Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what language to use question

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Note: I tried cross-posting this message to several newsgoups,
including comp.lang.perl.misc, c.l.p.moderated,
comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi, comp.lang.javascript and
comp.lang.php.  Nothing appeared on my news server, so I'm trying
again - this time posting a separate copy of the message to each

I'm thinking this should be fairly easy to accomplish - a quick and
dirty ... what? ... script?  program?  

Background:  I have a website - created using a html-generator
application called Dreamweaver.  I have some limited knowledge of
html, and  I sort of know what php does. I've read that Perl is cool,
powerful and free ...  but beyond that ...???.  I know next to nothing
about Javascript.

Here's the scenario:

o  User brings up page with, say, 5 thumbnail images.  The thumbnails
represent 5 sets of slides (jpegs), in, say, 5 separate subdirectories
living in my area of my website host's system.  Each slide set
contains from 10 to 20 images, each with an associated caption.  Jpegs
are named:  s01.jpg, s02.jpg, s03.jpg, ... in each subdirectory (or
maybe they have unique names - but let's simplify).  The slides are
different sizes, ranging from 400x300 to 1000x800 pixels

o  Selecting a thumbnail (by clicking) from among the 5 takes the user
to a page where he sees the first slide and first caption associated
with that thumb. In additon to the jpeg and the caption, the screen
would contain some buttons that the user can click to go back a slide,
go forward a slide, or return home to  thumbnail page.  User can also
click on an image to enlarge it - meaning he would bring up the same
page, but it would show the file t01.jpg, which is, say, an un-cropped
version of s01.jpg. (Or perhaps, he would have specified at the home
page whether he wanted the high or the low bandwith version of the
slide show.)

o Subsequent clicking on the forward button brings up the subsequent
slides in sequence, returning to the first slide after the last is
displayed. Other than the different images and captions, the pages are
identical with regard to title, background, font, layout, etc.

I know how to accomplish this by the brute force method:  For each of
the X number of images in a subdirectory, create X unique html
code-pages - slide1.htm, slide2.htm, etc. - that each reference a
particular image and particular caption, bringing up the next (or
previous) code-page in sequence when the user clicks to advance (or go
back).   So for 5 sets of slides, each with 20 images, you'd have a
total of 100 unique .htm files.  Actually, there would be 200 files,
given that there are a small and large version of each image.

Here's the more elegant approach:

One "routine" does everything.  You ?pass? the name of the slide show
subdirectory to the routine as an ?argument?, and assign it to a
filename ?string variable? somehow.  You might also pass the number of
slides in the subdirectory, unless there's a way for the routine to
determine what it is (like, by reading the number from another file,
or by "calling" some ?system function?, that reveals the number of
files in the directory.)  The routine then loops through the list,
counting from 1 to X, and somehow opening the associated s0n.jpg file
(and associated caption text) to put up on the user's screen as he
clicks his way through the show.

This brings up a host (no pun intended) of basic questions:

o  Where would this code or script or html actually run? On the site
host?  It is downloaded to the user's machine?  Is it intrepreted by
some entity - like the browser?

o  What support is needed on the host side for something like this?
What about the user/client side? If it's just a browser he needs, will
any old browser do?  (I do know that the host for my own website ... ... does support php.  The support for it is free for the
sites they host.)

o Is this a question of "self-modifying" html? (I'm thinking that's
not possible.)

o What is the easiest way to get this done.  Could you learn enough
php, perl, javascript, or whatever in, say, a day and a half, to write
this little routine together and get it working?  

Thanks for your attention
-Al Gabis
 Camp Springs, Maryland

Re: Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what language to use question

On Tue, 24 Aug 2004 20:58:54 GMT, in comp.lang.php you wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I got this one at the site. Way too easy to install....

kai || ||
kai at 3gproductions dot com

Re: Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what languageto use question

Al Davis wrote:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

or a google search for PHP slideshow howto will give you lots of pointers to
code that is freely available  - so you don't have write your own...

Michael Austin.
Consultant - Available.
Donations welcomed.

Re: Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what language to use question

from Al Davis contained the following:

Quoted text here. Click to load it

From the starting position of an absolute beginner?

No chance.

Geoff Berrow (put thecat out to email)
It's only Usenet, no one dies.
My opinions, not the committee's, mine.
Simple RFDs /

Re: Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what language to use question

Al Davis wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

As said, you will probably find a script like that for free on the web. And
if it's PHP, don't worry about browser. Browsers have nothing to do with PHP
in principle, the server does handle all the PHP scripts and sends HTML to
the browser. Of course HTML formatting may be an issue if you have an
antique browser that may or may not support the tags you use.

And yes, PHP is free, like PERL, and has all the gizmos and tools you may
want/need to use to achieve what you want if you can't find a ready-made

Javascript is not recommended I think here. The images are on the server
side, better handle the image loading and page creation there as well.
Besides, Javascript is not enabled on everyone's browser. PHP is

What you DO need is access to a webserver with PHP support. That can be
Apache, IIS or any other server that works with PHP. Apache the most popular
still, IIS I bet a good second.

As far as image size is concerned, better provide all the desired sizes
yourself as separate files than just specify display width. For one
html-up-or-downsized pics look crappy and a 1000x800 image displayed as a
thumbnail 100x80 still requires the same bandwidth.


Re: Slide show: this should be fairly straightforward - a what language to use question

 .oO(Al Davis)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yep, on the server.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

No, the browser just requests a slide of a particular slideshow, a URL
could look something like

with xx = number of slideshow and yy = number of slide. Without a
server-side URL-rewriting mechanismn (mod_rewrite on Apache servers) it
would look like

Quoted text here. Click to load it

PHP, Apache (with mod_rewrite if possible), a graphics library (GD) if
you would like to create thumbnails on-the-fly.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

As long as the browser is able to display images - yes. There's nothing
special, the output is plain HTML with some images and links. Even NN4
can handle that.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It's a single script that generates some output dependent on the
parameters it gets.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

PHP ;)

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Quite easy to do for a fairly experienced programmer, quite heavy for a
beginner (dealing with URL parameters, file system, maybe image creation
and cache mechanismns etc.). It would be easier to use an existing
script (but of course the learning effect would be much better with
writing your own).


Site Timeline