The main project this term was an in-depth comparison between some of the most common Content Management Systems (CMS) used by Digital Scholars and a couple of static site generators. The CMS we looked at were WordPress, Drupal, Omeka, and Mukurtu. The static sites we investigated were Jekyll, Hugo, and Quire. We researched each platform for backend, frontend, accessibility, and ethics criteria and recorded our findings in a google spreadsheet. We then synthesized our findings and provided recommendations in another document.
This project provided an excellent opportunity to learn more about Digital Humanities. After testing each of the above systems, I walked away from this project with an improved understanding of how Digital Scholars interact with different content platforms. One of our big findings was that each has different target audiences and should not be compared on a level playing field (Ex: WordPress vs Mukurtu). This meant we were often times comparing apples to oranges rather than apples to apples. As the accessibility intern I was in charge of researching the accessibility aspects of each platform. This involved inspecting the raw html elements of default and public instances of each content management system. Along the way I explored the accessibility community associated with each platform and gained a better understanding of the levels of emphasis each system put towards accessible design. I was able to determine a number of key differences between each platform and understand the benefits and drawbacks of each.
This process was not without its faults. Towards the end of the project the process started becoming repetitive. While Drupal and WordPress offered a troves of information regarding accessibility, Omeka and Mukurtu offered very little. Searching for accessibility content for static sites was also more difficult than CMS.
Despite these drawbacks, I found the experience to be overwhelmingly informative and a great introductory project.