08 December 2008

No longer a Pro or Searching for a Gallery

For a few months I enjoyed a "Pro" flickr account from a donation (thanks Gianluca), it was useful to host some photos from FUDCon, a time when I got accustomed with the website and started to use it more and more. But like any good thing in life, it ended recently. The price is affordable, so I could renew it, but with the recent news I don't even thing about that: there is no way in hell I will give money to a company that wants to sell to Microsoft or to a company which is a target for acquisition by Microsoft. That just won't happen.

So here I am, looking for a gallery software to run on my own domain, on my own website (with supposedly "unlimited" storage and "unlimited" bandwidth), unhappy with everything I tried so far, from Gallery2 which I find to complex to Zenphoto which I find to basic, asking for input and advice.

I won't move my photos to my Picasaweb account, I find its interface terrible and the limitation of an unpaid account are even more restrictive and I won't go to any obscure flickr clone, I have waiting for upload thousands of photos.

Analyzing myself, I think I understand my rejection for any gallery I saw: it looks like everything is "album" based, as opposed to flickr's "photostream" approach, where you have a river of photos with the ability to include it in as many sets as you like them and have the navigation based on sets and tags. And I like on flickr the ability to license the images as you like (for now I have everything as CC-BY-SA, but I see me making some stuff proprietary and some PD, depending on the content and its use).

So this is what I want: a clean interface, RSS feeds for everything, licensing, comments and a photostream approach. Ideas?


  1. Hey Nicu,

    May I suggest smugmug.com? I have an account that I pay $30/year for and think you may enjoy it.

    The features there are endless, and they have a pretty nice reprint rate (in the US anyway). Lot's of galleries, many ways to add pics, etc.



  2. This weekend I coincidentally came across something that was self-hosted and looked fairly similar to Flickr. I didn't try it though, so I don't know whether it's any good. It's called Atomique: http://www.atomique.org/

  3. Smugmug used to run CentOS and is running OpenSolaris now. A bit different from Flickr but seems tolerable.

    I'm moving if the deal ever goes through.

    Flickr is nice and easy to use but I like the "display on black" features.

    I don't like the way Smugmug does groups (like putting a set/album in a group can result in the template of your set/album changing and allowing someone to put ads on your pages... this is bad!)

    Smugmug also has a migration plugin for Flickr that seemed to work pretty good when I was just trying things out last year.

  4. Nicu, if you find the answer, let me know because I want the same exact thing :(

  5. The advantage of using Gallery2 over something more exotic is that it can be synced to by desktop software. For example, in digiKam, I have the following options for web galleries: Flickr, Picasaweb, Gallery (both 1 and 2 are supported) or static HTML. I haven't tried F-Spot, but it claims to support Flickr, 23, Picasaweb, SmugMug (central services), Gallery, O.r.i.g.i.n.a.l. (software you can self-host) and static HTML.

  6. I think it's possible to make something like that with Drupal, but it's probably going to take some time and work.

  7. Started to look at the various suggestion, the first was SmugSmug. The verdict about 10 minutes of looking at it? I don't like it:
    - no ability to add Creative Commons license to images (not good to type manually in the description field);
    - the code to embed the images in other websites is provided as Flash (and impossible to read on my FF+Fedora);
    - the uploader is awkward: from the Windows category select a Java applet;
    - old style, based on albums/galleries not photostream;
    - I also do not like they don't have "free" accounts for light users, only a 14 days trial (that is what I used).

  8. I have some experience with Gallery2, I am not happy with it but it is is the only choice remaining, my preferred upload way would be to copy with scp on the server and then batch-import into gallery.

  9. Atomique is scary, the install instructions say "Atomique is still in its very early stages. It is advised to be cautious and not use the software in a working environment" and the front page "I didn’t really find the time so far to continue my work on Atomique and I probably won’t be able to in the near future"

  10. i think if you have drupal plus its image* modules installed, you can have flickr like galleries... and the use of tags/taxonomy will allow tag/keyword-based "album". and since every image is a node, you will get RSS published too.