Server side importing

I looked into this briefly and found curious results..

Before I explain my findings, I'll say what I want.. I want to be able to create albums where the photos in them are links to originals. To preserve the way ZP works, the easiest thing would be to symlink, but in a way that maintains the file system structure that ZP uses.

.. so the results..

1. ZP doesn't specifically support server side image importing, and through standard uploading mechanism copies all images under itself.

2. Despite 1, the organization of images follows a file system structure.

Given 2, it is quite easy to sim link external image tree structures and have ZP immediately work with them. FANTASTIC.

The problem is

It's all or nothing.

You either

a. symlink your root and publish only what you want to show or
b. you mimic your original structure and symlink individual files, leaving publishing on.

If a, publishing specific files is a PITA, because the ZP UI is not intuitive for that kind of job, nevertheless its doable now out of the box. NOTE: you'll lose your publish status if redoing the DB, and will revert to showing either all or no images if resetting (depending on the publish mode default).

If b, its took much work by hand, but you guarantee a separate virtual structure (on disk) that can be imported as is should something happen to ZP or your DB, and ideally, ZP would simlink for you by virtue of you selecting the photos you want in your albums. This is also friendly with any other image browsing software, because the virtual albums are virtual on the file system and not in a proprietary DB.

Can we either improve the UI to better navigate images / albums[folders] perhaps all as thumbnail on one page and quickly select publish/not publish


Can we add a new album creation mode where users pick images that are sim linked into ZP or a scan mode which symlinks the entire tree AND understands deletion as deletion of symlinks?

I think this feature would really entice a lot more users to take advantage of ZP.


  • acrylian Administrator
    There is a publish content utlity that lists all images and albums that are currently unpublished and lets you select to do that.

    We don't have all thumbnails on one page as that might overload some servers.

    As to your symlink ideas I wIll let my colleague respond to that.
  • A basic design constraint of Zenphoto is that it is filesystem based. That will not change.

    It is certainly possibe to provide an "upload handler" that does what you suggest. However, it would have to allow the user to browse your server filesystem including outside of the WEB root. Many installations explicitly prohibit that for security reasons.

    You can create an enhancement issue on GitHub if you wish this feature request to be considered. You will need to be fairly detailed on how you want it to work. I suggest you look at how an "upload handler" plugin might be designed to meet your needs as the functionality of those seem closely related.

    Note, ofcourse that there will be no obligation for the development team to implement your request. But the issue report would be a good place for others to comment on the feature's usefullness and feature requirements.
  • acrylian,

    I will look into the publish content utility - thanks!


    I like the fact that ZP is file system based.

    I also understand the restriction of going outside of webroot.. i suppose i'm coming from an admin angle that these links would only be set up by someone who has access and made to be read only.

    The goal for me is to easily expose existing content without copying or moving it and ideally having its organization universal..

    If ZP handled symlinks (for copying and deleting images in albums) thus allowing content referencing in various albums while preserving the file system structure, I guess that's ultimately what I'm after.

    I realize there are editing implications and having to make copies, but I'm thinking of keeping it simple and disabling editing if its linked. DB metadata should be fairly trivial and per image per album.

    I will think about it some more and look into adding it in github.

    PS menalto gallery had this in v2, not implemented in v3 to the disappointment of many people, so this feature would definitely give ZP a leg up.
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