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jGromit

Posts: 32,925
Registered: 01/31/06
Master Album / Subordinate Albums
Posted: 10-Oct-2009 03:29
If you want to create an album with various subcategories, and you're happy using the same skin and style for the entire album, just create folders in your album, and add images to each of them. Start a new album project, click the "New folder" icon, and give the folder a name. Double-click that folder to open it, and add images. Go up a level, and repeat the process for each subfolder. "Make Album," and you're done.

But if you want to use a different skin for some of the subcategories, or even to use a different style of the same skin, Jalbum doesn't provide an easy, direct way of doing that. It's possible, but requires some manual intervention. It also requires you to keep your wits about you!

You'll be creating a separate album project for each subcategory, plus an album project for the master album, and combining their outputs so that they all operate together as if they were actually a single album.

  • The first step, oddly enough, is to set up the output directory structure, a skeleton that's ready to accept the output from several different album projects. Create a directory, completely separate from any other project or image directories. Let's call it c:\my documents\finalalbum. Now create a subdirectory under that for each album you want to link to, like c:\my documents\finalalbum\albumA and c:\my documents\finalalbum\albumB.

  • Now start a new album project for the master album, the one that will link to the other two. Do NOT create the image directory in the same place as c:\my documents\finalalbum - keep things completely separate. Put this new album project somewhere like c:\my documents\my albums.

  • Go to Settings > General > Change directory locations, and set the Output Directory to c:\my documents\finalalbum.

  • In the main Jalbum editing window, click New Folder, and name the folder albumA. Add another new folder, and name it albumB. Now open the albumA folder, and add the single image that you want to use as the thumbnail for that album. Right-click on it, and choose Use as folder thumbnail. Do the same for the albumB folder - add one image, and set it as the folder thumbnail.

  • Important: to avoid conflicts between the master album and the subordinate albums, you need to use different file names for the images. So, let's say you're going to have mydog.jpg in albumA, and you also want to use that image in the master album to represent albumA. Make a copy of mydog.jpg and name it something else, like mydogfolder.jpg, and add that image to the master album, rather than mydog.jpg.

  • Set whatever options you want for the master index page - style, navigation links to other places, etc., then Make Album. Now go to Settings > Advanced > General, uncheck the box labeled Process subdirectories, and save the project. This will prevent you from making mistakes later.

  • Start new album projects for albumA and albumB. You can choose different settings for each one. You can even choose different skins for each one, with one caution: the skin you choose must provide some way of linking to the directory above the album. Most skins have a way of doing this, but it's going to be different for each skin.

  • Start the new project for albumA, and call it anything you like. As with the master album project, do NOT create the image directory in the same place as c:\my documents\finalalbum. Go to Settings > General > Change directory locations, and set the Output Directory to c:\my documents\finalalbum\albumA. Add the images you want and choose the options you want.

  • At this point, you need to tell the skin how to create a link to the level above this album. The method for doing this will be different in every skin. In the Matrix skin, for example, go to Settings > Matrix > Navigation > Navigation Links, check the box for Previous|Up|Next (plus any other navigation options you want). Then under Album > Settings > Pages > Link to homepage > Address (URL) box, enter ../index.html. In the adjacent Text field, you can stay with the Up text, or enter some other text if that's what you want to appear in the navigation link. Save the project, and Make Album.

  • Do the same thing for albumB, setting the Output Directory to c:\my documents\finalalbum\albumB. Add images, choose options, set the uplink, save the project, and make the album.

You will now have a master album at c:\my documents\finalalbum\index.html that has links to albumA and albumB, each of which is independent of the master album.

The tricky aspect to all of this is that if you want to make certain kinds of changes to the master album, like adding another subordinate album or changing the image that will be used for one of the subordinate albums, you have to tell it to Process subdirectories again. But doing that will louse up the subordinate albums, so you'll have to re-make them after you've rebuilt the master album. You can minimize the effort that's required by telling the master album to Process subdirectories, but also telling it to Process only updated subdirectories. So, if you add albumC, you can add it to the master album, create a new master index page, but only have to Make Album for albumC.

However, you can safely make all the changes you like to albumA and albumB, and just Make Album as you normally would - the master album will still be pointing to them.

After you've played with this for a while, you will get the hang of it, and won't cause yourself any surprises. But I can virtually guarantee that you will make some mistakes along the way, and will have to remake some albums to fix them!
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