Publication of Japanese sword related materials in a systematic and coherent way is the main mission of Nihonto Club. Uploading images and other media and attaching them to the main content is one of its most important components. Over last 4 years a number of solutions for handling images were used in different parts of the website (boards, galleries, collections etc) trying to find one which is best fit for the purpose. Personally I had serious reservations about all of them and was simply waiting for 'the right one' before committing to posting any image-heavy content.
Also I needed to know how you use it. Images seemed to be mostly used in Discussion Boards to ask questions about particular blades and fittings, as well as providing answers. In addition, Image Gallery and Private Collections areas were actively used to share images of the items you own.
Ability to expose images in Sword Database was another important area to be addressed.
The time has now come to roll out the new image handling system based on a very promising Node Gallery module for Nihonto Club software.
The new solution is treating pages of certain types (forum topic, collection item, sword record) as galleries with the possibility of attaching a number of images. Once added, they are available at the bottom of the page. If you click any image, it brings you to the gallery view where you can browse through images, view their enlarged versions (if available) and leave your comments.
It also allows maintaining information about ownership, copyright and licensing restrictions. It will help us to be fair to people who share their work, as well as open possibilities of using publically available image repositories such as Wikimedia Commons and Flickr without breaching their Terms & Conditions. This may not be a concern for a classic style message board, but Nihonto Club is (or hoping to be) more like a research tool and we need to think long term.
Being currently exposed in the most basic form, it provides brilliant prospects for future development. I'm hoping that you'll find it more consistent, intuitive and convenient than the older solutions.
As a result of the migration, a number of areas have been updated. You’ll be able to see the list of changes in the following sections.
All the images attached to the existing topics have been migrated into the new format. When you are creating a new topic, an option will be provided in the end to attach multiple images. Once uploaded, they'll be visible below the body of the topic.
Please refer to the topic in Nihonto section of the Discussion Boards for detailed instructions on how to add images.
Handling of collections has been greatly simplified. Instead of having 3 different types of item records (swords, tsuba, generic), only 1 is now available. There is no need anymore to handle the ‘main’ item image which appears in the catalogue separately from additional images. You may just create a new item record, attach images in the end of the process in the same way as in Discussion Boards, and they will appear on the page once saved.
All existing items are now migrated into the new format. If there were images uploaded separately into Image Gallery, they are now attached to the item record. As this is a manual process, some mistakes may have been made. Please contact me if you notice anything unusual.
Release of the new image handling system has made Image Gallery obsolete. All your photos have been migrated into relevant sections of the website (Discussion Boards and Private Collections).
There were few unsolicited galleries which didn't have corresponding topics or collection records. In order to preserve your images, I've created personal collection and item records on behalf of the affected users named [user name] Gallery. If you are unhappy with the presentation or the format, please feel free to amend at your convenience.
As the default license for all the site content is Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license except where otherwise noted (mentioned in the footer on every page), all the migrated image work has been released under the same license and attributed to the person who uploaded the image (it can be seen under the image). If you wish to change licensing terms, you may do it by editing the image properties (click 'Edit' in the image header).
I hope you'll like the new functionality. Please share your feedback here.