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Web feature wish list - my top 7

Web feature wish list - my top 7

Hello,
I've been sitting on this list of wishes for some time, and I guess there is no chance of seeing them appear if I don't share them! Below is a list of user-friendly features I'd like to see added to the web objects, in no particular order:
1) ability to have more than one query term in any form field
2) provide next, previous progress navigation for the detailed page
3) jump to a certain element in the results list by number - the n-th in the list
4) export result list to CSV and PDF
5) place an image glyph/link in the results list to indicate image(s) are available
6) sort ability on the results list, an any column visible
7) be able to link to other modules from a results list, or detailed view, e.g., if I'm looking at a query on the taxonomy page, I would like to be able to jump to a display of all the catalogue records of that taxon.

Anyone else have a little list?

Regards,
Joanna at FMNH

Edited by: - 01-Jan-70 09:00:00

Joanna McCaffrey
Biodiversity Informatics Mgr.
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Re: Web feature wish list - my top 7

Hi,

Just thought i would let you know that some of your wish list is already available.

EMuUsersAdmin@museum.vic.gov.au wrote:
> A new message has been posted to a thread you have been tracking on www.EMuUsers.Org.
>
> ------------------
> From: jmccaffrey
> Date: 2/7/2006 3:14:24 AM
> Subject: Web feature wish list - my top 7
>
> Hello,
> I've been sitting on this list of wishes for some time, and I guess there is no chance of seeing them appear if I don't share them! Below is a list of user-friendly features I'd like to see added to the web objects, in no particular order:
> 1) ability to have more than one query term in any form field

This is already available.
You can make it so that a form field can query across different fields and tables.

> 2) provide next, previous progress navigation for the detailed page

Next and Previous links are available. Im not sure what you mean by progress navigation (do you mean a status of how many records have been retrieved so far ?).

> 4) export result list to CSV and PDF

You can export to CSV format. There is a CsvExporter object that can be set up.

> 5) place an image glyph/link in the results list to indicate image(s) are available

Im assuming that you mean that there should be a little thumbnail indicating weather a image is attached to an object in the results list.
This is already available (its a thumbnail with a "No Image Available" title on it).

> 6) sort ability on the results list, an any column visible

This is available already (but column headings which can be clicked to sort on that column is not available).

> 7) be able to link to other modules from a results list, or detailed view, e.g., if I'm looking at a query on the taxonomy page, I would like to be able to jump to a display of all the catalogue records of that taxon.
>

This is possible. It depends on how the EMu web system has been set up.


Regards,
Martin Jujou

KE Software Pty Ltd.

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Re: Web feature wish list - my top 7

Martin - thanks for your input. Perhaps one of my points was not well specified, or I misunderstand. See below.

Posted By Martin Jujou on 2/7/2006 1:25:51 PM
Hi,

Just thought i would let you know that some of your wish list is already available.

EMuUsersAdmin@museum.vic.gov.au wrote:
> A new message has been posted to a thread you have been tracking on www.EMuUsers.Org.
>
> ------------------
> From: jmccaffrey
> Date: 2/7/2006 3:14:24 AM
> Subject: Web feature wish list - my top 7
>
> Hello,
> I've been sitting on this list of wishes for some time, and I guess there is no chance of seeing them appear if I don't share them! Below is a list of user-friendly features I'd like to see added to the web objects, in no particular order:
> 1) ability to have more than one query term in any form field

This is already available.
You can make it so that a form field can query across different fields and tables.

What I mean here is that more than one value of any field can be put into the query. I already have multiple fields per form, but it only lets me input one value for each field. See http://emuweb.fieldmuseum.org/botany/detailed.php for reference. Am I missing something in understanding you?

> 2) provide next, previous progress navigation for the detailed page

Next and Previous links are available. Im not sure what you mean by progress navigation (do you mean a status of how many records have been retrieved so far ?).

No, I mean being able from the detailed/display view of the record, not the results list, to be able to progress to next and previous. If you get a result list from a query, and then go into the display for each record, you have to click out of hte display view, back to the results list view to go to the next record. I'd rather let the user stay in the display view and give them the ability to navigate directly.
See http://emuweb.fieldmuseum.org/botany/Di … tailed.php

> 4) export result list to CSV and PDF

You can export to CSV format. There is a CsvExporter object that can be set up.

Please supply details.

> 5) place an image glyph/link in the results list to indicate image(s) are available

Im assuming that you mean that there should be a little thumbnail indicating whether a image is attached to an object in the results list.
This is already available (its a thumbnail with a "No Image Available" title on it).

> 6) sort ability on the results list, an any column visible

This is available already (but column headings which can be clicked to sort on that column is not available).

But can the user sort at will? I can program the page to have a certain sort, but I am looking for user-level, experience improvments.

> 7) be able to link to other modules from a results list, or detailed view, e.g., if I'm looking at a query on the taxonomy page, I would like to be able to jump to a display of all the catalogue records of that taxon.
>

This is possible. It depends on how the EMu web system has been set up.

Please send details of above


Regards,
Martin Jujou

KE Software Pty Ltd.

Joanna McCaffrey
Biodiversity Informatics Mgr.
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Re: Web feature wish list - my top 7

Hi Joanna,

My go! See below for answers...


> 1) ability to have more than one query term in any form field

This is already available.
You can make it so that a form field can query across different fields and tables.

What I mean here is that more than one value of any field can be put into the query. I already have multiple fields per form, but it only lets me input one value for each field. See http://emuweb.fieldmuseum.org/botany/detailed.php for reference. Am I missing something in understanding you?


I think you mean the ability to perform 'OR' searches rather than 'AND'. In the EMu client, you specify AND queries by placing the query terms on the same line of the query field, and OR queries by using additional lines of the same field. On the web this is slightly harder because it's much more difficult to have a set of fields that grow one field larger when the user enters a term on a new line. The only way I can think of doing this is by adding extra form fields immediately below the existing fields - this would make the query form much larger, but would make the queries more 'EMu like'.

Unfortunately this is not a simple thing to do, as not only do you have to add the fields you also have to play around with the logic that forms the users query terms into a valid EMu query quite substatially. I'll let you know if I hear of anyone implementing anything like this in the future as it obviously adds good functionality.


> 2) provide next, previous progress navigation for the detailed page

Next and Previous links are available. Im not sure what you mean by progress navigation (do you mean a status of how many records have been retrieved so far ?).

No, I mean being able from the detailed/display view of the record, not the results list, to be able to progress to next and previous. If you get a result list from a query, and then go into the display for each record, you have to click out of hte display view, back to the results list view to go to the next record. I'd rather let the user stay in the display view and give them the ability to navigate directly.
See http://emuweb.fieldmuseum.org/botany/Di … tailed.php


The difficulty with providing Next and Previous navigation on the display page is that currently the display page knows nothing about the query you have performed or the results you have retrieved - it gets all of it's information about the object you are viewing from the IRN in the url (see your url above for an example). To know what the 'next' and 'previous' results are it would have to perform the query again, and then navigate to the current record's position in that query. The overhead involved in this can vary enormously depending how long the query the user has specified takes to execute, so it's very hard to cleanly implement each time.

The only way you could do this would be by holding a certain number of search results in a session variable - unfortunately though even with this approach you cannot include the whole results set because you could potentially have hundreds of thousands of objects in your results, and instead you must return the user to the 'next' *page* of results after they have navigated a certain number. Because this functionality relies on session variables it is difficult to implement in a generic way because not all browsers accept cookies - we try to avoid overly relying on functionality that can be turned off by the user in standard EMu Web so that the code retains it's 'one size fits all' brief.


> 4) export result list to CSV and PDF

You can export to CSV format. There is a CsvExporter object that can be set up.

Please supply details.


This object is available in the objects/common directory of your EMu Web installation, inside the file CsvExporter.php and although I haven't used the object myself you should be able to simply place the object on a page. If i recall correctly it relies on the user having javascript enabled though, which can cause problems if your users have explicitly turned this off.


> 5) place an image glyph/link in the results list to indicate image(s) are available

Im assuming that you mean that there should be a little thumbnail indicating whether a image is attached to an object in the results list.
This is already available (its a thumbnail with a "No Image Available" title on it).


By this do you mean an icon that appears if the records has two or more pieces of multimedia attached to it?


> 6) sort ability on the results list, an any column visible

This is available already (but column headings which can be clicked to sort on that column is not available).

But can the user sort at will? I can program the page to have a certain sort, but I am looking for user-level, experience improvments.


The problem with sorts on the web is that they can potentially take a lot of time to execute, so you have to be careful about how many records you allow the user to sort. While a sort on 1-2,000 records will be quick, a sort of 400,000 would definately not! While you would be able to create your own results list page that did this with a bit of PHP and HTML hacking, we are planning on adding this functionality to EMu Web in the future, but only after the sorting code has been in productiona little longer and any major problems that might arise have had a chance to appear.


> 7) be able to link to other modules from a results list, or detailed view, e.g., if I'm looking at a query on the taxonomy page, I would like to be able to jump to a display of all the catalogue records of that taxon.
>

This is possible. It depends on how the EMu web system has been set up.

Please send details of above


In your Display Page code, you have to create a Field object, and set the LinksTo property - for example:
$creatorlink = new Field;
$creatorlink->ColName = "CreCreatorRef_tab->eparties->SummaryData";
$creatorlink->LinksTo = "partydisplay.php";

In the above, partydisplay.php is a party display page set up in exactly the same way as you catalogue display page, but with fields from the parties module and:
$this->Database = "eparties";
set in the constructor.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions - We'll let you know as and when these features become available in standard EMuWeb.

Best Regards,

Alex
KE Software

Alex Fell (Axiell Manchester)
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