M u s t i q u e

Mustique

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Muse originally started production in 2005 shortly after I returned from Iraq. SOSAM, a close friend of mine first told me that WP was the best blog tool ever. Being deeply interested in running a server (which I did/do) I installed it for him and he was off to blog the world around him.

A short time later, while I was on post-deployment leave, he came to me again and said that serious gallery utilities for WP where scant, and of those that existed most required a second installation, cooperation with one’s ISP and sometimes even third-party plugins to get them to truly jive.

Haphazardly, I started creating a gallery. First, under the name “WP Gallery” (which was taken), next “Picture Press” (also taken), then finally “Muse” after looking over all of the plugins available in the WP repository and spending a week wondering “What’s in a name…?”

So, here I am, nearly a year later and I’ve laid down nearly 150k of original code, gone through two or three major revisions and I am ready to let people see what Muse is all about. In the excerpt of the plugin itself, “Muse is a complete gallery manager built around the idea that a gallery should be what you want and where you want it; simple, dynamic, sleek and easily inserted into posts without integrating multiple interfaces or ‘getting under the hood’.”

Muse aims to do the following:

  • KISSKeep It Simple, Seriously
  • Have low overhead:
    • Thumbnails
    • Intermediate images (for low-bandwidth transmission of high quality photos)
    • Simple, complete database for cataloging
    • Simple AJAX
      All work together to keep bandwidth down but keep your website nimble.
  • Be practical:
    • No code!
    • 4 distinct options pages
    • Installs in seconds: UnZip, Put the folder in “Plugins”, & Activate
    • Intuitive design and layout
    • Integrates automatically with your theme
      (and it knows if you change it)
    • Security options
      (To help protect your images from accidents & unwanted copies)
  • Be customizable:
    • Thumbnails can be scaled
      by Height, Width, Largest side, Shortest Side
    • Thumbnails can be cropped
    • Your gallery has the title you want
    • You choose how your gallery is navigated:
      All of your images on one page or divided amongst several pages
      Show any number of pages in the navigation bar or all of them
      Choose your own “first”, “previous”, “next”, & “last” text (or don’t have any)
    • Styles
    • Inserts easily into your blog
      (compatible with WP 1.5 & and WP 2.0)

In reality, Muse aims to accomplish, in the most efficient way, everything that you’ve ever wanted to do with your blog or even photo-blog. It is hard to actually list all of the functions that Muse will provide you, but if you really want to know, please refer to the Features page.

I m u s e

Imuse

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Contents:

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my humble place on the internet. If you read the introduction you already know what Muse is and what it’s about. You must be curious if you’ve come here. I am one of my own beta testers as well as the following two sites:

What does it do? Here’s the skinny:

  • WordPress 1.5 and 2.0 compatible.
  • Store images via HTML or FTP upload.
  • Manage these images via PHP, MySQL, & GD library
  • Create thumbnails and intermediate images to save bandwidth.
  • Images and data are managed within albums.
  • Album can be named, contain a caption, and track views.
  • Albums are easily edited and renamed.
  • Within albums, images may also have a caption.
  • Images are easily edited and renamed.
  • Images may be added in batches via an “Folder to Album” command. Simply upload a folder, choose your options, and relax while your holiday or occasion make an album.
  • Scores of options available. Please check the screen shots.

Anyway, Muse is finally ready for public use! So without further ado…

Requirements

JavaScript! A substantial amount of Muse’ interworkings and attractive functionality are supported by JavaScript. This is good because it takes work off the server. If you’re a JS guru, don’t worry about cross-browser scripting – Muse’ JS is supported by all current major browsers.
PHP 4.06 or greater

MySQL 4.1 or greater

GD library and a base set of its functions in order to run:

  • imagecreate
  • imagecopyresized
  • imagedestroy

…and the appropriate image functions:

  • For GIF’s – imagegif / imagecreatefromgif
  • For JPEG’s – imagejpeg / imagecreatefromjpeg
  • For PNG’s – imagepng / imagecreatefrompng

…if more advanced functions are available, image quality is preserved:

  • imagecopyresampled
  • imagecreatetruecolor
  • imageinterlace (in development)

Download!

Download: ftp/muse.zip Download: muse/tar.gz
Download: ftp/muse.zip Download: muse/tar.gz

Install

I’ve worked very hard to make sure this section is as small as possible. Simply:

  1. Download the appropriate package for your platform.
    Tar for *nix / Zip for Windows
  2. unZip/unTar the package
  3. Locate your WordPress plugins directory. If WordPress is the “root” of your webspace, it should be:
    /wp-content/plugins
  4. Place muse.php and the muse folder here.
  5. If you use *nix, the user or group that your server runs as needs -wx (Write, Execute) permissions on the muse folder. Its contents should already have read permissions at least.
  6. Login to WordPress and go to the Plugins menu.
  7. Activate Muse – Gallery Manager

Once Muse is isntalled, please create an album, and upload at least one image. Once you have done this, please visit the Options pages. When you click submit, Muse will generate a style sheet which will save your server work.

Later, your first visitor will trigger Muse’ automatic page generator. (The root location for all Muse pages and sites is www.mysite.net/?p=muse )
*NOTE: If the Muse’ row does not refresh highlighted in green, this is an indication that Muse cannot run on your current version of the GD library.

A m u s e d ?

Amused?

Thursday, April 27th, 2006