In just 28 days a new version of the Open Exhibits software and a brand-new website will launch.
When we first built the site and released the 1.0 version of the SDK back in November 2009 we didn’t anticipate that we would be rebuilding it all a year and half later. However, along the way we heard from you: our community members, our partners and advisors and we decided to rebuild based on the great feedback we received. This new course provides the best opportunity for Open Exhibits to become a long lasting and self-sufficient community of practice.
Here’s a summary of some of what you can expect to see on March 28th.
The Open Exhibits 2.0 SDK is completely rebuilt from the ground up and it has been extended in a number of ways; including the development of CML (our own Creative Markup Language). This introduction of this new XML markup language is an “OCGM” centered approach to authoring; as CML defines the objects and their behaviors within an application. (You can learn more about OCGM here.)
Open Exhibits 2.0 support for GestureML, CreativeML, and CSS will give non-programmers the ability to more easily adapt applications for their own needs. They can change gesture, object and application parameters, and styles—all outside of ActionScript. This is a huge development as it will hopefully make Open Exhibits much more accessible. In addition, the structural changes represent a new approach to authoring, one that we feel is much better suited for multitouch (and other new HCI tech) development.
Along with Open Exhibits 2.0 SDK, a new Collection Viewer with a separate application (GUI) for populating the viewer with content will be released. There’s more about the Collection Viewer in a previous post.
We will release more exhibit templates this year with content GUIs. Again, the idea here is that these drag-and-drop content management applications will help make it easier for nonprogrammers to get started with Open Exhibits.
Open Exhibits 2.0 will have a brand new website. Along with its new look, the Website will have a number of new features. We are using WordPress and BuddyPress and we’re really happy with how these tools are working. The profile feature is greatly improved, as is blog authoring (of course). Also, the site will have the ability for members to start their own discussion groups; allowing our forums to act a place for creative discussion, not just a space for support requests.
The most exciting new feature is the Wanted Boards. Here community members can post and “claim” small development projects. If you have an idea for a software module or need help with design or research, the Wanted Boards might be able to help. Wanted Board items will include software development, screen-casts, and requests for blog posts on specific topics, research, and even hardware development for Arduino projects. The Wanted Boards include an admin function that allows us to add a cash bounty or Amazon gift certificate to items on the board. The Tech Open Source has partnered with us to help promote promising items with additional cash bounties.
Starting the site over again has allowed us to incorporate all of the feedback we received from various surveys, the design summit, and other sources over the last year. We think the new site will be one that encourages greater participation from our 2,300+ members.
As many of you know, there have been some delays in getting the new site and new software together. This new development has also pushed back a few other items including Heist and other Collection Viewer features until later this year. We appreciate your patience. We are confident that this important foundational work will serve the Open Exhibits community well.
Thanks for all your feedback and support. We are very excited about the release and we hope you are too.
by Jim Spadaccini on March 1, 2012