Hacking Piwigo

Piwigo Logo

Here is a semi-sequential account of events over the last couple of months (squeezed in when I have a spare moment) that have resulted in piwigo.mixedbredie.net.

Install PhpWebGallery in test (2009)
Install Piwigo in test (2010)
Go back to Gallery2
Install Gallery3 in test (2010)
Tire of lack of nice themes in Gallery3 even after some tweaking.
Go back to piwigo and update and move from test to live site
Add some themes.
Add some plugins.
Read the documentation and then head to the forums where there are threads for plugins and themes. Get used to french people writing technical stuff in English.
(note to self: learn French hahahhahahaa ha ha)

Making the changes:
Choose a theme that works and looks like you want it (mostly) to look.
Start mangling it. The Local-Files editor is your friend allowing you to make local changes to templates, CSS and configuration files that overrule the default options.
Realise I can make a child theme just using a theme.css and config-inc.php in a “my-theme” directory.
Change the background colour
Change the body text colour
Change the link colour
Change the link hover colour
Change colour of different elements in the page
Add a header image
Creating and using custom template files
Changing size of thumbnails > regenerate thumbnails plugin by p@t – Set this to 286 x 286

I had to hack some more CSS style rules together in order to get the look I was after.  I shamelessly copied this from www.fotolobia.com where the Turkish designer has done a far better job than I have.

digiKam splash
digiKam splash

Meanwhile, running in parallel to this there is the continuing development of digikam that seems to advance at a rate that most linux distros can’t keep up with.  The latest stable version of digikam is always at least one, maybe two or three, versions ahead of what is available in the repositories.  I use linux mint 10 with the K Desktop Environment (KDE 4.6.5) and my desktop tends to be used for managing photos with digiKam and editing photos with GIMP.

Trying to keep the desktop updated so that the latest digiKam will run has dissolved into an arms race between the linux mint maintainers, the digiKam developers and the end users of both communities. Some distros update the “stable” version of KDE quicker than others and others custom package digiKam.  An alternative is to compile it yourself.  This is a whole week of fun all by itself and when I am done I’ll put the procedure up here.  Some others have already done this and I am working from their scripts.

5 thoughts on “Hacking Piwigo”

  1. Hi Ross,

    I’m Piwigo founder. You did a great job at customizing your Piwigo. Congratulations! (or “Bravo” if you start learning French 😉 Did you see your gallery in Piwigo Showcase? http://piwigo.org/showcase/picture.php?/177

    > Get used to french people writing technical stuff in English.

    Well… any help would be appreciated. It’s true that a big part of the technical stuff is made by French people. The documentation itself needs a strong refresh (people currently working on it are from… Netherland)

    Damned, where is the “receive an email when Ross replies” checkbox?

  2. Subscribe to comments plugin activated 🙂

    Thanks for adding the gallery to the showcase, Pierrick. It is still very much a work in progress but it is conveniently linked into digiKam and so as the photo collection develops, hopefully the gallery will improve too.

    Up-to-date Piwigo documentation was the hardest thing to find especially plugin documentation. and the wiki page is a bit of a mess. The forums are very useful and the fact that there is often a thread for each plugin helps. What would really be nice is if each plugin had a page like on wordpress.org (Description / Installation / FAQ / Screenshots / Other Notes / Changelog / Stats). Quite often configuration is a bit hit and miss without examples and screenshots.

    What would be the best way to help out?

  3. We have indeed to improve (refresh) documentation, and in my opinion the first priority is the “how to create extensions for Piwigo : themes, plugins and tools using Piwigo web API”. We have already started with a tutorial explaing how to create a plugin http://piwigo.org/doc/doku.php?id=tutorial1 . You can also find some details about the web API, such as method pwg.images.addSimple http://piwigo.org/doc/doku.php?id=en:dev:webapi:pwg.images.addsimple

    Concerning the comparison with wordpress.org plugin pages, on piwigo.org/ext for each extension, we have the description, a single screenshot, summarized download stats, the changelog. We don’t have “multiple screenshots” (and that would be useful), the FAQ and the detailed statistics. The installation procedure is always the same, but maybe we should make a specific page somewhere to explain it a better way.

    I would also like to add something “dynamic” : a list of forum topics related to the extension.

    > What would be the best way to help out?

    If you have some writing skills, and you think some parts of Piwigo need to be explained, you can write a page on the wiki, and we will include it the right way, in the right place. You can also read and correct our mistakes in English 🙂

    You can take a look at the French documentation http://fr.piwigo.org/doc : we have a French contributor who has made a huge work to create and organize it. The French documentation is mainly a “User documentation”, but I think the English documentation should primarily focus on “Extending Piwigo”. What is your opinion about that?

    (this time, I check the “notify” checkbox, thanks Ross)

  4. The French documentation is good – having an English version would be very useful and I can see a start has been made on that.

    In terms of extending Piwigo: I think would be very useful to have a knowledge base of plugin, theme, extension and customising documentation. A lot of the forum postings are about those issues. Having a starting point to refer users to would be very good. I certainly spent a lot of time on the forums trying to work out what exactly a plugin did (extended description, for example).

    I would be happy to have a look at the English documentation and help where I can. Here’s a start: on this page I would change the word “representant” to “representative” and references to “PhpWebGallery” to “Piwigo”.

    I have had a look at converting some of the French user documentation to English and also capturing some screenshot to accompany the text.

  5. > I can see a start has been made on that.

    Yes, I’ve started to fix some obsolete sentences in the documentation, remove useless pages and change organization.

    > I think would be very useful to have a knowledge base of plugin […]

    Can you give a few examples of what you’re expecting?

    > (extended description, for example)

    Extended Description does “a lot” of things, indeed. And it’s not very clear until you activate it and read the embedded documentation (the question mark you can see next to text fields in the administration).

    > Here’s a start: on this page I would change the word “representant” to
    > “representative” […]

    The problem is that it must comply with what we have in Piwigo itself. Anyway, the terms “representant” or “representative” are not that great. We have recently had a discussion on the forum about a better term : http://piwigo.org/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=123692#p123692

    > […] and references to “PhpWebGallery” to “Piwigo”.

    please do 🙂

    > I have had a look at converting some of the French user documentation to
    > English and also capturing some screenshot to accompany the text.

    Great, thank you. Don’t hesitate to ask (forum or email) if you need some info or feedback.

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