Hello Everybody!

Well its been a while since I posted, but I have been a little busy. One of my latest tasks was making a thumbnail gallery for a group of images for web viewing. My main purpose was function (and have clean file system) but I also wanted clean design that had a tad jazzy mixed in. The two programs I tested out were SimpleViewer and JAlbum (cross platform, freeware, opensource).

The first program I used was JAlbum. It is based off of Java Script and the viewer needs to have Java installed on their computer (which most people have, if not, it’s a click away to download and free). The user should also have the latest Java running on their computer as well. So I checked if I had the latest (or at least the minimum version of Java) on my computer (which you can check through java.com). I downloaded the files for JAlbum. I opened the JAlbum folder (I had an issue w/ the installer so I just by passed it and downloaded the folder directly off their site which is an option-bug for Mac OS X). Double clicked on JAlbum.jar. Read the instructions which consisted of dropping and dragging my image files into the window under Edit tab, or you can load the directory (just as simple) under the Main tab. Choose the size of your images (don’t choose a size larger, will degrade the image quality) and choose the size of your thumbnails. You can preview the CSS under Skin and the look of the album. You can choose how many thumbnails are in a row and column. I chose link to originals because I already scaled down the photographs for web viewing. Then you publish, simple as cake. Check out your album by clicking view album before you publish. The one thing I did not like is all the files JAlbum generates. That pushed me to find another thumbnail generator, enter SimpleViewer.

SimpleViewer is flash based. It’s a tad flashier than JAlbum and generates less files (cleaner and more organized). The viewer looking at your web album will have to install Flash, but 90% (or something around that percentage) of computers have Flash installed. If not, like Java, it’s free to download and SimpleViewer has a prompt built in to send the viewer over to Macromedia if it can not detect Flash on the computer.

So I downloaded the files onto my computer. I tried to use the Server-Side Script instructions (using PHP) but it didn’t work out, so I used automatic creation on desktop (first option). Since I am working on a Mac, I had the option of using iPhoto to help me create my gallery. Depending on your Platform (since SimpleViewer works on Linux, Mac, and Windows) you have to choose/download the photo-editor that works on your system. I used iPhoto. I downloaded SimpleViewer iPhoto Export to do the trick. I first loaded my images into the library of iPhoto. Then I opened SimpleView iPhoto Export and chose the library of iPhoto as my source (you can choose a directory as well). Then I changed the max size of my image, and color value of borders. Then I created a folder to save it in (hit Browse), then I clicked Export Album. I was left with fewer files than JAlbum and a tad flasher web thumbnail gallery. One thing I did change was the background color in the generated index.html file. The default hex value is black, I changed it to white under the FlashObject code line (this is also documented on the website). You can customize your album as well (as with JAlbum).

Check out these programs today! Two paninis up!



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