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IP.Gallery 5.0: More Navigation Changes

While we discussed some of the basic core navigational changes in IP.Gallery 5.0 already (and yes, we've heard your feedback on those changes!), we have implemented some other changes to enhance consistency and bring IP.Gallery into the modern world wide web. Some of these changes are basic on the surface, but will help to ensure the interface remains consistent throughout the application, in third party applications, and in future features we may add, while some of the changes represent an entirely new way to use the software.

Image Navigation
When you enter into a category or album that has a listing of images, you see each image and can click into them one by one to view the full-sized image and some further details. This is simple and intuitive enough, but a little...boring. With today's web, we can enhance this a bit, so we've done so.

When you are viewing a listing of images and click onto an image, it will now open in a lightbox and most of the image details will be presented to the user. You can navigate through the images in the listing with next and previous buttons, easily allowing you to view all of the images on the page without ever leaving the page itself. The functionality itself is handled by javascript (and AJAX requests), but the links are good old-fashioned links to the full image details page, so you don't have to worry about search engine spiders being able to navigate through the software. To them, the navigation will work as it always has.

The AJAX responses are cached to save resources while the user is still viewing the page (if the user navigates to an image they've already loaded, it pops up instantly).

Here is a quick video demonstrating this new change. Note that you can still access the full image details page by clicking the caption in the lightbox (or through any other normal browser means, such as opening the link in a new tab, or dragging the image itself to your address bar in your browser).


Album Changes
In IP.Gallery 5.0, you will no longer be able to create sub-albums. Sub-categories are still supported, however albums themselves can only be placed within a category, not within another album. The upgrader routine will move sub-albums to the nearest category that allows album creation (or to the special Member's Gallery if a suitable category cannot be found). Similarly, private and friend-only albums are only allowed within the special Member's Gallery. These changes represent necessary deviations from past versions to allow IP.Gallery to scale effectively as the site becomes larger. One of the primary issues faced in past versions was resource consumption as the number of albums on the site grows - this will no longer be an issue with specific rules in place that prevent complex hierarchy challenges.

Member's Gallery
The special Member's Gallery category is the only category that allows friend-only and private album creation. It is designed as a category that members can create any type of album they want within (subject to the per-group restrictions the administrator has defined), and includes a special option to allow you to determine how to present the contents of this category.

The special Member's Gallery allows the administrator to determine if the category will display albums, images or individual members. When you display albums, the category works like any other category that allows album creation. This is the default setting. When you display images, all images within all albums in the category (that you have permission to view) are displayed, just as if the category allowed direct image submissions. To the end user, they will be looking at an image listing, and will be unaware that the images are coming from albums within the category (although this is noted in both the lightbox popup and on the full image details page in the right hand information block).

When you choose to show members instead, however, all members who have submitted an album to the special Member's Gallery are displayed, and clicking on the member will show that user's detail page (which in turn will list their albums and image submissions). For sites who wish to group by member within the category, this option allows you to do that, similar to earlier versions of Gallery. The last 10 images the member has uploaded into an album within this category will also be displayed.

You will note there is a "Show Me" dropdown button at the top right. Members can override the administrator-defined default if they prefer to view the listing differently (e.g. if they just wish to see a stream of images), and their preference is stored in a cookie so that it is remembered if they leave the page and come back.

And still more
We have yet more to announce for IP.Gallery 5.0 and hope you are enjoying the updates. We are taking all feedback in and are looking forward to being able to show you the new release as soon as possible.

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