Deploying Gallery on to my Server

For my fourth Digital Humanities assignment, the goal my class and I have, is to familiarise ourselves with the deployment of a web service on to our server space. This in turn, should help us appreciate all the work that goes into creating such applications and understand how they work.

Firstly, I had to purchase server space from a website called Reclaim Hosting. It was 25 dollars(which was around €23 for me), and that was the cost for a student & individuals annual subscription.

From the Reclaim Hosting cPanel, I searched through a series of web applications, trying to find what looked appealing. I decided to choose from the Photos and Files section, and searched through each application’s description to see which one suited my taste the best.

In the end I decided to go with Gallery, as it seemed simple and attractive. The showcase section on their description page helped me decide to go with that application also, because it showcased some websites that are powered by Gallery. Other applications didn’t have this available so it appealed to me that Gallery did. It seemed professional.

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What is the purpose of the service or application you have chosen?

The purpose of Gallery is to provide a space for people on the internet so that they can add photos and make albums and share these with other users. The company describes it as “the next generation of open source photo sharing web applications”. Comments are also enabled, so this gives the users a chance to comment on each others posts.

Why are you interested in it?

I’m a very visual person, so anything with images are an instant appeal. Gallery is almost like any photo sharing application out there ; Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. And since these web service’s have done so well around the world, I think it’s safe to say that people love to share photos with everyone else. Whether it be “selfies” or a beautiful landscape, or a moment that’s been snapped with the perfect timing.

How is it or might it be applicable to something you may do in the future? 

I might transform this web service into the most amazing website ever. Who knows? I certainly don’t. But I do know that I have this at my fingertips now, and the choice is endless. I like the idea of an open source photo sharing application on my website. It could be one part of the many areas I will have on megandesmond.com ( Don’t judge, I couldn’t think of anything else! ). People could share photo’s of themselves with my product, the nosePhone, that transmits smells through text! Or people could be joining in on my exciting journey of travelling the world by sending in their images of them exploring! The list is endless.

What steps were involved in the deployment process?

To be honest, the deployment process of this tool was the easiest part of this whole assignment ( Giving away my money being the hardest part ). All that was needed to do was to click on the “Install this application” button, and you were good to go! It’s only 16MB so no harm done there. I clicked onto my webpage megandesmond.com, and the homepage for Gallery was set as my webpage. I logged in, and it named me as the Gallery Administrator ( I felt very fancy ).

What technologies are used and had to be configured to deploy your chosen application?

I had everything I needed, working with a OS X Yosemite Macbook Air. Although, when I go into the option to add  photos an alert comes up to tell me that “Movie uploading is disabled on your system, Help!” I clicked on the help button and it told me that, to upload videos my system “needs the FFmpeg toolkit to extract thumbnails and size information from them”. You have the option of downloading it, but I didn’t feel the need to as images are all I’m interested in at the moment.

Who would benefit from access to such a service/application?

Well firstly, I would benefit from it, in regard to what I mentioned earlier with it being applicable to something I may do in the future. But I also think anyone that has an interest in photo sharing would benefit greatly from it. The layout isn’t as clean and pristine as the almighty Instagram, but it certainly has room to improve, and the potential to be a great application.

I’ve learned a lot from partaking in the deployment of a tool on my newly owned web server. Now I know for myself what goes on behind the webpages, rather than just being the user than signs in, I’m now an Administrator!