Pierrick on Piwigo

Piwigo is the open source photo gallery for the web

Archive for March 2011

[Interview] Biotope.fr, photo collection on nature with Piwigo

Every week I submit Google search on “Piwigo” and recently I’ve found a nicely customized Piwigo photo gallery on biotope.fr.

Biotope.fr photo collection

Biotope.fr photo collection

Nicolas Sourgens, webmaster of biotope.fr, has accepted to answer my questions for an interview related to their use of Piwigo.

At Biotope, 2 people are responsible for the photo collection:

– Nicolas Sourgens, graphical designer and web developer, has installed Piwigo and customized it depending on user requests

– Germain Tavan, who has a naturalist wildlife & flora educational background, manages colors on photos and fills the gallery

What is the mission of biotope.fr? Who is the target audience?

Biotope is composed of 16 offices on Environmental Studies, an R&D office, an international service and an agency for communication and publishing which is responsible for enhancing the Biotope photo collection.

Piwigo allows us to present our 20 years of photographic work mainly focused on wildlife, flora, habitats, natural landscapes and human activities in nature via our photo collection on the web.

The target audience is composed of both public and private organizations in relationship with the environment, but also individuals in search of beautiful pictures or rare photographs.

Since when do you use Piwigo and how did you discover it?

For 2 years. Discovered on a search engine.

What were you looking for? a “photo gallery”? a “photo database”? Did you have “opensource” in your search criteria? if yes, was it for the price or the freedom?

We were looking for an opensource software to create a photo database. We wanted to work with an opensource software because we wanted to adapt it to our own needs and for a reasonnable price!

How do you add photos?

On Mac, we resize photos and generate thumbnails with several freewares. Then we upload it with Filezilla (FTP transfer) in the “galleries” directory.

What are your favorite features in Piwigo?

* a true embedded search engine
* the ability to manage photos in a batch (we mainly use the “unit mode”)
* EXIF display
* the significant amount of functionalities thanks to plugins and tools
* RSS feed
* the ability to customize it

What improvements are you expecting?

* the ability to sell photos directly in Piwigo (with a shopping cart, provided as a plugin)
* a smarter search engine: ability to detect and correct typos
* an easier customization

A plugin “PayPal Shopping Cart” was released recently. With this plugin you can basically sell your photos from your Piwigo photo gallery. This kind of feature better integrated in Piwigo is on the roadmap, but probably not in 2011.

Which plugins are you using and which ones are the most important?

* important: Additional Pages, Advanced Menu Manager, LocalFiles Editor, PWG Stuffs, FCK Editor, Statistics
* less important: ConcoursPhoto, Contact Form

Which customizations did you implement?

We have created a template-extension to add the photo identifier next to the photo title displayed just above the photo. We use this identifier when we receive requests for detail information about a photo. Piwigo community forums helped us a lot to achieve this specific customization.

We forbid right click on photos thanks to LocalFiles Editor (even if we know it’s not 100% safe, it makes obvious we don’t want our photos to be copied)

The pagination bar (first|previous[1,2,3|next|last) is duplicated: we display it before and after thumbnails (we have created another template-extension with LocalFiles Editor)

We changed the code so that thumbnails long captions are not truncated.

We have added a specific page banner.

Biotope.fr photo collection banner

Biotope.fr photo collection banner

We designed a welcome picture displayed into a Personal Block with PWG Stuffs plugin.

Biotope.fr Welcome Message

Biotope.fr Welcome Picture

We changed the message in the footer to include our copyright (directly modified footer.tpl template)

Biotope.fr photo collection footer (specific copyright)

Biotope.fr photo collection footer (specific copyright)

We have created a sales quote request form thanks to Additional Pages plugin

Biotope.fr, list of Additional Pages

Biotope.fr, list of Additional Pages

We have merged sections “Menu” and “Specials” in the menubar, thanks to LocalFiles Editor plugin.

We have removed the connexion section in the menubar.

We have removed the “quick search” box to keep only the “advanced search”.

… and so on.

How many photos in your collection currently? How many in the future?

We currently have more than 3,000 photographs. During 2011, we plan to add approximately 10,000 other photos from our digital stock.

We will scan our analog photographs the next years and add them into the photo collection of our website, approximately 10,000 photos.

You still use Piwigo 2.0, why don’t you upgrade to version 2.1?

We fear to loose some of our customizations… more seriously, we have to do it… and we have already installed the Piwigo AutoUpgrade plugin.

Concerning customization, you have modified the Sylvia theme. Starting from Piwigo 2.1, it is much easier to create a new theme based on another one, for example you can create a theme “biotope” based on “Sylvia” and only modify a few CSS rules and background pictures.

Thank you Nicolas and Germain and good luck to biotope.fr!

Written by plg

March 28, 2011 at 9:22 am

Piwigo.com and other photo sharing websites

There are plenty of photo sharing solutions over the web. You can find social networks dedicated to photography or social networks with a photo album option. Some of them are free for a limited storage space and propose paid upgrades for more storage and/or display advertisements all around your photos. Other ask for money and offer unlimited storage with no advertisement and full size photo. The user has the choice, and that’s a good thing!

Basically Piwigo.com is a hassle-free hosted Piwigo for $39/year with unlimited storage, no ads, 30 day trial period, automatic backups and upgrades. This doesn’t make Piwigo.com really unique, does it? So what makes Piwigo.com different from other photo sharing websites?

Piwigo.com Homepage, March 2011

Piwigo.com Homepage, March 2011

We respect your privacy. Our goal is to provide a creation and hosting service for photo galleries, not a pretext to gather and sell as many personnal data as possible.

Sustainability and no vendor lock-in. You can get your data back: photos, albums, tags, descriptions, visit history…. and install Piwigo for free (with Piwigo.org) on any other web hosting provider. This one is probably what makes Piwigo.com really unique and I’m very proud of it.

Keep control on your photos. You remain proprietary of your photos. In no way you transfer the property of your photos to Piwigo.com thanks to abusive terms of use that nobody ever read.

Your gallery is customizable. Piwigo.com is not a social network where nothing is more like John’s page than Matt’s page! Combining a theme, a few plugins and display options make your Piwigo gallery unique.

No advertisement. We never display any advertisement on your pages. Only your photos and information you have chosen to display.

Your photos in their original quality. No mandatory reduction on the resolution of your photos. Your photos are just like when you upload them, with no loss in quality.

No requirement for your visitors to register. Your visitors can register with no requirement on your gallery: no need to create an account on a social network or on a search engine.

Real humans for email customer support. A customer support is available by email. You don’t need to ask your questions on a public forum, so don’t hesitate, no question is stupid, we will reply shortly and with a smile 😀

After wondering what we, as users, are expecting from a photo hosting service, we have chosen to provide only paid service because we don’t want to display ads and we don’t want to monetize personnal data.

Piwigo.com Signup Form

Piwigo.com Signup Form

Want to give a try to Piwigo.com?

Written by plg

March 23, 2011 at 9:22 am

[Interview] Peter Reiser, Sam.agentur and Piwigo

Here is the first interview I publish. Peter Reiser is a Managing Partner at Sam.agentur, a web agency based in Neu-Ulm, Germany. Peter Reiser works with Jochen Roth, who made many tests and feedbacks on EXIF/IPTC support in Piwigo. Peter uses Piwigo for his own photo gallery about the city of Neu-Ulm, integrated inside a Typo3 CMS. Sam.agentur has also implemented Piwigo for its customers.

Personal photo gallery by Peter Reiser, powered by Piwigo

Personal photo gallery by Peter Reiser, powered by Piwigo

How did you discover Piwigo?

We have used Piwigo for many years (even when its name was PhpWebGallery). In 2005 our customers asked for a picture database solution. Our engineering team searched for an open source programm and found PhpWebGallery.

For customers like Kardex, a warehousing and storage solutions povider, we relaunched the picture database with the new version of Piwigo. For the launch of LaCordée Reisen, a Travel Agency for German people visiting France, we also installed the new version of Piwigo.

Kardex uses Piwigo as a picture database in the intranet to offer pictures to the local marketing in the countries. LaCordée Reisen offers his Salespartners pictures for their own marketing.

How do you add photos?

Our customers upload with pLoader. In the past per FTP.

For my own photo gallery, I upload with the Piwigo Plugin of Adobe Lightroom because this ensures the best implementation of all processes in my photographer workflow.

Why don’t you use photo gallery module available for Typo3?

Typo3 is a very good tool. We produce very complex and big websites with typo3. But the features of picture gallery extensions never fit with a picture database like Piwigo.

Piwigo offers a wide range of functions and features for professional picture database which fits with the needs of photographers and marketing.

What will be good new features?

If a plugin will be programmed which mirrors the piwigo database into the typo3 database by taking the catergory-tree and a limitation of the picture size. That will be great.

What will you add to your ulm picture database?

With my database with ulm pictures i look the next week for plugins which enable me to do my sellings of ulm pictures more and more with piwigo.

What are you favorite features in Piwigo?

To make individual settings to different users. I use this to deliver a preview of a shooting to my customer or model.

What are the most useful plugins?

Useful: Piwigo AutoUpgrade, RV Sitemap, LocalFiles Editor, Download Multi, IPTC from Mac.

It would be nice that Contact Form let you add custom fields.

Next steps with Piwigo?

I will test some new features like PayPal Shopping Cart and the “welcome page” in the latest version of Additional Pages plugin, etc.

It is also possible that we install 2 databases the next time. On will be for a customer which has to offer productpictures to his salespartners.

One datebase will be for our agency do offer a sevice for our customers which are booking us as photographers.

Thank you very much Peter!

Written by plg

March 17, 2011 at 8:50 pm

3 new demos for Piwigo

One major criticism we receive about the presentation of Piwigo on Piwigo.com, is that you can’t clearly see what can be customized. It is unfortunate because the ability to make each Piwigo gallery unique is one of our key features! So instead of a single demo we now have 4 demos: in addition to the basic demo where you can switch from one theme to another, we have 3 “customized” demos. You can see them all on the new page for demos.

first new demo, homepage and theme Stripped

First new demo, homepage and theme Stripped

In the first new demo, we have used the theme Stripped, which has a fixed width and a 1 clic show/hide menu. This theme doesn’t show the album descriptions next to the album thumbnail so that you can see many albums at once. Plugin Additional Pages was used to create the homepage and we used the nice Zapfino font to create an elegant image banner.

Second new demo, theme "dark" and panoramic photo as banner

Second new demo, theme "dark" and panoramic photo as banner

In the second new demo, we used the theme dark, which has an elastic width (automatically stretched to fit the width of your web browser) and always displays the menubar on the left. We used a panoramic photo as banner: you will need a very large screen to see where it ends. We have added a “welcome” message thanks to PWG Stuffs plugin and a detailed “About this gallery” page thanks to Additional Pages plugin. We also used the Lightbox plugin to hide details when displaying the “web size” photo.

Third new demo, theme Gally Graphite and big thumbnails

Third new demo, theme Gally Graphite and big thumbnails

In the third new demo, we used the theme Gally Graphite (elastic width, 1 clic to show/hide menu) which offers a very “dynamic” display of your photos. We’ve decided to have big thumbnails, ie 250 pixels wide. Just like in demo2, PWG Stuffs plugin displays a welcome message.

We will add some other demos in the future, but for now it already shows you can get some different results depending on the theme, plugins and customization options you choose.

Written by plg

March 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Posted in piwigo, piwigo.com

Tagged with ,

Piwigo 2.2 Release Candidate 4

OK, I remember I said last time Piwigo 2.2.0RC3 would be the last release candidate before version 2.2.0. While writing a technical documentation to make plugins and themes compatible with Piwigo 2.2, we realized that some new technical features (combined script) could be simplified, to make life easier for plugin writers. So we’ve decided to simplify. This simplification meant many code changes and it would not be safe to release it as 2.2.0. So here is Piwigo 2.2 release candidate 4.

Piwigo 2.2.0RC4 also includes the upgrade script. Now you can test the upgrade from Piwigo 2.1 (or even older).

Upgrade from any older Piwigo version to Piwigo 2.2

Upgrade from any older Piwigo version to Piwigo 2.2

In addition to bug fixing, we have added a few features : Piwigo can detect if your themes/languages have updates available.

So what about the simplification P@t has made in the code? This is about the new combine_script feature which replaces known_script in your template files. Let’s just give an example to get the idea. Here is what plugin writers are coding in Piwigo 2.1:

{known_script id="jquery" src=$ROOT_URL|@cat:"themes/default/js/jquery.packed.js"}
{known_script id="jquery.ui" src=$ROOT_URL|@cat:"themes/default/js/ui/packed/ui.core.packed.js" }
{known_script id="jquery.ui.sortable" src=$ROOT_URL|@cat:"themes/default/js/ui/packed/ui.sortable.packed.js" }
<script type="text/javascript">
    axis: "y",
    opacity: 0.8

And here is what they will code in Piwigo 2.2:

{footer_script require='jquery.ui.sortable'}{literal}
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
    axis: "y",
    opacity: 0.8

Much simpler, isn’t it? More details and examples can be found in the technical documentation to make plugins and themes compatible with Piwigo 2.2. I will write another blog post about CSS sprites and combine_css.

Details about Piwigo 2.2.0RC4 and downloads

Written by plg

March 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Virtualize your categories

In Piwigo, when you transfer photos via FTP in your “galleries” directory and register them with the synchronization process, you create physical categories. This is the way Piwigo has worked in its 8 first years. If I remember correctly, Piwigo 1.3 introduced the virtual categories in 2003. The idea was to create  a logical hierarchy of categories, not related to filetree in the “galleries” directory. With virtual categories came virtual links: a photo can be associated to several categories at once.

The problem with physical categories it the lack of control: for example, you can’t easily move a category. If you move a directory under “galleries”, the synchronization process doesn’t understand that the directory has moved: the category is deleted and another one is created. You lose the photo description, the user comments and so on.

Piwigo 2.0 introduced a new automatic organization for your photos on the server filesystem in 2009. Photos are automatically stored in upload/Year/Month/Day/YearMonthDayHourMinuteSecond-Random.jpg, for example upload/2011/03/08/20110308102611-af34bcc9.jpg. The original filename is registered in the database. Categories are virtual, you can move them the way you want and informations related to photos are never lost. This storage method is used in the web upload form and with all remote softwares like pLoader, Lightroom, Shotwell, Digikam, Jiwigo… Unless you use the synchronization to add photos, there is nothing in your “galleries” directory.

Piwigo.com does not propose the FTP + synchronization method to add photos. Several Piwigo.com users have asked to migrate their Piwigo gallery into Piwigo.com and when we see photos in the “galleries” folder, we use a script to move  files from the “galleries” to the “upload” directory. On Piwigo.org forums we sometimes have the question:

how do I move a category without losing photo properties?

so I’ve decided to convert my Perl script into a Piwigo plugin : Virtualize.

convert manual filetree into automatic filetree

convert manual file tree into automatic file tree

Written by plg

March 8, 2011 at 9:59 am

Posted in piwigo, piwigo.com, plugin

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