An excellent photo gallery script that allows you to put registered users in groups that determine what they can contribute.
I came across this script while looking for a photo gallery to embed into the membership area of a site that I look after. As the member area was written by me I didn't expect to find any photo gallery that would integrate straight out of the box and so my criteria was to find a script that included the ability to control gallery interaction by member and easily customisable appearance (so I can make it blend into the rest of the site. It also needed to have a membership system that I could modify to integrate it into the site. Just about every other script that I found eliminated itself from consideration very quickly. ZenPhoto looked promising but doesn't appear to support the member features I need. Coppermine has all the features imaginable but the provided integration system relies on cookie based authentication and the membership site I want to integrate with uses sessions rather than cookies for access control.
After a quick look at the script to try to work out what I'd need to do to replace the user control in Gallery 3, I decided to ask for suggestions in the forum. There were lots of responses in quite a short time so this script definitely has an active community associated with it. Some responses pointed me at modules for Gallery 3 that modify the way the user login system works which have given me some idea as to where the files are that I need to change or override to do what I want while others pointed me at the older Gallery 2 script which is actually designed to be able to be embedded into other sites. Unfortunately with Gallery 2 I had numerous failures trying to download the script and once I finally did get it downloaded the install process produced pages of PHP warning messages and then refused to install anyway saying that it didn't have sufficient access rights.
If what you are looking for is a stand alone photo gallery that allows people to sign up for an account and then be able to contribute comments (or even images) to the gallery then this script will work for you as soon as you install it (I had no problem downloading and installing Gallery 3 except that as my test server runs Windows I had to remove the test that prevents it running on Windows as the authors don't support it on Windows).
The significant range of modules that people have written for this script means that you will almost certainly find a module that provides the extra functionality you want your gallery to have (my situation is one of what I would expect to be very few exceptions). There are also plenty of themes available to make it easy to change how your gallery looks so grabbing one that is close to what you want, making a copy and then modifying the copy slightly to give you exactly the look you want requires that you just know some HTML and CSS.
The one area relating to this script that is disappointing is the documentation. Given what this script can do the documentation available is almost non-existent. This means that if you do want to make changes then you need to examine the existing code very closely to figure out how it works rather than reading up on it in the documentation.
Oh, and it is possible to integrate this script into a membership site using the existing member logins with minimal modification to Gallery 3 itself.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.