Genesis: Based on Birch

Having gone through most of the obvious Photoblog options, and discarded those needing MySQL I found Birch listed here. It pretty much fitted my requirements, so I set about using it.

After a while, I found some issues with the way it worked: it was designed to store data in a local XML cache and so required Perl to display images. This isn't a huge issue, but I really wanted to get away from needing anything dynamic. Another problem with this approach is that the permalink URI's were not that friendly - they had the data order in them, but it was parameter passing to a script rather than a simple to construct YYYY/MM/DD path. This could be fixed with Apache's mod_rewrite module, but the amount of work was starting to show.

The final problems for me were that whilst the program had a nicely styled admin interface, it didn't auto-generate the thumbnails, and that none of the EXIF or IPTC data was available to the viewer. Considering how much I have to force myself to enter the IPTC data in the first place, it seemed a shame not to display it.

With that in mind, I set about modifying the code, but got annoyed with Perl and switched to PHP. I have deliberately kept 100% CSS compliance with Birch as the style of the presentation was what attracted me to it in the first place, and the PHP can be run on or off the webserver: it's just there as a fast way of interfacing with EXIF and IPTC tools and generating HTML pages.

The EXIF and IPTC reading are built into PHP modules, but to display them I've used the wz_tooltip JavaScript program so disabling JavaScript has no impact whatsoever on viewing the images or navigating the gallery.


Well, there were a few choices, but Alder is in the same family as Birch.

Plus I couldn't think of anything remotely clever by myself, and needed to call it something in order to test out the webserver config.