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On this site I am using version Gallery 1.5.1. When I first discovered this software I thought it was awesome. It seemed fast, had an easy to use interface, I could get up and running in no time, configuration was a breeze, upgrading was simple, and it was stable.
There were rumours about Gallery 2 that was in the works. Something about a complete rewrite. It used a more modular development style, used a database backend, was supposed to be more configurable, and more exensible. When I could I downloaded a beta and gave it a test run.
The beta seemed stable enough, but lacked a lot of features that the regular stream already had. The admin interface was a bear; it felt overly complex and hard to grasp. Overall, it was also, very, very slow. So slow that I decided to dump it.
Over on another site I run (my baby blog [yes that means Sox is pregnant]) I decided to give Gallery 2 another go since it had been taken out of beta and released. I installed the files, got the database installed and the tables created, and set it up (the documentation was not straight forward),. I downloaded the necessary modules, enabled and configured them. So far so good.
Then I created my first album. The process was pretty familiar, but the end result was not what I liked. One of the stupid things that I dislike about Gallery 2 is the URL's created for albums and pictures. I like clean URL's with nice names, but even when I turn on the clean URL feature of Gallery 2, there was extraneous crap in the album URL's (geeks get annoyed by the stupidest things). This software was also still way too slow.
I stuck with it for a while, but never grew to like it like the original it is supposed to replace. Yesterday I did a downgrade from Gallery 2 to 1.5.2-RC1.
I am much hapier. The interface is familiar (lame reason to downgrade), but the performance is back, the features I like are back, the ease of use is back. I dumped the crap I didn't like and ended up with what I do like.
I sincerely hope that the Gallery team can fix the problems they have created. I think it is admirable that they chose to start from scratch the way they did. There is absolutely no way that the team will be able to please everyone. I don't agree with some of the decisions they made (particularly the UI issues), and I wish them the best of luck because in my mind, they are going to have to make some drastic changes to get me to upgrade again.
My problem now is that the version I am using wil eventually be phased out. No more new development eventually, so what happens when there is a security flaw found? Apparently security fixes will continue to be released for this version, which I really hope is true. Still, makes me wonder if that will be the case.