I was looking for some photo gallery software for my wife’s photography site with a couple of strict criteria: it had to look professional, render fairly quickly, and be easy to administer. Oh, and I’m cheap, so I didn’t want to spend alot of cash (hence the anal consumer thing). After demoing countless products, I found one that stood out among the rest: Simpleviewer. It’s Flash-based with a simple, but elegant implementation. It uses the Flash – XML interface to pull in image and album information and is customizable to an extent. Oh, and it’s free (or a small $45 if you want the source). Best of all, you can also get this terrific admin interface. Written in php, it allows my wife to log into her website and administer the photo galleries – add, delete, reorder, captions, colors, and more. I also used the php functions provided by this program to learn more about php myself and ended up completely rewriting Simpleviewer from Flash to php. Of course, the Flash version is way more slick, so I’m reserving the php version for the two people who don’t yet have Flash installed in their browsers – it was more of a learning exercise anyway.

This was the best viewer/admin combo I found out there, free or paid. The fact that this was on the free end of the spectrum was icing on the cake.

2 Thoughts on “Simpleviewer – a great Flash photo gallery

  1. I, too, am a notioriously cheap guy. I made a quick and dirty Simpleviewer album a while back and now I’m looking to upgrade it to something a little more informational. I can fumble my way around HTML in notepad and such but I’m having a devil of a time figuring out how to make simpleviewer work imbedded into a regular page. The page for the Admin version looks like Greek and, frankly, it makes my brain hurt. I’m curious about your PHP conversion. How did you go about doing it?


  2. Oh, the PHP conversion was a lengthy learning experience. If you want, you can go to http://www.jeanpedigo.com to see the site I built using the flash version. If you then go to http://www.jeanpedigo.com/index2.php, you’ll see the php version. Using php, I would read in the xml file, parse it, and display the thumbnails in one iframe and the photo in another. I used the code from the admin interface to learn how to read and parse the xml file as well as how to build the thumbnail view. What problems were you having with the flash version? It seemed to embed in the page just fine for me (but can be a little quirky at times).

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