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Photo Album Software Idea

There could be a way to add automated photo albums to CityDesk by way of a addon program you would run as part of the publishing test.

What I tried just now was to use CMD.EXE as such a addon program and then when it opened up the command prompt I used notepad to save a new file to the temp directory that CD uses. This file was subsequently uploaded to my website.

This means that a program could run, and read files that you have in your CD site already, and generate the necessary files. The images wouldn't even have to be part of the CD site as they could be copied to the correct directories by the addon program.

I envision a bundle of two programs:
1. a GUI for managing and setting up the photo albums
2. an addon program for use in CD publishing

The first program would be used to add photo files to albums, type in extra comments for them, etc. depending on what the album should contain.

The addon program would run through all .html files in the CD temp directory and look for specialized tags or whatnot and replace either with album data (if you want to have an inline album) or a link to a full album page.

The program could be really simple or it could be made to be very advanced and complex handling things like:
- album templates, for dictating layouts and such
- inline and separate album pages
- automatically resize photo files to a preset size for the album pages
- generate multi-page albums with a common look and navigation (possibly from a template you keep in your CD site so that it has the look of your normal site)
- automatically generate thumbnails for the images
- automatically add watermarking to photos to avoid unwanted use and copying

What do you all say ? Would anyone want to help build such a program ?

If I were to help build such a program it would be done in either Delphi 5-7 or Visual C#. Anyone else want to help ? At the very least, any thoughts about what the program should/could handle/do ?

Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

This is a good idea to have - but not sure how to integrate this to CityDesk.

Ram Das
Thursday, September 25, 2003

Well, the point is that since CD doesn't seem to get a photo album function, an addon program could be used instead.

CD 2 has the ability to run a program after it has prepared and copied all the files for your website to a temporary directory, and before those files are uploaded to your server.

This means that this program can modify the generated files, and even add files as I found out.

A photo album program could then work like this:

- scan through all html files
- look for specialized tags or similar blocks of text
- replace those tags with html code to display thumbnails with links to the big images for a photo album
- generate and copy thumbnails and photos to the temp directory

Thus, you could add a photo album inside an article, or generate a new page for the photo album. Some work initially would have to be done just to find out what people want and how much complexity to support (do you want paging with that album ? thumbnails ? captions ? exif information ?) but I think it could be done.

Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
Thursday, September 25, 2003

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