I have a love-hate relationship with
Gallery, a software to publish your photos online.
I love it because it is simple and powerful. You can create trees of
albums, upload pictures from anywhere (even directly from your Windows XP
desktop), have your guests add comments, etc…
I hate it because it is an unbelievable nightmare to install on anything
other than Linux and Apache.
Actually, I take that back. It is a nightmare to install on Apache as
My previous installation on my home machine should have been a warning:
I was encountering random corruption of the pictures and I was never able to
explain it. I tested with PHP 3, PHP4, Apache 1, Apache 2, IIS, CGI and
ISAPI. And all combinations thereof. I finally managed to find a
winning combination (PHP4 + Apache 1 + CGI mode) which still failed sporadically
on IE only (always worked fine on Mozilla).
I recently revamped my home machine and installed a brand new XP on a new
120gb hard drive. Trust me when I say I was not looking forward to
reinstalling Gallery. I braced myself, but it went just as bad as I
expected. Actually, it went worse, because a new version of Gallery has
come up since I last installed it and the newer version came with a host of new
problems I hadn’t encountered before.
First of all, being a PHP application, Gallery has a lot of dependencies on
external packages, starting with PHP itself, of course, and also ImageMagick
and/or NetPBM (one of them required) and a bunch of other optional packages that
I strongly recommend not to install in your first pass.
NetPBM on Windows is, simply put, impossible to find reliably on the net.
Links are broken all over the place, starting with Gallery’s own Web site.
Second, when you finally manage to find them, you will find nothing less than
three or four different binary distributions, all of them with their own strings
attached (some were compiled with djgpp, others with cygwin, etc…).
So I went with ImageMagick, which is a better-behaved citizen (even more so
since Gallery only depends on three executables in the ImageMagick
Coming up in volume 2: choosing a Web server…