This post may turn out to be a bit of a ramble, but the jist of it is in here, posted on our blogsites yesterday;
AJAXNETPHOTO IMAGE ARCHIVES - IMPORTANT UPDATE
As some viewers may already be aware, AjaxNetPhoto >www.ajaxnetphoto.com< image archives have been hit by a coding glitch which has disabled both the search and image pages display functions.
Read the whole release at >www.ajaxnetphoto.blogspot.com<
I'm posting this here because I know there are quite a few photographers here who have images uploaded and displayed using freeware to manage their galleries.
Back in 2007 my webmaster (now sadly no longer with us.) hit on the notion of avoiding what for Ajax would be a fairly substantial investment cost to get our image collections internet visible with some facility for viewers to select and order files. He chose Gallery as the application and after an initial run with their first version we migrated to V2.
It has run perfectlly for several years, the gallleries proving very popular with many visitors to the site. The night before last, it all went tits-up.
We lost visibility to several thousand images.
I spent some time trawling through the discussion forums, but nothing specific shed light on the problem.
Nor was I enjoying the prospect of having to spend countless more hours endeavouring to fix a problem, no matter how big or small, by digging deeper and probably having to rewrite thousands of lines of code. Spending more money on getting developers to fix the issues were not on the cards either.
Luckily, our main website pages >www.ajaxnetphoto.com< were not affected apart from the links embedded taking viewers to the archives.
In the latter half of 2011 I penned an article published in the UK's British Journal of Photography entitlled Head in The Clouds (October 2011 issue). I had for some time been procrastinating and wincing over the issues faced by some photographers concerning data storage and how to make images easily (and inexpensively) available to internet audiences.
As it happened, publication of that article more or less coincided with news reports of the launch of Apple's iCloud service as well as much media specualtion of how 'Cloud computing' was expected to take off in 2012. Estimates varied, but current take up by big business is only at around 5% with growth estimated to 10 - 20% this year.
The whole concept of the Cloud seems hard to grasp for a lot of people, not least of which is all the concern about security issues - 'How safe is my stuff?'
For me, the argument is sort of irrelevant and analagous to - in the photography world - the arguments that used to prevail (and may still in some quarters) around the 1980s issues of camera/lens auto focus. The technology works, the technology doesn't work, can't compete with manual, etc, etc.,
Well, we all know what happened to that. AF isn't the perfect panacea but, depending on who's making it, it works well most of the time. Cloud, or to give its proper name, remote computing, has come a long way in the past 20 odd years. The better service providers have found lots of ways to back up the back-ups. After a variety of lengthy tests with various clients in 2010-11, I've found the general feeling towards how easily things can be made to work using remote, is pretty positive.
So rather than go back to a system that worked fine for what we needed but wasn't perfect in every respect, Ajax is moving on and as of 48 hours ago, began migrating all its image files to the cloud. We've made access to these files public, so anyone can see them as once sourced they open as simple gallery pages in new browser windows. In time, I hope service providers will come across with more comprehensive template/graphic options so we can get back to offering more and better end user experiences. For now, it does what it says on the tin but discussions for improvements are on-going. Ajax is signed up with Wuala; you can see how it works here: (great little movie!)
Thanks for reading.
<a href='http://www.rangefinderforum.com/photopost/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=2071'>My Gallery</a>