How to easily add/modify content to a site once development is finished?
January 24, 2004 1:57 PM   Subscribe

I'm building an online gallery for an artist friend of mine. It grew from a small holiday present to a major project, and I have reached the edge of my current skill set. I need a way to easily add and modify content after I am no longer developing the site. [more inside]

Here's the problem.

I have a template that I just plug images into. I want a script that will let me do something like the following.

add an image, title, and description and have it appear on the first page of the gallery. To do this it needs to regenerate the old content with updated names so that what is now page1 becomes page2, page2 becomes page3, etc. It needs to use my stylesheet and only the html I give it.

I know I could use MT to do this, but my artist friend may want to sell her work online, if not through an online store than by indicating whether a painting is available and providing contact information. At that point the site is commercial. MT is great, and I'd gladly pay the licensing fee if I were planning on using all its features, but it seems like overkill for what I want to do. Any suggestions?
posted by Grod to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
i did something like this for a freind once. face it: you're going to be developing the site forever.
posted by quonsar at 2:23 PM on January 24, 2004

Have you looked at Gallery? It is donationware and where I steered my friend needing a similar solution.
posted by birdherder at 2:39 PM on January 24, 2004

Response by poster: I looked at Gallery, did a test installation and found that I would have to spend some serious time crippling it, its really designed for communities. In addition, it generates really ugly code out of the box, tables everywhere, and I don't have the time to explore the thing fully and figure out what if anything I can do to bring it around to my way of thinking. I was really hoping that a simple perl or php based solution existed for this problem. I'd write it myself if I knew how, and at the rate things are going learning how may be my next project, but I hope not.
posted by Grod at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2004

i use emAlbumPro. here's a demo of it.
posted by t r a c y at 4:06 PM on January 24, 2004

sorry, i forgot to include the password so you can see how the admin section functions: demo
posted by t r a c y at 4:12 PM on January 24, 2004

Response by poster: that looks interesting, what kind of code does it generate out of the box? I have a very set idea of how the galleries are going to look, how hard is it to customize?
posted by Grod at 4:26 PM on January 24, 2004

Response by poster: hmm, had a look at the template system, looks fairly straight foward... how about custom tags, can I create my own variables? I'll give it a test run tonight, thanks for pointing me to it. Just in case, though, any other suggestions?
This is still more of a complete package, I think what I'm in the market for is something even more basic, a single script that defines the variables Image, Title, Media, Dimensions, Availablitly, and just shuffles old content further back in the hierarchy of links.
Page1 12 new images
Page2 12 not so new images
It appears that both Gallery and emAlbum make this possible, but I don't want any functionality beyond that.
emAlbum appears closer to what I'm looking for, so I'm going to go play around with it. Thanks again.
posted by Grod at 4:35 PM on January 24, 2004

i'm working on exactly the same thing. i've a set of templates and a "database" which is a bunch of text files/directories on disk. to add another image i add the image to the images directory, the image name to a file that lists images, and additional information in files in a new directory in the "database". you then run a program that generates the html pages from the templates and the information in the files. it adds in all the links, and there's an extra page with a description of how to buy etc. also, the site is in two languages, so there are two sets of directories (one for each language).

none of this is "dynamic" in that it generates ordinary, static html pages, which you then copy to your server.

sorry for going on, but i thought this exactly matched what you wanted. if you're interested, send me an email. i could put what i have on my site so that you can check it out. the code itself will be released under the gpl.

the bad news - unfortunately, you're a little bit early - i was intending to release in a few weeks (when i have my summer holiday and enough free time to tidy things up). another possible gotcha (for me it's a plus) is that the templates are very limited (you can insert text from the database and loop over entries, but that's about it). to extend the system with "custom tags" you need to write fuctions in haskell (the language the system is written in - you'll need to install it (free, available for windows, linux and os x, i believe)).

(the system is general, but i'm develping a gallery site with it at the same time).

anyway, bottom line - if you want a copy of the code (which includes some documentation and my incomplete example site), i can give it to you. BUT, while i'd appreciate bug reports, i don't have the time to support you if you don't understand/get confused. it's very beta...
posted by andrew cooke at 5:18 PM on January 24, 2004

Response by poster: e-mail sent. Thanks
posted by Grod at 6:10 PM on January 24, 2004

Photostack is a minimalist solution for what you're describing, and generates valid (if slightly bloated) XHTML Strict out of the box.
posted by Aaorn at 6:10 PM on January 24, 2004

album is another minimalist solution.
posted by Tripps at 5:08 AM on January 25, 2004

awesome. photostack looks great - i've been looking for the perfect gallery solution for sometime. thanks aaorn.

anyone aware of a forum where such things are discussed?

im looking for an excellent php storefront - and would be happy to pay for well built valid - easy to modify solution.
posted by specialk420 at 1:48 PM on January 25, 2004

I can definitely second the pointer to Photostack. I'm not exactly a PHP whizz and had a few problems installing it, and the developer was incredibly helpful, going way beyond the call of duty to assist me in getting it up and running.
posted by jack_mo at 7:36 AM on January 26, 2004

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