After trying a monthly change log once some month ago, we have unfortunately been rather lenient with notifying everyone of new features and updates in the last months. To approach betterment, here there is a list of the updates of November 2022 the form of screenshots. As a very large update is upcoming in the next days, a separate post on the updates of December 2022 will follow tonight.

musdb

New fields

New section for time limits on administration tab of object pages. Special mention should go to the fields “Freeze period” and “Publish object at”. Filling out these fields enables some automation: A “frozen” object cannot be published before the entered date has been reached. This may e.g. be useful with archival material that cannot be published before a given date. The “Publish object at” field offers a counterpart to this. If a date has been entered into this field and the date is reached, the object will be published automatically by the system.
A non-public closer location for an object (which may e.g. be necessary with archeological findings, whose finding spots have no name and are not to be published to not give information to grave robbers) can now be set using a map on the addendum tab.
A number of new fields for noting conditions on how the object should best be displayed in exhibitions, among others, have been added on the “remarks” tab of object pages in musdb.
On the “restoration” tab of object pages, generic fields can be entered with the name of the described feature and the value. Because of the flexible subject of these fields however, they make searching in the fields much harder. Hence, new fields that are applicable to almost all museum objects have been added as easily searchable, “static” properties of an object: Minimum and maximum viable temperature, minimum and maximum viable humidity, and the maximum lux an object may be exposed to.

Other page

It is quite common for users of musdb to only use the same some event types all the time, while not needing many of the other available event types. People working at archeological museums will likely need the “found” event type all the time, while barely ever using the event type “copied by hand”. To directly access those often used types, one can now click the “star” symbols at the end of a line for an event type when accessing the page for selecting the event type of a new event. Favorited event types will then be listed in a bottom sheet on the page.

Batch updating object information

The batch update menu for objects’ visibility can now also be used to set the visibility of publishable fields that are publishable on a field level.
The “batch assignment” menu can now be used to assign spaces, owners, linked loans, and full events (e.g. the creation of objects by a given artist at a given time) to all objects of a search results list.
A “smaller” way of batch updating objects can be used in the object overview by selecting an object by clicking and dragging an object. Now, objects can be selected and updated in bulk. The menu for doing these updates (visible here at the top of the screenshot) now comes with an additional option: “Open in new tab”. By clicking on this menu option, all selected objects are opened in new tabs. As browsers often prevent the opening of multiple tabs in bulk, one may have to allow the opening of pop-ups for musdb in the browser to use this functionality.

Instituion-wide settings and adding new objects

The download button for images in the frontend has been repurposed to enable bulk downloading of all images of an object. While the images are downloaded, the users see an overlay where the museum may display a message (e.g. on how to use the images, or for asking the users to notify the museum about the images being reused in print). The message can be set in the institution-wide settings (available for users of the role “museum director” by hovering over the academy symbol in the navigation in musdb and then selecting the menu option “settings”).
The instituion-wide settings page now also comes with two other new features. On the one hand, users can now be required to select a tag for the object type when adding new objects. On the other, the inventory number suggestion when adding new objects has been improved. It is now possible to generate inventory numbers with variable length numerical components (e.g. ABC-9; followed by ABC-10).

Notifications

The notification framework in musdb has been fully rewritten. Along with that comes the option to specifically subscribe to email notifications only for some types of notifications. To do so, one can navigate to one’s personal settings. A new tab “notifications” on this page allows setting the primary route of notification and a fallback. If the primary route is set to “email” for upcoming ends to loans, the user will immediately receive a mail once the system recognizes an upcoming end to a loan. If the primary route here is set to “Internal” and “Email” is set to be the fallback route, the user will only see a notification on the upcoming loan in the notification overlay within musdb for a week. If the notification has not been marked as read after a week, a mail will be sent.

In other news

  • The calendar feature (accessible under the puzzle symbol in the main navigation) can now display tasks or make them subscribable via WebCal (thus implementing a “reminder” as had often been requested)
  • PDF of all linked information is now in A4 and uses a two-column layout
  • Ukrainian translation
  • “Simple A5 PDF” now covers inventorization fields on rear side

md:term

  • If two actors have been joined and one has an old links to the page of the actor now deleted, one is now referred onwards to the new, single actor entry. The same works with transferrals between vocabularies (an actor that was transformed into a tag, etc.).
  • Ukrainian Translation
md:term is now available in Ukrainian!

Frontend

  • Ukrainian Translation
  • JSON-based settings for specific institution pages have been removed
  • Bulk download of object images
    • An overlay with a message from the museum can be displayed during batch downloads (see above)

CSVXML

  • Almost completely rewritten
  • The served page now is completely static and all checks and conversions run directly in the browser. This way, no uploads actually happen and the application is completely uncritical to the server’s security. On the other hand, this allows for installing CSVXML as a progressive web app and using it offline.
  • We also added some explanatory texts did small updates to the design of the page. A footer now links to the source code and offers to refresh all cached contents of the page (this may be useful when visiting the page after a long time, as the whole application is cached in the browser for offline use).
  • A new check also checks for the file encoding. A warning is provided if the data does not appear to be UTF-8-encoded.
  • CSVXML is now released open source under the AGPL.
CSVXML has been (almost) completely rewritten).

Importer

While the individual parsers for the different export formats are updated very often, the core scripts of the importer are very stable. November 2022 however came with a large update to these core sections, as more categories of data that had not before been covered by the importer (many of them new) can now be imported:

  • Contact information (e.g. for object owners; loan partner institution)
  • Object’s movement log
  • Minimum and maximum temperature, humidity, and lux of an object
  • Loans
  • Events / Appointments

In terms of the parsers, we extended the LIDO parser to cover the new fields suggested by the upcoming EODEM standard for exchanging loan object information.