NextGEN goodness

Just spent some time fooling around with the NextGEN gallery plugin for WP-MU. It has to be said that this is uber cool. I figured out how to use it with any old template. It does everything that Gallery3 does and more. Ideal for travel blogs I would say. There is one glitch however. The ‘slideshow’ feature does not render properly. This screenshot from Windows Exploder 8 shows the gaps where the slideshow ought to be placed (the gaps do not appear in Firefox or Flock browsers):

Blog with slideshow

Screenshot of blog display with NextGEN slidehow (browser: I.E v8)

I’m not actually sure whether this is a problem with WP-MU 2.9.1 or the NextGEN plugin or the template (don’t think so) or (perhaps) the imagerotator.swf. I downloaded the latest version of the JW Image Rotator (v3.17) and I know that I set the absolute path correctly in Gallery : Options : Slideshow. Having gorn back to the download and opened the accompanying demo html file (which displays a working slideshow) I’m now thinking that it’s a version discombobulation between NextGEN and the rotator.  However, even absent the slideshow this plugin is double plus super triffic!

Update

Rather embarrassing this. I’ve sussed the problem. It was the path descriptor. When I see the phrase ‘path’ I always assume that it means absolute file path, so I had /usr/local/www/apache/data/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/imagerotator.swf as the “path to imagerotator”. What it actually means is the URL, so changing this to http://blogs.sergius.earlham.edu/wp-contents/uploads/imagerotator.swf did the trick. I guess it does say (URL) in the field descriptor but the if the [Search now] button doesn’t work (which mine didn’t) then you have to trial and error it.

Correct display of slideshow

One thing that this does show is an issue with aspect ratios. I often like taking ‘portrait’ style photos and so will turn my camera onto it’s long axis to take the photo. But mixing ‘wide’ landscape orientation and tall portrait orientation within a single slideshow does not work well as the widget shows. This is because the slideshow has to have a fixed size and this can accommodate either one or the other orientation, but not both. So, I will  have to think about sorting photos before displaying in a slideshow format. Fortunately, the system of Albums – Galleries makes this easy to do. One can just have a Gallery of tall images and wide images in the same Album and then use two different slideshow settings to display.

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