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Friday, June 18, 2010

(LIS 2600) Omeka assignment

Well, I completed the Omeka assignment for LIS 2600 on Wednesday, and it took me several hours to complete. This assignment left me with the conclusion that Omeka really is a pretty crappy "resource." It's ridiculously non-user-friendly, the documentation on site is confusing, scattered, and difficult to pore through, and the procedures for simply adding items to a collection have far too many goofy steps to go through. I found three different ways to add an item, each of which then required a different method to add said item to a collection. And that's if one could track down how to access or create a collection. Now, these things are not difficult to do once you work them out, but they are entirely non-intuitive, and that's poor software design.

Finally, when one looks at the public view, instead of showing only entered information, the final entry shows every single field with "none entered" if you haven't put information into a field. There also aren't nearly enough options for sorting and searching the data in a collection. What you see is what you get, and while WYSIWYG is a great method of desktop publishing and web design, it's a god awful way to manage resources--there need to be visible and obvious sorting options, such as Title, Author, Keywords, Subject, date entered, etc. Such sorting options should be handled via clickable links at the top of columns. I encountered no such flexibility in the system. This is a poor way to manage resources--particularly for a collection intended to be public and for people to use to search and browse collections.

It's possible that once one got more used to the format and procedures OMEKA would become easier, but the initial efforts left me so cold that I would be disinclined to explore it further. It's evidence that open-sourced software will always have trouble gaining a more solid foothold in the market simply because the programmers of open-source software tend to be computer geeks who don't care about average, non-expert end user functionality. Too many open source programs are designed for use by programmers, not average Janes and Joes.

1 comment:

  1. i couldn't agree more about omeka's clunkiness. the whole time i was doing the assignment, i kept saying to myself -- surely there's a better way.


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