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The Big Picture (A YaPIG Primer)
Take your photos to the Web with YaPIG.

| The Big Picture |

YaPIG, which stands for Yet Another PHP Image Gallery, is software that allows you to create online photo albums from your digital images. It provides a simple, user-friendly repository for images, allowing users to quickly publish their photos to a Web site, and viewers to post comments on the images. YaPIG also supports multiple galleries and passwords, making it possible to restrict users to viewing specific albums only.

YaPIG doesn't use complex SQL and so only requires you to make changes to a configuration file to get up and running. It does, however, require you to have the GD library installed as part of your PHP build; the program uses this to automatically build thumbnails of your photos and display them in a menu for easy selection. User comments are stored in text files within the gallery directory (this differs from other image galleries, which use MySQL as the storage area for user comments - personally, I prefer YaPIG's approach), and the application takes care of linking each comment with its respective image. Finally, counters track page views on a per-gallery and per-image basis, allowing you to easily build statistics about the popularity of your galleries.

One of the things I liked most about YaPIG is its simplicity. It took me only a couple of minutes to set up the package and - since the package does not need a MySQL database - I didn't have to worry about creating special database access rights for it either. A friendly Web-based administration tool makes it easy to create, edit and delete photo galleries, and everyone I showed it to liked the simple navigation and easy-to-use interface. Finally, I liked the fact that individual users could post comments on each image - this allowed my friends and family to comment on everything from my weight to my dress sense (as well as read each other's views), and added to the interactivity of the whole experience.

If you're a shutterbug, or just have lots of pictures to show off, you're going to want to install YaPIG on your Web server, so that you have a central place to manage and share your images. The application is fairly easy to install and use, and is well-suited to small- and medium-size image galleries. If you've never used a tool like this before, you might think it unnecessary - but use it a couple of times, and you'll quickly come to appreciate it.

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