Adding and updating translations in jAlbum

Making localized version of a skin is pretty easy in jAlbum. First make sure you are using the language: Tools -> Preferences -> Language and if using the latest skin version (http://jalbum.net/skins/).

jAlbum has its own translation tool since version 8.11. Just fire up Tools -> Translator -> Translate selected skin if no translation exists yet, or Update translation otherwise.
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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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Comments with links to hidden folders

Chameleon’s “Enhanced Picture” is a wonderful feature that allows for a more pleasing album look. It allows one picture to be displayed in large size for each folder, and is well documented in the Help.

The recent addition of a comment with the Enhanced Picture enables more artistic freedom; this tutorial presents a few interesting uses related to “hidden folders“. See the tutorial Hidden or Private Folders. The Enhanced Picture comment can be used as an effective “Folder Link” to part of an album that is (but does not have to be) excluded or hidden.

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Creating complex albums, combining existing albums into one master album

Maintaining large albums and combining existing ones into one can be a bit more complicated. If you have a large number of albums already added to the site you might not want to rebuild the whole album again each time you add new albums. In this case you can handle the sub-albums individually and finally make a master album of all. This technique has some drawbacks though:

  • When creating the master album JAlbum does not process the sub-albums, thus cannot compute the number of images inside them. You will see: Trip to London (0 images).
  • You will have duplicate ‘guestbook’ folders in each subalbum — need to be managed individually.

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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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Creating multi-language albums in Chameleon

Creating multi-lingual albums is pretty straightforward with Chameleon. Make sure you have Chameleon v4.10 at least (Settings / Chameleon / About).

1. Setup the album the usual way

2. Add comments

Add the comments (or descriptions of folders) and titles this way:

Default text - [en]English text[de]Deutsch text[it]Italian text

will result:

Default text - English text // on english page
Default text - Deutsch text // on deutsch page
Default text - Italian text // on italian page

or without using default:

[en]English text[de]Deutsch text[it]Italian text 

will result:

English text // on english page
Deutsch text // on deutsch page
Italian text // on italian page

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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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