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Pre-Alpha release of new FotoBilder Client

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Previous Entry Pre-Alpha release of new FotoBilder Client Sep. 4th, 2004 @ 02:17 pm Next Entry
As jproulx has mentioned before, and as I asked about a few days back, I've been working on a new client.

Today, I put the finishing touches on my "proof-of-concept", so to speak. It is extremely limited, allowing only single-file uploads and no gallery management, but hey, it does more than nothing! I would love it if those of you who are interested would download a copy and give it a go.

Right now, it's Windows-only. There's a bug in Mono (an open-source reimplementation of Microsoft's .NET framework) that is preventing my client from working on Linux/Mac/etc right now. However, eventually, it will! But yeah, Windows only for now, sorry.

There are a few known issues. Here they are:
  • If you upload a file, then select a new gallery, and click Upload again, the client will crash. I have a pretty good idea why but no time to fix it right now. The fix? Every time you select a new gallery, make sure you select a new file as well.

  • Lack of features. Yes, there's a lot it doesn't do. The point was to make sure it worked first, then add more features later.

  • Bad interface. See lack of features :)
If you stumble across any other crashes or bugs or really anything like that, please do let me know. You can comment to this entry or email me directly at the address on the About tab in the client.

In order to run it, you'll need Windows 98-XP, the .NET 1.1 Framework, and the zip file located here. Just unzip and run.

Note to .NET programmers: no doubt you'll have a peek at the DLL to see if you can do anything. There is utterly no API documentation right now, but it should be easy to figure out. That said, it's neither complete nor polished, so I'd wait. I haven't decided on a license yet, so no general source release, but email me if you want to know more :)

I'm outta here for the long (US) weekend, have a great one, everybody!
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From:whitaker
Date:September 4th, 2004 08:08 pm (UTC)
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rad. can't wait to see how this develops.
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From:andrew_jp_reyes
Date:September 4th, 2004 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Um, one already exists that allows for multiple file uploads ect. Just an FYI.
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From:bleything
Date:September 5th, 2004 10:03 am (UTC)
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I'm perfectly aware of that. If you look at some of the recent posts in this community as well as in fotobilder, you'll see that lots of people are having problems with the current windows client.

Aside from that, it's no longer being developed, so if anything changes with FotoBilder (which it inevitably will), it will cease to function. Besides, as I state in my post, this is an extremely early test release, that is missing features and stability. There are a lot of people who can't use the existing Windows client, so I figured it would make sense to release this one, even missing some critical features, because having a client is better than not.
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From:peachick
Date:September 6th, 2004 10:21 pm (UTC)

good job!

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I downloaded that. . .and yes it is simple, but you know what it does the job! I was able to load all my mood icons in one fell swoop. . .which was a lot easier than having to do ten at a time.

thank you for the good job!

ps I was thinking, like how the semagic client is a pen. . .your client could be a paintbrush? just an idea.
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From:peachick
Date:September 6th, 2004 10:23 pm (UTC)

Re: good job!

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oh ok, I lied. . .I have the other one, I tried to d/l yours, but it won't work, I believe it has something to do with the net framework, which I have NO clue about.
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From:peachick
Date:September 6th, 2004 10:44 pm (UTC)

Re: good job!

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last comment I promise then I shall leave you alone. I did download your client and got it to work. And actually I only have two things about it. . .you can only upload one file at a time. And the fact that once you have uploaded the picture, the status bar is still there, and that lead me to believe it was still loading or what not.

but other than that I do like it.
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From:bleything
Date:September 7th, 2004 10:52 am (UTC)

Re: good job!

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Great point about the progress bar. I'll fix that today. Down the road, another window will pop up that contains a progress bar... but that'll be a little while.

I'm aiming to add support for multiple uploads today... I'll post again when the next version is out, but it might be a little while.
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From:starlightphoto
Date:September 7th, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)

Why .net Write once

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Not sure why you would write this in .net with the Mono problems. Is this not running on Mysql with perl
or is the fotobilder feature of LJ running on a Windows server? The upload and management of galleries
could use the same scripts as Sourceforge's Coppermine
which is already written.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/coppermine/
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From:bleything
Date:September 7th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Why .net Write once

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I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about... FotoBilder is a webapp written in perl/mysql. It runs on the same servers that LiveJournal runs on.

I'm talking about a client for the service, analogous to Semagic or Logjam for LiveJournal. I chose C# because of the Mono project, and the ability to write a back-end library that would compile on just about every platform out there.

Only problem is that Mono is still fairly young and contains a few bugs, one of which just happens to impact my client. Once that bug in the Mono libraries is fixed, it will be nearly trivial to create a Linux client using the same backend as the Windows client. From there, it's only a few more steps to a Mac client using the same backend. That's the good thing about the C#/Mono pairing.

As a side note, it's important to point out that SourceForge doesn't own Coppermine... or really any other projects that are hosted there. They offer hosting for open-source projects who don't have/don't want/can't afford their own. Coppermine is just one of those projects. For an (extremely popular) alternative, you may want to check out Gallery, which is also hosted by SourceForge. It's good for smaller installations where something like FotoBilder doesn't make sense, and was around long before Coppermine :)
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From:starlightphoto
Date:September 7th, 2004 01:27 pm (UTC)

ok

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Guess I didn't understand why you would have to write a client when it could be a webapp through a browser. I know Sourceforge does not own the projects
hosted there. The Gallery one looks good for a small group. With Coppermine
I can upload and make changes with from the web interface. Works well on all platforms and browsers no need to download so works with my Nokia phone etc.
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From:bleything
Date:September 7th, 2004 01:33 pm (UTC)

Re: ok

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The same reason why people use clients to update their LiveJournals. People don't necessarily want to use the web interface for everything... for instance, you can only upload 10 pictures at a time through the web interface. With a client, there's no limit to the number of pictures you could potentially upload simultaneously.

Clients can also create local backups of your galleries, recurse through local directories and upload entire hierarchies, and do many other things that aren't possible via the web interface.

There are serious advantages to using a client. Obviously, it's not for everyone... but lots of people have become accustomed to using clients to do things with the LiveJournal service, and FotoBilder is no exception.
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From:starlightphoto
Date:September 7th, 2004 02:01 pm (UTC)

Re: ok

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Will the Fotobilder webapp support existing FTP clients?
I generally use FTP or SFTP for large updates or backups
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From:bleything
Date:September 7th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC)

Re: ok

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It does not support FTP right now, and I can't imagine it will any time soon. Never say never and all that, but support for FTP is outside the scope of a web application anyway.

FotoBilder (in its pics.livejournal.com incarnation) is primarily meant as a photo hosting service for LiveJournal users, rather than as a standalone gallery solution. The FotoBilder software itself certainly can handle either situation, but the focus right now is on the service-for-LJ-users aspect.
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