Reinventing the Photo Album

Published on August 28, 2006

I’m slowly working on a replacement for the Plogger software that I’m employing here at this site. Plogger works well enough, but there are enough bugs and “misfeatures” in it to motivate me to write my own package. In the process, I’m learning how to manipulate the file system through PHP, and make use of various cryptographic techniques (for security purposes), both of which are new PHP topics for me. Thankfully, PHP makes all of it very easy.

Here are a few things I’m planning on changing in my new photo album package:

  • Albums will be sorted based on date, providing a better chronological ordering.
  • EXIF data will not be hidden by default.
  • Photos will be better organized on the server side.
  • The old “slashes in the photo captions” bug will be fixed.

Progress is slow, but I hope to have something working within the next month or so. I’m also working on a new theme for this site, which is also coming along nicely. It might debut along with the new photo album software, so keep your eyes peeled.

6 Comments

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You can write your own cryptography algorithm. I suggest you to take math into help .)

I’m anxious to see what you come up with for the photo album software. I’ve been looking for something along these lines myself..

None of the cryptography stuff I’m doing is very fancy. I’m just making use of MD5 hashes, something I’ve never done in practice (although I did experiment with them several years ago). I’m also putting generic web security into practice. Almost all of the PHP programming I’ve done in the past has been private (i.e. the public never gets a chance to submit any data to the server), so security wasn’t a big deal. Now that I’m developing something that the public could use, I’m having to be much more careful.

I checked this app out to see if it could replace flickr and I’ve got to say that it has long way to go. I’m interested to see how you plan to “re-organize the server side.” One thing that I’d like to add (I too was thinking of re-writing some of the code) is preferred sorting. Example, I want to be able to order the pictures in any give way and have that order maintained when users first come to the site. The other thing that I’d like to do is clean up the admin interface. Its functional however I think it could be cleaned up a bit. My 0.02

Plogger allows you to set the default sort order for users, but I think I’d rather have stuff sorted chronologically (in essence, forcing the user to view it that way). I might let the user change the order when viewing various albums, but I’m leaning against that at the moment.

I wasn’t too impressed with Flickr when I looked at it a while back. A few things that didn’t appeal to me were:

* Free accounts have monthly upload limits.
* Can only upload 6 files at a time (although there is a separate batch file uploader program). I’d rather just use FTP.
* The whole “tagging” thing doesn’t appeal to me.
* I’d rather not link to an external site for people to view my photos, thereby ‘breaking’ my site layout. I see, however, that there’s apparently a way to integrate it (seen on jokerr’s site).
* Yahoo.

I think the Plogger admin interface is decent enough, and I’ll be copying it to a certain extent. However, I do plan on cleaning up the look a little (mirroring WordPress 2.0 to some degree, minus the AJAX stuff). My main goal is to clean up the server side organization, which I’ll discuss in another blog post later today.

Yeah, Flickr does have some down sides to it. I personally like the tagging thing so it works for me. Uploading 6 files at a time can be a pain however it’s better than uploading a bunch of files to the ftp and then trying to import them. It’s a “catch 22” either way. My biggest complaint about Flickr is not having multi-lvl subsets. In Plogger I can have a collection called 2006 with any album name. In Flickr you create and album, that’s about it. Despite that big setback, the admin interface is much cleaner than Plogger. IMHO a WordPress 2.0 admin style would be big step in the right direction.

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