Facet by Metadata - only on item page?

Hi, I just read over the recent post about Facet by Metadata display, and realized that the only page it displays on is the item page? It seems to do the same thing as Search by Metadata, just in a different UI component?

I’ve installed on a new, completely vanilla Omeka instance. I had imagined it would add a sidebar underneath the search bar, if not on the title page then at least after a search had been executed. So I just wanted to check if there was any other additional functionality. I guess the benefit here vs. Search by Metadata is that you can combine multiple facets via checkbox, rather than a single term search with Search by Metadata.

I’m also aware that Solr provides this, but it doesn’t make sense to add this technical component as there is no ongoing IT support after implementation.


If I am correct about all above, do you think we could create a poor man’s version of Solr facet searching as a sidebar UI component? I used to be a PHP developer, now I do a bunch of things but mostly in the design/UX space. I dive back in to code when I have to. :slight_smile:

You’re pretty much right that it’s an outgrowth of Search by Metadata, just different UI and putting a layer or two on the search functionality. As such, it does indeed depend on the item-specific metadata, and doesn’t get into all the options that Solr offers.

I built it for a specific side project that doesn’t use Solr. I think a Solr faceted search would call for a full-on Solr plugin for it.

OK! Just to clarify, I didn’t mean actually using Solr search, I meant can we simulate or replicate a poor-man’s version of faceted search for filtering search results? As an example, after searching for a query term - in metadata field “Type”, we have 5 unique values, so only show me the results of 1 type. And in metadata field “Subject”, we have 20 unique values, so narrow down to just 4 of them.

I know how to write the SQL queries. I know how to code in PHP. But don’t know the inner workings of Omeka UI and Omeka db schema.

Could you tell more about the results you are looking for? Especially regarding unique values, it’s a known issue that it doesn’t do well with displaying multiple values for the facet, but if they’re unique that shouldn’t come up. If they the values are unique, however, I’m seeing the checkbox options getting to the correct search results.

Oh sorry, to be clear I was referring more to the UI. After executing a search, seeing the available filters (facets and unique values) in a sidebar, like Academic Search Premier (screenshot: https://pasteboard.co/GVAAcis.png).

Patrick (and Daniel), FYI I am now working on a “FacetedSearch” plugin for Omeka-S based on Daniel’s References plugin.

In action (but it’s a dev server at this point so might change, but I have screenshots if you are interested).


Or, alternatively, adding facet sidebar functionality to Daniel’s existing References plugin! :slight_smile:

Another solution is to develop facets as an extension of the Search module, like Solr is an extension of it.

So all admin pages are already built, and a default template is already ready too, so less work to maintain, and you “just” have to create the internal logic like Solr, but for Sql.

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Thanks for that tip! I haven’t explored the Search module yet. The key building block for me was your logic to retrieve the unique values of any given property. I would never be able to write that on my own.

Given the boolean limitations of search, it seems there will be many facet combinations that will not work as expected (particularly with multiple values of a property using OR). So I am going to continue pursuing for the IIP and TAEP projects, but now I wonder about how much “usability” it will actually have beyond 3 operators. The only thing guaranteed to work is AND combos with 1 value per metadata element.

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