Omeka S 4.0.0 release candidate

The Omeka Team has been hard at work on Omeka S, adding features, fixing bugs, and addressing feedback. Today, we’re ready to show a preview of what we’ve been working on: the Omeka S 4.0.0 release candidate.

Download the 4.0.0 release candidate here to give it a try. Note: This is not yet the final 4.0.0 release, so it’s not intended to be used for a production site. Links to updated versions of the Omeka Team’s modules and themes are listed below in this thread. (Update: the file at the link here was updated on December 16 to correct a packaging issue with the initially-available zip)

There are a few headline features in this release:

  • Resource page blocks are a new feature allowing the administrators of individual sites to configure what’s shown and in what order on the item, item set, and media show pages visible to the public. Changes that used to require editing CSS to hide sections of the page, or edit the theme itself to insert or move pieces of content, can now be done directly in the admin UI with no coding. Modules can hook into this system to let output they add be moved around the page freely as well.

    Themes must opt in to using this system; all Omeka Team themes (as listed below in this thread) support resource page blocks. Themes can also add multiple regions where content can be placed, allowing for more complex layouts. For a theme that supports resource page blocks, there will be a button next to the theme settings button in the site admin area that allows configuring the blocks.

    One interesting change that comes along with this system is that the interactive “gallery” that is used by some of the newer Omeka Team themes is now integrated into the core. So, any theme that supports resource page blocks can now use this gallery without any coding required.

    The updated Mapping module uses this system, so a mapping-intensive site can easily move the map to the top of the page, or one where it’s less important could move the map to a sidebar.

  • Browse page configuration allows users much more control over what’s shown on the browse pages across the Omeka S administrative interface. Version 4.0.0 adds new user-level settings that let users control which columns are shown in the browse page tables. Users can remove existing columns if they aren’t useful for them, and add columns for data like added/modified dates, the internal Omeka S ID, and more, including columns for any resource metadata property value (for example, you can choose to add a column for Dublin Core’s Date property).

    Altering the visible columns also alters which options are available in the sorting selector on the browse page. Beyond that, this release also adds user settings for controlling the default sort field and direction, so a user can set the browse page to sort in their preferred way by default.

    Finally, this control over default sorting also extends to the public items browse page for sites, so a site administrator can change the default sorting public users see, without having to alter the navigation or use query strings.

On a more technical level, this release also adds support for PHP 8.1 and 8.2. At the same time, the minimum required version of PHP is now 7.4.

There are many features, changes, and fixes beyond the few I’ve highlighted here. Read the (long!) release notes for full information about what’s included in this release.

We’d love feedback on the release candidate either here on the forums or on Github. In particular, we hope authors of modules and themes will use this preview to check on compatibility and see if they can take advantage of the new features of 4.0.0.

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As is typical with new major releases of Omeka S, modules must be updated and indicate support for the new version. Updated versions of the Omeka Team’s modules are listed below. Where necessary, these also include updates for PHP 8.1 and 8.2. They are marked as “pre-releases” on Github until the final Omeka 4.0.0 release.

Additionally, there are a few new modules whose first releases require Omeka S 4.0.0:

  • IIIF Presentation, a module that exposes Omeka resources using the IIIF Presentation API
  • InverseProperties, a module that can automatically create the inverse side of a linking property value (i.e., hasPart and isPartOf)
  • ZoteroCitations, a module that allows lookup and citation of sources within a Zotero library in the HTML editor

Authors and users of non-Omeka Team modules that do not have an update listed above can check for compatibility by adding || ^4.0.0 to the omeka_version_constraint value in the module’s config/module.ini file.

As with modules, themes must be updated for a new major Omeka S release also. Omeka S 4.0.0 in particular contains some significant changes themes can take advantage of, as well. The “Default” theme is bundled with the Omeka S download as usual, and updated versions of the other Omeka Team themes are listed below:

Authors and users of non-Omeka Team themes that do not have an update listed above can check for compatibility by adding || ^4.0.0 to the omeka_version_constraint value in the theme’s config/theme.ini file.