Nested albums with Slide.Show

Dec 21, 2007 at 10:02 PM
Is there an easy way or a built-in XML support for creating nested albums with Slide.Show? Or am I missing a very simple point here in configuring a hierarchical view for my albums. Let's say I'd post some vacation photos from various years and I would like to have the years as the parent folders / albums and each year would contain its own sub-albums with the featured photos. I haven't seen anything like that sampled with Slide.Show, but I assume many of us sometimes just want to have things more tidily organized.
Coordinator
Dec 22, 2007 at 12:28 AM
Edited Dec 22, 2007 at 1:22 AM

julianbalog wrote:
Is there an easy way or a built-in XML support for creating nested albums with Slide.Show?

Currently, Slide.Show only supports the following data structure/format (abbreviated for clarity):

<data>
	<album>
		<slide />
		<slide />
		...
	</album>
	<album>
		<slide />
		<slide />
		...
	</album>
	...
</data>
I'm not sure how we would represent nested albums in the Slide.Show UI (i.e. what would the album view look like?) Do you have any suggestions? If it's a good one, we can definitely add a new feature request in our Issue Tracker list.

My somewhat dumb suggestion is to instead have a different slideshow for each year, and each year/slideshow contains its own set of albums.
Dec 22, 2007 at 8:27 PM

billyzkid wrote:
Do you have any suggestions? If it's a good one, we can definitely add a new feature request in our Issue Tracker list.



I would probably introduce the concept of albumFolder : a container structure for multiple albums and /or other albumFolder nodes. Tipically, an <albumFolder> XML node would look like:

<albumFolder title=”” description=”” thumbnail=””>
	<albumFolder  />
	<albumFolder />
	…
	<album  />
	<album  />
</albumFolder>

At the data hierarchy level (in the Data.xml file) we would have:

<data>
	<album  />
	<album  />
	…
	<albumFolder>
		<album>
			<slide />
			<slide />
			…
		</album>
		<album />
		<album />
		...
	</albumFolder>
	<albumFolder />
	<albumFolder />
	…
</data>

This way we preserve backward compatibility with existing Slide.Show implementations where we obviously don’t have album folders. The general <data> structure may or may not contain album folders and if only <album> nodes are contained, then we have the current / default “flat” album browser feature.

From the user interface perspective the “Album Folder View” should behave exactly the same way as today the regular album browser view does in Slide.Show: selecting an albumFolder object would show the contained album and albumFolder objects: the actual view doesn’t have to change at all. When eventually the user selects an album object, then the slide show view is loaded.

To be able to navigate through different levels of “album folder views” (within the album folder tree), the exising web album browser view (and consequently the album folder browser view) should have the “album browser” button added (as is in the slide show view, today), which will always take the user back one level on the album folder tree. Adding a “breadcrumb” type of control in the album / folder browser view, would help the user tracking his/her current position in the album folder tree and navigate to any node without iterating one level back at a time.
Dec 30, 2007 at 3:32 AM
Edited Dec 30, 2007 at 3:34 AM
This would definitely be a feature I would like to have. As for the UI, I would like to suggest a tree control type navigation. The only other gallery software that I have seen with this is DAlbum. Take a look a their demos. Hope this helps. : )

Tree Navigation Demo
http://www.dalbum.org/sample/index.php?folder=/

More Demos:
http://www.dalbum.org/index.php?go=Demos
Dec 30, 2007 at 7:20 AM


Sorcerysoft wrote:
The only other gallery software that I have seen with this is DAlbum. Take a look a their demos. Hope this helps. : )


I'm currently using JAlbum which is free and has some very nice features (including the one we're discussing here), but I would have gladly switched to the Silverlight-based Slide.Show if it hadn't had the non-hierarchical, flat browsing limitation for albums. There's some value that I personally see in adding the hierarchical / nested album browsing capability to Slide.Show and it comes from my perspective of a current JAlbum user. JAlbum currently has a large community of users (over 3 million). Migrating JAlbum projects to Slide.Show would be very easy given the file-system based navigation of albums and slides and the simplicity of the meta-files describing the albums / slide show.

I'm sure there are others like me, who may consider taking this step, seeing in Silverlight and AJAX the next big thing. I can only hope that others may support this thought and together build this feature into one of the next releases of Slide.Show.
Coordinator
Jan 4, 2008 at 7:56 PM
Thinking about this more, I do think this is a good idea and something Slide.Show should consider supporting. My reasoning is that this would be helpful when a tool eventually exists to automatically create the data file from a complex folder hierarchy. It's not so much that it buys you a better user experience (I actually think it complicates the UI a bit unnecessarily).

Were you guys thinking the same thing?
Developer
Jan 4, 2008 at 8:52 PM
Sub-albums would be a nice feature, but I too worry about complicating the UI. The best thing I can think of is to modify how the Album page works.

When the user clicks an album, instead of automatially starting the slide show for that album, the "Album" UI would instead list all the elements in the Album - Photos and possibly other sub-Albums. There would then need to be some kind of "Start Slide Show" button that initiated the slide show for the current album.
Apr 27, 2008 at 4:37 AM
I'm also looking for this functionality :)