Dashboard update brings new look and new features
Starting today, Scalar users will be able to opt-in to a simplified, streamlined Dashboard interface that aims to make Scalar books easier to work with, while also adding in a few new features. The new Dashboard features a set of tabs at the top, just like the existing version, but with some new twists and tweaks—read on for the details.
“My account” features moved
The new Dashboard prominently shows your user name and the title of the current book in the top left—clicking your user name will open the Account screen, which contains the functionality that previously appeared in the “My account” tab, including the ability to create new books.
Instead of a tab for each type of content in a Scalar book, the new Dashboard includes a single Content tab which can be filtered by content type. This new view is more readable and items can be selected and deselected more easily, by clicking the empty portion of any row.
Customize your book in the Styling tab
Options for customizing the look, feel, and behavior of your book have now been moved into their own standalone Styling tab for convenient access.
The Import and Export tools have been moved to a new Utilities tab, along with the API Explorer, a tool which was previously available at a separate URL but which now has been rolled into the Dashboard. This streamlined version of the API Explorer will walk you through creating an API query from start to finish, and can even be used to calculate an approximate word count for your project.
To opt-in to the new Dashboard, log in to Scalar and navigate to the Dashboard using either the text link in the top right (if you’re in the Index) or the wrench icon in the header (if you’re in a book). You should see an opt-in message highlighted in yellow at the top—click “try it out” to switch to the new Dashboard. (During our transition to the new design, you can switch back to the old version at any time by using the “Revert Dashboard” link in the top right.)
You can find more detailed information on the new dashboard in our User’s Guide.
We hope you like the new Dashboard—if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to get in touch!
Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic
Kate Mondloch’s new book, A Capsule Aesthetic: Feminist Materialisms in New Media Art (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) explores, in Mondloch’s own words, “how selected new media installations offer novel experiential environments for exploring, inhabiting, and even critiquing our entanglements with science and technology in the 21st century.”
Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic, an online companion to her print work, built in Scalar, offers a collection of user-generated social media videos documenting viewers’ experiences with the installations discussed in A Capsule Aesthetic: Feminist Materialisms in New Media Art. As a collection of videos, Installation Archive offers a novel form of “crowd-sourced art historical documentation by bringing attention to the user-generated moving image uploads associated with these evocative works of art.” The videos included in this collection, depict installations from “idiosyncratic and subjective” points of view, according to Mondloch, “for example, user-added personal commentary or supplemental text, abnormal audio or ambient noises, multiple and sometimes unrelated works documented in a single video, and so on.” Yet, however subjective or idiosyncratic, these documented experiences prove to be incredibly valuable, underscoring, as Mondloch puts it, that “art spectatorship is inherently multiple because artistic experience itself is multiple.”
See A Capsule Aesthetic: Feminist Materialisms in New Media Art at the the University of Minnesota Press.
Check out Installation Archive: A Capsule Aesthetic.
Give your Scalar Book a Little More Action! Using Videos in Splash and Image Header Layouts.
Ever wanted to have a clip from a feature film play in the background of a splash page in your Scalar book? Or have animation in the header of a page? Now you can!
Adding a full-screen film clip to the background of your landing page or to the headers of select pages can add visual action to your project and, in general, enrich the multimedia experience of your work. But up till now, users employing our Splash, Book Splash, and Image Header layouts (see below) were limited to still images. Now, each of these layouts also support videos with an MP4 file format.
Videos added to these layouts will autoplay on a loop in the background without audio and without user controls. And as always, this new Scalar feature is fully mobile responsive.
Adding videos to the layouts below is as easy as adding images. Once you have the MP4 video in your media library, simply choose “Key Image” under the “Styling” options in Scalar’s page editor and find it there. Then select the appropriate layout under “Layout.”
Splash Layout. In the Splash layout, the page’s key image or video is shown full screen, with the page’s title at the bottom. If the page is part of a path or is itself a path, a navigation button is shown as well.
Book Splash Layout. In the Book Splash layout, the page’s key image or video is shown full screen, with the book’s title and author(s) at the bottom. If the page is part of a path or is itself a path, a navigation button is shown as well.
Image Header Layout. In the Image Header layout, the page’s key image or video is shown as a header, with the title and description of the page overlaid. The rest of the page follows the Basic layout, with text and media interspersed.