You can set up a repository of annotated images, and
then you can easily generate annotated albums that include images and
descriptions from this repository (and perhaps from elsewhere). The same
repository image can be used in a number of albums. In some of these albums,
you may modify the image or its description; the modified version(s) will
be stored locally. In the case where an album includes a repository image
and description that have not been modified locally, regenerating the
album will pick up the latest version of the image and its description
as stored in the repository. (But note that when the generated album is
viewed with a browser, there will usually be no need for the browser to access
Steps in setting up the repository
Create a set of image repository directories (folders),
perhaps within a directory called ImageRepository. Copy the images which
will be part of the repository into the appropriate repository directories.
Run JAlbum (using the Annotated Album skin) on each repository directory
in order to enter descriptions for the images.
Note that a searchable image organizer/database (such
as Picasa) can be used
in connection with your image repository. Such programs should not have
any negative interactions with JAlbum or with the repository strategy.
Steps in generating an album based on the repository
Create a new directory for the new album. In the main
JAlbum tab, specify this directory as the image directory and check the
box labeled "Output to image directory." Of course, specify
that the Annotated Album skin should be used. Edit albumfiles.txt in the image directory in order to specify what images should
be included in this album (and their order); it should have one image per line. Specify each repository image
by giving its absolute path (or its relative path from the JAlbum program
directory) as well as its filename. (Here's
some help on this.) Then make the album.
In some cases you may want to generate an album which provides links to originals, perhaps via scaled images. For example, you may be generating an album containing group photos whose viewers may want to look at the larger original versions of images in order to better see particular individuals. Alternatively, you may be generating an album in which all the images are already just the size you want them to be displayed. In order for this type of repository-based album to be generated correctly, you need to check "Copy image and description files to output directory" in the AnnotatedAlbum tab. (JAlbum doesn't generate links to the original images in their repository locations, perhaps because the repository directory(ies) are not specified in the "Input directory" input box in the JAlbum Main tab.)
Repository of digital camera images
You can use this repository strategy to manage and
utilize photographs taken with your digital camera. First, download photos
from your camera into appropriate repository directories. (My repository
structure is primarily geographic and chronological at the top level,
with directories for each place and time at which photos were taken, e.g.,
ChapelHillAug2003.) Delete photos which are not worth keeping. Then run
JAlbum with the Annotated Album skin for each directory that you have
added photos to; on the AnnotatedAlbum tab, specify "Enter all descriptions
now missing." If you don't want to immediately supply a description for
a particular photo, just click on Skip for it.
As an example, during or after a vacation trip, I'll
put the photos taken during the trip into a repository directory for that
trip and then I'll follow the other steps above. From that repository
directory I might well make two annotated albums, one publicly-accessible
trip album uploaded to my personal website and a different album burned
onto CD-ROM and sent to several of my trip companions; the latter might
include some descriptive comments not in the public album.
A comment on generality
This repository strategy can be used with other JAlbum
skins; except for the treatment of descriptions it is not restricted to
the Annotated Album skin.
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