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Thread: Noobe - Upload and Display Images by Users

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    Default Noobe - Upload and Display Images by Users

    Hi All,

    I've been doing computer 'stuff' for awhile but, I'm new to web design. I've used Serif's "WebPlus X4" to design a website for a parent-to-parent group, http://www.fcawinchester.org. The member pages are password protected. They contain a forum and chat features, by WebPlus (Serif) and hosted by them too.

    I'd like the members to be able to upload files and pictures. Files, non-picture, would update a download-able file list. Pictures would be added to a gallery. One script does not need to be able to discern between file types. The ability to have separate albums would be great as would descriptions.

    Part of what I'm trying to achieve is to replicate Yahoo's groups features on my website. I have used Google's calendar and find it useful. If I could embed Picasa Web that would be fine too. Whatever the solution, it needs to be simple. Most of the parents are not computer literate.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated; including comments on the website itself.

    Thanks in advance!
    Eric

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    What you are describing will not be simple to create. You could use an existing system that does all of this for you or dive right in to learn PHP or another serverside language, and probably a database language like MySQL too.

    The first problem though is that if you are using the service of an external host, then you may not be able to modify what their server does. So how to you plan to add this on top of the existing system? Have you checked with the service provider to see if they can offer a solution?


    The good news is that in terms of usability none of this should be a big problem. Your users will see a browse button and select a file. Then they will click "upload" (or a similarly named button) and the file will take a minute to process (as it transfers) then the page will reload and the file will be available on the server. All organization will take place in the server such as where the files are organized, etc., and then the users can see whatever you design such as a link with images or download links.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    What you are describing will not be simple to create. You could use an existing system that does all of this for you or dive right in to learn PHP or another serverside language, and probably a database language like MySQL too.

    The first problem though is that if you are using the service of an external host, then you may not be able to modify what their server does. So how to you plan to add this on top of the existing system? Have you checked with the service provider to see if they can offer a solution?


    The good news is that in terms of usability none of this should be a big problem. Your users will see a browse button and select a file. Then they will click "upload" (or a similarly named button) and the file will take a minute to process (as it transfers) then the page will reload and the file will be available on the server. All organization will take place in the server such as where the files are organized, etc., and then the users can see whatever you design such as a link with images or download links.
    I'd rather not have to learn another language. I've known and have forgotten more than I'm sure I remember...mostly scripting. That's the reason I've been using WebPlus to build websites. But, I've learned to know when I need help. And I need help for this part.

    I'm not adverse to using an external host or something prepackaged as long as they are reliable. If anyone can recommend one I'd love to evaluate it.

    The website itself is hosted by GoDaddy.com. If GoDaddy has the service available, they will charge me for it. I want to exhaust any other options first. And I'd rather make a one-time payment rather than a recurring one.

    The forum and chat are hosted on Serif's on servers...no extra cost (big plus as we have little funds). Of course our calendar is also hosted on an external server, Google.com. Ohh, forgot about the user database and passwords are also hosted by Serif. The great thing is that these services just plug right in. The user database is a little...'wonky' but any database anyone else writes will take a little getting used to.

    The website is running on Linux. I can use PHP and SQL databases on the servers. The software I've been using is very flexible and will allow direct input.

    Any help, direction, whatever would be appreciated.

    Thanks and thanks in advance,
    Eric

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    The problem is that you have a system. And you want a different system. But you want to keep the current system, and you don't want to modify the current system (or can't).

    What you are describing is completely possible, but I'm not sure how you would integrate it with your current configuration.

    You might have some better luck asking directly to the creators of these products but at the same time they might just not have a solution for you.

    The "best" solution would be to replace everything you have with either a custom built alternative or a publicly (freely?) available CMS that has all the features you need. Of course that is a lot of work to do, but it would result in the correct setup in the end.

    You may want to consider hiring a consultant to work out the best methods with you. After that you can decide what approach you'd like to take: built it yourself, use an existing system or modify what you already have, and potentially work with that consultant. In fact, I'd do this for you but my schedule at the moment won't allow for anything extra at the moment.


    I've used godaddy servers and with PHP and MySQL you can absolutely do this. But that means learning those languages. They're fairly accessible (in my opinion) but of course learning something new won't be "easy". More importantly, regardless of what tools you have available, I don't understand how you intend to integrate the user accounts with the external system. Unless they have some sort of remote access API that would allow for logins and such, you can't run the same user accounts locally and at their site. Would you want to create a new set of accounts/passwords for your file upload system? It's perfectly possible to do this, but it wouldn't easily integrate with the other systems.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    The problem is that you have a system. And you want a different system. But you want to keep the current system, and you don't want to modify the current system (or can't).
    I'm confused by this statement. I have a website that is using multiple systems from multiple vendors. Probably not the best way, but it is what I did at the time. I have no problem switching gears or replacing systems. Yes, I have two or three dozen man-hours in it. But that is only because I'm still learning.

    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    What you are describing is completely possible, but I'm not sure how you would integrate it with your current configuration.

    You might have some better luck asking directly to the creators of these products but at the same time they might just not have a solution for you.

    The "best" solution would be to replace everything you have with either a custom built alternative or a publicly (freely?) available CMS that has all the features you need. Of course that is a lot of work to do, but it would result in the correct setup in the end.
    I'm glad that this is possible. At least that means I'm not totally out-of-it.

    See, I still don't understand why I'd have to replace everything? I don't have to use WebPlus for development nor am I required to use their servers. And I can use normal HTML code and I can include Java, I can have CSS, and DHTML.

    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    You may want to consider hiring a consultant to work out the best methods with you. After that you can decide what approach you'd like to take: built it yourself, use an existing system or modify what you already have, and potentially work with that consultant. In fact, I'd do this for you but my schedule at the moment won't allow for anything extra at the moment.
    If I can't get an answer here or the other board I posted on (Serif's) why don't you shoot me a note when your schedule opens up.

    Quote Originally Posted by djr33 View Post
    I've used godaddy servers and with PHP and MySQL you can absolutely do this. But that means learning those languages. They're fairly accessible (in my opinion) but of course learning something new won't be "easy". More importantly, regardless of what tools you have available, I don't understand how you intend to integrate the user accounts with the external system. Unless they have some sort of remote access API that would allow for logins and such, you can't run the same user accounts locally and at their site. Would you want to create a new set of accounts/passwords for your file upload system? It's perfectly possible to do this, but it wouldn't easily integrate with the other systems.
    I don't understand why I have to integrate user account. The way the site is setup currently is the top level page (Member's Only) is password protected and is connected to a user list/password. All children are protected and use the same list. The users are only required to login once. ...Actually I take that back. I have to have a separate user-list/password for the forum.

    So, I envision a child page of (Member's Only) that is password protected. Once there they would have the option to upload a new picture for the gallery and add a description.

    I found this while searching:
    http://www.mercury14.co.uk/tests/php.../ddphpalbum.js

    It may do what I need? It sure is similar to what I'd like to do. I do not think it allows users to add descriptions. Not surprisingly I don't know Java or PHP. I wish I did. Serif also has a CMS I can add. I don't like it, though, and it won't work the way I need it to.

    Did that help?

    Thanks,
    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by LazyFisher View Post
    I have no problem switching gears or replacing systems.
    That's great, then. You will have a lot of options. You may not need to replace it entirely, but doing so might be the simplest in the end.

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyFisher View Post
    I don't have to use WebPlus for development nor am I required to use their servers. And I can use normal HTML code and I can include Java, I can have CSS, and DHTML.
    Your users will log in using accounts stored in the current system. I don't think there will be any easy way to integrate the systems together. That probably means you either need to change systems or require that users have two accounts. Does that make sense?



    Quote Originally Posted by LazyFisher View Post
    If I can't get an answer here or the other board I posted on (Serif's) why don't you shoot me a note when your schedule opens up.
    I'm not sure about my schedule (now trough the end of May is particularly busy), but I could refer you to someone else or you could post a request in the paid scripts help section if you think that's the best option.


    Quote Originally Posted by LazyFisher View Post
    I don't understand why I have to integrate user account. The way the site is setup currently is the top level page (Member's Only) is password protected and is connected to a user list/password. All children are protected and use the same list. The users are only required to login once. ...Actually I take that back. I have to have a separate user-list/password for the forum.

    So, I envision a child page of (Member's Only) that is password protected. Once there they would have the option to upload a new picture for the gallery and add a description.
    This will mean that everyone is using the same account (regarding the images). Is this ok? That means that everyone will be able to modify/delete/add all photos, so there won't be any user-level security, just general access to the site.



    The script you found may be fine for what you need. However, you will also need an image upload script. Generally speaking, managing/uploading files through a website is more complicated than displaying the results to the user. So I'd say worry about the file system (including uploads), then you'll be able to find a way to display them.


    I would suggest at this point that you take a step back and create a list of required features and how flexible you are. If you want a single integrated system (such as one login for each user) then things may get complicated and require a new approach. But if you're flexible with an approach that will get everything done that you need but might not be completely polished, there are probably workarounds. That's a style question, though, so something you can think about.


    Everything you are describing is possible. Some of it is difficult, and doing all of it at a very high level of quality may be a significant task. Include in your list of features some notes about who may be using the system and what they'd expect. Would they mind a few technical glitches or strange features (like two or more logins)?

    And this description will help a designer build it for you, or a consultant be able to work with you in designing it. In fact, you can even post it here. (If it's incredibly long and complicated, that might be too much for free help, but you can try posting it and see if someone has some advice.)

    Another important question is this: you are learning now, so is your focus on learning and ending up at a good result, or on reaching that good result in the fastest way possible? We all were learning once (probably still are) and I completely understand, but that won't help if you're on a tight deadline.


    As a last bit of advice, I suggest that you take a break from everything at the moment and look into some CMS systems. For example, wordpress may do everything you need. It probably would require some adjustments, but that may be the easiest answer if it seems like it would work. And with that, you probably can actually use it for the entire site (at least the member's area) and replace all current passwords with accounts on wordpress. There are lots of other options out there too, like Joomla. It'll take a bit of exploring to find the right one. Wiki software also might be relevant, but maybe not.

    One advantage of hiring someone to develop this for you would be that they might be able to take a single existing piece of the site (for example the forum) and integrate everything else around that, though that takes some advanced understanding of PHP and MySQL, so it's probably not something you'd want to take on yourself yet.


    I hope this is pointing you in the right direction. Before you can consider any specifics, there are a lot of general direction questions to consider, and the details should actually be easier after that.
    Daniel - Freelance Web Design | <?php?> | <html>| espa˝ol | Deutsch | italiano | portuguŕs | catalÓ | un peu de franšais | some knowledge of several other languages: I can sometimes help translate here on DD | Linguistics Forum

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