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IP.Gallery 5.0: Some Further Changes

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Development of IP.Gallery 5 continues, and today we wanted to blog about some additional changes you can expect to see in the next release. These changes are unrelated to one another, however they collectively will improve the functionality and capabilities of IP.Gallery 5.0. Note that these changes were derived as a direct result of client feedback, so keep it coming!


RSS Feed Enhancements
As of IP.Gallery 5, RSS feeds for IP.Gallery have been updated to give users better options as to how they subscribe to feeds on your site. In IP.Gallery 5, you will have RSS feeds available for categories, albums, and a new global latest images feed has been added, allowing users to stay abreast of latest images throughout the entire Gallery. This global latest images feed is discoverable easily by browsers and other feed reader applications, and a link is available in the board footer amongst the other RSS feeds for the software.


Notification Enhancements
One common request we've seen for IP.Gallery centers around notifications. IP.Gallery allows you to follow any album or image to be notified of new images or comments already, however you must follow these areas manually. Often you will upload some images and forget to follow them afterwards, so when another user comes along and comments on your images you are not aware of this.

We have added a checkbox on the review page (the secondary step after uploading your images where you specify the caption and other details) that allows you to follow the image(s) immediately upon submission. This checkbox is checked by default, so the default action is that users will be notified of comments on newly submitted media. A user can optionally deselect the checkbox if they don't wish to be notified of comments made against the submission.

This small change will help your users remain aware of comments on their images, and help spur return visits to your site through enhanced notifications relevant to the user.


Homepage Changes
While we have a fair many customers looking for a traditional navigational approach to Gallery (Category -> Album -> Image), many of our clients left feedback following an earlier blog entry regarding the new homepage indicating that they prefer a more social approach to the Gallery. Rather than a category listing, you want to see recently updated albums and new images to keep the page fresh. Additionally, the use of two sliders on the homepage spurred some discussion about the best way to present the data being made available on the homepage.

Firstly, we have changed the recent images block to a stream of images, as you would see within a listing. The featured images block remains as a large slider at the top of the screen, however the recent images near the bottom of the page will now list many small thumbnails instead. Clicking one will open the image in the new navigational lightbox to allow you to see the larger version and the image details.



Additionally, we realize that the categorical approach is not the preferred solution for all of our customers, so we have added a setting that will allow you to switch the homepage to a more "social" version. This setting only affects the homepage, however the data will be presented in a manner that will better allow users to simply review the most updated content with less of a focus on the structure of the Gallery. Here are some screenshots



The top of the page continues to show the featured images in a slider, and otherwise looks similar to the more traditional categorical layout. The main difference is that the categories are listed in a sidebar block here, de-emphasizing the structure but still allowing you to navigate into categories at will.



The main difference comes after the featured image. When the social layout is enabled, a stream of the most recently updated albums (that you have permission to view) are presented in order of last update. Up to 20 albums will be displayed. Below that, up to 50 of the most recently uploaded images are displayed, and as with the other image listings, clicking an image will open it inside a lightbox showing you the full size image and other image details without leaving the page.


Wrapping up
We will continue to evaluate feedback, particularly after the new software has been shown to our focus group and other alpha testers, and we will make sensible changes based on the feedback we receive. Please feel free to leave us feedback in the appropriate feedback forum!


Veer, AndyF, mrcikeprcike and 2 others like this


20 Comments

Posted

Hi Brandon.

You're my favorite IPS developer. Great job. I might delay starting my new site for IPG 5.

Grrr, fix the tabbing in comments.

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I sure hope we get the option to not have all different size image thumbs all over our index. We had a awesome organized, clean index, I feel like I just looked at a old version of coppermine. Sorry, I think the old index looked much much better. Just my opinion..

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[quote name='csm' timestamp='1342618505']
I sure hope we get the option to not have all different size image thumbs all over our index. We had a awesome organized, clean index, I feel like I just looked at a old version of coppermine. Sorry, I think the old index looked much much better. Just my opinion..


I don't think Rikki had a chance to attack it yet.

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[quote name='csm' timestamp='1342618505']
I sure hope we get the option to not have all different size image thumbs all over our index. We had a awesome organized, clean index, I feel like I just looked at a old version of coppermine. Sorry, I think the old index looked much much better. Just my opinion..


I totally agree. Looks like I'm back on IP.Board 3.0.0 Gallery (don't remeber the right version for it!).

svit likes this
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I seem to remember somewhere in a previous blog post that there will be the option to have all the thumbnails the same size (the same as IPG4 is currently)

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Yes, it seems like not everyone is paying attention to the blogs. :)

Cropped thumbnails are still supported and in fact default to being enabled.

Due to massive numbers of requests from our clients, we have added in an option NOT to crop thumbnails if you don't wish to. In my screenshots above, I had that option enabled for a while (to test it out) and thus you see many thumbnails that are not cropped, but rather downsized proportionately.

Whether you want the thumbnails cropped for a clean look, or for them to resize proportionately, the option is available. This was mentioned here:

http://community.invisionpower.com/blog/1174/entry-7816-ipgallery-50-more-administrator-control/

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REALLY looking forward to this.

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After 5 news updates you tend to forget what's in them. Not everyone cares to embed every word of every announcement in their brains! :smile:

Too boot, this is really not what I expected to get a response to considering the layout imo. :)

Design wise never had a complaint about ipb, there's a first however and this is it.

Yes, it seems like not everyone is paying attention to the blogs

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bfarber, will I still be able to have my home page look like this?

albums.jpg

nitt likes this
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I wish the layout of the Gallery wasn't a missed opportunity. I wish our members were impressed by the layout and could be proud they are registered users of the Gallery. The galleries are dealing with images-photographs where aesthetics often play role (photography, travel, design sites) and so are our requirements for the gallery itself to have design without any compromises. Please think carefully of each element of each page of the Gallery, define its importance and think how is it graphically expressed. It is 2012, the trends are known to everyone and expectations are high.

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I prefer the non cropped thumbnails. What Brandon showed was a bit extreme as the images were screen grabs of various sized dialog boxes etc. In normal practice the thumbnails will all be similar sized with some being landscape and some being portrait so should should a bit tidier (as it was with Gallery 3).

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I APPRECIATE but don't envy the team that's developing IPG 5. Customer clinics and the evaluation of feedback is critical, however, often requires a large consumption of rum.

It looks like this project is progressing nicely. :)

Eric Allione likes this
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Will there be a Recent Images block that shows the small recent images that can be place on IPC pages, like IPG4 has something like the screen shot in GoGators above?

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[quote name='csm' timestamp='1342630149']
After 5 news updates you tend to forget what's in them. Not everyone cares to embed every word of every announcement in their brains! :smile:

Too boot, this is really not what I expected to get a response to considering the layout imo. :smile:

Design wise never had a complaint about ipb, there's a first however and this is it.


Yes, this is to be expected, I agree. I do, however, request that no assumptions be made until everyone gets to see the software. The options that will be removed are being spelled out in advance (such as sub-albums) to attempt to prevent confusion or any surprises. If we haven't explicitly said an option has been removed, the best assumption for now is that it hasn't been.

[quote name='GoGators' timestamp='1342633641']
bfarber, will I still be able to have my home page look like this?




With some skinning your home page can look like anything you want. What you are showing is not a default option, however. The featured image and recently updated albums can be done, but you would have to edit the homepage template to move recent images (and size them down dynamically inline) to the sidebar. There are no "global albums" anymore - categories will show as they do in the screenshots above, unless you edited the HTML code in the skin template for them as well.

[quote name='svit' timestamp='1342635032']
I wish the layout of the Gallery wasn't a missed opportunity. I wish our members were impressed by the layout and could be proud they are registered users of the Gallery. The galleries are dealing with images-photographs where aesthetics often play role (photography, travel, design sites) and so are our requirements for the gallery itself to have design without any compromises. Please think carefully of each element of each page of the Gallery, define its importance and think how is it graphically expressed. It is 2012, the trends are known to everyone and expectations are high.


Be aware that many of our clients have vary different and conflicting requirements and wishes for Gallery. What some people like, others hate. What some people think looks good, others think looks horrible. I would imagine that no matter what the final product looks like, some will like it and some will hate it. This was true of Gallery 4. And Gallery 3. And most other Gallery products on the web.

[quote name='ZakRhyno' timestamp='1342652448']
Will there be a Recent Images block that shows the small recent images that can be place on IPC pages, like IPG4 has something like the screen shot in GoGators above?


We have not added any new IP.Content functionality, beyond updating the feed block plugin so that it supports all of the current Gallery functionality (mainly, changing database queries as needed and adding category feed support). There is a built in Gallery block template in IP.Content that lets you create a slider, but there is no built in recent images block as displayed in the screenshot. It CAN be accomplished with a standard feed block and some skin template editing, rather easily in fact, if you know the right HTML code to use in the block template.

mrcikeprcike and Kirito like this
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[quote name='bfarber' timestamp='1342705699']
Yes, this is to be expected, I agree. I do, however, request that no assumptions be made until everyone gets to see the software. The options that will be removed are being spelled out in advance (such as sub-albums) to attempt to prevent confusion or any surprises. If we haven't explicitly said an option has been removed, the best assumption for now is that it hasn't been.



With some skinning your home page can look like anything you want. What you are showing is not a default option, however. The featured image and recently updated albums can be done, but you would have to edit the homepage template to move recent images (and size them down dynamically inline) to the sidebar. There are no "global albums" anymore - categories will show as they do in the screenshots above, unless you edited the HTML code in the skin template for them as well.



Be aware that many of our clients have vary different and conflicting requirements and wishes for Gallery. What some people like, others hate. What some people think looks good, others think looks horrible. I would imagine that no matter what the final product looks like, some will like it and some will hate it. This was true of Gallery 4. And Gallery 3. And most other Gallery products on the web.



We have not added any new IP.Content functionality, beyond updating the feed block plugin so that it supports all of the current Gallery functionality (mainly, changing database queries as needed and adding category feed support). There is a built in Gallery block template in IP.Content that lets you create a slider, but there is no built in recent images block as displayed in the screenshot. It CAN be accomplished with a standard feed block and some skin template editing, rather easily in fact, if you know the right HTML code to use in the block template.


With such an addon for IPC would be wanted by the masses, thus I was asking why not make a block for this supported from IPS?

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[quote name='bfarber' timestamp='1342705699']
Be aware that many of our clients have vary different and conflicting requirements and wishes for Gallery. What some people like, others hate. What some people think looks good, others think looks horrible. I would imagine that no matter what the final product looks like, some will like it and some will hate it. This was true of Gallery 4. And Gallery 3. And most other Gallery products on the web.

This is what I meant by try and make the gallery as customizable as possible. Everyone wants something different. You seem to be going for this a bit, as well, which is great.

One of the things I've always personally wanted from IP.Galery (and even IP.Board in general) was better tag support. For example, currently, you can only search by one tag at a time. I've always wanted a feature allowing users to search for images that have multiple tags. Say, "blue" and "nature." This would search for images that use both the tags "blue" and "nature," not images that use the tags "blue" or "nature." Similar to a Gelbooru gallery system.

Honestly, I have a lot of suggestions I'd like to make for IP.Boards search system in general, but I don't think many others would care enough to actually support these suggestions. I find it significantly easier to just use Google to search for threads and downloads on my site compared to IP.Boards built in search system. But this isn't really specifically related to the Gallery anyways, so I won't derail.

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Yes, changes to the tag system would be made in the core, not in an individual app (typically).

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Disappointed the gallery home page is changing. I liked it and don't really want to have to mod it to get it the same as how it was before. It should be optional, I thought you'd got it just right with the current implementation.

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From what I could see in the attach thumbnails (and i know it is not a final version) there are categories listed so that their width covers the full width of the page. I think it is a waste of space which will not look nice. Imagine you have resolution 1900 pixels covered by just links of category links, from this perspective i think the previous solution was much better (categories as squared thumbs in the right sidebar)

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Can we stop IP.Gallery from renaming the actual files to a series of digits? This is killing the SEO ability of IP.Gallery. I use descriptive file names for a reason.

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