GSoC Mentor Summit 2008

This

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year Coppermine participated in Google Summer of Code (GSoC) for the second time. Since our students and mentors did a great job, 2 devs were invited to

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attend the Mentor Summit at Google HQ in Mountain View on October 25th and 26st. Thu and myself were the lucky chosen ones to represent Coppermine over there.

The GSoC Mentor Summit is a unique opportunity for project members to meet people from other projects. It is a place where we can collaborate on the thing we like most: Open Source Software.

Before the summit started, Thu invited me for lunch at Google (where she works). This was really great; to meet someone I had known for over a year on the Coppermine team & forums but never seen before.

Saturday, 25th of October, the summit started with writing down what we wanted to talk about and put those notes on a schedule. After some fiddling around with the schedule, we could finally start sharing ideas. There were quite some rooms available where each hour we could hold/attend a session. There were sessions about GSoC and how it could be improved, teaching open source development in university settings, open source security, CMS & LMS eLearning and a lot more.

My favorite was a session about how CMS’s and other software can learn from each other. We talked about how working closer together and trying to come up with a standard naming convention. Possibility for CMS’s to import/export a standards compliant file so it would be possible to switch to another CMS whenever you want.

Of course one hour most of the time is too short to finish a session, but you get the ball rolling and continue to talk and take action after the summit is over.

When sessions were over I talked (and especially listened) to people from other projects. It is really great to hear we all encounter the same difficulties in managing our projects & communities :-)

What’s cooking in cpg1.5

The next major release of coppermine i.e. cpg1.5 will have number of new features which all of you will most definitely adore however In this post I have highlighted only a few of them.

1. User album in admin allowed categories

This was one long standing feature awaiting to get its way into coppermine. From 15x onwards registered users will be able to create albums in the public categories. From the category manager page admin will be able to specify

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which group of users can create albums in that category.

The best thing about this feature is that coppermine will now be more social networking friendly. Previously users were only allowed to create albums in their personal gallery and those albums were not visible on

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home page and this made the user confined to his/her personal gallery only. Now any category can be public which means the albums in those categories will come from different users.

2. Permanent URLs for search engine friendliness

When coppermine first started SEO term was not even coined. In today’s world a site cannot survive without SEO friendly URLs. Till now the URLs in coppermine were based on position of the pic in an album. The biggest drawback of this approach was that a position of pic keeps changing in an album as new pics are added to that album. This used to hamper the search engine indexing and also a lot of times people coming from the search engines used to land on a different pic than they anticipated.

This issue was solved by replacing pos with pid (permanent id of pic) in the URLs. Since the pid will never change for a given pic – the URLs remain absolute.

3. Comments approval and captcha

Well, comment spam needs no introduction. The captcha plugin and mod were one of the most used plugins/mods in our forums. Looking at this we decided to put captcha in the core code. The only gotcha in captcha is that it will work only on those servers which have GD 2.x with freetype support. We are working hard to find alternative but for now this is the only option.

A second layer of security will be comments approval. If turned on – each comment will require admin approval before they start appearing to the world.

This was only the tip of iceburg. Stay tuned for more cool features.

<?php echo “Hello World!”; ?>

Coppermine Dev Team welcomes you to this blog. For those who have absolutely no idea what Coppermine is, here is an excerpt from our home page.

Coppermine is a multi-purpose fully-featured and integrated web picture gallery script written in PHP using GD or ImageMagick as image library with a MySQL backend.

Coppermine is free software which you can download and install on your webspace.

Coppermine (cpg) was originally created by Gregory Demar and the current team took over the development in the year 2003. We are a bunch of volunteers spread across the

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make cpg a better experience for users.

The authors of this blog will be all members of cpg development team which includes managers, core developers and supporters. As the team members are from different cultures you will find different styles of writing which i hope you all will enjoy.

We started this blog to put forward our experience, knowledge and views on technology, programming and opensource. This blog will highlight coppermine project, its development and features. But hold on, this blog will not be entirely about coppermine and will have topics including php, other opensource applications, world wide web, anything related to technology and sometimes developers and their life.

Now pardon me for changing my tone but i would like to make one thing very very clear – this blog is not meant for coppermine support. There is a better place for getting support and that is our forum. So don’t be a moron by putting support issues in comments. However general comments on blog posts are more than welcome.

I hope everyone will enjoy our writings.

Abbas Ali