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Adding Galleries to an Auto Index

In general, adding galleries to an auto index is a simple matter of uploading your gallery to the appropriate location on your server. After that, it will appear automatically in your index. Below, we look closely at how to add galleries to installations of CE4 Auto Index and CE4 Pages.

Adding Galleries to CE4 Auto Index

In CE4 Auto Index, image galleries are located within the auto index folder itself. This folder will bear whatever name you assign it when exporting.

Image galleries should exist as individual folders within this folder. In the below image, the highlighted folders are image galleries which have been copied into the auto index folder.

Adding Galleries to CE4 Pages

In CE4 Pages, the auto index page lists image galleries which are located within the /galleries/ folder. The /galleries/ folder is created when CE4 Pages is exported from Lightroom.

Image galleries should exist each as individual folders within the /galleries/ folder, as pictured below.

How the Auto Index Works

For those wanting a complete understanding of the auto index's inner workings, let's begin by looking inside one of our image galleries …

On the right, we peer into the contents of one of our image galleries. The two items highlighted yellow – autoindex.xml and the /thumbnails/ folder – are of importance to our auto index.

The autoindex.xml is the most important component; the auto index will list any folder containing an autoindex.xml file. The file contains vital information for the listing of our image gallery. First, the presence of the file indicates to the auto index that a list-item should be created for this folder. The auto indexing script then looks into this folder to extract our Album Title and Album Description, and optionally instructions for displaying an Album Thumbnail and an Album URL.

The autoindex.xml is like a passport that every image gallery carries around, and this passport identifies that gallery to our local authorities, the auto index. This information resides within the gallery itself; while the auto index displays this information, it does not own this information.

So, where does the autoindex.xml come from?

Every TTG image gallery asks for an Album Title, Description and Thumbnail:

When creating the image gallery, the Album Title and Description should always be filled in. The information here is published in the autoindex.xml file and used elsewhere in the page for SEO purposes. Think of this as a passport application for your image gallery. It's okay to leave Album Thumbnail blank; we'll talk more about this later.

Of secondary importance is the /thumbnails/ folder. Unless told to do otherwise, the auto indexing script will dig into your /thumbnails/ folder and randomly pull an image to display in the list-item for each image gallery. This process is automatic. Users may override the automatic behavior, but more on that later.

The takeaway information for this section is this:

Every image gallery should be assigned an Album Title and Album Description during gallery creation. This information will later be used by the auto index.

Understanding Auto Index Behavior

To make the most of CE4 Auto Index, advanced users may want to know how it works.

On load, the album index searches through all of its sub-folders to a depth of one level. For each folder in which it finds an autoindex.xml file, it will create an album entry. The album entry will be created according to the following guidelines:

1. If a thumbnail image is specified, that thumbnail will be displayed. If no thumbnail is specified, the album index will select an image at random from the /thumbnails/ folder contained within that sub-folder. If no thumbnails exist, the album item will display a default thumbnail image.

When specifying a thumbnail image, the thumbnail path should be written relative to the image gallery root, usually in tihe format thumbnails/filename.jpg.

2. If a title is specified, that title will be displayed. If no title is specified, no title will be displayed.

3. If a description is specified, that description will be displayed. If no description is specified, no description will be displayed.

4. If a relative or absolute URL is specified, the album entry will link to that URL. If no URL is specified, the album entry will default to the sub-directory. The browser will serve index.html or index.php by default. If no URL is specified, and no index file exists, the album entry will probably lead to a Page Not Found error.

5. Detected image galleries will appear in the index listed in numeric, then alphabetic order ( i.e. 0 – 9, then A – Z ), the same way that a system folder would sort by name on your computer. You may control the list order of your galleries by naming your folders to list in the desired order. Display order may be reversed or shuffled, explained elsewhere in documentation.

ce4_auto_index_adding_galleries.txt · Last modified: 2014/07/08 08:30 by matthew

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