Introducing Sueetie Media Sets

Sueetie Addon Pack Media Sets is the last feature planned for Version 3.2, and I think it’s going to be very popular.  I know I’m going to be using it! Sueetie Media Sets give you the ability to display Gallery Server Pro media outside of GSP on any Sueetie page, of any images you wish, and using your choice of jQuery plugin and effects.  All images are retrieved through a WCF Web Service making the operation of Media Sets 100% on the client.

If you don’t believe me that you can use Media Sets anywhere, click through to this ScrewTurn Wiki page with a fully functional Media Set. Be sure to switch between sets and click on the thumbnails to view the lightboxes.  Oh, alright.  Here’s a screenshot.  Live is best though.

Media Set Components

Media Sets can be arranged by Group, so in the wiki page example "Sueetie Home Pages," "Peppermint Theme," and "York Theme" are individual Media Sets and could be retrieved as members of a Group called Screenshots. We’ll look at creating and managing media sets and groups in a moment.

You can use any lightbox plugin or effect you wish, or link to the image itself. We’re using the Ceebox Lightbox plugin here, the same plugin used by YetAnotherForum.NET. To populate the thumbnails we’re using our SueetieService.svc Web Service. You can view the wiki page’s source for the specifics. There’s also a sample page for you to use as a guide at http://sueetie.com/mediasets.aspx. This page will be located in your /Themes/Lollipop/Pages folder in version 3.2.

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Why We’re Coo-coo about Media Sets

We’re exciting about Media Sets for several reasons. The first is that we’re leveraging all of the great features of Gallery Server Pro to upload, manage and secure our media, but with Media Sets we’re free to select, organize, and display that media in any way we choose.

How are Media Sets different than the Sueetie Photo List View Control that we’ve had for a long time? The List View Control gave us the freedom to view our media library externally, which is huge. The List View Control works great, but it requires retrieving media according to Gallery Server Pro’s organization of galleries, albums and date entered. It also uses Gallery Server Pro’s .ASHX view handler to display media outside of the GSP application. What’s different about Sueetie Media Sets is that they use the actual media file paths for rendering. This is essential because jQuery plugins like Ceebox don’t play well with .ASHX handler files in a lightbox display, as you might imagine.

New Gallery Server Pro Function

To enjoy the full range of our Media Gallery in using the actual paths of the media files, we are now capturing the physical directory structure of each Media Gallery Album we create. There is also a new Gallery Server Pro administrative function to generate those paths for users with existing Media Gallery Albums. You can also use this function to update album paths if you move or rename albums in Gallery Server Pro.

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Managing Media Sets

Media Set Management is located in the Sueetie Addon Pack Administration area. The Media Set Management page features like many other Sueetie Administration pages. That is, you can create new Media Sets or edit an existing Media Set’s properties. In both cases you click on the "Manage" button to manage the Media Set’s images and objects.

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This is where it gets fun as you see on the Media Set Management page below. JQuery is used extensively on the page enabling you to drag-n-drop objects from any Media Gallery Album hierarchy to the Media Set contaner window. The main idea behind Media Sets is to provide a means to rapidly create media collections on a regular basis. The drag-n-drop and one-click "+" ability to add media set objects does just that. You’ll notice that you can create a Media Set from any album in any Media Gallery. This demonstrates what we mentioned before how a Media Set can consist of objects from multiple galleries, which is pretty darn cool.

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A reminder for existing Sueetie Users. Remember to use the new Gallery Server Pro Album Path Admin Feature described above to create your album paths before using the Media Set Sueetie Administration function. Otherwise the images will not be displayed on the Media Set Management page. Also use Sueetie Restart after using the GSP Admin function, since media objects are cached outside of GSP.

Media Set Roadmap

In the initial release of Media Sets in the v3.2 Sueetie Addon Pack there is no drop-in control to display media sets. This release focuses on creating and managing media sets. We’ll focus on facilitating displaying media sets in a follow-up v3.x release. Having some time to play with media sets before building standardized display controls is also a good idea. For Atomo users, the architecture is definitely there if you wish to use more programmatic means to display media sets than standard jQuery used on the Wiki Page and on the MediaSet.aspx sample page.

Sueetie Media Sets are designed to display any type of media. Imagine media sets dropped everywhere, displayed dynamically by content, with any media type: documents, video, images, audio, whatever. That makes for a very powerful integrated media environment. For v3.2, however, there is no drop-in control as we previously mentioned, and only Image media types are supported. Support for all media types is planned for a future release.

As for associating Media Sets with content, we’re planning on a popup content control like the current Calendar Control, where wiki pages, blog posts, CMS page, Marketplace product, etc. can be associated with a Media Set or Group. Once assigned, the Media Set would automatically display with that wiki page, post or page.

Product Keys and Feature Freedom

Users of the Sueetie AddonPack Free Product Key can have unlimited objects per Media Set but are limited to 3 Active Media Sets. If at the end of the 30-Day Trial there are more than 3 active media sets with a Free Product Key, media set objects will not be retrieved until the number of active media sets is reduced to 3 or less. Sueetie Support Product Keys are available in the Sueetie Marketplace.

Article written by

A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.