As many of you will know, I like to put some of my photos online for everyone to look at. Over the years I have gone through several different gallery systems, some of them home-grown and others off the shelf. There are links to two of these at the top of this blog – the old one is password protected and is a fairly rudimentary system I designed myself, the new one is powered by Coppermine and registered users can view some albums that aren’t publically available. However, as good as Coppermine is, I’ve not liked the way it does password protection, insisting that people have individual user accounts so that they can log in and see hidden albums. This isn’t exactly convenient, and I’ve not found an easy of way changing the appearance of the gallery either, except by choosing from a small selection of pre-installed themes, none of which I particularly like.
So I’ve made my own system again. Design-wise it’s similar in some ways to my old PhotoLounge, in that it’s white text on a black background, but I think I’ve done a better job of it this time. Technically speaking it’s a lot better, with a lot more clever PHP coding behind the scenes. It’s all done through one central PHP file, which checks to see what parameters are given to it and displays different information accordingly. It also shows thumbnails, which can be moved to a different side of the screen depending on your preference, and which can be made smaller if you think they’re taking up too much room. It’s pretty dynamic too, enabling me to simply upload a folder of photos and have them automatically appear.
If you want to have a look before it officially goes live, I’ve got a couple of albums already there for testing purposes, so do take a look and let me know what you think of it. You’ll find it at www.minipix.co.uk/photolounge/gallery.php. It’s still technically in BETA, so there may still be some bugs to iron out and some details to change. For instance, the picture in the top right corner may well change, since very few people who look at my photos even know who my brother is… Anyway, comments would be appreciated. And as soon as I work out a way of password protecting certain folders I’ll put more photos up there and replace the Coppermine gallery.