Pierrick on Piwigo

Piwigo is the open source photo gallery for the web

Piwigo 2.2 on piwigo.com

For a week, all new Piwigo.com accounts are based on Piwigo 2.2. From today all “old” accounts have been migrated to Piwigo 2.2 as well.

The first question you may have is: why do Piwigo.com accounts had to wait for 6 weeks to run on Piwigo. 2.2? the answer : because of themes and plugins compatibility. There are 37 plugins and 23 themes available on Piwigo.com and we have been waiting for Piwigo 2.2 compatibility on all of them before starting migration. Because this wait has lasted a bit too long while many accounts could have been migrated earlier, I have coded a “filtered migration tool”: depending on the themes and plugins active on your gallery, your account is migrated or not. This way, your Piwigo.com gallery may be migrated much earlier for Piwigo 2.3 🙂

So what’s new on Piwigo 2.2 compared to Piwigo 2.1:

  • easier photo upload for your visitors (your family or friends for example) thanks to plugin “Community”, no need to use pLoader, an advanced web form is available
  • the photo batch manager gets a new design to make it easier of use
  • ability to remove or downsize your high definition photos
  • automatic rotation on your photos uploaded with the web form
  • improved compatibility with remote tools like Lightroom or Shotwell (no need to activate the pwg.images.addSimple plugin)
  • advanced use: ability to edit your own CSS rules with plugin LocalFiles Editor
  • if you have selected themes Stripped or Gally*, new configuration settings are available to customize your gallery

There are many more interesting improvements, you can read the full list on Piwigo 2.2.0 release notes.

Written by plg

May 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Piwigo release cycle

Piwigo 2.2 was planned for Fall 2010. Obviously we have been late! Even if that doesn’t really matters, I would really like to shorten the release cycle. In my opinion, having less features is not a problem at all. Piwigo 2.1 was out on May 2010 and coding for Piwigo 2.2 really started in September (we made other useful stuffs than coding for 3 months).

Here is a review of past release cycles:

  • 1.4 = 16 months
  • 1.5 = 8 months
  • 1.6 = 8 months
  • 1.7 = 10 months
  • 2.0 = 21 months. Far too long (with 6 months between RC1 and final version)
  • 2.1 = 14 months. Better, but still too long.
  • 2.2 = 11 months. Still Better, but can be improved.
Or if you want something more “visual”, here is a line with release cycles, 1 “=” sign means 2 months:
1.3 ======== 1.4 ==== 1.5 ==== 1.6 ===== 1.7 =========== 2.0 ======= 2.1 ===== 2.2

Why is a long release cycle a problem? Because it encourages the coding team to add many new features at the very last moment (even after RC1) and to add nothing new right after the major release is available. If you have a short release cycle, there is no problem to say:

ok, let’s postpone this feature, I’ll add it for next major release

With a long release cycle, this would be:

oh no, if I don’t add this feature right now, I’ll have to wait another 10 months before it’s available in a stable release! let’s try to add it now and postpone the release date

The consequence is a release cycle becoming longer and longer.

A good compromise is a 6 month release cycle. There is no real problem as soon as we’re not forced to add a fixed list of features. Instead of a list of features, we set the release date, and we’ll have the stable features available that day (after a 1 month release candidate period RC1, RC2, RC3…). Piwigo 2.3 will probably have less new features than 2.1 or 2.2 but it doesn’t matters at all.

Piwigo 2.3 planning on Piwigo.org forum

Written by plg

April 19, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Posted in piwigo, piwigo.org

Tagged with ,

Fotopic.net has closed down

Last week on Piwigo.com contact form, we’ve received several questions from customers of Fotopic.net. They told us that their photo sharing website had closed down. Of course they are searching for a replacement. Here is an anonymous extract of a message we’ve received:

My question is if I sign up for your site, like it and pay a subscription, will it be reliable?  It takes a lot of hours creating a nice site and disappointing to lose it. Hope you do not mind the question but I am having difficulty finding a suitable replacement to the defunct fotopic.

And my answer looks like:

I perfectly understand your concern about reliability and sustainability. Piwigo.com is a commercial offer, so we can’t promise we will last for a hundred years (not even Microsoft or Google could promise that) but we have a major advantage compared to our competitors: Piwigo.com is based on Piwigo and Piwigo is a free software (open source).

It means that in case you’re not satisfied with Piwigo.com services or if Piwigo.com is closing for any reason, you can get your data back, including photos, user comments, visit history… and move your gallery on any other host and you won’t lose anything

(the best is to have your own domain name so that your visitors won’t have to find your new address if one day you decide to move)

This is what I call the no vendor lock-in advantage! I truly believe it makes a big difference with any other photo sharing website.

Written by plg

April 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Posted in piwigo.com

Tagged with ,

Piwigo available on DreamHost

A few weeks ago, we’ve received a message from DreamHost team on Piwigo.org contact form:

Hi there folks!

We’ve received an application submission from a customer to have Piwigo included in the DreamHost One-Click Installer’s application catalog.

[…]

Since a user submitted it and not the developer, we had to reject the application submission, without even so much as reviewing it. 😦

Piwigo is already available in 1-click installers Softaculous and SimpleScripts, but DreamHost has its own 1-click installer system. So I have added Piwigo, next to Zenphoto and Gallery2 in the category “Gallery”. Today it is available to any DreamHost customer and this is one of the biggest web hosting in USA.

Piwigo on DreamHost

Piwigo on DreamHost : 1-click install

Considering their 1-click installer for Piwigo, we have added Dreamhost in the list of recommended hosting for Piwigo.

Written by plg

April 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Piwigo 2.2, the makers

Read the full release notes on Piwigo.org.

I have worked on the user upload, on ImageMagick and high definition resizing options, on multisite, and on the new Batch Manager. P@t has worked on themes and languages updating system, on new versions of jQuery, GIF support on upload and has removed the Adviser Mode . rvelices has worked on automatic merge of CSS and Javascript files, on CSS sprites for icons, on renaming “category” into “album”.

ddtddt has managed the translation effort and the result is 14 new languages: Catalan by josep.torne, Íslenska (Icelandic) by Jimmy Wallster, Québecois (Quebecois) by TiOger, Latviešu (Latvian) by Aivars Baldone, Norske (Norwegian) by atlew, Slovenšcina (Slovenian) by Klemen, Slovensky (Slovak) by dodo, Svenska (Swedish) by Jonas and Jimmy Wallster, Српски (Serbian) by Ћирилица1, Українська (Ukrainian) by quest_tom, עברית (Hebrew) by Adirbiton, فارسی (Farsi) by mohammadN, ქართული (Georgian) by geomagi, 中文 (繁體) (Traditional Chinese) by chouyh. You can find a list of the other translators on my blog post about release 2.1.

Piwigo gets a new logo designed by Jimmy Wallster (who made a great customization of Piwigo on Iceland My Way and who also translated Piwigo into Icelandic and helped on Swedish). I will soon post the history of Piwigo logos on this blog.

New logo for the Piwigo project

New logo for the Piwigo project

Thank you to everybody involved in Piwigo 2.2 creation!

Written by plg

April 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

[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" }
 
{literal}
<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery().ready(function(){
  jQuery(".catPos").hide();
  jQuery(".drag_button").show();
  jQuery(".categoryLi").css("cursor","move");
  jQuery(".categoryUl").sortable({
    axis: "y",
    opacity: 0.8
  });
});
</script>
{/literal}

And here is what they will code in Piwigo 2.2:

{footer_script require='jquery.ui.sortable'}{literal}
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
  jQuery(".catPos").hide();
  jQuery(".drag_button").show();
  jQuery(".categoryLi").css("cursor","move");
  jQuery(".categoryUl").sortable({
    axis: "y",
    opacity: 0.8
  });
});
{/literal}{/footer_script}

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

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