As Easy as Index, Exhibit

Having an online portfolio of your work is pretty much essential these days. But if you don’t know your HTML from your CMS, setting one up can prove a daunting task. Which is where Daniel Eatock’s Indexhibit project comes in mighty handy

Indexhibit is a free, open-source website-building tool originally created by Eatock in 2001 as a presentation platform for his work at the now-defunct studio Foundation 33. It allows the user to index their work and view it within a display area: effectively creating an online exhibition space.

Eatock has made it available to anyone who would like to use it, with the intention of building an Indexhibit community, all using their own customised versions of his basic structure to showcase their work. “Indexhibit could be compared to denim,” says Eatock. “It came from a need to create something utilitarian and standard but it can also be used to make something fashionable and poetic.” The pure functionality of the system has its own simple beauty. “I have an interest in all things that function so well that they become invisible,” adds Eatock. “Things we take for granted that work without having first to decipher the medium that is delivering the content.”

Earlier this year, Eatock worked with Jeffery Vaska to create a CMS version of the programme that increased functionality and made it easier for other users to replicate the structure. “It’s such a logical format,” Vaska says. “When Dan invited others to replicate the structure he created a standard.”

The new version of Eatock’s original gives search engines easier access to indexed works and displays images as thumbnails that can be enlarged. The pair see this as a break from fixed layout design (and its associations with print) where users create their own viewing experiences in the mode of Google Image Search or Flickr. “We’re still trying to simplify our interface,” says Vaska. “We hope to add more features and less buttons if possible.” To download the system go to www.indexhibit.org

 

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