Lifebox: Oh my, a just released FOSS image gallery almost after my dreams!

I was searching on freshmeat for an free, open source alternative to ShareThis, AddThis and AddToAny that I could run on Universitas’ server (I found it iBegin Share), and stumbled upon Lifebox. What luck!


Those of you who know me (might) now that I’ve been obsessing about no web gallery software doing what’s correct and right to do. In the end, I actually found a usable image organizer for my desktop, digiKam, but the web was still without the presence of my images. I’ve got them up using ZenPhoto, but at this time they’re not public.

I’ve actually done a nasty hack in ZenPhoto in order for it to be usable for me. And I started customizing and extending django-photologue to do what I wanted, so that I might have a workable image gallery in a while.

But now I’m kinda bummed out about that, because Lifebox is here, and it is looking more of a fit than anything else I’ve ever seen. Look at this list of demands that it’s author Adam Goldberg designed it to:

  • Full resolution images
  • One photo library: every image on my computer should be available on the internet
  • Reads metadata from Lightroom, Picassa, iPhoto and other applications to allow for photo touch ups while maintaining synchronization between your desktop and photo gallery
  • Ability to rename, reorganize, and modify without structural changes on the website.
  • Image security: some pictures are meant for the public, some for family members, some for friends, and some for just me.
  • No more accounts and logging in. The site should just know who you are.
  • Completely database independent, using a db just for speed. Should something happen to the database, all data can be re-generated from reading exif tags and the existing file structure.
  • Less than 100 milisecond execution times for every page
  • 100% XHTML Valid
  • Viewers should be able to suggest titles, tags, and descriptions for images. It’s too cumbersome for one person to organize a hundred thousand photos.

It’s as if I’d written it myself. Not being a native english writer, I would’ve worded it differently — but I think he’s adressed these requirements:

  • Respect my folders, don’t try to make your own scheme
  • When I save a tag on the web save it in the picture’s IPTC keywords
  • Fast to navigate/use

There is also two more that I’d put up on my own version that Lifebox (AFAIK) doesn’t do:

  • OpenID-login, letting it gradually become part of the distributed social web
  • Allow machine tags, and use it so I can tag «Odin Hørthe Omdal» into a picture, and have that refer to «», and ping the user about it (in this way, my profile can automatically show all pictures that I’m in from around the web, snaxy!)

But I’m eager to try this out. A big thanks to Adam Goldberg and his team! If I encounter any problems, I’ll be sure to blog about them :-)

2 thoughts on “Lifebox: Oh my, a just released FOSS image gallery almost after my dreams!”

  1. Excellent. I guess I need a great imagae gallery myself, now that I have ordered a nikon d60. I look forward to a more in depth test with a demo. I cannot find one at their web site.

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