Galleries - why make them a separate product to the forums?

Discussion in 'Forum Software' started by Dubbed Navigator, Aug 28, 2019.

  1. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Adherent

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    This has long been a bug bear of mine, experiences relating to Xenforo, Invision community and quite some time ago VB.

    I do not understand why developers of the various softwares make "addons" that can't directly integrate into the core forums.

    The media galley in particular. I have seen arguments from the teams that they cannot see how or why it would work hand in hand with the forums. Baffles me to be honest.

    I run a community that is heavily based off photos. This works by submitting a thread, adding context and then the pictures inline either from third party hosting or directly attaching to the forum.
    It has been this way for 10+ years. Before the big social media channels were really that big, and when forums were in much higher demand. What am I getting at? yes the old dog / new tricks thing - but also the newer hounds, different tricks. I'm very much tarring the younger generation with the same brush by saying if its not really simple, and almost identical to what they are used to already, they wont be arsed - but that is my thought process.
    We cannot expect different generations to change habits. The software needs to be able to evolve.

    So my frustration really isn't that there isn't a solution out there for photos to be uploaded quickly and easily into a gallery - its there, but you have to navigate to a different app on the website, create an album and essentially dump it there to watch it stagnate because it doesn't work in the same way the forums do.

    Why can't it literally be as simple as below?

    1.
    Create new thread - add title

    2
    Tick box with "create new album" name in either of the places I have badly highlighted. (in case they are hosted elsewhere, or the OP doesnt want to)

    upload_2019-8-28_17-25-34.png

    Once the thread is created, an album is created in the media gallery with the name and pictures.

    I'm no coder, but it doesn't sound horrendously difficult. In fact I saw a developer coming up with a very similar addon which was taken down quite quickly as it didnt conform to XF standards. Dang!

    I cant implement the current solutions because the core or my user base simply wont use it like that. It's a complete waste of money to me as it is, which is a crying shame as it would be a huge compliment to the forum.

    Its all well and good marketing the forums as a great alternative to social media, but things like this just help at all in my eyes.

    Does anyone else share this frustration? The simple answer would be for me to hire a developer, but this would be outside of my budget, and too much risk for my liking.

    I have seen various threads out there with very similar frustrations, and its either dismissed or simply not picked up any more.
     
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  2. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    I share your frustration. My forum also features a lot of photos. Most of the time, members will post with a link to a gallery they've created elsewhere. It works, but can be frustrating for others because of the widely different navigation used by those sites. It would be much better if they could create a gallery and insert it into the post, much like Wordpress.
     
  3. zappaDPJ

    zappaDPJ Administrator

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    Very much so. The majority of forum software is so lacking in this area you can't even bring up a list member's uploaded images. vBulletin 4 took a stab at it by creating an asset manager overlay which allowed you to view your uploaded images and place them in a gallery of sorts. Unfortunately that area of the software was never fully developed and it was so hidden away I'm probably the only user that knows it exists :D

    But seriously there is no reason at all why image content shouldn't be given the same level of development as text. The Internet has come alone way since bulletin boards.
     
  4. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    I really think this is a no brainer. People have been asking for something like this for decades. There should not be a disconnect between the forum, attachments and gallery. It should be tightly integrated instead of bolted on.
     
  5. LeadCrow

    LeadCrow Apocalypse Admin

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    Galleries and download system can benefit from being independant from your forum as selfcontained subsites. Their management and populating needs experience and rigor in nicher areas, and dedicaced staff helps keep your normal site and forum staff from spreading themselves thin.
     
  6. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Adherent

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    I dont disagree, each forum to their own, but the way I described above would easily give the webmaster the choice of how to implement it.
     
  7. sbjsbj

    sbjsbj Adherent

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    I am with you 100% on that. All 3 XF addons are lightyears behind the current technologies in my eyes. Coasting since 2013. Thankfully I don't need MG, and I pity all ppl who do.
     
  8. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Adherent

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    The galleries in invision community are treated in a similar way, not an integrated product.
     
  9. vbgamer45

    vbgamer45 Adherent

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    I strongly agree it has to be tied directly into the forum system, very large sites have their own custom setup and that really is what makes them stand out. When addons like the gallery are in their own section they tend not to get used as much. I am speaking as a person who has built gallery,classifieds,downloads system for SMF. I later did more direct integration with the classifieds system where it merges/takes over a board forum and just overrides the features. I would like to do something similar for the gallery one day.
     
  10. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    XF Media Gallery does an asset manager function in posts. Click the Media button, it pulls up all your MG items at the bottom of the post where you can select what you want to insert into the post.
     
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  11. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    I am playing with the idea of it via per-forum templates in Gosora, but I have slight scepticism about whether people will actually use it. A media manager is a great idea however.
     
  12. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Adherent

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    I didn't know this, but it still seems a bit backwards. You shouldn't need to put the media into the gallery to use it in the post.
     
  13. mysiteguy

    mysiteguy Devotee

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    I agree, it is backwards, but it is better than nothing at all.
     
  14. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Administrator

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    I'm not so sure if that's a big improvement. Not many users use it. Quite sporadic actually.
     
  15. paul_from_minibb

    paul_from_minibb Neophyte

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    I'm not sure how do you see it in practice? You start the topic, put in the title and tick the box - but from where do you actually upload images? Gallery could be about a lot of images, let's say - how do you see in practice that you upload 100+ images and create a topic at once? Even uploading process through web means a complicated thing, how do you see it to implement all-in-once?

    I suppose, Gallery could be an add-on with its own set of scripts and uploading mechanisms to make the management of the Gallery itself pretty easy... but then you have to paste kind of BB-code to your message, f.e. [gallery=1509] where '1509' stands for your gallery's unique ID, and then this code could be transformed to something... JavaScript output, or example. But this also would display kind of part of your gallery, linking it with the full gallery page - 'cause it would be tough to display 100+ images just in one forum post.
     
  16. Dubbed Navigator

    Dubbed Navigator Adherent

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    Good question.

    I wont pretend to know even remotely the technical aspect behind it, however in practice I wouldn't expect people to be posting 100+ images in a thread. My forum doesn't tend to get more than 30 to a thread. Thats aside from the PHP upload time.

    Going further than that, I dont know anyone that would have the patience to upload that many images.

    I would expect in practice, once the tickbox is activated you would upload images to attachments in the posts as you already do, just in this instance it would create an album in the gallery rather than it just going in the attachements folder. Something I did forget is the need to specify an album name, which I would envisage coming directly under the tick box.
     
  17. MagicalAzareal

    MagicalAzareal Magical Developer

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    Easy. Drag a folder and drop it on the thread.
     
  18. paul_from_minibb

    paul_from_minibb Neophyte

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    This would lose the sense of a "Gallery" in its meaning. In my vision, Gallery is about large amounts of pictures. If you'd like to attach the small amount of pictures to the thread, then the thread itself could be a mini-gallery. Give thread a title, describe it a bit in the message text, attach pictures, and share the thread's link with the others - why not? You already have a way for it... Also remember, that running this thing on a PHP-based hosting depends on PHP upload settings and simultaneous uploads limitations. Many hosters set the maximum amount of simultaneously uploaded files to 20. If you upload more, you could lose them, if not all in a thread.

    But the Gallery is more complicated, more structured thing. When I was thinking of how to implement it better for myself, if I'd like to upload let's say 300 pictures and share them with others, then there's no other simple way than uploading a .zip file via FTP (or at least the upload tool which allows to indicate the process and supports resuming on uploads - could be a tough to implement something like this through web interface, but still possible I suppose). Then if we have such big .zip file uploaded, it should be extracted some way, then thumbnails for images created. Lots of things to do before it goes public.

    And what if there are 1000+ pictures present all in one folder? :) What would happen next?
     
  19. Nev_Dull

    Nev_Dull Anachronism

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    I don't think it matters what it's called; gallery or album or spread. Clearly, there is a need for something that will allow members to quickly add multiple images to a thread, along with easy ways to organize, manipulate, and add text for each of them.

    My forum concerns building things. Typically, a thread will have introductory text, followed by 5 to 10 images (sometimes more) with text, showing the build steps. Having that "create new album" button the OP mentioned, which opens a window where members can drag and drop images, set an order, rotate images, and add text to each, would be a huge benefit.
     
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