Musings from a small IPP

Blogs and Photo Galleries

by on Jul.09, 2009, under Operations

There are 2 really lovely pieces of contributer-supported software out there from an IPPs perspective.  Both have a really lovely property — they can be installed as ‘multisite’ configurations, that is one only needs to install the software once to have many users able to use it to create their own sites.  Within certain limits.

The first is WordPress which we’re using here for this blog.  It supports two forms of multi-site, with appropriate trickery in the DNS — either as site.dom/user/ or as  and can boast a massive user base on its own hosting service.  You may have already spotted the catch — each installation supports only a single domain; there are still customers for whom that is  useful, and we can drop in an instance, and encourage them to have their users contribute to the developers.

The second really nice piece of software is Gallery for building photo sharing / marketing sites.  Gallery is slightly more flexible, in that it only needs a common filestore for the code; the sites can be in multiple domains, but the set-up is very slightly more complex, with per site files referring back to the main installation.  It has great facilities for watermarking images, reducing the size for on-screen viewing, selling prints, password protecting whole folders so that only the client, and those they wish to share with, can see the images etc etc.

Both lovely, useful bits of code, and as a real bonus there is a WordPress module to link in Gallery2 called wpg2, which can pop Gallery2 reduced and watermarked pictures into blogs.

Unfortunately after a day of trying we have to conclude that wpg2 only works with the single instance version of Gallery, not a multi-site installation, one can only work with the full sized unwatermarked images, or the thumbnails from a multi-site Gallery2 — these are pulled in with straight html, the templates needed for the resized images are not where wpg2 expects to find them.  This was not clear in the wpg2 requirements.

So for customers who want both, Gallery2 has to be individually installed


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