Tuesday, December 9, 2003


Folks who visited my last picture album probably noticed that I didn't make the HTML pages myself. Instead, I used some shareware called JAlbum. I like this software. It automatically generates the thumbnails, creates the slides, and also creates the navigation between the individual slides. You already have to know HTML, and some basic CSS.

I wrote my own little Perl program to create the web pages over at the Mia Picture Site. But my program never created thumbnails, and my program didn't do the image manipulation (mostly size reduction). I originally wanted to tackle these problems, but I never got around to learning how to use GD, never mind trying to integrate it with my Perl program.

There's a fine line between "doing it yourself" and "building on the work of others." Since I know how to write computer programs, almost every problem that I look at involves me writing a program. We need to organize all these music CDs. "I'll write a program." We need to figure out how many colors to put on this quilt. "I'll write a program." It's the adage "If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Well, David Ekholm (the author of JAlbum) used his hammer, and used it very well. I'm glad he's sharing the fruits of labor. I have given up trying to write my own program to make picture albums. The amount of pride I had to swallow was very small. Instead, I'll take pride in the albums themselves.

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