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Webbin' Rebels

dmMonocle Released!

By Brian Egan on September 28, 2009 4:28 PM | Permalink

Yay! I’ve packaged dmMonocle, created a couple of screencasts showing how to use and install dmMonocle, and put up enough documentation to get people rolling. And now, we’ve released it all into the library wilderness (the CONTENTdm listserv, Web4Lib Listserv, and Diglib listserv)!

The official announcement

Do you run CONTENTdm and want to make browsing detailed images in your digital collections as easy as using Google Maps? Want to make the most of your high resolution scans? Wish you could provide a better viewing experience for your users? Now you can!

dmMonocle is a stand-alone, open-source image viewer for CONTENTdm collections, intended as a replacement for the default image viewer provided with CONTENTdm. The goal of the project is to make CONTENTdm images, such as photos, maps, and scanned documents, easier to view and navigate.


More screencasting madness with Screenr!

By Brian Egan on September 28, 2009 11:14 AM | Permalink

As you will soon learn, I've become a bit obsessed with screencasting lately. I just find it an extremely convenient way to learn. Screencasts are amazing because of the amount of information they convey. With screencasts, the primary lesson is oftentimes only the tip of the information iceberg, because in addition to the primary lesson, there is an incredible amount of peripheral information you can glean that text-based articles cannot convey.

While watching other web designers work, I've picked up a number of useful habits that have transformed the way I write code, which has led to a rapid increase in productivity in certain areas. I've learned minor tricks about Photoshop I had missed or misunderstood that have greatly helped my workflow. And while not technically screencasts, I've also been learning the Ukulele in my spare time. The Ukulele! All of this information information is best conveyed in video form.

How to: Make a Screencast!

By Brian Egan on September 24, 2009 4:50 PM | Permalink

A few weeks ago I wrote how cool I thought it would be if the libraries began to use video more for instruction, tutorials, and even inspiration! Well, in order to kick things off, I thought I'd make a screencast of my own!

Alex and I are releasing some of the software we programmed for the Howard Hughes and Boomtown Digital Collections, and in order to help adoption, I thought it would make sense to create a screencast for how to install the software I designed.

To see how it turned out, check this out:


Going Mobile Series: Part 2 - Information Architecture

By Brian Egan on September 18, 2009 1:14 PM | Permalink

Going Mobile Series

  1. Part 1 – Time for a Mobile Website
  2. Part 2 -  Information Architecture
  3. Part 3 - Wireframes

The WMC project request has been submitted and confirmed! Because we’re working on about a million different things, the mobile website project won’t be a high priority item, but rather an ongoing project I tinker with when time allows. That shouldn’t stop us, though, because as I said in the first part of this series: It won’t take us an overwhelming amount of time to launch a decent mobile site!

To progress the project a bit further today, I’ve reviewed the content on our main website and extracted what I considered to be the most pertinent information for mobile sites into the following site map:

dmBridge & dmMonocle going open source!

By Brian Egan on September 15, 2009 5:16 PM | Permalink

What is dmBridge?

If you hadn't heard, Alex is a total badass. Over the last year or so, Alex has completely overhauled the way in which we build Digital Collections websites. The process used to be unfortunately complex, making custom updates not only difficult, but impossible to maintain over a large number of collections. In addition, the complexity drastically reduced our creative abilities for what we wanted to accomplish with our collections both aesthetically and functionally. Finally, the workflow was completely out of hand, causing web designers real headaches and setbacks during the development cycle.