Adding Lighbox.js to the Simple Photo Gallery

image In my previous two posts, Building a Simple Photo Gallery in ASP.NET MVC Framework and Returning Thumbnails With the MVC Framework, I built a simple photo gallery on the ASP.NET MVC framework. In this post we are going to start making this a little prettier. To start with, we are going to leverage an JavaScript project called Lightbox.js that’s released under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.

One cool part about it is that you can get a tremendous amount of functionality with little to no JavaScript coding on your own. It leverages a couple of different JavaScript libraries including Prototype and Scriptaculous. These do a lot of generic HTML Dom manipulation and visualization.

The result of leveraging Lightbox.js is that when you click on one of the thumbnails that we started showing in Returning Thumbnails With the MVC Framework the full sized picture will show in a really nice lightbox style effect.

First, you need to download the Lightbox.js project. It comes in a zip file that comes with a sample application. Unzip the contents into the appropriate folders. This means that the .js files go in your /scripts directors and the images and the css in the /content folder.

The cool part is that since you have the source to it all, rock on and modify it to your heart’s content. And we’re going to do a light modification right off the bat. We could have put the images from the Lightbox.js project in the /images folder but we’re already using that for something else so we put them in the /content folder. That means that you need to open up lightbox.js and change the directory of the loading and close images to point to the correct directory.

LightboxOptions = Object.extend({
    fileLoadingImage:        'content/loading.gif',
    fileBottomNavCloseImage: 'content/closelabel.gif',

That’s the only mod that we *need* to make at the moment. If you feel like it, you can fix the image paths in lighthouse.css as well.

#prevLink:hover, #prevLink:visited:hover { background: 
url(Content/prevlabel.gif) left 15% no-repeat; } #nextLink:hover, #nextLink:visited:hover { background:
url(Content/nextlabel.gif) right 15% no-repeat; }

The only thing left to do is update the Images/index view to take advantage of our new capabilities. There are two mods to make. First, we need to include links to the lightbox.css and the required 3 JavaScript files (prototype.js, scriptaculous.js and lighbox.js). Second, we need to add a rel=”lightbox” to the anchor tag around our picture.

<%@ Page Title="" Language="C#" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" 
AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="Index.aspx.cs"
Inherits="PhotoGalleryMVC.Views.Image.Index" %> <asp:Content ID="Content1" ContentPlaceHolderID="MainContent" runat="server"> <link rel="stylesheet" href="content/lightbox.css" type="text/css" media="screen" /> <script src="scripts/prototype.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="scripts/scriptaculous.js?load=effects,builder" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="scripts/lightbox.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <p><%= Html.ActionLink("Add your own image", "Upload", "Image")%></p> <% foreach (var image in ViewData.Model) { %> <span class="image"> <a href="/images/<%= image.Path %>" rel="lightbox">
img src="/image/thumbnail/<%= image.Path %>" />
a> <span class="description"><%= image.Description %></span> </span> <% }%> </asp:Content>

It’s that simple. This will render a really nice little lightbox effect on our images.

Stay tuned for future posts about styling the CSS, paging the pictures and a whole lot more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *