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marklevine

Reviews(4)
 
bymarklevine, February 25, 2009
MetaMod
I must jump on the 5-star bandwagon for this gem. I've used three techniques to display different content to different member levels. First I played with 3rd party ACL components but that made upgrading much more complicated. Second, I used Jumi, another Joomla gem. This required creating more PHP to be maintained. Now I've switched to metamod with a mod_custom for each member level. This is simple to maintain and works perfectly. Great solution and highly recommended.
bymarklevine, December 19, 2008
Phoca Gallery
Phocagallery is a nice component and I've finally selected it for my galleries, though it has some limits which could determine whether this is the right tool for you.

On the positive side, it creates slideshows with beautiful effects. It supports access control. You can specify a group (Public, Registered, Special) for each gallery. This is a key feature, although I'd prefer to see additional support for per-image access control. There is good support for large images, which when downloaded, display in a separate scrollable window.

On the negative side, I have given up trying to use the built-in tools to create thumbnails. Not being a graphics programmer, I don't know what is wrong but the graphic buffers are simply not big enough to create thumbnails. It is rather easy to create all thumbnails by hand but it takes time. This is Phocagallery V2 Beta 2's biggest problem. I hope it gets fixed...

There are quirky design issues as well. 1) The icon to download an image is displayed in the gallery view, not in the detail view. That means that, while viewing a slideshow and coming across an image you'd like to download, you must exit the show and find the thumbnail of the image - not always easy to do. 2) Many settings are made for the entire component and cannot be overridden for a single gallery. For example, I believe that control for downloads (whether or not to allow them) is made at the component level rather than the gallery level). I would rather disallow this on certain galleries...) 3) A slideshow displays the current page of images from the gallery not the entire gallery. If you have a gallery with 25 images and the visitor is displaying 20 per page, then the visitor must view the show, end the show, change the page, start the next show, etc, to see all images.

I've also found some quirks in the display of public galleries containing private galleries and such. These were not difficult to work around and it is very excellent of this free component to have such problems because most of the gallery tools do not support private galleries.

I recommend this component, though must spend time with each gallery I create to work around the design and implementation restrictions. But the price is right, isn't it?
Owner's reply

Hi, thank your for this info.

- Thumbnails Creation - Thumbnails are created by GD library which is a part of server so it depends on server settings how sucessfull the creation of thumbnails will be... on most servers there is GD 2 so it should not be a problem.

- Slideshow - it depends on you which images will be shown by slideshow. If you use the: standard popup window, modal box, highslide then all images are included in slideshow ... if you use modal box (image only), shadowbox, highslide (image only) then only images which are displayed on the site as thumbnails will be displayed (because these javascript methods work this way)
see: http://www.phoca.cz/documentation/category/2-phoca-gallery-component

If you don't want to waste your time with design the gallery just use some Phoca Gallery Theme (it is very easy to create own too - you only change the images and icons):
http://www.phoca.cz/themes

Thank you for ideas about new features, the problem is that I have prepared many new features but cannot find time for implement them, because I am not able to do all the things by myself (I do them in my freetime :-( next to my work ): developing, bug fixing, writing documentation, answering all the post in emails, answering all the post in forums, all languages coordination, ... so every help for this project will be appreciated:
Answering post in forum:
http://www.phoca.cz/forum/
Creating language packages:
http://www.phoca.cz/download/category/1-phoca-gallery-component
Creating themes:
http://www.phoca.cz/themes
Creating new modules, plugins, ... and documentation:
http://www.phoca.cz/documentation

Every help will be very appreciated, thank you, Jan

bymarklevine, December 11, 2008
Ignite Gallery
I've been looking to replace Gallery2+Bridge to use a native gallery manager. I bought Ignite after reading reviews and becoming very frustrated with alternatives. What Ignite does, it does well. It seems very stable and promises to have a great future.

What it does is: display images with a JS navigator beneath. It doesn't really do anything else but if this meets your needs then I highly recommend this extension.

Here are some things it doesn't do: it is fairly difficult to manage large images. I've given up and now use it to display albums of small images. You must edit titles one by one. Yuck if you have lots of images. Also, you must re-order with Joomla's administrator back-end. There is no JS drag-and-drop re-ordering here, so you really have to work hard to upload images in approximately the order you want them to appear in your album. Most important for me, there is no support for ACL. If you allow public access to your menu page, then all albums and all photos are available for public display. I have asked and there is no plan to support ACL at all, let alone on a per-image basis.

At this moment, I plan to keep Ignite and install a 2nd album manager to handle albums with large images for members only. I wish that Ignite solved the full problem but not yet.
bymarklevine, April 20, 2008
GCalendar
This native 1.5 calendar was simple to install and worked very well to display public events from a Google calendar in a Joomla site. During my time-limited investigation, I was not able to find the control to display private events. That is, I want to create private events in the calendar and show them to special members at the site. Until this is possible, the component is limited for me. I'll definitely track features over time and will switch to this when I can.