User Interface Administration
[Valid for v1.3]
Adding Metadata Elements to User Interfaces
The default screen in “Administration” is “User Interfaces.” It displays the name of the screen, the data type to which it applies, and the code for that screen.
In order to edit a user interface, click the edit icon to the far right of the screen. This will bring you to a screen that includes basic information, such as the name and code of the user interface, as well as a list of all of the screens within that interface. This list of screens, which details the number of metadata elements on each, is your tool for adding new elements, or fields, to your configuration.
Editing User Interfaces (Objects Editor)
To add a metadata element, scroll down to a list with two columns called “Screen Content.” The first column contains “Available Editor Elements” and the second holds “Elements to Display on this Screen.” In order to add new elements to your screen, drag and drop from the first column to the second.
Screen-based Type Restrictions
Screen Content (for Object Basic Info)
You will notice that not every metadata element in the system is an “Available Editor Element” for every screen. This is because “type restrictions” are applied to the elements when they are defined; in other words, some metadata elements could only be relevant to entities, and are therefore restricted to that type and won’t be available for an object interface.
Creating New Metadata Elements
Lists, of course, are not the only element types in CollectiveAccess. To create a new metadata element, first select “Metadata elements” from the left-side navigation in Manage > Administration. You will see a list of all of the defined metadata elements in the archive, including each element’s label, code, metadata type, the system Type to which it applies, and its usage in User Interfaces (UI).
List of Metadata Elements
To create a new element, select the green “+” from the top right. You will arrive at a form that may look complex at first, but is easily broken down.
- Name: Choose a name for your element that is descriptive and brief.
- Description: If you wish to see a description of this element’s purpose when it is moused-over in a user interface, fill out this field.
- Element Code: the unique alpha-numeric identifier for your element. Should contain no spaces or special characters (i.e. “set_description”).
- Documentation url: if you are using a specific content standard, you can place a reference in this field.
- Datatype: what form does the element take? Is it a text box? A date range? A list? choose from this drop-down.
- Use list (for list elements only) if your element is a list, choose from this drop-down of all the different lists defined in “Lists and Vocabularies.” This will append the actual content of the list to the metadata element.
Top Portion of Metadata Element Form
- Datatype Specific Options: here you will define the look and function of your element. As you may recall, dataypes determine what data is accepted and normalized in a field. The options in this box will change depending on the datatype you’ve chosen. Many of the setting fields will be populated with default values, but you are free to alter these.
- Type Restrictions: here is where you define whether or not your metadata element will appear in that aforementioned “Available elements” list. Although the term “Type Restriction” is used for both, this is distinct from screen-based type restrictions which determine whether an entire screen will be associated with a type. Click “add type restriction” and then choose a table from the drop-down (called “Bind attribute to”) that appears. You can further refine this restriction by specifying subtypes; for example, you may wish to bind an element only to Photographs, in which case you would choose that from the second drop-down list after having chosen “Objects” from the first:
Table and Type Restrictions
You must also define the maximum and minimum number of attributes that must be associated with this item, as well as the minimum number of attribute bundles to show in an element form. So what does this mean?
- minimum number of attributes: in other words, do you want to be able to remove this field from a given screen? If you set this to “0,” (which indicates that there is no minimum) there will be a small grey “x” to the far right of the field that will allow you to remove it if it’s not necessary. If you set it to “1,” there must always be at least one instance of the field visible on the screen when it’s opened; if it’s set to “2” there will be 2 instances present when the screen is opened, etc.
- maximum number of attributes: allows you to set a maximum number of repeating fields - if it would never make sense for a cataloguer to include more than three instances of a particular field, for example, then you would set this number to three.
- minimum number of attribute bundles: if you want a field to start off in the collapsed position when you first open a screen, then you can set this field to zero. If not, then it should be set to 1 (or greater if you wish the attribute bundle to appear more than once when the screen is first opened)
Min./Max. Attributes and Bundles
As you can see, there are several steps from the moment you realize you need a new list to the moment it can actually appear on a screen. To re-cap:
- Define the content of the list in “Manage > Lists and Vocabularies.”
- Define the metadata element that will use the list in “Manage > Administration > Metadata Elements”
- Add the new metadata element to a screen in “Manage > Administration > User Interfaces”
Sometimes cataloguers find that the options set on a metadata element (as described above in Datatype-Specific Options) need to be overridden on specific data entry screens. For example, let's say you have a general date field and it's used on both Object and Entity screens. You may want the field to be called "Creation date" in the Object record and "Life dates" on the Entity record. To do this, you'll need to use the User interface bundle settings to change the label in each environment.
After navigating to Manage > Administration > User interfaces, select the specific user interface, screen and field you want to edit.
You'll see there are several screen-specific settings for each field, depending on datatype.
- Alternate label: Allows you to change the title of the field on this screen only.
- Alternate label for add: Allows you to change the language of the "add" button for repeating fields.
- Description: Allows you to change the description that is visible when this field is moused-over.
- Width: Sets a screen-specific field width.
- Height: Sets a screen-specific field height.
- Read only?: Prevents the field from being editable on the screen.
- Sort order: Sets the sort order of repeating attributes. Any field in a container can be used to sort (ascending or descending). The default sort is creation order.
- Sort direction: Ascending or descending.
- Use rich text: When enabled, a formatting toolbar can be used to style text.
- Restrict to relationship types: Restricts the relationship qualifier to one or more relationship types.
- Restrict to types: Restricts the look-up of the field to records of just the set type(s).
- Do not include sub-types: Treats type-restrictions as top level only.
- First item color: Allows the first relationship (set via sort order and direction) to carry an arbitrary color.
- Last item color: Allows the last relationship (set via sort order and direction) to carry an arbitrary color.
- Do not show delete button: Removes the delete button from the cataloging screen, when checked.
- Relationship display template: Layout for the relationship information on the screen (can use HTML). Uses the bundle display template syntax.