Entries for October, 2010

Hey all - good news and bad news.

The good news is that I have spent some time redoing the gallery feature - I have really focused on making it look good for the new default template. It's much cleaner now, and uses larger sizes for the images.

The album view is much simplified now - a lot of the extra information has been removed, and a more grid-like layout is used:

When you click an album, you'll see much larger images shown in order. Try clicking on one of them; you'll get a lightbox with a LARGE sized image!

With this view, you can quickly use the left/right arrow buttons to go through a gallery. No more clicking constantly to see next/previous!

The bad news is I had to fix up the markup for this new gallery; this will cause styles for custom skins to break. 

I really hate to break markup, but I felt this was necessary in moving forward with Tabulas - you can rest assured that the markup as it stands should be pretty final for the immediate future, though!

I have lots more exciting features coming into the gallery over the coming few days - be on the lookout for it!

Posted by tabulas on October 6, 2010 at 12:52 AM in Gallery | Add a Comment

A little while ago, I asked you why you don't use Tabulas for more gallery. Your response? Well, I hate uploading to multiple sites!

Well, now the first step towards that is now gone. You can now integrate your Flickr account with Tabulas. To begin, set-up your Flickr account integration. Then, sync your account.

What does syncing do? It pulls in all your Flickr photos and creates a copy of them in your Tabulas gallery (don't worry, your images are still hosted on Flickr; we don't download the actual images).

You can view an example of it here. We link back to the original Flickr photo, but they show up in the same stream as your Tabulas photos!

We'll also poll your Flickr account every once in a while and pull down new photos you upload to Flickr... automatically!

To help support these changes, some additional modifications were made to the gallery feature: we now paginate views. While you used to be be able to view 100 images at once, that seemed like overkill for bandwidth; we use the pagination controls and show 25 images at a time now.

Let me know how you like these changes - these are only the beginning to a series of great changes that we can make to make the gallery/journaling experience inside Tabulas much smoother!

Posted by tabulas on October 12, 2010 at 01:49 AM in Gallery | Add a Comment

What's very important to me is in keeping that sense of community spirit of Tabulas alive. And over the past few months, there has been a back and forth between the spammers who keep creating fake sites and myself. I've create tons of tools in the back to help deal with the spammers, but even they can't catch everything.

Well, you can now help me out!

Whenever you visit a Tabulas site, there is now a link that says "Report spammer:"

Simply click this button, and you'll have logged a vote against this site! If enough votes are captured for this user within a time period, we'll automatically ban them. (Patron accounts will automatically ban that site!)

Hopefully this gives more power to YOU to help keep the Tabulas community clean, and will let me focus more time on developing better features for Tabulas!

Posted by tabulas on October 16, 2010 at 12:27 AM in General News | Add a Comment

First off, thanks to all of those who tried out the Flickr integration! I know there were some rough spots, but this weekend, I spent some time polishing off some of the features.

If you go to the Flickr sync page, you can now one-click delete all images that were imported from Flickr. I've also gotten rid of that nasty bug that had the Flickr images import into the root-level folder.

One of the "smart" things that Tabulas does with the Flickr sync is to not actually delete images that were imported from Flickr. Since the system resyncs your images from Flickr every few minutes, if I actually deleted your photos, they would just come back again!

So in order to work around that, Tabulas will store your deleted Flickr images into a recycling bin - if you want to force images to re-import, you need to empty out your recycling bin.

The "recent images" on the homepage of Tabulas has also been updated to be a bit more visually fun - I hope you discover some talented photographers on Tabulas!

Posted by tabulas on October 17, 2010 at 03:16 AM in General News | Add a Comment

There was a recent question on the FB wall: "Can I have more than one account on one email address?" Absolutely!

And guess what? I've made it even easier for you to create multiple accounts now! There's now a page under settings called "Create new account."

This view helps you easily create a new Tabulas account, without the hassle of verifying your accounts.

Even better: it automatically groups your accounts, so you can seamlessly log-in and log-out of them!

Go ahead and create new accounts and have fun

Posted by tabulas on October 17, 2010 at 03:23 AM in General News | Add a Comment

What I've always loved about Tabulas is its ability for people to tell their life stories. The blogging format is really perfect for that.

But what about people who want to write fictional stories? The reverse chronological format doesn't encourage proper reading, nor does it really encourage feedback (most people are too lazy to click comments!).

Well, we're trying something new here. I've introduced a new feature which allows you to specify your account as a "story" account type.

The story account type changes your Tabulas in a few ways:

  • Your entries show up in the order they were published
  • No more than one entry ("chapter" as they're called) are shown per page
  • You navigate each chapter like a book - going to the next/previous
  • Each chapter also displays the comments automatically to get feedback from readers
  • Your sidebar also adds a new templating tag (ONLY for story account types: the most recently added chapters)

The idea is to encourage the creative members of Tabulas to post their stories; use the new easy account creation feature to create smaller Tabulas sites to write your short stories!

This is an evolving feature - more of a trial balloon to see how you guys like it. Please let us know what you think!

Want to see an example? I've created http://storyaccount.tabulas.com/ - it has the first few chapters of the Little Prince, my favorite book!

In the coming weeks, as people have story accounts, we'll highlight the best writers and have little competitions

Posted by tabulas on October 26, 2010 at 01:46 AM in General News | 3 Comments
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