Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Bundling information together

Posted 2 August 2006 in bundle, gallery, idea, and metadata

Note: This post is primarily for Allan, because I've been discussing the possibility of writing my own blog/photo/bookmarking system and dropping Wordpress/Gallery2/sabros.us. I promised Allan that I would blog about some of my thoughts, and this post is the fulfillment of that promise. Please ask questions in the comments if you're completely lost, because this post is a solicitation for discussion and ideas. Here's the take-home message: I want to move from photo-specific "galleries" to data-agnostic "bundles".

I've been trying really hard to conceptualize how blog entries ("posts"), photos, and links are related, and more importantly, how they could be related. I know that I want to store posts, photos, and links in a similar fashion, but I realized that I would have to create a special structure for photo galleries ("galleries"). This got me thinking, however: if I'm going to integrate three different types of data under one system, should photos alone be grouped?

Galleries as galleries

In this case, galleries are reserved for photo organization alone. As I thought about it, the problem with this structure is that I have a habit of blogging about galleries as I add them, and there's no way of associating a gallery or the photos with the post. Therefore, I'm unwilling to merely group photos under a gallery.

Posts as galleries

Having dismissed photo galleries as galleries, I briefly considered possibility of using posts as galleries. In my case, the post usually has links to several choice photos, as well as a link to the relevant gallery. Recognizing that, maybe I could attach photos directly to my posts! Unfortunately, while there are a number of problems with this, the biggest one for me is that I wouldn't be able to easily associate multiple blog entries together (think "Big conference day 1", "Big conference day 2", etc).

My current thinking

I'm thinking "bundles" would allow me to better organize things. I could associate posts, photos, and links under a common theme. For instance, "Big conference" could include several blog entries, a bunch of photos, and links to other attendees' blogs and photos.

"Bundles" fits nicely in other ways. I can bundle links to my friends' websites together and call the bundle "Blogroll". I'm still considering the effect of having three different types of metadata, however. Categories, tags, and now bundles?