Photonic Version 1.51 – Tiled Layouts and More!

A Happy New Year to all users of my themes and plugins!

With the New Year comes a new release of Photonic, version 1.51. I have been gradually ramping up the functionality of what happens to be my favourite plugin, and this time I have introduced what is a pretty big feature – tiled layouts! Jetpack users are familiar with the “Tiled Gallery” layout that it has, however the implementation in Jetpack was a lot simpler. Since Jetpack only deals with images in the user’s uploads folder, it can use the inbuilt WP functionality to determine image sizes etc. and all layout details can be computed in PHP, before serving the image to the user. However in Photonic, since your images are all on a CDN hosted elsewhere, determining the sizes can only happen in JavaScript (doing this in PHP can lead to beastly issues with server configuration etc.). Fortunately I found a very scientifically written article that let me define a “justified grid” in JavaScript. To activate tiled layouts, go to Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Layouts, and tweak the options for “Image Layout” etc. As a bonus, you can also get Circular Thumbnails (like Jetpack). I have provided the ability to control the spacing between images, as well as the minimum height you want your tiles to be. Note that the tiled display is only on your page, not on the popup panel.

With this release and the the previous one (1.50), there is essentially a complete transformation in how you present your external galleries, to wit:

  • Pick Swipebox as your lightbox (Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Generic Settings). This lets you use gestures on touch-enabled devices.
  • Enable tiled layouts (Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Layouts)
  • Bypass the interim popup panel wherever you would originally see one (Photonic → Settings → Generic Options → Popup Panel)

With the above, you move away completely from the traditional grid of tiled thumbnails, and make your galleries look a lot more appealing. I will be focusing on such changes over the next few releases.

The other things I put into this release are all minor bug-fixes:

  1. I fixed an issue with applying borders and padding to “in-page” Flickr photos.
  2. While bypassing the popup, Swipebox would report an error if the photo descriptions were multi-line. This has been addressed.
  3. This was a remnant from a much older version of JQuery – upon saving the options, the backend wasn’t showing the last used screen. This should now be fixed.

Hope you enjoy this release.

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