several other functions I can think of that would be solved by this storage solution, this capability would flush out an aspect of the function of an asset manager, where all associated digital files could be stored, and retrieved, in one spot. I know this is overexplained, but felt compelled to map out with some detail. Original RAW vs. print ready vs web ready makes having to store all these in separate beyond cumbersome for collections that need access to produce different kinds of output. Having all these in one record would make life infinitely more manageable.

- I have read there has already been requests for more bulk editing features, so won't drill down into that detail. Bulk editing though...

- Finally, would be nice to have the ability to, when working on a record, to not just Save and Exit, or Cancel, but also an 'Apply' selection, so when working within a record, Applying keeps you inside the record so one can continue working. For many who are conditioned to Save your work as you go, being placed outside the record means we have to navigate back into it each time. Especially when one has the item open in the admin side, and a second tab to view the public side for review of changes, this can get cumbersome. Staying within the record via an Apply selection would make editing and reviewing the work much faster going.

Ok, if one has made it this far, I appreciate the wonderful maturity of Omeka. The future is bright. And in my domain, this maturity has caused me to start considering shifting and migrating projects to Omeka. Am looking very much forward to the fall release as this will likely seal the migration considerations underway now. Well done folks....

Did I scare everyone?

Hi drhiii,

Thanks for the feedback! Its a great list, and some of it is on our list to do for an eventual 2.0 release of Omeka. Some of it, however, could either be done on a per-site basis, or with a plugin. I'd say watermarking images, for example, would be an interesting case for a plugin.

I think a "Right click to disable images" would be best done in the public theme itself, using any number of JavaScript solutions available for that. That's probably not something we would include in the Omeka core or our themes, but could certainly provide a tutorial or documentation to assist users in applying that to an Omeka site.

I really like the idea of an "Apply" button, or, at the very least, keeping users on the item/edit page after saving, and providing a "Back to items/browse" button somewhere on that form. I agree this would help with workflow. We've also batted around teh idea of Ajax-ifying the item/show page, so users could edit items there, and save per field.

I'll take all this great feedback to our dev team. Thanks again!


Thanks for your suggestions. Others have asked for ways to rearrange files and to batch edit.

But, we have no plans that help restrict access to what is shared in Omeka: watermarking; disabling right-clicks; denying downloads. Image Magick creates derivative files and stores them locally to the installation so that your site already serves up web-res images.

As for providing access to an archival file--the original you upload--you can create a link to that already if you want to give users access. (http://omeka.org/forums/topic/how-to-add-link-to-download-original)

One thing to keep in mind is that we did not design Omeka to be a DAMS or a Collections Management System. It can function in those ways, depending on needs and uses, but essentially Omeka works best as a means for adding an interpretive and presentation layer on top of collections data.

It can't be everything to everyone. This is a grant-funded project with a focused scope, and we are not a software house. But, because Omeka is open-source, standards-based, and has a plugin architecture making it flexible and extensible you can take it and customize it as you wish. Our fantastic development team has worked hard to make it malleable in the best of ways, and we have a strong dev community who contributes back into the project.

So, please test out some of your ideas and try building a plugin that might fit some of your needs: http://omeka.org/codex/Plugin_Use_Cases/Writing_Your_First_Omeka_Plugin

Hello Sheila,

Tx for the lengthy response and pardon my belated reply. Medical family needs called me into duty.

The two core things are yes, I do understand this is a funded project and this is partly why the posting of my extended, and scary features ideas was to see where you folks might be in terms of implementing some of these things. That it certainly is incumbent on me and others to fill the gaps. Of course. As it should be.

The other key thing is I do understand this is not intended to be a DAM either. That is is so close to being one, I thought to bring this up was useful because it does nail another bird with a single stone, a bit one. But that may be something I am able to charge off and contract with someone to fulfill.

So, appreciate your response to all this. Hopefully some of the items made their way into consideration because they would be useful I know from many discussions with others who are looking for similar things. I have an application that I am auguring for that is far too beta at the moment, but will see how to migrate it into Omeka. Is something that is unfulfilled in every asset manager and DAM, and have been working towards for awhile now. Omeka is well grounded and believe bring this 'application' into the fray, worthy.

regards, david