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Managing successful online communities


IP.Gallery 2.2

While IP.Gallery 2.2 has not yet been released at this time, I wanted to take a moment to outline a few of the new features and touchups in Gallery that may not be as evident.

A strong focus for this release of Gallery was strengthening the backend - many Gallery users know that some core functionality was just missing and it was time to bring Gallery in line with the rest of our offerings. For example, users could not control the ordering of their albums, nor could moderators move images from/to albums. This has all been fixed. Additionally, Gallery has been updated to use IP.Board's caching methods to help reduce the number of SQL queries run on each page, and it has been moved over to a component for forward compatibility reasons.

Arguably, it's the little things that make or break Gallery software. You have to strike the right balance between the image (which is of course the main focus in a Gallery) and the rest of the content. We streamlined the image view page considerably to help make the image viewing more pleasant and less distractive. The exif/iptc data that can be extracted from images was moved into a popup/movable div so it doesn't display directly on the page. The edit/delete/etc. links were put into a single dropdown to reduce the number of buttons below the rest of the data. Here is a screenshot showing the drop down and the popup together



Another frequently requested feature was easier ability to hotlink images.



And of course the "Set as Avatar" has finally made it's appearance via an "Avatar" button next to the Options button.

Other small but important changes involve navigating the Gallery, which many users requested be simplified. We've added some things to make this easier for users. Firstly, at the top right we've added "First, Previous, Next, and Last" links which will take you to the respective images inside the container you are viewing.



Additionally, in the photostrip at the bottom of the page, there are << and >> buttons added (as appropriate) to allow you to cycle through the photostrip using AJAX. This can help you get a quick overview of the images in the container, and be able to jump to an image in the container easily. Go ahead, visit an image inside the IPB Community Personal Photos and try the AJAX navigation.



And of course, one of the more noticable changes is support for lightbox in the Gallery. For an example of how this works, view this page and then click on the image. This of course can be disabled if the administrator wishes.

There are many other important updates naturally, with some more notable changes being

  • Drag-n-drop support for reordering post form fields and categories
  • Custom post form fields now automatically insert into the image view page and submission form
  • Ability for admins to deny ability to members to create private albums
  • Zip import support for members
  • ACP language abstraction
  • Slimmer templates for easier skinning
  • Forum-style listing for albums
  • Improved search capabilities
  • Email notification options for comments and image submissions
  • Image dimensions display on the image view page
And many other smaller things you will have to find out when you install or upgrade your very own Gallery!

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