gpFlashGallery – A Free Flash Photo Gallery

Cool Sites, Flash

In a previous post, I discussed the web 2.0 domain name generator and the web 2.0. color harmonizer that I created on web20.digitalvilliage.com. On the galleries.digitalvilliage.com subdomain, I created the gpFlashGallery, a free XML-based Flash Photo Gallery.

The gpFlashGallery is highly configurable via an XML file. Every aspect of the gpFlashGallery can be configured using this XML file (page color, thumb container dimensions and color, transition type, etc). The image information (location and optional title) is also stored in an XML file.

gpFlashGallery Features

  • Easily change background color
  • Display images with varying dimensions
  • Image preloader
  • Animation effects can be applied to large image (transition in and out)
  • Thumb container can be positioned on the bottom or top of the page
  • Optional title can be displayed for each image
  • Free

More information about the gpFlashGallery can be found on http://galleries.digitalvilliage.com. The files can be downloaded from GitHub.

BTW, the reason I named the subdomain galleries rather than gpflashgallery is because I plan to add to add other photo galleries there in the future. I created both a Dojo and JQuery photo gallery almost a year ago for projects that I was working on. Once I get change to document the plugins/widgets, I will place them on the galleries subdomain.

Let me know what you think.

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Dojo vs JQuery, Part 2: Plugins, Widgets

Ajax, Dojo, dojo-widgets, JQuery, plugins

Not long after I begin learning a new Javascript Framework, I find a need to create a plugin (or widget). I have created quite a few JQuery plugins (see previous posts) and have recently created a my 4th Dojo Widget (I have also created a few YUI widgets). I recently began working on a  JQuery photogallery plugin (I know, why re-create the wheel). I actually created this photogallery quite a few years ago, but not as a JQuery Plugin, but as a Javascript object (class). I am now converting it into a JQuery plugin.

While working on a different project (that uses Dojo), I also had to create a photogallery. While I enjoyed the benefits of using both JQuery and Dojo to re-create the photogallery, I have to say that the ability to create a template (Dojo Widgets) can significanly decrease the time it takes to create a plugin or widget.

When I initially read about Dojo widget templates, I didn’t really understand the need. My perception was that if a developer was fairly proficient with creating and manipulating DOM elements, then what is the need for a template? Well, creating this plugin using both JQuery and Dojo gave me a more favorable perception of using templates – a tremendous advantage.

Although the requirements for the JQuery photogallery plugin was a bit more complex (and although I still find it easier in general to develop using JQuery), I have to say that having the ability to create a template gives Dojo a real advantage over JQuery when creating widgets or plugins.  Advantage: Dojo.

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Photoshop: Web Photogallery

Photoshop

In the past, one of the more tedious tasks of web design was creating the thumbnail and large view images for a photogallery. I would open an image in a graphics editor, adjust the size to create a thumbnail image, save, re-adjust the size to create a large view image, and save again. I would repeat these steps for each image of the photogallery. Depending upon the amount of images, creating a web photogallery could take quite a long time.

Quite a few years ago, I began to use Express Thumbnail Creator to create the images for a photogallery. The tool can be used to make web photogalleries, but I only used it to create the thumbnail and large view images. I would select a source folder (or select multiple images), set the width or height for both the thumbnail and large view images, and then let Express Thumbnail Creator generate the images in batch mode. It would reduce each image according to my specifications in a fraction of the time that it took me to manually reduce each image.

Over the last few years, my Mac has become my primary computer. Because Express Thumbnail Creator does not have a version for the Mac, I began to explore other ways to quickly adjust image sizes for a photogallery. Little did I know that Photoshop has the capability of creating a web photogallery.

  1. Open Photoahop and then open all of the images that you want in your photogallery
  2. Select File->Automate->Web Photogallery and the Web Photo Gallery Dialog appears.
  3. You can select a style for the photogallery, but I only use it to adjust the image sizes in bulk, so the default style is fine.
  4. Select the source and destination folders
  5. Under “Options”, select “Large Image” and set the image size and quality. You can also choose whether to constrain the height, width, or both.
  6. Under “Options”, select “Thumbnails” to set the max width.
  7. Click “OK” to create the photogallery.

Easy enough.

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