DARMA 2.7 Release

by Jason 6. August 2012 14:22

DARMA release 2.7:


Introducing.... Lists


This latest release provides the ability for users to create, modify, share, or simply view Lists.  Please see the documentation for more details.


There are numerous bug fixes and performance improvements in this release as well.


  • elimination of duplicate objects in results when certain views were selected.
  • persistent resizeable grids
  • performance improvement for searches with non default views
  • duplicate Collection names are now permitted
  • various export fixes and improvements
  • Alt text field has been added to the attachment properties
  • sort order numbering fix
  • results page vertical alignment in cell fix

DARMA Update 2.6.1 & Pubman Update 3.2.1

by Jason 23. March 2012 13:38

A new DARMA mini update has been scheduled.

  • Ability to resize the columns in the Results Grid
  • Columns in the Results Grid can now be sorted by Ascending/Descending order
  • A new field type has been introduced:  Hyperlink
  • Field Types in the Control Panel can now be sorted by type

Various miscellaneous improvements and fixes to the application have been introduced as well.

Pubman will also be receiving an updates:

  • New functions added to the PubMan Integrations API for breaking large packages and titles into smaller units
  • New API added so links to PubMan documents from DARMA and DPS may be made
  • Multiple bug fixes and improvements to temporary file handling



DARMA | PubMan

PubMan XMAX Integration Being Discontinued

by Steve Perkins 14. December 2011 15:53

For the few of our clients that use Just System's XMetaL® ActiveX (XMAX) Editor we have to break the news that the XMAX integration with PubMan will be discontinued after March 31, 2012. There are a number of factors that have contributed to this decision:

  • Support is not available from Just Systems for the XMAX container application.
  • The solution only works in a PC environment with Internet Explorer which is more and more of a limitation.
  • The XMAX license is too expensive for most of our clients and the resulting small number of users makes maintenance particularly expensive.

There are some issues with XMAX in IE 9 we are trying to address, but beyond that we will not do any further work with it in PubMan.

As a functional replacement that provides the ability to "quick edit" a document in PubMan we will introduce an XMetaL® Author customization that allows you to check in directly from Author. You'll be able to use the Check Out link on the PubMan document display page to open a document in Author, and a Check In menu item (or hot key) in Author to return it to PubMan (without using the Check In form). This is a solution that works with any browser and does not require the XMAX license.

With the new PubMan API finished in version 3.2, we may be able to pursue similar options for oXygen, though we have yet to see demand that would warrant it.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


New Tech | PubMan

Client Highlight: Documents Compass and Early Access to the Founders Transcripts

by Steve Perkins 10. December 2011 11:23

It was exciting to see Documents Compass receive mention in the Dec. 2011 NHPRC Newsletter for their embarkment on a project to "provide pre-publication access to 68,000 historical papers of John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington that have not yet been published in authoritative documentary editions."

IDM USA is honored to be playing a role in the Early Access project by architecting the information and asset management strategy to be used for the transcripts. With data coming in many forms from several projects, and the project work being not only published but returned to the source projects conforming to their own guidelines, there are many challenges. IDM's PubMan, DARMA, and Integrations tools will play a part in meeting them.

Client Product Launch: Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library

by Steve Perkins 16. November 2011 13:11

IDM USA would like to congratulate the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson University on the launch of their new web site, which includes the Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Work on the library, produced by The Berndt Group, has been underway for some time. The Center employs IDM's DARMA digital asset management system to produce and maintain the content, and post-processing and delivery of the data to the Berndt Group infrastructure is handled by our Integrations data process manager.

In addition to hailing their achievements we would like to thank the Center for entrusting us with our part of the work, and the Berndt Group for the excellent cooperative relationship maintained throughout the project's course.

Let the Center welcome you by stopping by http://www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org/.


DARMA | Client News

dataformat.com at the 2011 AASLH Meeting

by Steve Perkins 9. September 2011 15:39

dataformat.com will be an exhibitor at this year's American Association for State and Local History annual meeting in Richmond, VA, Sept. 14 - 17. We invite all of you to stop by, see what we're up to, and tell us about your own projects. You can get demos of all the great IDM software, see what our clients are utilizing our tools and services for, and find out how we can help with your digital workflow. We'll be at Booth # 102, just outside the entrance to the Exhibit Hall. See you there!

A New Face at IDM USA

by Steve Perkins 2. September 2011 09:48

We're pleased to announce the addition of Chris Gautier to the IDM USA office. Chris has worked with IDM France on DPS, SKXML, the IDM Entry Editor, and several client development projects. He will continue work on custom software development projects for clients here in the US, and on assembling a team of mobile developers that will expand the scope of our work into that domain.

Welcome aboard Chris!


Company News

Tech Innovation: Inkling Textbooks for the iPad

by Steve Perkins 8. August 2011 12:33

Following up on an article seen in Bloomberg Businessweek, I took a look at a new form of digital textbooks being produced by Inkling. Pretty exciting stuff.

New PubMan™ Release with Integrations API

by Steve Perkins 5. August 2011 16:11

PubMan™ 3.2 Now Ready for Release


We're getting ready to distribute the latest PubMan release, which comes with a new application programming interface (API) for the IDM data process management tool Integrations, and a host of changes to the application interface. Read on to learn about all the changes and updates.

PubMan Integrations API

IDM's Integrations data process manager handles the automation of:

  • Import and export of content
  • Reporting
  • Global updates to content
  • Generation of new or derivative content

To address the needs of a growing number of clients that have such requirements - some on a very large scale - we've developed an API for PubMan providing a library of functions that Integrations processes can use to directly interact with the PubMan data store. If you're not already using Integrations, contact us to see what improvements in your workflow might be possible.

PubMan Application Updates in 3.2

Proper recognition of .txt files on checkout. For those of you with a checkout option that creates lists for your index or authority record assistant forms in XMetaL, you'll no longer have to change the file extension from '.htm' to '.txt'. It will default to the correct extension.

Missing links to Parse Report results corrected. When parse reports took an extended period of time to complete, sometimes the link to the report they produced would not be visible when they completed. This has been corrected. Performance of the parse reports have also been greatly improved.

Metadata refresh now run when prior document version is restored. In previous releases, when a prior version of a document was restored, the old version was not read for links, sortkey, document numbers, or any other metadata which potentially could be different than the version it was restored in place of. This could lead to erroneous display of link information or basic document metadata.

Confirmation of lock release. Restored by popular demand: You will receive a message box asking you to confirm any request to delete a lock from the Locks list.

Changes to PMSearch:

  • Improvements to handling of phrases in Full Text and Words/Within Searches.
  • You can now choose to see shared queries from All users in one list in the Query Manager.
  • Hit highlighting now works in a limited fashion for XQuery searches.
  • Loading a search from the Query Manager clears the old results.
  • The "No Documents Found" message in the results list is removed when you execute a new query.

Check out request governor. You can now limit the number of documents in a check out request to prevent oversized requests.

Column heading change in title list. The old 'Tag' column heading has been changed to 'ID'. Integrations requests are made using the title ID so this helps clear up confusion.

Change to Title Group filter. The left nav bar function and page for filtering Title Groups have been removed. They are replaced by a Title Group filter dropdown on the List Titles page.

Streamlined popup document displays. Nav bars have been removed from popup document displays.

Change to display of prior document versions. Show all links functions are no longer displayed when a prior version of a document is viewed.

New system properties. You may now request that we set your your PubMan instance to do the following, in order to hide features you may not make use of from the UI:

  • Disallow Quick Edit
  • Hide any of the following in the left nav bar: New Document, CSA, Jobs.
  • Hide Msgs or Tasks from the top nav bar.

Updates to Terms of Use. Please review. . . .

Updates to documentation. Starting with this release documentation is now being generated from Confluence in a new format.

Changes to display of related document information. The Also Found In section of the document display page has been removed, and the Show All Links functions have been split into two selections:

  • Related docs: Launches the View Related Docs page, which gives you options to list: Documents the current one links to; documents which link to the current one; and documents with the same name (in other Titles).
  • Packages: Launches a page listing all the packages the current document is a member of.

Package list issue corrected. The Show Packages Viewable dropdown now displays shared packages for admin users.

Package document list navigation issue corrected. For admin users: When you select a document from a package owned by another user, the list navigation will now stay in the selected package. In the prior release navigating prev/next through the list via the controls on the document display page would erroneously change to another package.

Issue with Title Bulk Operations corrected. Under some circumstances using the Copy documents from package function would crash. This has been corrected.

Package returned from New Documents report corrected. The generated name for the package resulting from a New Documents Report request now contains 'New' not 'Changed'.



Finding Those Special Characters

by Steve Perkins 28. July 2011 11:28


I'm opting out of the customary "Welcome to my blog . . . [insert entire post with nothing of use here]" and moving right to something you might find useful. That said, I still welcome you and in the upcoming weeks you can stop by to find:

  • Feature previews, highlights, and release notes for our suite of software: PubMan, DARMA, DPS, and Integrations.
  • Software and web service recommendations, tips, and tricks.
  • Discussion of structured information issues and implementations
  • Discussion of Documentary Editing, Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Digital Asset Cataloguing projects.
  • Client Project, Conference, Exhibit, and Workshop announcements and highlights.

Working with Special Characters

What are “Special Characters”

Character encoding refers to a system of numbering characters. Every character in the files you create and manage on your workstation or in the cloud is represented by a number and that corresponds to a particular sequence of bytes, or, a code point. While there are many character encodings defined, the one most of you will engage with is Unicode, which “provides a unique number for every character, no matter what the platform, no matter what the program, no matter what the language.” That's extremely oversimplified but sufficient for our coverage of this topic. For you curious types:

The term special characters is frequently used when speaking of any characters that aren't a number, letter, space, basic math symbol, or basic punctuation. Thus, it can mean any number of character classes such as diacritics, mathmatical operators, Greek, IPA, Cyrillic, etc. Our keyboards aren't exactly helpful at inputing these. Following are some tips on how to do so.

Standalone Tools

The Good Ol' Numeric Keypad

This method of character input is a bit geeky but easy to learn and very fast once you've had a bit of practice. Remember we talked about characters being mapped to code points, or numbers? Well, you can use those numbers to input them with your numeric keypad. Learn how here if you're a Windows user, here if you use a Mac.

Windows Character Map

For Windows users: Under Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools there is a utility named Character Map. You can learn how to use it here. Remember while using this that if the font you are using to visualize the characters has a small character set it may not contain what you are looking for. I recommend selecting Arial Unicode MS, which comes standard with Windows and has a ginormous character set.

Quick Key

Nathanel Jones has posted a great alternative to the two aforementioned techniques called Quick Key.

Tools Within Structured Information Editors

The two leading XML editors most of our clients use have their own widgets for entering special characters.

XMetaL Author

In XMetaL Author, right-click on your toolbar area and select either the Symbols or Special Characters toolbars. A set of buttons for entering special characters will appear in toolbars at the bottom of the document window.

You can also easily produce customized toolbars and forms in XMetaL to make entry of certain character classes quick and easy. We've done this in the past for tasks like entering dictionary pronunciations. If you think you might like us to develop something (it's quick to do) contact us.


In oXygen, right-click on your toolbar area and select the Unicode toolbar. Click on the Insert from Character Map icon and a form will appear for you to browse and select characters from.

For The Techies. . .

Find what you need to do lookups between Hexadecimal codes, Decimal codes, and characters here.