Version 2.2.0 – beta

Blue Twilight version 2.2.0 introduces several social features that allows you to use the application as a better alternative to Flickr. You can now run your own, private photo-sharing social network – completely free*!

We strongly recommend you do not use the beta on a production gallery. If you choose to, please ensure you take a file-level and database-level backup first.

Minimum PHP version

Blue Twilight has been updated to the Laravel 5.5 framework, which requires PHP 7. Please check your hosting provider supports PHP 7 before upgrading to Blue Twilight 2.2.

Inherited permissions for albums

After upgrading from a version earlier than 2.2.0, please rebuild the permissions cache using the “Security” tab in the Settings section.

Permissions for albums are now by default inherited from their parent album, or the default permissions if it is a top-level album.

You can still elect to create a new album as private, where it will not inherit permissions, and you can break the inheritance at any time to give an album its own, unique permissions.

To set the system’s default permissions, a new section has been added to the “Security” tab in the Settings section.

Additionally, all permissions are now cached for performance, so Blue Twilight doesn’t have to recalculate them on-demand each time they are needed. A new option has been added to the “Security” tab in the Settings section to allow this cache to be rebuilt if you suspect it isn’t correct.

Commenting on photos

Users can now comment on your photos. When the option is enabled, the photo page displays a “Leave a reply” form for your visitors.

This feature is enabled by default on new Blue Twilight systems, but disabled on systems that have been upgraded from a version prior to version 2.2.0.

You can configure this feature on the new “Comments” tab within the Settings area. You can allow comments from only logged-in users, or from anonymous users also.

Comments can also be (optionally) moderated, and there is a new “Moderate comments” permission you can assign to users.

The photo page displays a “Leave a reply” form for visitors to leave comments on your photos.

Social media sign-in

Visitors to a Blue Twilight photo gallery have always been able to sign-in and register with an e-mail address and password.

With Blue Twilight version 2.2, you can now allow your visitors to sign-in and register with their Facebook, Twitter or Google account.

You will need to register your gallery with the social networks you want to enable, and provide the access credentials on the “Social” tab within the Settings area. See the Social Network Login page in this user guide for instructions on how to register your gallery with the networks.

User settings page

Users can now modify their e-mail address and password from the new User Settings screen. When logged in, a new menu option is displayed on the user’s menu (top-right) called “Change my settings.”

If you require e-mail confirmation when a new user registers, existing users will need to confirm their new e-mail address if they change it on this screen.

The new user settings allows users to update their own account details.

User profile pages

Users on your gallery can now enable a “public profile” page on the new user settings screen (see above.) This page lists their albums, recent activity, a heat-map of taken and uploaded photos and the cameras they used.

Whenever a user’s name is displayed, if they have a profile page enabled, a link will be displayed to their page. Users can also specify an alias of their choosing, and they will get a unique URL for their page using that alias.

The user profile page displays albums, activity and cameras the user has used.

This feature is enabled by default on new Blue Twilight systems, but disabled on systems that have been upgraded from a version prior to version 2.2.0.

You can enable it on the “Social” tab in the Settings area.

Explore photographers

There is a new “Explore photographers” page that is activated when public user profiles are enabled.

This page lists all users who have enabled a public profile and allows other users to “follow” people they are interested in.

The Explore Photographers page allows visitors to your gallery to find interesting photographers to follow.

Activity feed

When a user follows other photographers, their activity will be displayed in the Activity Feed. Users will see the Activity Feed when they first login.

The activity feed keeps users up-to-date on what their favourite photographers are doing.

More date format options

Several more date formatting options have been added. You can now choose from the following options:

  • 2019-07-28 – 09:09
  • 28/07/2019 – 09:09
  • 28-07-2019 – 09:09
  • 28.07.2019 – 09:09
  • 28/Jul/2019 – 09:09
  • 28-Jul-2019 – 09:09
  • 07/28/2019 – 09:09
  • 07-28-2019 – 09:09
  • 07.28.2019 – 09:09
  • 28th July 2019 – 09:09
  • 28th Jul. 2019 – 09:09
  • July 28th 2019 – 09:09
  • Jul. 28th 2019 – 09:09

Keyboard navigation

We have started implementing keyboard shortcuts in Blue Twilight version 2.2.0. Currently, the left and right arrow keys allows navigation through an album (in the same way as the Previous and Next buttons do.

In future releases, we will extend these shortcuts to other actions.

Background processing

Processing and analysing the images is an intensive process, especially when dealing with hundreds of images in one upload.

This processing can now be off-loaded to a separate server using the RabbitMQ messaging system.

This is an advanced feature that is still in beta testing, so we strongly recommend you do not enable it unless you know you need it.

Additionally e-mails can now be queued in the database and sent from a separate process. This speeds up posting and approving comments and replies. You will need to be able to set up a cron job on your hosting environment to use this feature.

Bug fixes

11 bugs have also been fixed in this release. You can find out more details of these bug fixes on the Gitea Releases page.

* The software (Blue Twilight) is free – you may have to pay for servers or hosting!