Is it necessary to build an alternative picasa viewer when picasa itself provides nice flash gallery viewers ? for webmasters it turns out that sometimes it can be necessary to hide picasa details, and thanks to picasa itself providing various remote server access, you can use your albums within any kind of rss or json enabled application. We provide here an example of a JSON - jquery powered slideshow that takes input from any picasa album. The advantage of using picasa over hosted or specific applications such as famous menalto's gallery of coppermine is that picasa does resizing jobs for you, and offers up to 1 GB of free online image storage which largely enough for any small website presentation.
Slideshow, portfolio, gallery applications
My last article on Silvesrtripe CMS online image editing feature led me to investigate alternative solution for websites and software developers that wish to implement this kind of component for their backoffice.. Surfing on CAKEPHP framework homepage turned out to illustrate perfectly the kind of component that should be standard on all CMS : resizing is now pretty common, and what we want now is cropping. There is actually a plugin for jquery that does the interface job, ImgAreaSelect. ImgAreaSelect come with loads of configuration options that make it a perfect tool for cropping images : the selection area is responsive, draggable, and can be adjusted to work only within specified limits or predefined aspect ratio. What's missing in Jquery is the server side of things, and you'll find that either on webmotionUK for pure PHP or on CAKEPHP's site for Cake integration.
Sometimes, the most apparently useless feature is one that reveals great ambitions : In spite of its wonderful administration layout that is one of the most usable content management systems, we focus today on one aspect of Silverstripe Admin interface : the image editing feature.
This great little free application focuses on one simple task : resize and optimize your pictures for web publishing. We got to use and became addict because of the very simple right click feature, which allows anyone to resize pictures just before sending them to the web, while browsing your workstation for the best illustration. as such it really is a producticvity tool, which also suports raw formats, such as canon's cr2 !!
Monoslide show is a great gallery / slideshow flash applet that takes images list from user edited XML configuration file. One of its great features, apart from the incredible flexibility it allows, is the quality of the transition effects, such as Random Ken Burns effect that will do the trick for most professionnal movie like silide shows ! One drawback is that it lacks a user friendly admin module, every configuration has to be edited via the XML file. Just that is powerful enough though, and worth its price.