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Gallery features

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Posted
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#73580 (In Topic #15388)
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Fan in training

Gallery feature suggestions

I'm a complete newbie here, first post, so my apologies if I've put this in the wrong place.

Recently after breaking PHPBB severely, trying to update our Gallery add on, we decided to move over to ocportal, liking the idea that things are better integrated and what appears to be a much more stable system.

So far we really like the system, great job!  One of the areas we are finding a bit lacking  is the Galleries area.  I'm unsure if it's just something we aren't quite doing right, or if this is something that hasn't been designed.

What we are finding, is it would be great if images could be sorted, by different criteria that can be selected by the user.  Say have it sorted by date, or by recent comments, file name, show all images sorted by user etc.  It would also be great if it were possible to add some custom fields to image uploads as well.  Say if someone uploads an image of wolves, they could enter in a 'subject' for the image, so then anybody who wants to find a picture of wolves they would simply sort by 'subject' to find such an image.  I'm just using this as an example, I'm sure there could be many possibilities for such a feature.

We would also love to see an option to rather than having an image of the day, have the system automatically choose a random image from the gallery every 24 hours, and have it pick it itself.

And finally, it would be nice if the system would display a thumbnail of the last 5 or so images uploaded on the front page, sort of as a 'whats new' type thing, rather than showing gallery folders.

Really like the system.  The galleries system is decent, but we feel it could be fantastic with just a few minor tweaks and options.
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Posted
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#73582
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Community saint

The third issue is easily addressed - just add a main_recent_gallery block to your start page and you will have what you want. You can use the "Add block" assistant to help set the parameters.

You can use a main_multi_content block with the mode set to "random" to sort of do what you want the IOTDS to do - it would at least serve up random content although not on a schedule.

I've already written about the current problems with galleries. The main issue is that galleries lack any structured content which is why I chose to use catalogs instead. However, you then give up the nice gallery display features and personal galleries which I would love to have available.

My feeling is that the "gallery" feature should be delivered as a presentation layer that is used for specified catalogs. This would allow integrating the use of the structured data with the gallery display options which, themselves, could use some improvement.

There is a mod (View topic: Titles for galleries - ocPortal) that allows adding titles to gallery entries but I think that you, like me and a few others, would like to see major improvement in this area.

Hope that helps with a couple of your items.

Bob
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Posted
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#73587
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Community saint

I agree that while titles are good for gallery images a tagging field system would be nice too.

Tags could be used for sorting plus its good for SEO.

Question though to you Bob -

Since your using a Catalogue to store a gallery could you not somehow customize the catalogues display properties to prety it up? I haven't played with the system enough yet to know if this is possible in ocPortal but that is you usually one of the main purposes behind a MVC pattern is the possiblity to chage or overide a view.
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Posted
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#73589
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Community saint

I am sure this is possible and probably what Chris would suggest. Unfortunately, my technical skills have lapsed much more than I thought over the past year-plus when I was not doing any of this. Perhaps they will make a magical return.

The fact that the code is well-structured certainly makes it easier to do these things but it still requires a good deal of skill. Plus, as is being discussed in another thread, the documentation could be better.

I know ocPortal is on a code lock-down unless items are paid for but I unfortunately lack a budget for this project.Plus, I think that it makes sense for the developers to consider a different approach. I don't see any reason to replicate structured data in galleries when it already exists in catalogs and catalogs could be a sound foundation for a great gallery system.

No doubt this is all just a reflection of my needs and wants and the unfortunate lack of budget.

Bob
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Posted
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#73610
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Fan in training

Thanks for the responses, we will give the suggestions for the front page a try and see how it goes.

A tag system for galleries would be a great idea…maybe even a system of check boxes that could be specified by the admin, and when a user uploads they check off the appropriate boxes based on what the content of their image is.  Would make searches and sorting a breeze that way.

In my situation, we are basically running a message board system for collectables, and we have users submitting images of their collections to show other users, so tagging I think would be a very well used feature if it was included in a future version.
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Posted
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#73612
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Community saint

ragoon-

Tagging alone is insufficient for my needs unless it could be made mandatory. My site is an art site for a painter and it is critical that as members upload their paintings that they provide provenance information. This is the reason I went with catalogs.

Now, imagine a gallery system that used those fields as tags so that people could quickly drill down to what they want. This is not yet an issue as the site is not opened and I am careful to also enter the provenance information as keywords which then appear as tags. But this could be made so much better if the gallery ran atop the catalog and integrated this all automatically plus offered the better display formats of galleries and personal galleries, as well.

Bob
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