Tag: API (Page 1 of 4)

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:

Daily Word Counts for Blogs & Google Docs

I’m writing this post to test out a new service that I set up. If This Then That (IFTTT.com) uses APIs to connect various services. In this case, I gave it some basic information about my Blog and some information about my Google Drive account. Using those connections, IFTTT will now backup my blog post as a Google Doc.

If everything works as I think it will with my IFTTT applet, I will start having doc files with the text of each of my blog posts. I am also running Google Docs Writing Tracker as developed by Jamie Todd Rubin and others on GitHub. Jamie built a set of scripts to count the words written in any file a given Google Doc folder. The count is generated each night and saved into a Google Spreadsheet. A second script will generate a daily “Almanac” of the user’s writing. This almanac is generated as an email to the user reporting on the number of words written along with 7-day averages and consecutive day writing streaks.

I am writing a couple of research projects in my Google Docs folder and will use the IFTTT applet to also pull in the backups of my blog posts. The Google Docs Writing Tracker will then count my total words written each day and send me a report.

If all of this works out as I hope it will, I will then add a few functions to Jamie’s open code to allow people to publish their almanacs to a website and then build in further functionality for comparing almanacs across a group.

If I can get all of this to work, I’ll fork Jamie’s code set on GitHub, update it with my changes, and post a link in another blog post.

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