Photo grids like InDesign

Something for the future. Being a photographer and filmmaker, I often want to show a client all their images online (and possibly sell to them). InDesign can create a grid of photo boxes like this:

This would be so great to have in Sparkle one day. Seeing as we can now integrate a store front onto the site, I would be able to completely do away with my online selling facility which is upwards of £500 per year. Just a thought!

We do have grid functionality on our near term list, but that’s interesting nonetheless. InDesign is a monster package and I think what it’s doing there might be overly/needlessly complex but we’ll see what the final UI ends up like in Sparkle (not for v4!).

Thanks Duncan. Nice to know you’re thinking about this, even though it’s not for v.4. Keep well!

Just another voice hoping that grid functionality will be available in the near future. I like to post a grid of photos from my cruising and it worked well in Muse. Please keep this on the wishlist…

Not sure I understand the request. Is it not possible now to layout a grid of photos within Sparkle?

The difference is offering UI in Sparkle to make it simpler/quicker to lay out images in a grid.

I see.

I suppose if there were a script that took a folder full of images and automatically placed them in a grid on a page, where the end result would be a group of image elements just as if one had placed them manually, that would be fine.

The danger, as I see it, is implementing some new stand alone construct that prohibits freely editing the resulting layout manually. Does that make sense? Inflexible superstructures. Like preconfigured grouped elements that can never be broken apart.

I’m not sure I have the vocabulary to speak of this in terms of software design. To adopt the metaphor of architectural design, if an architect were limited to the use of a small number of prefab wall and flooring units, as opposed to having the freedom to arrange individual bricks, lumber, windows, doors, etc., we’d have an uninteresting uniformity in our built environment.

I guess there’s a balance to be struck when designing a website building tool between offering basic individual elements and complex prefab units. Prefab units could be useful, as long as the app preserves maximal design and layout flexibility.

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There is definitely a tension there. InDesign appears to be detecting the structures and letting you manipulate them as if they were a super structure. While that’s not impossible to recreate it definitely looks like a rather cumbersome UI with a steep learning curve (pressing keyboard arrows while dragging? come on), and I’m sure there are edge cases where you expect it to do one thing but it does another.

Sparkle currently has two parallel tracks, with some elements being more like what you call superstructures (the gallery) and others more like individual elements. The learning curve and the speed of work is faster with superstructures without a doubt, making this a direction where we inevitably will want to invest more. The flexibility of individual elements makes customization possible, at the expense of greater manual labor, that’s what we have now in many ways.

I see merit in both, and I think the best of both worlds is if they can be combined and mixed, and also if you can make custom superstructures for the purpose of reuse, or break down a superstructure into the elements it’s made of to customize those.

It’s an ambitious goal and a lot of work, but I think it’s going to be worth it.

It’s also only one of many many angles to building websites.

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Maybe it would be easier to embed a third-party platform (there a re few out there) that would support what you are looking to achieve with your InDesign example. Even Ecwid (very reasonably priced) could be setup to display image galleries which are then purchasable by a cleint.

I see creating a website a work of art in Sparkle and I would create a Sparkle page/document for something like this and reuse it in every needed project onwards…