Vote for Elements friendly API

Developer
Jun 6, 2007 at 2:48 AM
Although both Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) and Gallery 2 has lots of cool functionality, the ability to synch this functionality between the two is limited by the available API functions. (API functions are what Pix2Gallery2 uses to upload to Gallery2)

For example, PSE has "tags" (which forms most of Elements functionality), and Gallery2 has similar functionality (keywords). There is no API to upload keywords to gallery2, which means the tags in PSE - there is no where to upload them to that would make sense, or utilise the functionality.

It is possible to do something about this. I have submitted some feature requests for Gallery2. Voting for these features will increase the chances of them getting looked at.

To vote for a feature, go to http://gallery.menalto.com/sfvote/vote , and enter in the ID of the feature in question. There are currently two:

1731771 - API for uploading Keywords (This will allow Elements2Pix2Gallery2 to upload tags into keywords)
1662981 - Link/Replica API (This will allow allow a photo to belong to multiple collections/albums, but only be uploaded once to gallery, saving uploading time and space).

Thank you.
May 18, 2008 at 5:59 PM
I have been able to import photos from PSE6 into Gallery2 and have the tags show up as keywords, which is very cool because you can then see Keyword Albums in Gallery2.

I'm pretty sure that I did it by:
1. In PSE6, File / Write Keyword Tag and Properties Info to Photo
2. File / Export / As New Files
3. Import using Gallery2 import wizard
Step 1 writes the tags to the standard IPTC Keywords field, which Gallery recognizes.  Could Pix2Gallery2 make PSE6 do that?


(I'll also go and vote for the API changes, too! - if it's not too late)
Developer
May 18, 2008 at 10:10 PM
Thanks. I was actually aware of this work around, but I dont use it myself, as it doesnt offer the control I wanted. For most photos in PSE, I have people, places and event tags on them. But when I upload, I only really want the people tags going up.

Pix2Gallery2 cant make PSE do anything (it isnt a plugin - it just reads the PSE database). What it could do, however, is write the tags to the IPTC keywords field for you. That is, before uploading a photo, make a copy somewhere, edit the photo (add tags to IPTC keywords of photo), and then upload this copy. This would have the advantage of being able to decide what keywords get uploaded.

I didnt do this though, as I thought the Gallery2 team must be about to add keyword API functionality that I can use (I had read a few posts on the gallery2 forum which suggested this), so I thought I'd wait. From my original post (above), you can see that was about a year ago. I think I might accept the fact that it isnt going to happen, and write in a work around (sometime soonish).

Thanks for your feedback - its nice to know that I'm not the only one using the PSE functionality in Pix2Gallery2.
Jun 21, 2008 at 4:00 AM
Hi,
I'm hoping to use the Pix2Gallery2 utility in conjunction with the Exif plugin.  In Photoshop Elements 6, I tag pictures and then use the File->Save tags to files command to write the tags as exif keywords to the EXIF data.
The only thing that I can't put in the jpeg file is the album name.  I was using Picasa to create folders for for albums.  I also put a description in Picasa for the folder/album.  This is saved into a picasa.ini file in the directory.

So, I'm looking for a way to save the following album settings in a file, Picasa.ini file, Photoshop Elements album, or another spot, so that it will be put in the correct Gallery2 fields when the album is uploaded.
Name
Title
Summary
Keywords
Description
Album date and time

Pix2Gallery2 populates the Title of the Album in Gallery2 for me, the way that I like.  However, it chose "album" for the album Name field.
Also, my filenames are not being kept for the Gallery2 name for the picture.  I get filenames like 19277.JPG instead of my Img2008-02-10_20-15-54.JPG filename.
I see that there are settings that I can change for the Elements 6.0 Pix 2 Gallery2 (Beta) 0.9.5.0, but these settings don't match the settings in the Exif module.

Any ideas on how to achieve putting the album settings into Gallery2?

One thing that complicates things is that I have about 20,000 pictures.  I have busy in the last 4 years since the birth of my son. :-)
On the plus side, I have everything setup on my own pc.
You can check my gallery out at http://alexei.idleplay.net/gallery/main.php

I'm tempted to hack the exif module to look at the picasa.ini file to get the album settings from this file, but I don't know PHP well enough.  And I would love the ability to synchronize albums on my pc with albums in Gallery2.

I would love any feedback.
Thanks,
-Alexei

Developer
Jun 21, 2008 at 7:42 AM
alexei2001,

Firstly, thanks for the feedback.

I feel your frustration. The limitations of the Gallery2 API, and the differences in the structure of Gallery2 and Photoshop Elements (PSE), means that synching between PSE and Gallery2 is not perfect. I have changed the way I use PSE to suit the limitations. (before I started synching with Gallery2, I never used the collections/albums functionality - I only use tags).

If I am correct, you saying you want to upload all these details (Name, Title, summary, keywords, etc) against a whole album (not the indivdiual photos). To tell the truth, I never thought about that. I guess it might be possible to upload the "Notes" that are associated with with an album (if you click on "Edit Album" in PSE6). I suspect the Gallery2 API does not allow this though. Also, i cant see myself adding functionality which looks at an additional file though (like an .ini file) outside of photoshop elements for this information however.

The API does not allow me to select a name for a new album - only the caption. (I forget the finer points of it offhand). So you getting "Album" is what Gallery populates by default.

Yes, your filenames end up being removed and replaced by a number. I do this on purpose. The number used is actually the picture ID inside PSE. I use this to prevent the same photo being uploaded twice (It checks if another photo with that filename already exists).

I'm not quite sure what you intend on doing with the exif module and pixasa.ini. The exif information wont help get your album details into Gallery2, as exif data is stored against a specific photo. And to my knowledge, the Gallery2 API has very limited functionality to populate this information for albums.

Hmmmm. This hasnt been a very helpful post - I have just explained why nothing will work the way you want it too.

Like I said before, I have changed how I use PSE to suit the limitations of synching to Gallery2. Nowdays I:
1) Make heavy use of tags (even though I dont upload them to Gallery2 at the moment, I am sure I will in time)
2) Use Albums/collections exentensivly, as this is the only way I am able to effectivly catagorize pictures in Gallery2. I'll create an Album Group for each year (2006, 2007, etc) and put "Dads Birthday" "Christmas" etc as events within it. This makes it easy to upload a specific event to my Gallery2 site, and send links to those who might be interested.
3) Make use of the "Ratings" system in PSE. I dont necessarily want to upload every photo, so I will tag the favourates with 5 stars, and leave the rest at zero starts. Then when uploading, I only upload the five stars.
4) Caption photos. This is a pain I know, but until I get decent tag API (I dont want to put them in the exif information of my photos), it is the best way for me.

Hope this helps a bit. Feel free to ask more questions...

Shanon.
Jun 21, 2008 at 6:38 PM
Hi Shanon,
Thanks for writing back.
The way that you categorize/arrange your pictures into albums is interesting.  I have seen that before, but I never really considered doing it that way.  I will think about putting my pictures into albums that way.

I really like not having to depend on any one app for their method of organizing/categorizing pictures/albums.  I like to use the best software for each type of stuff, this often leads to me using multiple sw pkgs, ie. PictureProject for rotating pictures, Picasa for separating pictures into new albums/folders, and Photoshop Elements Express 6 for tagging, and Gallery2 for posting pictures online.

I having not found one sw package that does everything well enough.  Since the different sw packages don't read the db/catalog of other applications, I want to store all of the info in the pictures and folders themselves.  This way, it's more available to me via the filesystem and exif data.

So, I guess I'm still figuring out how I want to handle creating albums and getting Gallery2 to import the albums and pictures with the tags, descriptions that go along with the folders/albums.  I like the Gallery2 "From Local Server" import coupled with exif/iptc module for the pictures.  However, it is lacking for importing/creating albums, or at least I haven't found a way that I like.

Also, have you discovered the tags plugin in Gallery2.  It's new to me and I just implemented it and I like it.  I made a post about it at: http://gallery.menalto.com/node/60370
The plugin details are at http://codex.gallery2.org/Gallery2:Modules:tags

Thanks for your feedback, and if you discover a way to import/create album details while importing, or synchronizing albums and/or picures/videos please feel free to post here or email me at alexei2001@yahoo.com.
Good luck with your projects.



Developer
Jun 21, 2008 at 11:50 PM
Alexei,

I must say I am impressed. With a 4 your old kid, you still find the time to play with 4 different apps to manage your photos!

I should stress, that currently the whole PSE -> Gallery2 functionality does not work the way I want it to - I am quite limited by the differences in the way each organises photos, and the limitations of the Gallery2 API. As the Gallery2 API improves, so shall the synching functionality. Keep in mind that Pix2Gallery2 is designed to work both locally and remotely. So while you have local access to your Gallery2 installation and can do all sorts of stuff, we are assuming that the user doesnt have local access to Gallery2, and henced are limited to what the API can do.

A few years back I developed a dynamic website which was exactly what I wanted (written in php, with a mysql backend, which automatically synched itself with photoshop elements). The problem with it was that it was as ugly as hell, it was difficult to maintain, and most people could not work out how to use the tags (which was my sole method of organising photos at the time). While I thought it was fantastic that I could search for any combination of person/place/event on the website, most people didnt see the point - they just wanted to look at the photos from christmas day, or grandma's birthday. This is why I switch over to using Collections/Albums in PSE, and Gallery2 - it is easier to maintain, and the layout/usage of the website closely matches how family and friends expect it to be.

Yes, I am aware of the tags module (this discussion was created in order to encourage people to vote for an API for it). I'm also aware that tags can be populated via exif information (rorrison also pointed this out), and I'm toying with the idea using this to upload tags, should the tag API not arrive, and I find the time to implement it. (I dont want to globally write tags to my photo's via photoshop).