Shashin 3 Development Version Available

Only a year overdue, I have a development version of Shashin 3 available for download. That’s the good news. The bad news is that all you can do with it right now is use its Tools Menu to sync albums. The Shashin tags and Highslide are not implemented yet. So it may not seem like much, but it’s been probably 80 hours of work so far. This is a complete rewrite, as I found myself unable to provide adequate support for the previous version, given the way I wrote it.

Over the past six months I have immersed myself in Clean Code, Agile Software Development, Refactoring, Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests, and more. I’ve been programming since I was 12 (which was a long time ago…) and in recent years thought I had become darn good at it. What I’ve been learning in recent months has been both humbling and exciting. Although the Shashin 3 menus look almost the same as before, if you look under the hood you will see something very different from the old Shashin. I hope to have the time to say more about it later.

But for now, I’m hoping those who’ve had the patience to wait this long for the next version of Shashin will be willing to test this development version. I’m especially looking for feedback from people who have had difficulty syncing albums in Shashin 2, as the new version does syncing in a completely new way, which I expect will be faster and more reliable. It’s designed to be extremely flexible, so after I get the Picasa functionality completed, I intend to add support for Flickr, Youtube, etc. The one limitation right now is that it supports public albums only.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Download the Shashin 3 development version at github:
  2. After you unzip it, rename the folder to “shashin3alpha” (the folder name github assigns will change every time I update it)
  3. Download “Toppa-libs” from github:
  4. After you unzip it, rename the folder to “toppa-libs”
  5. Upload both to your plugins folder, and activate them. You will then see “Shashin3Alpha” in your Tools menu. Note that you can install the new version side-by-side with an existing Shashin installation. They will not interfere with each other. That means you can uninstall it as well, without affecting your Shashin 2 installation.
  6. If you run into any issues, please report them on github. It will be much easier for me to track problems there than in my blog’s comments:

What I’m hoping to do from now on is add a new piece of functionality to it roughly once a week, and upload it to github. I’ll tweet any major updates. Once all the basic functionality is in place, I’ll update the plugin repository at


  1. PatW April 26, 2011

    I’ve been recently going through the same process. It is definitely very humbling. Highly recommend attending a code retreat if you get a chance. Very enlightening.

  2. Angel Castro April 26, 2011

    Mike: Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Plugin. I absolutely love it. Once I start getting the hang of it, I will definitely tell my friends and family about this. I am kind of new at the whole blog/plug-in game. I started a blog for my daughter and it’s coming along. I was looking at a lot of the different types of settings with Shashin. I’m hoping you can help me with one in particular that I am having trouble in. All of my Web Albums are linked in picasa and everything is synchronized fine. No problems there. I have a page Called Photos 2011. I have 2 Web Albums currently synched in Picasa. I have 27 photos on one, 28 photos on the other. I want to display just a thumbnail of each web album on the page. So, a user goes to that page and they see 2 small pictures…one of each web album. Then…when they click on the thumbnail…highslide begins and shows all of the remaining images for the user. That way, when I start having multiple web albums, I can just put the thumbnail to each web album and then they user can see all the pictures. Is there a way to do this? Sorry if this is a dumb question or if it’s been asked before. Thanks for any help.

  3. Angel Castro April 26, 2011

    Mike…I just looked at the PHOTOS section of your blog and that is exactly what I want to do…have the thumbnail of the album for all of my albums…BUT…instead of opening up a whole other page with the images…i was wondering if Highslide can just open up when you click on the thumbnail. I want to skip the whole step of having to open each album within it’s own page. Click on the thumbnail, and launch highslide showing all of the images in the album.

    • Mike May 1, 2011

      Hi Angel – Shashin can’t do that currently, but I’m planning to it. Highslide has a feature now called thumbstrips, which I think is what you’re looking for – see an example here:

      • Angel May 4, 2011

        Mike…this thumbstrip is EXACTLY What I am looking for EXACTLY!!! Please tell me how and when this will become a reality? Please!!! I really want to incorporate this into my blog!!!!!! Please let me know!!!! When??????

  4. Janne April 27, 2011

    Mike, I’d be happy to test the new version. Are you planning to support syncing of private albums soon, as that is my main concern now?

    • Mike May 1, 2011

      Hi Janne – I’m still thinking through the best way to do it. Private albums are a headache as the syncing is significantly more complex (specifically, the authentication involved). The challenge is doing it in a way that works across a variety of PHP configurations, as not every web hosting provider has the necessary libraries installed.

      I’m planning to add it, and allow associating a login and password with each album, so you’re not limited to only one. But I think I’ll have to make it an “unsupported” feature, in that it’s extremely difficult to help people troubleshoot if they have a problem with it.

  5. skrachs May 7, 2011

    Hi. I have Shashin version 2.6.3 installed on my wordpress. I tried to insert galleries in page, but it’s not working. Other tags are not working as well.
    When opening the page it shows only the tag.

    Tag is inserted with html editor.

  6. Mark May 13, 2011

    Hi, awesome plugin. I just installed it through the WP plugin page. I want to disable highslide and have the thumbs link to picasa how can I do that?

    • Mark May 13, 2011

      Nevermind. I should look more before I open my mouth. It is under settings.

  7. Aonghas May 16, 2011

    Hi there,

    I would like to make a suggestion to your great plugin. Is it possible to have a javascript/jQuery/AJAX like pagination system when browsing an album with multiple pages? I know PicasaView has this feature and I think it really enhances the experience of browsing through albums so you don’t to load each page. Here is an example of what I mean

    Clicking “next” will just load the next photos without having to load the whole page again. I think if you implemented a similar feature with your plugin, you’d have an ultimate solution!

    Kind regards,

    • Mike May 21, 2011

      Hi Aonghas – I’m planning to do exactly that. I just need to find the time…

  8. KZ May 19, 2011

    Hi Mike,
    I love this pluggin!

    But I need a little help: shashin was working properly in my website (, however after installing the wordpress option multiples sites, it doesn’t work in my new sites that I created after that (eg:

    When I try to add an album to the new site, I click on the ‘Add Album’ button but then and I am redirected to my original site. The new added album just works in my original site post. It doesn’t in the new site.

    Do you have some clue of what I have to do to make it work?

    Thank you!

    • Mike May 21, 2011

      Hi KZ – last time I looked, I could not find any WordPress documentation on how to make plugins like Shashin multi-site compatible (ones where settings and data will vary by site). I’ll keep looking for a how-to guide.

  9. Darin May 19, 2011

    Hi Mike —

    Just a quick request for some insight on a minor item that has just been driving me a little nuts… Long time Shashin user and recently have found that I have extra whitespace (padding?) on just the bottom edge of my thumbnails…

    For an example check out of my email address.
    Sample concern is in right hand sidebar.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback and continued support!

    — Darin

    • Mike May 21, 2011

      Hi Darin – I took a look using Firebug and was able to find an improvement, but not fix it completely. You have “line-height: 20px” for “body” in your screen.css – removing that reduced some of the extra padding. But I couldn’t tell where the rest of the extra padding was coming from (you have a ton of stuff going on in the css for your site, so it’s hard to disentangle).

  10. Svetlana May 29, 2011

    Hi Mike,
    I am a big fan of your plugin. I use it for implementing a digital library. Meanwhile, it contains about 2500 picasa albums that I added to the blog using your plugin. However, more and more I often get a weird error when adding new albums (whether unlisted or public). Each time, only a portion (a half or less or none at all) gets added and the rest simply does not! No error message. Renaming those albums in picasa or changing their properties does not help. But if I go to picasa and simply move the album into a new one, it always helps. Any idea what is going on? Thanks in advance for any hints. I really need to get it to work properly again.

    • Mike June 10, 2011

      Hi Svetlana – sorry for the late reply. Many people are having this problem. I have a dev version of Shashin 3 on GitHub – that I believe solves this problem. Right now the dev version only lets you sync albums, so it’s not finished, but I’m working on it.

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