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A couple of suggestions for the Gallery

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4 years 4 months ago #45918 by hkingman
hkingman created the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
Hello, from one of your first 300 IP customers! My client is still using IP, and I'm getting ready to launch their (I believe) 4th or 5th version of the site. Cool!

It's been great to watch this product get better and better over the years! It was good to begin with, as long as you didn't mind doing some hacking, but now it's SO much better. Very few hacks are needed, now, and most can just be done via CSS.

One area of remaining frustration, though, is the image gallery. Since photos are so crucial for selling real estate, this area deserves some TLC!

Areas for improvement (IMHO) include:
-- Check EXIF data for vertical shots
-- For your verticals, composite onto a blank background (let user choose, white or black) the same size as your horizontals. Otherwise, the text jumps all over the page as autoplaying slideshows redraw the page.
-- Make some obvious way to configure the size of ip-map-left and ip-map-right components
-- Eliminate the option NOT to "Constrain Proportions". Agents all have their cameras set up differently, and no one wants mangled images.
-- In place of "constrain" option, add the ability to auto-crop images to specific dimensions. That would be useful.
-- Add an actual image editor -- not just for title and caption, but one that allows rotation, cropping, brightness/contrast, etc.

My two cents. Thank you guys (Vinnie and Tim still, presumably?) for the great software!

-Henry


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4 years 4 months ago #45923 by tim
tim replied the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
Thanks Henry!

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4 years 4 months ago #45934 by hkingman
hkingman replied the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
One more thought/request...

Right now, there are 7 gallery options, and frankly, none works across all device types and screen sizes 0_o. How about some per-device options, i.e.:

desktop: lightbox!
mobile & tablets: flex, but please change animation:fade to animation:slide for more intuitive operation, and disable the lower-left banners

Cheers

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4 years 3 months ago #46390 by elduderino
elduderino replied the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
I second most of suggestion regarding images.
Always remember that either developers' clients and/or real estate agent who are doing their website themselves; are usually, what one call, "computer challenged" to say the least.

So when you start explaining about images (orientation, ratio ...); the answer you get? why can't the system does it automatically. Especially that they are so use to simple app like facebook ... where adding images is a breeze.
Of course, their many argument to that. But the point is that clients are like most people. It needs to be simple and fast.

On the other hand, regarding the "lightbox" script used. I would simple leave them available or remove the ones that are too "old" for modern website. But i would add baguetteBox ( github.com/feimosi/baguetteBox.js ) which is super light (6kb), fast, touch friendly and has no dependencies at all. Therefore no risk of conflict with other plugin installed on a site.

Cheers

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4 years 3 months ago - 4 years 3 months ago #46426 by hkingman
hkingman replied the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
Yup. I've come to see the basic problem as classic "too much is not enough." There are multiple galleries to evaluate, only to find that none really integrates well.

I suspect that in this day and age, most people building new sites need mobile phone image swiping to be a priority. So right there, from among the options currently available, you are looking at EMBEDDING the gallery on the page. Doing so comes with a huge cost, though -- unless the images are all the same size, the contents of the page below the slideshow window jump all over the place, especially annoying during slideshow autoplay.

If the photos are to be the same size, the software should composite them onto a background of that size. The background should be the same shade as the site background. The result is like watching TV: some content has bars on the sides, some along the top and bottom, but all content fits in the same box -- the tv screen.

This is pretty simple to do with image magick, so if you have some legacy content you can do for instance something like this in your media/com_iproperty/pictures folder:

for j in $(ls | grep -v thumb); do composite $j -resize 1150x863 -gravity center bg.png $j; done

here, bg.png is your background tile that measures 1150x863.

Of course, once you do something like this, the die is cast, and you can not easily remove the background if you change your site design down the road. It'd be better if a slideshow were out there that was smart enough to do the compositing for you. I haven't seen it yet, though, at least not in the options available in IP. So, an option to save the uploaded original would be appropriate insurance.

But even with a slideshow that smart, a change would still be needed in IP: it would still need an option to resize not to a given width or height (the height option in IP does not appear to work, actually)... rather, it would need to constrain by whichever axis results in an uncropped image, while still maximizing the length of the other axis. For good reason, this is the default behavior of image magick's "convert -resize" command in its simplest form:

convert original.jpg -resize 1150x863 target.jpg

I took a look at gallery.php, and php.net, and I believe that imagecopyresampled is capable of compositing. If not, there is a php module version of image magick.

In gallery.php, it seems that you could just divide the width of your image by the height, compare that to your slideshow aspect ratio, and then either scale by width or scale by height. E.g., if your target size is 1150x863, your aspect ratio is the classic Golden Ratio of 3:2 (1.5), so:

$haveratio = $srcWidth/$srcHeight;
if ($haveratio < 1.5){ // sidebars
$destHeight = $height;
$destWidth = round($width * $haveratio);
} else { // top/bottom bars
$destWidth = $width;
$destHeight = round($width / $haveratio);
}

Sadly, that is as far as I got before getting shunted onto something more pressing. And anyway, I hate porting hacks like this forward with each upgrade. So, here's hoping someone on the IP crew is listening :-)

In the meanwhile, my realtor client is dutifully doing the compositing manually, in photoshop, before uploading. What a chore!

Cheers, and thanks again for the best real estate software out there...

-Henry
Last Edit: 4 years 3 months ago by hkingman. Reason: Wanted to add option to save original upload files.

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4 years 3 months ago #46430 by tim
tim replied the topic: A couple of suggestions for the Gallery
As usual, good feedback Henry, but one issue is that imagemagick isn't installed by default in many common hosting plans. So you need to work with GD.

That being said, I understand your point about the resizing, but the problem is we need to not only deal with "pros" but with the people who are end users-- and you would be amazed at the variety of sizes, quality, and orientation of images that your average real estate agent might attempt to upload. So we try to please *most* people by keeping the width consistent, since if you use different widths it tends to mess up a layout a lot worse than having various heights.

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