Dec 6, 2010
Deco is a free theme for Omeka. Though I started working on an Omeka theme for use by a more general audience and without any particular motivation beyond having a lame sense of fun, as I got going, I realized it might be really useful for the group of social studies teachers with whom I’ve been working this past week. As part of a grant-funded workshop, the teachers needed to start their own WordPress- and Omeka-based websites (for use in their classrooms). As you might expect, none of the teachers had experience with such things. After an arduous 4 hour workshop in which the group got all of their hosting plans purchased and sites installed and configured, we kind of slowly came to a realization that there was still foundational work to be done. Though Omeka is quite user friendly, it’s still best managed (in a self-hosted environment that is), by users having at least some experience with and understanding of web publishing. (omeka.net is a great hosted alternative by the way, and works much like wordpress.com, but for various reasons was not right for our project). And so the scope of this little side project grew as I tried to anticipate some of the problems novice users might encounter.
For one, Omeka’s publicly available themes sometimes seem lacking when combined with certain plugins. Each of the available themes is quite nice on its own terms and perfect for building out by experienced users (in fact, this theme is built on the very excellent Berlin theme by Jeremy Boggs and Ken Albers), but even for those with a moderate amount of design and coding knowledge, changing things up can be daunting, requiring a lot of time querying the forums, and browsing the documentation. I knew that most of the teachers would be using a set of plugins that require additional styling and code insertion and so I tried to prepare the theme with as much plugin-specific styling and conditional templating I could so that they would not have to fool around too much. The most common needs should hopefully be addressed by the core templates and through the many configurable theme options
This is my first public theme and it’s been quite an experience thinking through all the possible use cases. I think I have accounted for the most common possibilities, but it’s possible something could still come up and present a problem: there could be errors to debug, display problems in older browsers, poorly formed functions, etc.. Thus, I’m calling this version 0.9, just to be safe, but I think it is certainly usable at this point. Nevertheless, the usual “no warranty” caveat applies.
Deco theme for Omeka
Designed for: Omeka Version: 2.0+
Browser tested in: Internet Explorer 8+, and current versions of Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera
- Featured Item slideshow on homepage (jQuery, Awkward Showcase)
- Lightbox effect for images on items/show (jQuery, FancyBox)
- Built in support for HTML 5 Video with Flash fallback (VideoJS, Flowplayer)
- “Edit this Item” button on items/show
- Add an RSS feed anywhere on your site using the deco_display_rss($feedUrl,$num) function (uses Zend RSS, note that using this function may lead to slower load times)
- Configurable theme options
- stylesheet-switching with 4 designs in the initial version (plus a custom.css option for advanced users)
- user-defined tagline
- user-defined “About” text on the homepage
- user-defined number of recent items to display on the homepage
- toggle lightbox on items/show
- toggle slideshow on homepage
- toggle “Random Featured Collection” on homepage
- toggle images with “Random Featured Collection” on homepage
- toggle theme credits in footer
- Built in support for common plugins
- Exhibit Builder (CSS styles)
- DocsViewer (ideal placement in items/show if user does not choose the default embed on items/show option)
Known Issues and Planned Improvements
- ISSUE: Conflict with Image Annotation plugin breaks the gallery and fancybox scripts.
- PLANNED IMPROVEMENT: Additional stylesheet choices (better, more varied)
- PLANNED IMPROVEMENT: L
et users configure or at least turn off HTML5 video options in theme settings.