This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

Revised Photo Sets using EE Gallery

5th January 2005

The Collylogic Photo Sets (now removed, sorry!) have been completely revised. Desperate to have all my pages controlled through one admin panel, I’ve finally finished the transition from Gallery Script 1.9 to Expression Engine Photo Gallery - a new module added to the latest EE build. It’s simply awesome.

Why change? If it ain’t broke…

I was happy with Gallery Script 1.9 initially, but the features provided by the EE module are unbeatable. The ExpressionEngine Photo Gallery supports advanced features like image watermarking, cropping, resizing, rotation, thumbnailing, nested categories, batch importing, multiple galleries, and more. I can even email my photos to the gallery.

image galleries public

The front-end display is controlled using simple EE tags - totally customizable and flexible. Random images, most popular, and latest images are displayed on my main gallery page, and the tags can be used anywhere on the site of course.

Controlling everything through EE admin

I create new images as though they are blog articles, with all the same features and more, and the whole system is interlocked with my other blog pages, so functions can be shared across the site. The categories and statistics are very comprehensive, and I’m sharing them publicly on the main gallery page. I can have an unlimited number of galleries, each with an unlimited number of categories and child-categories.

image galleries admin

I especially love the batch-processing. I simply upload my latest stack of digital photos into a designated batch folder, then use the Batch Entries tool to go through each, adding titles and descriptions, with the option of thumbnail cropping, categorization, re-sizing and much more.

The Preferences panel allows me to define thumb, medium and full image sizing, proportional info, whether to allow comments or not, and a myriad of other key components. Generally, the module is a joy to use, and for serious digital photographers, I’d say it’s worth the EE license fee alone, nevermind everything else you get with the CMS.

image gallery close-up

Don’t just take my word for it

Yet again, the Expression Engine team have surpassed their rivals with the Photo Gallery module. It’s as well thought out as Basecamp, in that every possibility is covered, and has been thoroughly tested and refined.

Again, don’t take my word for it. Expression Engine is really gathering momentum now. After a recent email conversation with designer Mark Boulton, he followed his instincts and went for EE. His newly revised site is now online, and he had the following to say about EE:

Expression Engine surpassed my expectations in almost every way. It’s an extremely quick platform on which to develop and it’s ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality is second-to-none.

You heard the man. If you’re feeling adventurous, go check out EE - you won’t be disappointed.


# Amit Karmakar responded on 5th January 2005 with...

Simon, you really seem very happy with EE I should give it a try.

# James responded on 5th January 2005 with...

Really smart. Been playing with the gallery module too. So far I really like it, its very straightforward. The whole EE experience is going pretty well. Godd recommendation Simon!

# Mark Boulton responded on 6th January 2005 with...

I’ve yet to get on to using the Gallery module but from what i’ve seen, and from what you’ve said here Simon, it’s looks very impressive (especially the image processing bit)

Good job on the Photosets, they look great.

Amit - Give it a go. Honestly, EE continues to surprise me. Just today I thought i’d have a go at reskinning the control panel. It took me less than an hour to come up with something better than most of the default skins. EE just keeps getting better and with new things on the horizon, such as the ecommerce module, you really can’t go wrong.

# Simon Collison responded on 6th January 2005 with...

Amit: Nice to see you here - welcome! Do give it a try, but be aware that the trial version will not let you do much hacking, as it is served on pMachine servers. It’s only when you get your own license that the fun really begins.

I will probably make my photo set templates available as a zip file soon. I have done quite a bit of tweaking to get them to display how I want, but there is still a lot to do. All the structure was already there, but I’m planning to add more Javascript functionality in the near future, and format the comments stuff so each image can accept user thoughts.

# allgood2 responded on 11th January 2005 with...

I haven’t gotten to play with the Photo Gallery Module yet, but I love EE. I’ve been slowly switching most of my clients sites over to it. I think it’s CMS functions are great, and will finally get to play with Photo Gallery for a friends wedding website.

# Steve Keyworth responded on 19th January 2005 with...

Module lovin’ aside, some of the photos in here are crackin’. I can’t help feeling though Simon that you’re holding back some of the big guns. I request a ‘top of the shots’ selection of imgs ‘cos I know what you’ve got in your photographic bag, and I like it, like it, yes I do.

# Simon Collison responded on 19th January 2005 with...

Thanks, ‘Steve’. Very kind. As you suggest, I might create a “Greatest Hits” selection in there. Nice idea…

# Guy responded on 21st January 2005 with...

Hiya, im sure many people would love to know how you came to the decision to use Expression Engine over the more traditional blog tools like Movable Type and Wordpress.

I’ve been intrigued by some of the stuff you’ve been doing with the CMS. However, even the 30 day trial of the software isn’t free so, you’d have had to have been sold by something to even want to trial it for your personal site.

I wonder if you’ve been using it for your company web design and that’s what made you decide to use it here? As I say, im really intrigued. I’d certainly be interested in an article about the who, what, when and whys of your experience with EE.

# Simon Collison responded on 22nd January 2005 with...

Guy: I’ll definitely be writing about EE soon, but I’m having to hold off as there is the possibility that I’ll be writing a book chapter about it soon, so I’m waiting until I know the restraints with that.

As for using EE for clients, we only use it for small-scale projects where the client cannot afford our own system. That said, we have built some custom web-apps with EE for our own use. You can virtually replicate Basecamp with it!

Anyway, I’ll definitely be doing some tutorials soon.

# Guy responded on 24th January 2005 with...

Great. Thanks! Can’t wait. I assume that your company’s own CMS is even better than EE then? Wow. What sort of stuff does that do and how come you don’t use it for your own site? I’m even more intrigued now!

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