This post puts the spotlight on an often overlooked gem in jAlbum – the seach feature of the Turtle skin. Many people and organisations use jAlbum to present huge amounts of images, whether it is catalogues of vintage cars, handicraft or event images for the local sports club. It's not uncommon to see albums consisting of tens of thousands of images presented in hierachical folder trees.
With jAlbum's Turtle skin, you can add a search box that will simplify finding the images your viewers are looking for. It will search through all images of your album, looking for matches to the search terms within the file names, titles, descriptions, keywords and even face tags of your images! If you search for multiple words, Turtle will find all images that's matching any of them. The matching images are immediately presented in a thumbnail list and are now only one click away.
Have a play with this sample album of stock photos to see search in action!
To enable search in a Turtle based album, simply open Settings → Turtle → Site and tick the “Use search box” checkbox, then make and upload the album again. Search works no matter where the album is being hosted. It even works for albums stored on CD-ROM, memory sticks etc.
Please note: when you preview an album locally the search functionality will not work before the album make has completely finished!
David and the entire jAlbum team
Please add this request to the Feature Request section of our forum! It is surely an interesting idea.
i love your site :)
I'll handle this request to David, jAlbum author now.
That certainly seems like a sensible duty for jAlbum's engine to handle rather than handing off the responsibility to the skin, particularly if the skin isn't provided enough information to properly handle incremental builds.
One huge benefit of a jAlbum-generated metadata database, using something like Derby or HSQLDB presumably, is that any skin could then easily add search functionality. Of course, the implementation of this feature within jAlbum is likely far from trivial given the many ways jAlbum can be configured.
Is there a feature request along these lines floating around somewhere? The closest I could find was in the jAlbum Feature Request forum titled "SEARCH!" but that's been silent since 2008.
I know it's a pain, but from the skin the folders not processed are invisible. The skin can't even see if a folder is simply skipped to avoid reprocessing, or it was really excluded. Maybe jAlbum could maintain such a database and save it to the album's root folder for example.
Yes, that is unfortunate. Seems to me that sites with lots of pictures are the most likely to use the search feature and also the most likely to do incremental builds.
I have roughly 10,000 pictures in my album and will most likely disable search functionality rather than biting the bullet and doing full album builds every time.
Any chance the search functionality could be made compatible with incremental builds? Thanks for your clarifying comments Laca.
Unfortunately you will have to, as the search database is built every time from ground.
Thanks Laca. Yep, regenerating the full album did the trick; search is now working as expected. Hopefully I won't always have to do that since the incremental generation is orders of magnitude faster than generating the full album.
Yes, Search will only work if you Make the whole album. Check if "Settings / Advanced / General / Process subdirectories" is ON and "Process only updated directories" is OFF.
Hmm....that's odd. I'm using Turtle (your amazing skin is one of the main reasons I like JAlbum so much) and search doesn't appear to work as you described. I'll send you a private message with my website URL and some sample searches.
Perhaps I should regenerate my entire site to see if that fixes the issue?
Glad to hear. Folder names (and descriptions) are already included in Turtle skin's search feature.
I love JAlbum's search feature. Would it be possible to include folder/directory names in the list of items searched?