Tag: API (Page 1 of 4)

WP Campus 18: Playing on the Web

Playing and learning involve experimentation, getting dirty, and breaking stuff. Both on the web and IRL, I want people to test a toy or a technology or a theory in order to see what it can provide and where it will break. In one of the opening lightning talks at WordPress Campus 18, Donna Talarico challenged us to play and explore as we develop our web projects.

In my presentation, I talked about how Domain of One’s Own initiatives encourage play and experimentation by giving faculty, staff, and students a place to build and experiment with the web. At the end of each year, we bring people together to celebrate the best new websites for the Creaties, our own version of the Webbies.

When we were developing the idea for this celebration, and as we’ve iterated it, Adam Croom, Anoop Bal, Keegan Long-Wheeler and I wanted to try to use the event to build a community that could play together. We try to draw people out to tell us about the challenges they faced as they were building them, the experiments they tried out, and the clever things that worked along with those that didn’t.

Rachel Cherry and her team did an excellent job of organizing WordPress Campus. One of the many things I liked was that they recorded many of the presentations and encouraged us to put together some sort of artifact to open the discussion for everyone was wasn’t at the conference. I built a WP site that lays out a lot of my presentation and shares some of the resources and thought that went into the Creaties. I hope you’ll take a minute to watch the presentation or play with the site, and let me know how your school can play with the concepts of DoOO and the Creaties and adapt them for your campus.

Omeka + HTML5Up

I have been working on a couple of Omeka sites this semester. I really like the Omeka system for its handling of meta data and the Neatline map extension for easy map creation. Omeka S just came out and looks fantastic, though I haven’t had a chance to build with it yet.

However, I do not like the Omeka themes. For a while I was using Denison as seen here. However, the theme mishandles the four images on the front page and the drop down menu has a tendency to malfunction.

I also tried Big Picture but abandoned it when I was unable to merge the beautiful Browse Collections page into the index page.

Ultimately I turned away from Omeka themes and instead used HTML5Up templates. I transitioned Dr. Daniela Busiciglio’s site that had been built with Denison from this:

to this (progettovitaliano.org):

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 of progettovitaliano.com

I’ve just finished transitioning another site that I built with Dr. Mirelsie Velazquez and her students from the Big Picture Omeka theme to this (http://docnarr.oucreate.com/):

Because Omeka’s API does not provide images, I was not able to load the images into these HTML based pages programmatically. Thus, these front pages will require a bit more maintenance in their HTML code than Omeka themes, which are controlled from the administrative GUI. However, I really like the flexibility that I get from stripping out the front page of the Omeka themes and replacing it with something that I can tweak to feature the best parts of the projects.

 

My Tables are Awesome

This past spring, I was having a conversation with Mia ZamoraAlan Levine, and Keegan Long Wheeler about the NetNarr course. Alan was putting together a table for a website that looked really slick, and when I asked what tool he was using, he said Awesome Tables. Four months later, I’m obsessed.

I am particularly susceptible to the charm of Awesome Tables, because I subscribe to the Tom Woodward school of using Google Sheets for everything. Awesome Tables adds a second sheet to a google spreadsheet. This second sheet has cells containing html, css, and js code, all of which format your data into an interactive table. Here’s the table that my Projects page is running:


Here’s the Google spreadsheet driving it. You can see the data on the first sheet and the code on the second.

I’m excited about this stuff for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can use the second sheet to work through basic website programming with real data and see the results by refreshing the table. I could see using this in a class to teach some basic web coding.
  2. There are about a dozen pretty nice templates built so it’s easy to quickly turn a spreadsheet into a decent looking database.
  3. Google Sheets is powerful because of the ability to use google scripts to collect data. You can use HTTP GET calls to mine data and standard javascript to parse the xml or json files into the rows of the table. You can also POST to google sheets from other web apps or use 3rd party services like Zapier or IFTTT to link it with other web apps with APIs.

There are other ways to build similar tables with bootstrap or even raw html and css, but Awesome Tables is fairly easy to use and embed. The connection between the data and the output is fairly intuitive and easy to manipulate.

By way of example of what you can do quickly and easily, here are a couple of Awesome Tables that I’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks:

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