Permlink Replies: 4 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: 27-Dec-2018 03:15 Last Post By: waltbros
rfm2

Posts: 98
Registered: 13-Dec-2007
Matrix - the demise of an old, trusted friend
Posted: 13-Dec-2018 03:21
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I can't let it pass without a comment or two. I discovered Matrix about 8 years ago after I had already made a lot of albums with other skins. I soon decided to use Matrix for all future albums, and I liked it so much that I even went back and re-made all previous albums with Matrix. As of 6 months ago I had made 419 albums with Matrix. (Did I say I was sold on Matrix?). I finally recognized the handwriting on the wall and switched to Neptune for my 5 most recent albums.

In your explanation of why you were abandoning Matrix you mentioned 6 shortcomings. What you didn't mention is the 60 (and more) extraordinary features that made the skin so unbelievably flexible. For album makers whose potential viewers will mostly be using conventional PCs rather than mobile devices it is still a terrific skin.

Hate to see it go, but thanks for having made and supported a skin for so many years that brought me and my viewers so much pleasure.
jGromit

Posts: 7,499
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Matrix - the demise of an old, trusted friend
Posted: 13-Dec-2018 03:46   in response to: rfm2 in response to: rfm2
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Glad you liked the skin! Matrix will always be a soft spot for me. It was the first skin I developed, and I spent a lot of time refining it. To this day, if you stick to JPG's and are genuinely unconcerned with mobile users, it still can still produce a good-looking album. That's why I'm not withdrawing the skin, and I'll try to make sure it keeps behaving itself with new jAlbum and browser releases.

The flexibility was a mixed blessing. It gave the user a lot of freedom, but that also included the freedom to produce a real horror show, and believe me, I've seen some! The other problem was that it made the skin damn near unmaintainable. Even a seemingly small change would produce a cascade of side effects that had to be dealt with.

Lesson learned - in my newer skins, rather than trying to bundle all the options into one skin, I'm just branching to a new skin when I want to provide something new. Parallax theme images are a good example. Incorporating them into one of the existing skins would have been a mess. Better to start a new skin, Pluto, that does that.

For my personal albums, I find myself using either Neptune or Pluto. Pluto, in particular, has a "less is more" quality that seems to be more in tune with current web design philosophy.

And I haven't gone over to the dark side completely. The notion that one should design for "mobiles first" makes sense if you're talking about a social media platform or a shopping site. But for sharing photos and videos, I think that's the wrong approach. Desktops and laptops first, then make sure large tablets are OK, and last but not least, do your best to accommodate phones.
msand42

Posts: 19
Registered: 12-Feb-2006
Re: Matrix - the demise of an old, trusted friend
Posted: 26-Dec-2018 17:40   in response to: rfm2 in response to: rfm2
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Today I had a Matrix question and wondered why there was no longer a Matrix skin forum. Then I saw this thread and was dismayed to see that Matrix is no longer supported but relegated to legacy status. Was there an announcement about this?

Since I use Matrix for most of my many albums and frequently update them, I am relieved to learn that I can still use it.

Are Saturn, Pluto, and Saturn (and others?) similar to Matrix so that I can simply rebuild my Matrix albums with those. I have not yet downloaded them.

Are you still answering Matrix questions, and if so where in the jAlbum forum would I post them?
jGromit

Posts: 7,499
Registered: 31-Jan-2006
Re: Matrix - the demise of an old, trusted friend
Posted: 26-Dec-2018 18:15   in response to: msand42 in response to: msand42
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Yes, there was an announcement, a few threads below this one:

https://jalbum.net/forum/thread.jspa?threadID=54713

If you have any Matrix questions, just post them here, in Other skins. Just be sure to put the skin name in the thread title (that makes sure it's searchable later).

None of the newer skins is really "similar to Matrix." They may share some characteristics, but will be substantially different in other respects.

There's no reason to be shy about newer skins - download them, create a little test project, add a handful of images, and see what the default settings produce. Take a look through the settings tabs to get an idea about what things can be easily customized.
waltbros

Posts: 35
Registered: 26-Dec-2006
Re: Matrix - the demise of an old, trusted friend
Posted: 27-Dec-2018 03:15   in response to: msand42 in response to: msand42
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msand42 wrote:
Today I had a Matrix question and wondered why there was no longer a Matrix skin forum. Then I saw this thread and was dismayed to see that Matrix is no longer supported but relegated to legacy status. Was there an announcement about this?

Since I use Matrix for most of my many albums and frequently update them, I am relieved to learn that I can still use it.

Are Saturn, Pluto, and Saturn (and others?) similar to Matrix so that I can simply rebuild my Matrix albums with those. I have not yet downloaded them.

Are you still answering Matrix questions, and if so where in the jAlbum forum would I post them?


I used Matrix for years and really liked it. I have since moved to Saturn and like it very much. You might want to give it a try.
Walt
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