Pictorialis Issues

October 9th, 2004

I wrote Pictorialis because I had a need. I never quite realized just how popular or how important it would become. Is there really a lot of interest in this product? Should I consider versions and upgrades and actually following the support fora?

I am afraid that if I dedicate all my time to Pictorialis, everything else will get sidelined (which is fine if there is a need).

Here are my future plans for Pictorialis and the support offerings for it.

  1. Once WordPress 1.3 is released, move over the existing code to the new version
  2. Seperate “PhotoBlog” and “PhotoAlbum” as two seperate versions of the same Pictorialis. I believe that if they overlap, usability and technical granularity suffers
  3. Try to obtain a list of defects with present versions (not bugs, but defects in the methodology) and then incorporate them in the new version
  4. In the “PhotoAlbum” version, add more album-like features such as slideshows and ability to modify each photograph
  5. In the “Photoblog” version, provide more control over the archives and the resizing of the pictures
  6. In ALL versions, store pictures as meta rather than the post. Leave the post for users to monkey with
  7. Spend more time beta testing and listening to users.
  8. Start a Subversion respoitory. The code is really fragmented right now.
  9. Use more of the features from ImageMagick. Cool image manipulation features on a photo album = golden
  10. Consider this to be the primary project while in development stages
  11. And finally

  12. Ask more people for help.

I apologize for the present lack of support for existing versions of the product. I appreciate any and all users who help out on the message boards. I am learning from the present problems to prevent them in future versions. I promise to try and make the install and the setup as easy as possible with the least expertise needed for a successful photoblogging/album software.

If anyone is interested in the development of this product or would like to offer criticism/suggestions, please leave a comment. If you are interested in becoming a developer, message me at mark at wltc dot net. I am looking for coders in PHP, with some experience in image manipulation and other web multimedia technologies.




  1. Paul (1 comments.) says:

    That sounds wonderful. I use the original Pictoralis as a photo blog add on to my main blog and have been to the Pictoralis forums with questions that never got answered. I use Pictoralis instead of Pictoralis II because it seemed better as a photo blog, and not so much of a gallery. I like the idea of having two separate versions. Thanks for Pictoralis, I can only imagine how hard it must be to support it, but it is appreciated!

  2. Paul Hoch (5 comments.) says:

    I’m interested in this project. I’ve tried a couple of different image blog tools and I’ve yet to find one that I like. I guess the default image handling by wordpress has been relatively ok for me up to now, but I’m always looking for a better solution.

  3. Icyshard (2 comments.) says:

    I’m extremely interested in this….the fact that it is so difficult to have all the archives (monthly, individual, category) with thumbnail views and logically arranged, along with true ImageMagik support, is one of the major things keeping me from using WP as a photoblog. That and I want my URLs for photos to be category-based, which I know is a feature of 1.3, but I’m waiting for the final version to upgrade.

  4. Nik (5 comments.) says:

    It’ll be nice to see how this goes. :) If you’re setting up a list, do sign me up, if not, I’m following your RSS :)

  5. Craig (19 comments.) says:

    You know you can count on me to help in a non-coding way. Just drop me a line and I’ll do what I can.

  6. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    Condensed version of disappearing comment……… %#%$#%@

    Pictorialis has the potential to be the best photoblogging application out there. I’ve researched Gallery, Coppermine, 4Images and folderblog. It wasn’t until I saw oriecat’s combined version of Picto 1 & 2 that I decided to give Pictorialis a try.

    Drawbacks: It’s a bear to get up and running. Not for the coding impaired. Documentation is lacking. If you read your support forums, you’ll see that many people are having the same issues in getting it up and running.Support is not what it should be.

    Features I’d like to see in a finished product?

    – The ability to choose my thumbnail. I don’t care for the ‘whole image’ thumbnail option, and the current version of ‘random portion’ is not what it should be.

    A lot of photographers put a lot of thought into choosing a thumbnail to represent the whole image, often choosing one portion that they’d really like to draw the attention of their viewer to.

    – I’d like for my viewers to be able to click on the main image at: and automatically be taken to the previous image. Currently if you click on the main image, you are taken to a plain html page with just the picture. What’s the point???

    See: for an example.

    – The alt function is broken. (I still have to figure out where to fix that myself.) Alternate text is “blank” Would be nice if the title of the photo were the alt text. Either that or “Click photo for previous entry”. *hint hint*

    – I’d like some way to caption my photos. Currently, the only way to do that is to make a comment.

    – There is some script out there that preloads photos for your viewers. That would be a nice addition to Picto.

    – Something is screwy with archives. Gotta get that fixed… If someone posts a pic a day, at the end of the year there is a minimum of 365 thumbs on that one page. That would take forever and a year for some viewers to load.

    – If you’ll take a look at:

    It would be nice if those thumbnails representing each album were randomly generated. I’m not sure how it’s determined what thumbnail is displayed there, as the representative thumbs for fo.tog.ra.fie and for Photo Challenge are not the first photos posted to those albums, where the thumbnail representing the Photo Friday album is.

    All in all, I think Pictorialis is a very worthwhile project. You’ve done a super great job and I hope you keep going with it. If there is anything I can do to help you, I am more than happy to. I am just learning CSS and php, (cutting my teeth on Picto, heh) so I’m afraid I wouldn’t be much help to you in that regard. But I could help you with documentation. I am also willing to share my revised files so you can see how I’ve combined the two versions of Picto to achieve what I’ve currently got running.

    Best of luck! And thank you for taking the time to put this fabulous application together for the WP community.

  7. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    I have to tell you that Pictorialis has the potential to be the finest photoblog application out there. I had researched several, including Gallery, Coppermine, 4Images and folderblog before I decided to give yours a go. And it wasn’t until I saw what oriecat had done with her blog that I made my decision. Pictorialis 1 is lacking the albums feature, and Pictorialis 2 is lacking the recent entries feature.Combining the versions is, in my world, perfection.

    But I also must tell you that it’s a bear to get up and running for someone who is coding impaired. And support on the forums is severely lacking.

    Also, your documentation needs some work because if you read your forums, you’ll see that a lot of people are having the same problems getting it set up. I think when you write documentation, you have to sort of consider everyone else in the world a complete idiot and write your document accordingly.

    As for features I would like to see?

    – I’d like to be able to make my own thumbnails. I don’t particularly like the ‘whole picture’ thumbnail option… and the ‘random portion’ thumbnail option is not so good either. There is no rhyme or reason to what portion of the thumbnail is generated. Blah.

    I know that a lot of photographers, when choosing a thumbnail to represent their image, actually analyze their pictures a bit and make it a point to choose one particular detail that they really want their viewers to notice.

    – I’d like to be able to caption my photos. Right now, if I want to explain the photo, I have to make a comment. I don’t like that.

    – The alt function is broken.

    – In addition to previous/next, I’d like the option to simply click the picture and have it load the next photo.
    If you click the picture, you are simply taken to a blank html page of that picture. What’s the point???

    Take a look at to see what I mean.

    That’s my next project for my own photoblog.

    – Also, I know that there are scripts out there to preload images in order to save the viewer time… that would be a nice implementation for Pictorialis.

    – Another nice feature to include would be to have a random image generated on refresh from each album generated on the albums page.

    Please look at:

    Those pictures are static. I’m not really sure how they are initially generated, because the picture of the mounted deer in the fo.tog.ra.fie category is not the first picture in that album. Neither is the “Contradiction” photo in the Photo Challenge album.

    Regardless, if a random thumbnail was generated from each album upon refresh, that would be really nice.

    – There is also something funky going on with archives that I haven’t figured out yet. I’ll work on that after I figure out how to click the photo on the recent entries page to move to the previous photo.

    That’s about all the input I have to offer at the moment.

    And just so you know, I am happy to help in any way I can. I’m just learning CSS and php, so there’s probably not much I can do in that department, but I can help you document. I can also share my revised files that reflect the combination of Picto 1 & 2. I’ve gotten a lot of help from various people I have met in order to accomplish my goals.

    All in all… I love Pictorialis. I am very happy with the base product. I am even more happy with the improvements I have made to it.

    My vote? Keep going. This project is definitely worth it. There are not a lot of quality photoblogging applications out there.

  8. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    Is there a comment delay?

  9. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    Blah! I just wrote a whole post on my experience with Pictorialis and it’s disappeared!!!


  10. MsCantBWrong (6 comments.) says:

    Err… You can ignore comments 7, 8, 9… and now 10. Comment 6 was way delayed in being posted.


  11. MandeBooks says:

    I can help with beta testing and some code testing… Just send me an e-mail

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