Years ago, when I started using a cheap Kodak DX3600 digital camera to make some digital photos, I used Gallery from Menalto to collect these pictures within a gallery. Gallery (version 1) was using plain text files to keep its information about galleries and photos and as the number of photos I put into the gallery the more it got slower and slower. Then Gallery2 was released which used a database, either MySQL or PostgreSQL, and was a huge improvement in speed. My main galleries do have about 10-20.000 pictures each. But Gallery2 is aged nowadays and the next logical step would be to migrate to Gallery3. But what a mess!
Gallery3 has some drawbacks:
- there is currently no gallery3 package in Debian, although it’s been released upstream for some time now.
- there is actually a bug open (#511715), stating that there are some license issues with Gallery3 and some SWF files
- it’s been said that Gallery3 doesn’t support per picture permissions anymore, only permission per album is now possible, which is giving me headache as I changed permissions of some personal pictures in the past for privacy reasons and which would either lead to completely unavailable albums to the public or the need of splitting album into a public and a private section, which breaks the timely order of the pictures
- whereas G2 supported both MySQL and PostgreSQL as database backends, G3 only supports MySQL. That’s a real pitty because I prefer PostgreSQL because of its stability and easiness over MySQL. It already happened several times that MySQL databases were gone after a kernel crash or something. Even mysql.user table was gone more than once, whereas PostgreSQL never ever has shown such behaviour to me. It just works.
I’m really upset about the last point! Why is there such a strong believe in MySQL. In my eyes, MySQL is utter crap. It’s more like MS Access than a real thing when talking DBMS/SQL. And my impression is that, after Oracle bought MySQL, Oracle did a good job to scare their customers off. PostgreSQL on the other hand gained a good momentum in usage since the Oracle/MySQL deal. So, it’s a total mystery to me how a big software package with dozens of developers can decide not to support PostgreSQL or even drop the support of PostgreSQL for a new release! It’s driving me nuts, again and again.
Other big software packages like Drupal are doing the right thing: while PostgreSQL support in drupal6 was weak and buggy because of all these awful MySQLisms around, Drupal now uses a database abstraction layer in drupal7 to allow even sqlite or Oracle to be used as underlying database. That’s the way to go, but it’s totally awkward to drop PostgreSQL support as Gallery3 did.
So, is there a way out of my dilemma? Will gallery3 be a package within Debian soon (no offense to Michael Schultheiss, I think he’s doing a great job and needs assistance from upstream in this case)? Is there any good replacement for Gallery3 that can deal with tenthousends of images and dozens of users and supports PostgreSQL and has some kind of import tool from gallery2?