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Photo Folders, Just another WordPress site

Documentation : search

Published on 15 June 2014 and updated on 28 June 2014 -
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In most online pictures sharing services, the pictures search feature is very poor: you type a name and the site displays the matching pictures, sometimes mixing the author's pictures and other author's pictures. But you can't easily sort out the found pictures and navigate in it in a structured way. In Photo-Folders, you'll have the option to look at the results of searched pictures through various angles.

Two search types are provided in Photo-folders : a simplified single criteria used to quickly find the list of objects (groups, albums, etc) which contain pictures containing a given name, and a multi-criteria search used to associate several search criteria (picture name, location in folders, creation date, size, color, format).

Both search modes are entirely interactive: results are dynamically updated as the use inputs or updates search criterias. Search results always show onthe right as thumbnails or an enlarged picture (the first from the search result set). The user can do a lot of things onthe result : download it, do a multiple picture selection and then download the selection. All display modes settings are available (thumbnail mode, zoom level, background color). All these settings are dynamically embedded in the web site url (for browsers supporting HTML5). A search result can be sent to another user and even bookmarked in social networks. The bookmark in Facebook and Twitter will show the first picture for the search result. At last, the items on the left (albums, groups, ...) can be sorted like with group's albums, agains number of pictures, alphabetical sort or capture/publishing dates.

Simple search activation

You activate search with typing a name in the search field at the top right of your browser or with selecting the "Search” group. The result will be a list of items which type can be later selected. By default, it shows the list of albums with their pictures containing the searched name in their title or description.

If you search pictures containing a firstname and lastname, you can input it in any order, and with or without accented characters. If you are looking for several persons in the same picture, input all or part of their names one after the other in any order, separated with a space. You can also search for pictures containing "IMG_" or "DSC" in their names. These are the pictures coming out of your cameras that you have not renamed. If you plan to rename it in Photo-Folders, it's a good way to identify it. But since Photo-Folders is more a publishing system than a management system, you may need to also handle this renaming in the source of your pictures, in your own personal computer or server.

The searched name is kept even when you move back to a regular group. When clicking back on the "search" group, you'll find the last search you've done.

Search presentation modes

You can change the searched items presented in the search result: by groups, by albums, by names and by pictures technical specifications.

When using the "names" presentation mode, the names displayed at the left in place of the usual group's albums are the names or combination of names found in pictures without the text under parenthesis and their related number of pictures. When typing a given name in the search box, you'll see this name alone when the person is tagged as being alone in some pictures, and other combinations depending on who she was taken with.

You can type in the search box any combination of first names and last names and in any order. "john adams" will return the same result que as "adams john". The search is case and accents insensitive. "Agnes" will return the pictures containing "Agnès" and the other way around.

The displayed pictures are corresponding to the first item on the left. You can select other items.

The “Groups” mode will list the groups where the search text is found in pictures titles and descriptions.

The small x button in the search box makes it easy to reset its text. In that case, the result in the left side contains all groups from the galleries handles by Photo-Folders.

The “All” mode shows all the pictures corresponding to the search. The displayed name under the picture (when there's any, it depends on the presentation mode), the picture name is complemented by its album and group name since it can be different for pictures in the same view. In this mode, all names found in pictures are still shown in the left side. When you click on one name, the search switches back to "names" mode, showing only the pictures containing the name in the items list.

The lenses search display mode shows found pictures sorted by lenses used for taking the pictures. You can use the T keyboard accelerator to display the related lenses icons.

You can also display the camera used to take the pictures. Cameras and lenses pictures are stored in a reference Photo-folders location. The base is regularly updated with new cameras and lenses. You can submit your own to the author of the plugin given these pictures must be in PNG format, a minimum of 300 pixels width and with a transparent background, making it possible to display it over a white or black background.

Then, you can also display pictures sorted by ISO, aperture and exposure. Why ? It can be useful to both understand how pictures were taken and what can be achieved in extreme conditions such as very wide aperture or ISO settings. It can be used to teach photography.

Then, the pictures can be sorted by author and licence.

With zeroing the search name field, you'll get a list of all authors from the galleries. It's a good way to search pictures per author. When done per licence, you'll quickly have an idea of how a picture can be reused whether it's using a creative common licence or a more traditional copyright licence.

A Copyright restreins the picture usage and requires you to ask the author about his conditions. Creative Commons licences are more flexible. You can indicate a link to a web site describing the licence you are using (particularly for any variation of the Creative Commons licence).

Sorting search results

The sort feature can be used to sort found items by names, number of pictures and dates. You can then identify the most frequently used names in all albums. The # + arrows icons above the items list are used to sort items by number of pictures. The “A…Z” is used for alphabetical sort. Then, the two other icon enable creation and publishing dates sort. The dates used is that of the most recent picture of each item in the items list.

This works for all views: names, albums, groups, author, camera, etc. When sorting by dates and using the album view, you can sort all the galleries albums by date.

Whenever you are in search, you can navigate in the pictures like when you are browsing albums. You can change the presentation mode, the background color, launch a slide show, select several pictures, zoom in and out, etc.

An the site URL will be modified accordingly containing all the view information. You can send it to any user: he'll use it to display Photo-Folders in the exact same context as the one you saved. Even with a launched slideshow running in full browser.

Functions applicable to search results

It's possible to do many things with the results of a search: download the list of items (fromt the left panel), download the pictures, create a widget with it, and also handle multiple pictures selection to download it, ask their deletion, and, for the site administrator, delete, rename, copy or move selected pictures.

You can also download the pictures found in this search. The download will generate a ZIP file containing as many folders as the number of items containing pictures in the search result following the search presentation mode (by group, album, camera, lens, etc). You can also download the list of these found items.

Multi-criteria search

Since October 2014, photo-folders has a new pictures multi-criteria search feature. It enables a fine-tuned seach using several criteria at once. This search mode is activated with the magnifying glass button displayed below the groups list when being in the "Search" group. This buttons toggles in and out of the multi-criteria search mode to the standard search mode.

Once in the multi-criteria search mode, you can input one or several criteria. The pictures list is updated on the fly on the right while ou change these criteria. An empty field is greyed to make it easy to see which ones are activated (not greyed).

Here are the various search fields :

  • Description : it is a text found in picture names or descriptions.
  • Folders : it is a text found in the names of groups, albums and sub-albums. A drop down list shows the list of all groups, albums and sub-albums, enabling an autofill while you start typing a name.
  • Author : it's some text to look for in picture's author names. Here also, a drop down list shows the list of existing authors.
  • Maximum size : it's the largest size of searched pictures, in pixels, coverging both width and height.
  • Minimum size : same for the minimum size of searched pictures, in pixels.
  • First date : it's the starting capture date for searched pictures. This date is smaller than the last date if it's input. A date picker zone is available for HTML5 browsers supporting it, like Chrome.
  • Last date : pictures capture date must not exceed this date.
  • Orientation : it's the picture format : any, portrait, landscape or square.
  • Color : this is a filter on picture color elements. You can select color or black and white pictures as well as pictures with a dominant or red, green, blue, etc. This color information is provided when the color management option is activated in the plugin settings ("rendering" tab). When activated, the picture analyzis during album and group scans and their upload is much longer. This option is then activated only if you want to use this color search feature. When color management is not activated in the plugin settings, this color search criteria is not shown in the multi-criteria search view.

The pictures resulting from a multi-criteria search can be used with the same set of functions in traditional search and album views, namely:

  • The choice of presentation mode of picture thumbnails, clicking on a picture to enlarge it, slideshows and background color selection.
  • Functions for sorting pictures which are activated when clicking onthe hand icon next to the number of pictures in the search result.
  • Pictures downloading, activated through the dialog box generated with clicking onthe "Multi-criteria search" label.
  • Multiple pictures selection features, enabling the selection of some pictures in the view (with mouse click or control-click depending on the activation of the multiple selection tool). On a selection, you can download pictures and email it. The admin can also delete, rename, copy and move it, and change their author/copyright tags.
  • The widgets generator is also working, with clicking on the icon from the dialog launched with clicking on "Muli-criteria search". It works like with any other pictures view. It will take into account the current pictures sorting mode.
  • The dynamic URL update using the multi-criteria search. A search result can be sent to anybody with using the current site URL. This still doesn't work with Internet Explorer 9.0 and below.

Multi-criteria search fields are also stored in user cookies on his terminal. The next time a multi-criteria search is launched, the user recovers his past search. It will also be persistent when moving back an forth out of the search view to a regular group/album view.

When a multi-criteria search is activated, the classical search field and search display modes icons/drop downs are hidden, at the top right of the plugin user interface.

Multi-criteria searches can be saved by the user with a button below the search criteria input. You must then provide a label for the search. The next button is users to list the saved searches. You can rename it, remove it and select it with clicking on it. When selected, the save search becomes the current search and the related pictures are shown instantaneously. The last button next to the saved search display button is used to reset all search fields.

Saved searches are personal and only kept in a browser cookie. Its data is not saved by the server running Photo-Folders.

In the saved searches dialog box, three buttons have a global impact on saved searches. The first enables the user to save his saved searches in a local file, the second to load such saved searches and add it to his current searches and the last, to reset all saved searches. If a user finds interesting pictures on the site, he can bookmark it with these searches and send the saved search to a friend while preserving confidentiality.

Search engines and sitemaps

The plugin admin options in the rendering tab contain an option to activate sitemap generation for search engines. This feature is non active by default. You'll need to activate it if your web site is public and you want its posts and pictures be well indexed on search engines.

When pictures are added, removed, albums and groups changed or renamed, an update of sitemaps is generated and search engines (Google and Bing) are pinged.

The generated sitemap is based on four types of files created in the root directory of Wordpress, the one usually containing your wp-config.php configuration file.

  • robots.txt which tells search engines whether index the site or not.
  • sitemap.xml which points to the albums and groups sitemaps files.
  • sitemap-albums.xml which lists links on all albums managed by photo-folders and posts/pages in your blog. If you were already using a sitemap or SEO engine, you'd better desactivate it to avoid any conflict or redundant sitemap sendings to search engines.
  • One sitemap-group-(groupname).xml.gz file for each group which contains a compressed XML file with the url pointing to each and every picture with their plugin URL.

When a group or an album is updated, a ping is sent to Google and Bing with the related .gz in the affected group. When the base is entirely regenerated (like with a photo-database.php batch), a ping to sitemap.xml is sent.

When only an albim or group is updated, the ping points to the group sitemap. The date of the last ping is kept in a Wordpress photo-folder option. It avoid sending repetitive unnecessary pings to search engines. A ping is sent only if and where the base is modified and when this modification occurs after the last sent ping. All this happens behind the scene for the site administrator. He/she can still make checks in the search engine webmasters toolsto check sitemap submissions, valid formats and the beginning of site indexing. Sites are usually scanned progressively and not all at once.

Published on 15 June 2014 and updated on 28 June 2014 Page from | 494 lectures

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