Updates from September, 2009

  • Share More Images

    11:40 pm on September 21, 2009 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: , , , ,

    We’ve just added a new “share image” feature which allows both you and visitors to your photo website to post or share images to popular social media sites.

    This is good news for those trying to drive traffic to their sites or get their photos more widely seen. Test it by clicking the “share” button on the bottom right here.

    Kilimanjaro Summit

  • Own an iPhone?

    9:33 pm on September 21, 2009 | 0 Permalink

    Thanks to the incredible work the guys over at bravenewcode.com have done our blog now looks amazing on the equally incredible iPhone.

    A seriously fantastic plugin. If you’ve got a blog….you can’t do without this.

  • iPhone Bugs

    10:15 am on September 21, 2009 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,

    We’ve been looking into a few iPhone bugs in the gallery this weekend. It seems that due to the iPhone’s unique scrolling and zooming system our gallery calculations (of which there are quite a few) aren’t quite coming up with the right numbers. In fact, this is the first web testing we’ve done on the iPhone and we picked up quite a few things.

    It’s an interesting interface in that there’s not a concept of a mouse pointer anymore, which means that such things as rollovers no longer make sense. As a result our nice album rollover effect no longer works at all. This is a general problem for interface designers. More then ever we need to make sure that buttons look like buttons and not by changing their look on hover. Fortunately users become more and more geek savvy every day.

    A more difficult issue to solve is that fixed positioning doesn’t work as one would expect (hate to say it but it feels a bit IE6). This one surprises me a little bit more. I understand that the scrolling and zooming model is different here – but I’m not sure that Apple’s implementation needs to be. Fixed positioning should put an element relative to the viewport and even though the movement of the viewport is a touch (excuse the pun) different, the viewport itself isn’t. Anywhoo, just need to add it to the ever increasing list of browsers to support I guess. We hope to have some better fixes for these issues out the door soon.

  • Frantic Feedback Frenzy

    10:58 pm on September 16, 2009 | 1 Permalink

    We’ve now implemented Uservoice’s brilliant feedback system right across our system and you can vote on ideas or create your own from any page of our main website or blog.

    It’s also implemented on the admin pages of all our photo gallery websites so you can let us know what features you want from there too.

    Just look for the red tab to the left of your screen……attractive isn’t it……go on….click it.

    Leopard - Kruger National Park

  • DISQUS Commenting

    4:27 pm on September 13, 2009 | 3 Permalink
    Tags: comments

    We’ve enabled DISQUS commenting on our blog now. We’re also looking at whether we could use it for comments on our photo websites too.

    You can vote for that feature here to let us know whether it’s something you just can’t do without.

    Vietnam Woman with a Conical Straw Hat

  • Uservoice

    11:24 am on September 13, 2009 | 0 Permalink

    Up till now we’ve been using a hacked together google documents form which linked back to a google documents spreadsheet to collate all the feedback we’ve been receiving for new and existing features however we’ve just discovered Uservoice which is a service that makes listening to what users want much easier, far more interactive and more rewarding.

    It works by allowing users to vote on their favourite ideas and then the items that are most wanted or needed, bubble to the top allowing us to focus on developing or improving the things that are most in demand.

    Click on the red tab to the left of this page or go to feedback.photoswarm.com. We are going to be integrating it more tightly throughout our retail website and also throughout the admin pages of our photo websites so that feedback can be left almost anywhere.

    If you’ve got a website of your own and you need to be listening closely to your users then these guys have designed a great product for the job. We’re more than happy with it.

    Faces of Bayon

  • Adobe CF to Railo : CFExecute

    4:43 pm on September 10, 2009 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: ,

    Just another little snippet on things to watch out for when transitioning from Adobe CF to Railo. As I said last time when we discussed CFQueryParam these articles are not to pitch one engine against the other (Railo would clearly win :) ) more to expose things to look out for….though this one is definitely a minor bug in Railo….

    Now, I haven’t 100% verified that this is still the case, but when I last checked there was a bug in CFExecute whereby any arguments containing spaces will not be treated properly and there doesn’t seem to be any way to escape them. Consider the following:

      <cfset a = ['/this_app/my file.txt'] />
      <cfexecute name="more" arguments="#a#" variable="b" timeout="4" />
      <cfdump var="#b#" /><cfabort />

    It’s important that the second argument be escaped when passed to the system to execute – otherwise it’s going to look for a file called “/this_app/my” instead of “/this_app/my file.txt”.

    Which is the exactly the error you get:

    Error invoking external process – more[/this_app/my: not found

    For us the solution is simply to make sure we never have to deal with arguments with spaces in. Suits us nicely but I’m sure there will be other occasions when it’s not so easily to come up with a solution.

  • Brand New Photo Website Gallery!

    5:50 pm on September 8, 2009 | 0 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,

    But I don’t understand…my photo website looks just like the old one, you say.

    Yes, it does look and behave a lot like the previous version but the entire thing has been rewritten from scratch. 889 lines (and growing hourly) of gloriously clean javascript (based on the prototype js framework in case you’re interested).

    The biggest benefit of our new photo website gallery is that it will now look great for users running IE7 and IE8, as well and those on Safari, Firefox & Chrome.

    There’s a lot more bubbling below the surface too. In particular we’ll be turning on the new direct linking and sharing of photos in the next few days.

    The ability to sell your images through our pro photo websites is coming shortly too.

  • Adobe CF to Railo : CFQueryParam

    5:26 pm on September 2, 2009 | 4 Permalink
    Tags: gotchas, ,

    The is the first in several posts I’m planning on doing regarding the little gotchas we stumbled across in migrating from Adobe Coldfusion to Railo. I want to point out here that it’s not shortcomings of Railo, more little differences, or our slightly sloppy code.

    Those of you that work with CF and databases will no doubt use cfqueryparam. It’s a marvellous tag and we use it for every single variable in our queries. This includes things like the following:

    <cfquery name="some_images">
            <cfqueryparam cfsqltype="cf_sql_numeric" value="#limit#" />

    And there’s the problem. You see, in CF the limit variable is probably a double (or something like that). In this case mysql is expecting an integer. So the query that’s run looks like this:

    SELECT * FROM image LIMIT 10.0

    which doesn’t make a lot of sense to mysql (apparently 10 != 10.0). The solution is simple, just replace cf_sql_numeric with cf_sql_integer. Like I say, this was our sloppy coding but this had always worked perfectly fine in CF so we’d never worried about it before.

    So, use the correct datatypes in cfqueryparam. Easy.

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