My biggest passion outside of work is photography. I primarily do black and white, silver geletin based prints. I don’t enjoy digital photography at all, but understand its appeal to some people. I love to get my hands dirty dealing with black and white, or even sometimes colour photography. In fact, I’m currently enrolled in a fine art photography program at the Photographic Center Northwest. Have a place that I can showcase my work, or just put up some of my crappy digital photos is pretty important to me. For my fine art stuff, I’ve got one web site, and for my snapshots of my friends and I, I’ve got another.
I use a customized nGallery as my snapshot site, as it gives me lots of features, and is a super easy way to share my photos. I love the fact I can FTP up a large chunk of photos, and then import them, getting everythign online within a matter of minutes. No fiddling with sizes, watermarking and such. CommunityServer has those same features, but its got a lot more stuff too, and stuff that I just don’t want. I’ve customized nGallery (mostly on the back end) to suit my needs. I’ve spiced up the RSS feeds so that it provides more info in the feeds and I can push that out to LiveJournal so people can subscribe to that and get changes in their friends lists. And then today, I added URL Referral tracking. Now, when someone links to a gallery or a picture, I’ve got a way to see who is doing that. I am fine with people doing that, and mostly just curious who’s doing it.
Next week, the Venus team starts app building week. Basically its an opportunity for our team to put the product to use. We haven’t had a lot of app building yet so this should be fun. My goal for next week is to migrate nGallery to ASP.NET 2.0, and then move the skin stuff out of the current skin architechure and into the Themes that ASP.NET 2.0 provides. My secondary goal for next week is to try to add user authentication so that I can say user1 or group1 can access this gallery, but user2 can’t. Sure, I know CommunityServer does some of that stuff, but like I said earlier, its much bigger than I want it to be.
Keep an eye out next week for updates on how things are going. Once I’m done, I’ll review the EULA, and as long as I’m allowed (which I’m 99% sure I am), I’ll post the results for you guys to use or play with if you’d like.