Posted by: Mark

A favorites album, and using slide comments to point to other albums

A large JAlbum with hundreds or thousands of image can overwhelm a visitor. Often, only parts of it are of interest to a specific set of viewers, ie Family or Friends sub-albums. One’s artistic images may well be missed by the casual browser!

In a prominent place (say, at the top, so it’s seen first), place a “Favourites“, “Best Of” or “My Selection” album …. a group of say 40-50 images that give a flavour of the site, something to whet the appetite and entice a visitor to explore further. To facilitate this, a slide comment link can be used to take the user directly to the folder where the image in question resides.

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Adding custom header and footer to Chameleon galleries

Chameleon will include a header and footer if they are in the GUI (Settings > Header/Footer) or as plain text files named header.inc and footer.inc, respectively, located in an Image Source Folder or the Skin Folder (JAlbum/skins/Chameleon). The header is placed below the control bar and the footer at the bottom of the page. They give further control over formatting, are independent of the rest of the page contents, and can be used in addition to the Custom Link entries on the Chameleon > Album information tab.

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Using console mode with Chameleon

JAlbum can be controlled from the command line (known as Console Mode), and generally accepts the same parameters that you are able to set through the graphical user interface (GUI).

There is a lot of Console Mode information readily available on the JAlbum website (see http://jalbum.net/consolemode.jsp , which gives the list of allowed parameters and their defaults) and JAlbum Forum (for examples, see Automatically process sub-Projects and Making a multi-skin album in one pass). Note that the command line and GUI do not exactly mirror each other, and that there are some oddities to be aware of (ie the “Ignore Pattern” is one). User-defined variables are passed as -user.yourVariable “Value”, while skin-defined variables have a -skin prefix.

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Using “Ignore Pattern”

The Ignore Pattern on the Settings/Advanced tab is a useful and often overlooked JAlbum feature. For example, where one simply wants to exclude a folder (or a number of similarly named folders), just enter the relevant name into the JAlbum>Advanced/Ignore Pattern. It is case insensitive and accepts spaces.

It may seem to do the same job as the main GUI right-click/Exclude function to exclude album files and/or folders, but its true value comes when there is any recognizable pattern that holds for all possible file/folder names to be excluded. This obviously hints that suitable naming of folders, for instance, can significantly help in future album building. Also, the Ignore Pattern can be programmed via the Console Mode (see Using Console Mode With Chameleon & Hidden or Private Folders , for example).

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Building panoramic galleries with Chameleon skin

Panoramics are often up to 10:1 aspect ratio, and given that most people view these on landscape orientated computer monitors, the first restriction is image height. Generally, a user doesn’t mind scrolling in one direction, so panoramics that are as high as the monitor but extremely wide can be viewed relatively easily. This therefore dictates a 1-column layout for both the Thumbnail and Images, and a careful choice of image bounds .

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