Archive for May, 2011

Images and RapidAlbum 2

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

I’ll be posting a few notes over the next month or two about upcoming changes. I don’t really want to post too much on this as things are still in flux but I thought it’d be worth pointing out the areas that I’m rewriting completely and know will change.

A problem area for the current RapidAlbum code is image handling. Right now, when RapidAlbum generates scaled images (such as thumbnails and smaller main images), it generates them to a cache directory in the user library. This sounded like a good idea at the time but it’s led to some subtle and awkward bugs.

The image handling for RapidAlbum 2 is going to work like this –

  • Thumbnails and sized images will be stored in the RapidWeaver document sandwich. I’m going to offer the ability to store the original image in the document sandwich too so that folks who don’t want to keep the original after they publish will have a backup. The current behavior, whilst very useful for a lot of folks, has caught a few users out. You’ll be able to change whether a local copy is kept or not as an album setting.

  • Original files will be tracked better on disk. Right now, when you move original images around, RapidAlbum gets confused. I’ll be tracking image paths a lot better in the new code.

  • Local copies of scaled images offers the potential ability to allow image warehousing. This is something I’m definitely working on. Whether it makes the first 2.0 release or not depends on how easy it is to add network browsing but these changes open up this possibility.

  • Images will be scaled at import and when the parameters change. Right now, they’re scaled on publish/export which causes all sorts of problems during generation (as I need some of the thumbnail and scaled image info before building the actual HTML for the pages).

All of these changes should make RapidAlbum a lot more reliable and robust for image management.



RapidAlbum 1.1

Thursday, May 19th, 2011

I’ve just released RapidAlbum 1.1 for download! Before everyone gets too excited, this release really is a bugfix and tweak release. The real changes will come in RapidAlbum 2.X, which I’m actively working on. That release will have some major changes (especially to template compatibility, image generation and the UI).

However, I needed to update the development environment for RapidAlbum so that it would work with the RealMac AddOns site, bring it up to date with both the newer RapidWeaver SDK interface and Apple developer tools. I also had a load of outstanding bug reports and simple tweaks that folks had asked for.

And, let’s face it, it doesn’t hurt for me to release some code to prove that I’m actually working on this!

As always for plugin updates, backup your RapidWeaver documents and don’t update in the middle of a big site design. This is a minor update and I’ve tested it a fair bit on RapidWeaver 4 + 5 but weird stuff can still happen. Caveat Emptor.

So, what’s new? Well, you can see the list on the Release Notes page.

There are two new templates in the “extra” template folder in the disk image. I’ve added a very basic template based on Galleria, which is quite nice. And I’ve also added a Slimbox2 template, which gives the same look as Slimbox but is based on JQuery.

Note that both of these templates will work with RapidAlbum 1.0.3 as well, if you don’t want to risk changing your RapidAlbum plugin at the moment.

As always, drop me a note if you have problems, questions or just want to say “hi”. You can use the new support interface to get hold of me.



p.s. I just realized I left Galleria out of the build. Doh! You can download a copy here for the moment…

Updated Website

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I’ve just updated to a new look. The basics are pretty much the same but there’s now email support from Tender and a great deal of rejigging. This should make it easier for me to post updates and manage RapidAlbum (and other projects). If you have any problems or find broken links, please let me know.

I expect to release RapidAlbum 1.1 later this week. It’s not a massive change from 1.0.3 but it’s changed a fair bit under the covers in order to make it easier for me to continue working on the next major release.