[ckan-discuss] Suggestions & questions re: "add a new package" screen

Lauren Bacon lauren at raisedeyebrow.com
Tue Mar 9 20:11:55 GMT 2010

Hello all,

David & I have been talking about how to make the "Add a New Package" 
screen more user-friendly, and we have some ideas that we thought might be 
worth sharing with the list. I don't have a clear sense of how much work 
would be involved in implementing these changes, and I'd love to hear 
feedback on that front; I'm a designer, not a developer, so please be 
gentle with me.

In general, I feel like this screen could benefit from a structure that 
displays both a description for each field, and an example of the content 
that belongs in each field. I've put together a rough outline in this 

This brainstorm led to a few questions:
1. How would we go about adding descriptions & examples to the form? Is 
this simply a styling/theming thing, or would it require deeper 
customization?It would be incredibly helpful to be able to have
these fields as drop-down menus, to reduce the margin of error. No idea
how easy/complex that would be to do.]
2. Is it possible to add a default 'http://' to the URL & Resources fields? 
Seems like it might reduce error & make data entry a bit quicker to boot.
3. What belongs in the 'Hash' field? Can anyone suggest a description & 
example for that one?
4. In addition to David's question about customizing the list of licenses 
for the Canadian context (see below), there are some other fields that 
could benefit from having either an autocomplete function or a drop-down 
menu rather than free text; I'm certain these approaches would improve 
consistency and diminish spelling errors, etc.. For example, the Author & 
Maintainer fields are great candidates for autocomplete. 
5. We're also looking at using the Extras fields for Canada-/specific 
purposes. If possible, we'd love a couple of drop-down menus in there, too. 
Guessing that's out of the question?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above.

Thanks so much,


From: "David Eaves" <david at eaves.ca>
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 4:19 PM
To: ckan-discuss at lists.okfn.org
Subject: [ckan-discuss] Suggestion and Question

Hi Rufus,

Wanted to loop back to two issues that we talked about ages ago - to see 
if the functionality already existed in CKAN.

First is - is it possible to customize the drop down menus?
For example under license - the drop menu has a ton of options. I'd love 
to weed out those that don't happen in Canada, plus add a few (like 
Crown Copyright) that do. Is this possible to do on our ca.ckan.net 
install?). Also, can we create drop down menus? For example, under data 
maintainer - it would be interesting a drop down menu limited to the 
ministries - this would reduce typing errors when people register new 

Second - It is possible to create some administrative functions within 
CKAN? For example, I would be great if anyone can add a package, but it 
might be nice for it not to be "published" until it has been reviewed by 
an administrator. Is this possible on ca.ckan.net?


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