Nov 22 2011

A new gallery for the web site

Category: Random

It was about time to clean up some old, unsupported CMS modules and to replace the old photos with a new and neat gallery. A general problem with a actively developed open-source CMS like CMS Made Simple is that sometimes things break, are found to be insecure or are just not maintained anymore. It's not a complaint, just an observation. There is always a quite bit of fluctuation when using software that is a work in progress and it's necessary to make the best of it. If things need to change, to be replaced or to be fixed, let's take this opportunity to improve it and to take it to another level.

The new web site now uses the recent version of the Gallery module instead of the deprecated and outdated Album. It looks like Album has pretty much bitten the dust. The Gallery module it's not only nicer to look at but easier to maintain for large photo collections. A piece of advice though:

1. The standard templates that come with this module are nice a good base for own developments. Some of these templates like Lightbox use the script.aculo.us Javascript library with the Prototype framework. While there's nothing wrong with it, it might pose a problem if you already use JQuery or another frameworks on the web site. Mixing frameworks is generally not a good idea, due to conflicts and the unnecessary amount of redundant code. It's just not worth the hassle as (almost) everything from script.aculo.us can be achieved in JQuery and vice versa. Stick to one framework, even if that means rewriting the template for Gallery.

2. Like other modules for CMS Made Simple the Gallery module has its own template and stylesheet editor in the module's administration page. I found it awkward and impractical to have several stylesheets in several locations all over the CMS. This only adds needless complexity to the site and to  its maintenance. It's better to have one stylesheet in one location. So it's a good idea to empty the stylesheet for your Gallery template and to put the CSS into a regular stylesheet in CMS Made Simple. Starting from version 1.10 of CMS Made Simple will you can even put the Gallery styles into its own stylesheet to keep things in order. The CMS will combine all stylesheets of the same media type into one file.

[ Back to table of contents ]