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Old 3rd of October 2006 (Tue)   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Hellsinki, Finland
Posts: 15,112
Default What is Exhibit Engine?

Exhibit Engine 2 is freeware personal online photo gallery program with professional features, speed and design.

In fancy terms: Exhibit Engine 2.0 is a photo gallery database management system. It stores information of each photo and small details related to it into a database. Actual photo files it keeps on web server filesystem. You can organize the photos freely and EE displays them on a web page, it automatically creates indexes, listing pages and photo pages. The photo upload system works with ftp, using chosen resize application (Imagemagick, Netpbm or GD2) and it does required photo sizes and thumbnails automatically. Everything can be configured to user's needs. The database is written and read in SQL language by EE, and the EE itself runs on PHP programming language.

Digital camera boom has made people aware of their creativity. Wonderful photographs are being taken every second (or 8.5 times a second, depending on your camera) around the world. After spending a while with a digital camera you have plenty of photos you want to share to public and your friends and relatives. You'll need a tool to present them as neatly as possible in internet, securily for selected audiences. How the gallery system works, how the photos are presented and how enjoyably they can be found and browsed is essential to success of your gallery. There are dozens of gallery programs and photo sharing services out there, but nothing comes close to power, professional style and flexibility of Exhibit Engine 2 (EE) on your own web server.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Web server with plenty of disk space for photos, MySQL server (4.1 or 5.x recommended, sold separately) and PHP installed (4.1.0 or newer, 5.x recommended), FTP access to localhost and http access in and out. Imagemagick, NETPBM or GD(2) graphics libraries are supported for image resizing.

  • Realtime search (actually, every page in EE is a "seach result")
  • Unlimited photos
  • Unlimited galleries
  • Unlimited groups
  • Realtime sorting
  • Unlimited categories
  • Unlimited keywords
  • Fully multilingual database and pages
  • Batch upload system, possible to enter all photo details while uploading.
  • Photos can belong to multiple exhibitions, exhibitions can belong to multiple groups
  • A photo can have any number of size variations presented with different embedding technologies.
  • News page
  • Slideshow
  • Gallery map (site map) with filenames and images
  • RSS2
  • Comments with optional approval, spam prevention
  • Ratings with four categories and flexible result browser
  • Guestbook with spam prevention
  • Supports display of all known www media types with proprietary 'viewerstyle' embedding template system. Custom embed variables for each photo possible.
  • Very detailed/customizable photo data display (reads EXIF, XMP, IPTC)
  • Photo frame database
  • Powerful virtual galleries (created from existing photos by very detailed criteria)
  • Counters, counter graphs
  • Very powerful multilingual admin tools
  • Watermarking, sharpening - also with GD2
  • Extensive progress reporting and error reporting
  • Inbuilt databases for lenses, cameras, accessories, countries, locations, light sources, workflows, photographers
  • User base with flexible permissions
  • Very secure login system
  • Sophisticated integrated database backup system (EE Backup)
  • Flexible global gallery structure setup which adjusts dynamically to current user permissions
  • Each photo can have any number of image sizes and types independently and they can be stored in any server (easy bandwidth distribution)
  • XHTML + CSS templates for everything (default templates are XHTML STRICT with floating desing, but it's up to template designer what language to use)
  • Automatic image resize/sharpening/watermark with free setup of each parameter
  • Flexible dynamic UL menu support.
  • Various search result listing types
  • Internal ftp system (no manual file permission setting or folder creation needed)
  • Lots and lots of user definable settings
  • Optional file name and path obfuscation (ftp and http based)
  • Database error logging, fully logged debug mode
  • Database is fully relational, very fast and easily expandable, small data footprint. Cache table size managament inbuilt.
  • Extensive overall data report pages
  • Inbuilt file editor with history
  • No need to mess with file or folder permissions
  • No unneccessary PHP or MySQL installation requirements: PHP safe mode on/off supported, MySQL Strict Mode supported.
  • Snippets: embed thumbs from EE to any page.
  • And more and more and more.
I fully admit that setting up EE the first time might not be the easiest task out there for those uninitiated (although EE 2 is easier than EE 1.5), you will need to learn couple of new concepts and have open mind how things work. After all is set up the daily usage is a breeze.

Exhibit Engine is very reliable and server friendly. EE (from version 1.0 to 2.0) has served 8 million photos without a single problem in . EE is my pet project which has been going on for several years, and EE 2.0 is result of hard work and planning to make the best even better. So why not just download it a try it out.

For upgrading see

Last edited by Pekka : 3rd of October 2006 (Tue) at 17:39.
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