News Introducing the Sort Browse Results Plugin

Jeremy has been building websites and multimedia for the better part of this century, and joins us as a guest blogger to announce the release of his Omeka plugin: Sort Browse Results. Spending several years at an institute of technology in New Zealand, Jeremy’s emphasis is on usability and accessibility and he has a keen interest in open source software. He also enjoys long walks on the beach and beer.

Being an interface developer, it helps to have an online personal portfolio of web sites to show off to prospective employers and the like. But just like the worst clients I complain about, I am constantly changing the design and requirements causing me to rebuild the site from the ground up, again and again. With a static site this was becoming quite tedious. I decided I needed an archiving system where I could keep and describe various assets such as web sites and interactive resources, a system that would allow me to change the interface without effecting my content. My search led me to Omeka.

With its semantic archiving and extensible MVC architecture, Omeka was perfect for the task. I wanted to create an interface where the user could manipulate the view to see the items they are most interested in. Omeka’s tagging and search features form the foundation to achieving this. I also wanted to give the user the ability to sort the items, for example based on the title, the date created or the item type. As this was not part of the Omeka core, I set about creating a plugin.

[caption id=”attachment_480” align=”alignnone” width=”779” caption=”This screenshot is of items listed in Jeremy’s Omeka archive. By clicking on ‘title,’ ‘type,’ or ‘date,’ you can sort items on the browse page of your archive.”]picture-11[/caption]

The outcome was the Sort Browse Results plugin. Download the zip file. This is a simple plugin that allows items on the items/browse page to be sorted by any element in the site. Once installed and activated, see “Getting Started with Plugins” for more info, theme developers need to add just a few extra simple PHP calls in the /items/browse.php page and it’s all done. It’s flexible enough to be used how you wish. A drop-down list for example or a table with clickable headings. CSS class selectors are returned to allow unique styling of the selected element. For example you could use CSS background property to display an arrow next to the element the results are sorted by.

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