Can I run photos on a Remote Web Server?

photos is a web based application, but it is not intended to be run on a remote web server (yet). Here are some of the reasons I feel this way (and designed the product accordingly):

  1. Bandwidth - Digital photos are already big and getting bigger all the time. I currently shoot my photos in JPEG at 6 mega pixel, which produces 1.5-3mb files. Transferring hundreds of these files over a braodband connection is a pain, over a modem or some other skinny pipe it is just not realistic. Even when you get all the photos up there, you'll have to transfer them back down whenever you want to work on them or back them up. Most servers have bandwidth limitations on their accounts and most people's internet connectinos are not fast enough to even make this feasible.
  2. Server Limitations - Bandwidth limitations on the server are not the only server limitation problems you may face.
    • Capacity - After shooting digital for 1.5 years, I have almost 6 gigabytes of digital photos; and most of those were shot at 3 mega pixel. There are few hosting accounts that offer this much hard drive space with their accounts.
    • PHP Requirements - Image manipulation sucks CPU cycles and many ISPs/server hosts do not enable the gd2 library in the installation of PHP they offer. This is currently a requirement for running photos.
  3. Connectivity - If you are running photos on your web server instead of (for example) your laptop, you have to have an internet connection (and a fat one at that) to add new photos to your database. I really like being able to enter photos in my database while I'm on vacation instead of having hundreds to sort through when I get back.

There is nothing in the software that stops you from running photos on a remote web server, but I'd think hard about doing so right now for the reasons mentioned here. I do think technology will advance to the point that running photos on a remote web server is a smart idea in the near future. If you are putting your data in photos today, you'll be all ready when that happens.

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Last Modified: January 15, 2004 @ 7:37 pm