Friday, August 31, 2007

Progress Report: Layout, Usability, and Collections

I've gotten a lot done on FromThePage over the last month:
  • I finished a navigation redesign that unites the different kind of actions you can take on a work, a page, or a subject article around those objects.
  • I added preview and error handling functionality to the transcription screen
  • We — well, Sara actually — figured out an appropriate two-column layout and implemented stylesheets based on Ruthsarian Layouts and Plone Clone.
  • Zoomable page images now appear in the page view screen in addition to the transcription screen.
  • I created a unififed, blog-style work reader to display transcriptions of multiple pages from the same work. This replaces the table of contents as the work's main screen, a change I think will be especially useful for letters or other short works.
  • "About this Work" now contains fields suggested by the TEI Manuscript Transcription guidelines tracking document history, physical description, etc.
  • Scribes can now rename subjects, and all the links embedded within transcription text will be updated. This is an important usability features, since you can now link incomplete terms like "Mr Edmonds" with the confidence that the entry can be corrected and expanded upon later research.
  • Full subject titles are expanded when the mouse pointer hovers over links in the text: i.e. "Josie" (try it!).
  • Works are now aggregated into collections. Articles are no longer global, but belong to a particular collection. This prevents work owners with unrelated data from seeing each other's articles if they have the same titles. Collection pages could also serve as a landing page for a FromThePage site, with a short URL and perhaps custom styles.

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