Gallery 3 Project migration

Introduction

As you know by now Gallery 3 Photo engine is hibernating. I decided to explore alternatives. Please note that unless I comfortable, I will be keeping my main gallery live while building up pieces using my new engine of choice.

As a long time G2/G3 user and seasoned plugin and theme developer for Gallery for past many years, while have a sad feeling, I have wisdom of knowing how things work and what to expect.

In this series, I will be posting my short notes on my experience migrating my photo site to new engine.

Considerations

  • Ideally 1:1 replacement – which means…
  • Keep it private, private … Ability to host locally, i.e. gallery engine is not linked to any particular host or OS. LAMP or WAMP stack.
  • Ability to create custom themes (everyone wants to be unique or at least have variety of choices how gallery looks like)
  • Ability to create plugins. I would expect gallery engine to have number of plugins already available, but I do want to have ability to customize/extend it further nevertheless
  • Ability to move my content with as little effort as possible (local import, self organizing of the files)
  • Light resource requirement. Ability to import large photos.
  • and ability to use shared hosing which
  • Not as important for me, but should allow multilingual support
  • Image and Video upload support
  • User, User groups and permission setup

“Shared” Solutions

there are plenty of “shared” photo storages on the market and “public” storage is ok for you take a look at the following:

  • http://www.shutterfly.com/
  • https://www.flickr.com/
  • http://www.snapfish.com/
  • http://www.smugmug.com/
  • off course, you can always use FB for the whole world to see and for FB to monetize 🙂
  • Or Google flavored – Picasa

“Local” Choices

There are many around, but I would consider

Making personal choice

In the end it all comes to personal choice, so take it with the grain of salt and evaluate if solution works for you…

WordPress

For few years now WP has Photo Gallery support. It is blog integrated and is very simple to use and customize. However if you have large number of photos to post this option may not work for you.
Being familiar with WP and using it as a blog engine but as  I am not planning to merge my blog and my photo gallery, I am going to skip on reviewing it here.

ZenPhoto

I was keeping eye on the project for some time and I do like it. Project is well established and have plenty of plugins and themes.

Install was  easy and I was able to import most of my photos… until large files were to be processed… and it failed… Turns out ImageMagic with my shared hosting just did not have enough juice to be able process images even on basic level to extract metadata.

Please note that it could be a that there are some tweaks required (I did some changes in G3 for it to work in the same scenario, but this is exactly what I am trying to avoid in my review process).

Bummer… so I would still recommend to take a look at ZenPhoto and consider it as a possible solution for you… but for me, I am moving on…

Coppermine

Well established, but too “old-looking”. This project is still going strong and active, but to my taste it is “legacy” solution. While it still have a lot of nice features, way it is organized is just not for me.

Piwigo

If you do not mind French here and there, take a close look at this little beauty. 🙂

Let’s look at my checklist above:

  • It is not 1:1 replacement, but close enough
  • I can host locally on the LAMP stack without changing hosting
  • I can inherit or create custom themes. In fact, it is somewhat easier with Piwigo
  • I can create plugins and there is plenty of existing one.
  • Local import and self organizing of the files is supported
  • Light resource requirement. Ability to import large photos.
  • I can keep my shared hosting
  • Multilingual support
  • Image and Video upload support (additional plugins may be required)
  • User, User groups and permission setup

Now the experience:

  • Deployment was a breeze – you can do full code deployment or use “pull” method and all components would be downloaded for you, you just need to deploy one file and setup your database. Rest will be done during setup.
  • I have uploaded my var folder from G3 and run Sync. All photos (2000+) was imported into gallery tree and appear in the gallery. No hiccups, no resource issues.
  • There is G2 import plugin you can install and try. It may even take G3 photos, but I did not try it. If G3 is the issue, someone may try to adjust G2 version to take G3 content especially if you have a good amount of metadata you need to bring across. I opted out to import images only.
  • Aside from few default themes installed by default, you can pull number of other themes from repository along with various plugins. There might be some things missing which I am used to with G3, but I do not consider it an issue as I can migrate missing parts myself.
  • If you are looking for GreyDragon Theme – I started process of migrating it over Piwigo and will make it available in next month or so. If you’d like to help testing it, please let me know. Just do not expect full port immediately.
  • If you are looking for any of my plugins which do not have equivalent at Piwigo already, please let me know and I will consider the port.

Extras:

  • There is a code repository if you like to have access to raw stuff
  • Along with bug tracking system
  • Looking for ideas for your new gallery look, visit showcase section.

Americans beware, or not 🙂

Piwigo is started by Pierrick Le Gall, French and you would find some number of posts or plugin’s descriptions in French.

Do not be discouraged by this 🙂 people in Europe can speak 2-3 languages fluently and usually English is one of them. So have question or two, visit forum and ask.

PS/Edit: Read above with smile. How Pierrick highlighted in his comment below, Piwigo is international project and anyone will feel right at home regardless what language they speak.

Conclusion

I have moved my gallery to Piwigo.

You can follow visit this blog for more details as I will be posting updates and in some near future will be making GreyDragon available for testing and then official download.

Follow-ups

Subscribe for Twitter feed at @greydragon_th to be informed about Theme development.

This entry was posted in Gallery 3 Development, Piwigo, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

93 thoughts on “Gallery 3 Project migration”

  1. malinfabbri says:

    Can somone please give some advice? I broke the /gallery3/ installation… so i need to install it again somehow? I still have the stuff in the /var/ folder.
    Questions:
    No idea where the gallery descriptions are… any ideas?
    Which one of these instructions do i follow?
    http://codex.galleryproject.org/Gallery3:Upgrading
    I guess i need to install a new one and get the content from the old /var/ over to the new one somehow?

    1. did you lose files and DB or just files?
      if both you would need to restore old backup, if any, and reupload/recover new images
      if you lost just files, then deploying files and connecting to db while making sure config info matching target folders should help

  2. Marek says:

    Serge, I was actually looking for gallery3 to upload and host all images on amazon s3 but the extension only duplicates and links the images, so partially what I wanted (now gallery serves images from s3) but it still needs local images (not what I wanted). I checked your list and none of them has a working extension of what I need. Have you ever heard of anything like that?

    1. no, I have not
      considering that G3 project is inactive it would be hard to find anything of sort
      as for pwg, I would suggest raising question on the forum. It was asked few years back, but no further discussion. Someone may have answer

      1. Marek says:

        Unfortunately the commenting has been disabled on the forum. Thanks for your input.

        1. I was referring to PWG forum. as I said I did not find any recent discussions about the topic there but I would imagine it is not unusual request

  3. Matt says:

    Hi Serg

    I’ve come upon your site with some googlefuu. I’ve got a gallery2 which is running 2.3.2 which unfortunately doesn’t like PHP7.0, rather understandably due to it’s age i guess.

    I’m thinking about moving to Piwigo as rather like yours! Will things like view counts transfer with my photos at all? I’d be quite keen not to lose the count, after all i’ve had the gallery since about 2007 and they’ve mounted up!

    I’m wondering whether the best route would be to migrate to 3.0 then to Piwigo, what’s your thoughts on the matter?

    1. Matt,
      I did not look at any feedback from older version of G2 to PWG. People were ok with G3 > PWG migration and I think view counts were coming across fine
      I would suggest backup > go to G3 > validate > create test instance of PWG > move > test > go live

  4. Jens Andersson says:

    I run gallery2 on a Debian Wheezy server. Have to move it to a Debian Jessie server, for moving the albums to a installed and working gallery3 on Jessie. Have earlier tried to install gallery2 on Jessie using two different debian packages, but failed misserably.

    1st question: Is the success rate higher if I skip debian packages and go for a “manual” installation?
    2nd question: Is the success rate higher if I instead install gallery3 on Wheezy and then move the albums to the Jessie gallery3?

    Most thankful for advice.

    //jason

    1. it is all depend on your server setup
      using manual deployment especially in situation when project (G2/G3) are no longer supported probably would be your best bet
      not familiar with Debian server setup much, but on CentOS direct deployment of the code worked easier as you are controlling the entire process while deployment from packages is not necessarily very visible

      1. Jens Andersson says:

        So, I think I will try another agenda: Install Piwigo on the old server, migrate the albums from Gallery2 to Piwigo (Menalto2Piwigo plug-in?), install Piwigo on the new server an move the newly created Piwigo albums to it.

        Any expected obstacles to avoid during this agenda?

        //jason

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    From being a junior developer all the way to Development Manager position, I was always interested in new technologies. Passionate speaker, IT junky, developer, architect, team lead, and development manager - many hats, one goal - making software better and closer to people’s needs. For the most part I am using my blog as a scratch pad, writing small articles on things which I came across, was asked about more then once, and which would otherwise require additional research again and again.

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