Bird Galleries and Much Needed Maintenance

I don’t know how many folks have looked into the “Birds I Have Known” galleries lately, but recently I discovered it’s been a mess for several months. Yesterday I began reviewing the Bird Galleries on my website and was horrified at the shape they were in. Not all of them, but enough were corrupted to prevent the presentation I intended. I knew there would be images missing, because of a culling process I did several months ago. What I didn’t expect were the replicated thumbnails I found in several of the species galleries. These replicated thumbnails had various file names associated, meaning these files were no longer delivering the intended images. I found the Tree Swallow gallery especially corrupt in this manner, but it wasn’t the only one. I had to delete and reload a lot of files, but when done, the media library (pool of images) should be in a lot better shape.

I know what caused this corruption. It was the process to convert the website from the “NextGen” folder based system to the “GasLamp” system of pooled images in a single location (the WordPress “Media Library”).
The NextGen gallery system required a separate load for each image to produce sets for every gallery post. When a single image was required for more than one post, it would get loaded a second, third, fourth (etc) time. The GasLamp team tried to migrate the images, but mistakes were made, and I was left to deal with a multitude of mis-named and duplicate images. I’m talking about thousands of files! I found it too difficult to test each individual case, and I just started deleting the files I could identify as duplicates. It took me more than a week to get through the process. When I finished, I checked a few of the bird galleries and saw no serious issues. In retrospect I should have looked closer. At the end of this phase of the “repair”, I was tired of the process, and I got back to blogging and enjoying the features built for me by the GasLamp team.

A few nights ago I began grooming the Albums and Galleries for the “Birds I Have Known” collection, filling in the missing images removed during the first repair phase. I started at the top with Blackbirds, and began working through all the sets, one Album, one Gallery at a time. The process began as a “fine-tuning” job, getting additional images into the sets and selecting single images to present for the Albums and Gallery place marks. It seemed like a good idea to get the collections updated, but then I found some empty galleries. Using the tools given me by the developers I put back together the missing images and add new ones when required. I found and eliminated more of the duplicate files I’d missed on my first attempt months earlier.

Then I found some galleries mentioned earlier had a half dozen or more identical thumbnails and different file references. This was a whole new level of concern for me, and I had to perform extensive deleting of these duplicates and reload the files from my PC library.

I’ve finally finished with this re-grooming process, and I believe most of these troubles are behind me. But I won’t be sure until I look at the other collections under the “Galleries” menu heading. Fortunately, none of the remaining collections are remotely as extensive as the Bird Set. When using the tools provided by my Web Developer (GasLamp Media), there seems to be no such problem with duplicates, so going forward I do not expect any similar issues.