Image Server

This is a draft document collecting specifications, functions and processes necessary for the successful implementation of a production image server. Please use the discussion area to add your comments, issues, needs, and requirements.

Contents
1 Background
1.1 How it works
1.2 Benefits for the ABC
1.3 Issues
2 Requirements
2.1 Input
2.2 Output
2.3 Workflow examples
2.3.1 Interface with SiteProducer
2.3.1.1 User example:
3 Resources
3.1 Example site using an image server
3.2 Image servers
4 Add comments or discuss

Background

The ABC is implementing a new User Interface Guideline framework. This framework includes a new set of image sizes to be embedded in pages as sites are rebuilt.
These 16 new image versions do not match any of the current image versions used by the ABC, and do not match any of the versions of the 160,000 images currently in the Resource Library.
As re-editing 160,000 photos is not practical, an image server seems the most logical next step.
[edit]How it works
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_server
an image server holds the original image file
when a web page needs a specific image size, it uses a url format to address the image on the image server, which then delivers the image in the appropriate version
this processing only happens once, as from then on the processed image is held in the image servers cache.
[edit]Benefits for the ABC
only original versions of images need to be uploaded
future-proofing – if down the track a new image size is needed this can be automated by the system so it affects all past and future images
the workload on content producers is significantly reduced as they only need to process an image once in a single way.
legacy imaging – the 160,000 old images in the resource library can be processed using the largest version available.
[edit]Issues
Preview
Templating Language changes
Static images for subscription clients
legacy imaging – old images may not have a large enough size for acceptable resizing
changing the aspect ratio. quality of cropping
[edit]Requirements

As part of the requirements gathering process we want to develop a list of suggested requirements, analyse and edit those suggested requirements, then order that list by importance.
[edit]Input
web interface to upload a single raw image
[edit]Output
multiple versions of an image
versions to be produced via logic rules
if image required is larger than 340px(?) width, then uses basic crop of image, resized
if image required is larger than 340px(?)and has a set height and width, then uses a resized slice of the basic crop. That slice includes the focal point/area set on the original image
if image required is smaller than 340px(?) width, then it uses the best fit around the internal focal area
versions should have logical url structure
[edit]Workflow examples
[edit]Interface with SiteProducer
Conceptually I would see the data being entered via the resource library, then when the ‘save’ button is clicked, instead of it opening the current image window it would open a single ‘browse’ instance to add the image to the image server.
Part of it would require the resource library to find the image on the image server, perhaps using the ‘save reference’ concept
[edit]User example:
I want to add my new photo
I open SiteProducer as normal
I go to the resource library section and create a new image
I add the data to the resource and click save – to this point all is as normal.
I then get the option to add the image to the resource library (for legacy reasons) or to the Image server
I select Image server and get a single ‘browse’ form.
I browse to my image and upload
The image server uploads the image and gives me the image in a window
The window allows me to set the ‘outside crop’ for the image
The window allows me to set the ‘focal crop’ for the image
I save and that image becomes a reference in the resource library (for example http://images.abc.net.au/2009/03/345937/3000×2000.jpg )
The image server stores the crop and focal point information
Story and index templates (Wallace, siteproducer or xml) reference image by parsing in the relevant height and width e.g. http://images.abc.net.au/2009/03/345937/340×277.jpg, using a set of rules to calculate the crops and resizing.
[edit]Resources

[edit]Example site using an image server
http://www.daylife.com/ – site using image server technology.
http://www.daylife.com/photo/0a1RcrQeEq9tc?q=Top+News
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0a1RcrQeEq9tc/610x.jpg (photo in the story)
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0a1RcrQeEq9tc/340×227.jpg (photo in our new half column 3:2 ratio)
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0a1RcrQeEq9tc/340×191.jpg (photo in a format cropped to fit our new 16:9 format)
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0a1RcrQeEq9tc/700×394.jpg (this would fill the content column in UIG with a 16:9 format image)
[edit]Image servers
http://www.scene7.com/solutions/dynamic_imaging.asp – Adobe Image server product

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