My online sandbox for developing on the web...


After experimenting with a blogging CMS in WordPress, a forums CMS in SimpleMachines Forums and MediaWiki for our wiki, the Bear wanted to see what tools were available on the web for displaying photos.

There seem to be a number of open source photo gallery options out there but the one that seemed the most stable with the largest community of developers and contributors was, Gallery.

Like many of the open source CMS tools, Gallery combines PHP, javascript, css, and a MySQL backend to drive the application. There are a lot of modules/plugins and files in Gallery so it took some time to get it all set up but once they all got uploaded things moved quickly thereafter. Skinning the Gallery CMS wasn’t too difficult as the main template is pretty basic, many consisting of Gallery’s “smarty tags” that work within their framework.

Gallery offers a lot of nice features like batch photo uploads, rss feeds, photo commenting and ratings, album slideshows, thumbnail auto creation using ImageMagik, and the ability to rearrage the order of your photos and albums. Shortly, the Bear is going to investigate integrations between Gallery and WordPress. Maybe the Bear should look here. But, for now, enjoy the Photos!

Click Here to view the FYREBEAR.com Photos section.

Ajax is pretty handy. It’s a great way to dynamically fetch content/data from your site/server on demand using XMLHttpRequest so that it reduces server bandwidth load. That way when viewing content items on the page only that specific content item that is selected is fetched from the server and not the entire page.

The Bear has installed an Ajax Pagination script on the FYREBEAR homepage that he borrowed from DynamicDrive.

This pagination script illustrates a nice way to display multiple pieces of content on one page without the page’s length continously being extended. Also, using this method, instead of an iFrame method, allows the content to inherit the page’s style attributes.

Right now the content items are just static files being fetched, but they could be fetched from a database back-end as well.

• Check it out in action on the FYREBEAR.com homepage.

Javascript is fun. It’s even more fun adding in some AJAX goodness.

Using javascript+AJAX along with Magpie’s XML RSS PHP parser, we have installed a “My-Fyrebear” type application which allows one to add in your own RSS feeds to this page. It’s a great way to aggregate all of your information sources into one place.

Additoinally there is a handy “drag and drop” functionallity to the content modules that allows one to sort/rearrange the page to one’s liking. And the RSS feed selections and sorting are stored in a cookie on one’s machine to remember the changes.

It’s not quite iGoogle, MyYahoo, or Netvibes, but it’s pretty neat nonetheless! Not bad for a Bear!

• Check it out at My.FYREBEAR.com

Just recently the Bear has installed a couple of open source projects.

The first of which is MediaWiki, which is the wiki application that Wikipedia uses. For the moment, we are using this to catalog items the Bear has for dinner. The Bear likes to eat.

The second item is Simple Machines Forums (SMF). The Bear installed this software and formatted it to include the FYREBEAR website theme. Additionally, the theme includes a right column which contains a javascript code that uses Google’s API to import a Flickr RSS feed to output photo images as well as RSS-to-Javascript’s RSS parser to include a RSS feed.

Both of the open source applications run on PHP and are backended by a MySQL database.

• Check them out here at FYREBEAR.com! Wiki | Forums

Giving Word Press A Test Drive

April 27th, 2008 by FYREBEAR

While I was testing out some other open source applications, recently SMF Forums and MediaWiki, I thought I also would give WordPress a try.

I am enjoying exploring it’s templates and CSS. I applied the FYREBEAR wrapper around the templates and am looking forward to checking out all of the available plugins.

Already the plugins I have installed are the Leopard Admin skin and Thickbox.

Flickr Photos

All Purpose Monkey Blog

RSS to JavaScript

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