August 21st, 2009

Gallery available one click from you

A decent photo album application is definitely a must have for La Distribution. It’s a top feature, needed by near every user. Who doesn’t have at least one photo camera, and a bunch of photos to upload these days?

When i reviewed the available PHP powered solutions, it seemed that Gallery2 was the most serious solution: pretty well commented code, solid installer, good community. Other evaluated packages were Zen Photo and Coppermine Gallery, but as a developer & maintainer, i decided to focus on one.

logo And actually, Gallery2 was not the final choice … Few months ago, the team behind this application decided to rewrite everything from scratch aiming to build a better, simpler and more modular app. While I’m always suspicious about people that believe they need to restart their project from zero, it seems in this case it was not a bad idea. As of today, development had been relatively quick and the current beta is really promising.

What do i like about Gallery3?

gallery2-350

  • simple MVC code (powered by the Kohana framework)
  • mass uploader (in flash)
  • efficient organizer
  • support for GD or Image Magick (with appropriate detection)
  • out of the box Cool Iris support
  • installer available as a PHP class
  • modular
  • it works

You can test it from the “edge contrib” repository. The package is already pretty good, it supports Single Sign On and UI integration, but it’s still in development, our quality guidelines being pretty rude.

I believe we should be able to have something excellent for (or during) the next major release. Exciting, go Gallery team!

August 4th, 2009

Summer UI Refresh

I commited last week an interesting design update for La Distribution.

While, it was not on the roadmap for the next version, it’s part of a background effort, aiming to always have a simpler, easier & nicer user interface.

So, how does-it looks? (On the left, earlier version, on right, updated).

mini

Hmm, what changed? Well:

  • The Super Bar (on the bottom) start to looks a little bit like a dock, far better.
  • The Top Bar is much simpler, with a small logo on the left, and user/session informations on the right.
  • In the admin application, bread crumbs are now in an expected place, just bellow the Top Bar.
  • The application list is completely refreshed, more colorful, looks fresher.
  • The application settings panels now feature tabs to navigate between different sections
  • Generally, the default width is now simply 1000px instead of the old weird value calculated in ems.

It’s of course not a final version. For example, we’ll likely add a bit of color before next release. Also, maybe we’ll rely more on ajax/javascript to offer a more responsive feeling, and accelerate some user scenarios.

You can already test the updated version, you just have to use the SVN or Edge flavor. As always, we’re waiting for you feedback!