MonkeyAlbum Updates

Mar 2, 2009

Late last night, I rolled out a new version of my photo album software. The largest new feature in this release is the Favorite Photos section. As I explain in that section of my photo gallery:

These images are my personal favorites from among all of my posted photographs, chosen either because I really liked the photo's composition, or because the subject means a lot to me.

Here are some of the details about this new feature:

  • When browsing through the available photo albums, you'll notice a 'Favorite Photos' section at the bottom of the page. This section will show 7 random images from the collection, and provides a link to browse all the favorites.
  • When browsing an album's thumbnails, any favorites will be styled slightly differently (with a different background color) than their non-favorite counterparts. I tossed around using a 'badge' overlay with the thumbnails, and even implemented said feature, but I'm using the simpler styling for now (it presents a few less complications). I may switch to the badge at some point in the future.
  • Favorite images are also identifiable on their respective image pages (for those who browse albums by viewing all the images).

A few other minor features and fixes made it into this release. First, page titles now indicate where you are while browsing images. This is a big improvement over the previous "same title for every page" implementation. Second, page styles have been tweaked a bit. Colors have been improved in several areas, and text size has been decreased in the breadcrumb area. Finally, you'll now note that my list of photo albums is now broken across multiple pages (I currently show 9 albums per page). This was a surprisingly difficult decision to make. Moving older albums off of the first page makes it more likely they won't be viewed by new visitors to this site. At the same time, with the number of photo albums I have here, keeping them all on one page would push the new favorites feature to the bottom of a fairly tall page. In the end, I feel the new favorites feature is more interesting to new visitors than a listing of older albums.

I was hoping to have a new photo album to roll out with this update, but sadly I haven't taken any serious photos in a while (my last album was quite honestly a halfhearted attempt). Since its inception, the number of photo albums I've posted per year has decreased dramatically (11 in 2006, 9 in 2007, and 5 in 2008). I intend to fix that this year.

Let me know what you think about the new features, and please report any bugs you spot. Thanks, and enjoy!

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