Search…

X3 Photo Gallery Support Forums

Search…
 
metallissimus
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 06:54

Feedback and ideas from a new user

29 Oct 2019, 05:27

I thought I’d write down some thoughts that occured to me while getting to know X3 and migrating my old website. As I said before I couldn’t be happier, but of course there’s always room for improvement.

Let me start with what I liked:
- Ease of use: Although there isn’t that much documentation it’s amazingly easy to set up a site, get it filled with content and running. The interface overall is pretty intuitive but nonetheless offers a lot of possibilities.
- Help in panel: The little ?-boxes are incredibly helpful and make for much of the above mentioned experience.
- Design: I am kind of a perfectionist when it comes to design and I have to say I am impressed with the look of an X3 page out of the box. It looks so good I try hard taming my urge to modify certain details because I’m afraid every modification might actually make it look worse.
- Support: Speed and helpfulnes of your answers in this forum is incredible.

What I missed (and hopefully not just overlooked) or didn’t like – I know some of this has already been brought up in the forums but I want to underline those points:
- Image focal point: Honestly that was the biggest surprise for me not being implemented already in an image centered CMS. The ability to set a focal point would hugely improve the usability of the cover mode for the intro slideshow and also the grid option for galleries and folders.
- Responsive column count: I would love the ability to set different column counts for different screen sizes in a column layout like it is possible with grid.
- Unsaved changes: Many times (especially in the beginning of working with X3) I accidentally discarded changes because I forgot to save them. Maybe a prompt like „There are unsaved changes, do you really want to leave?“ could be implemented, preferrably with an option to turn it off globally for those who don’t need/want it.
- Markdown/Html: The ability to mix those would be great. Once you start using html you can no longer use markup inside the html-tags, which forces you to rewrite everything from markdown to html in some cases.
- Hidden pages/menu tree: The styling of the menu tree in the panel is a little confusing: Greyed out seems to mean hidden but actually doesn’t necessarily, also hiding a page from the menu doesn’t reflect in any way in the menu tree. Maybe some icons or additional styling (like line-through) could make it easier to understand and to discern different possibilities.
- SEO Title: I usually don’t want the site <title> to be the same as my <h1>. The workaround of hiding the title in the context and adding an <h1> manually in the content is quite tedious for bigger sites with lots of pages. I can imagine an option in the page settings like „append SEO Title to page title“ which gives you the ability to 1. set a title appendix globally (like your business name) and 2. don’t use that on every page if you (e.g. for SEO reasons) don’t want to.
- Style options: The ability to look at and modify all the default stylings via menu instead of custom CSS would likely appeal to many, especially not tech-savy users. (Of course that carries the risk of the users messing up the great default styling, but that’s their choice and responsibility.)
- Saveable styles/themes: I would have liked an option to save a whole configuration to easily compare it to something completely differently styled. I think that would lead to some kind of switchable themes, which again I guess could also attract a lot of users and therefore make the whole X3 ecosystem grow.

I am not a developer so I can only guess how much work those features are, I assume some are rather trivial, others might be a real challenge…
 
User avatar
mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 11785
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

30 Oct 2019, 00:48

Appreciate all the feedback.
metallissimus wrote:Let me start with what I liked:
Thanks! :clap:
metallissimus wrote:- Image focal point: Honestly that was the biggest surprise for me not being implemented already in an image centered CMS. The ability to set a focal point would hugely improve the usability of the cover mode for the intro slideshow and also the grid option for galleries and folders.
Noted. This is quite complicated. For the "intro", we are not resizing images or anything, but simply fitting an image into the slideshow area, depending on many factors (slideshow height, image aspect, screen aspect). I'm struggling to see how this can be done logically ... Even if you get a web designer (like me) to customize the focal point for a specific image with custom CSS, I am not sure how I would implement it technically to work nicely across all screen sizes and aspects. We could "nudge" the image in any direction (2D), but since the image only gets cropped either top/bottom or left/right (depending on device), the nudge direction would have to depend on the aspect. Also the amount of nudge could not be pixel based, but would have to be % based ... Else it would not move enough on large screens, and/or too much on small screens ... Remember the image scales to screen size.

As for thumbnails (resized images in gallery layouts), that is a different story. Traditionally, with many websites that have ONE thumbnail size/layout, one could often pick a focal point for the resized thumbnail. However, in X3, where an image might display at 200x100 in one location and 100x200 in another, and 100x100 in a third, I can't quite see how that would work. To be able to offer a user interface where you can select a "custom crop" for each image, would require specific dimensions for the resize. The only other option I can think of, is to use some automated face-recognition focal point processing (which is know is possible), but that would only work for photos with humans of course.

Lastly, I could make a point that you could always use non-cropped layouts (like justified or columns), although they may be less attractive for "folders" layouts, where you might want a "uniform" layout.
metallissimus wrote:- Responsive column count: I would love the ability to set different column counts for different screen sizes in a column layout like it is possible with grid.
I have to disagree a bit on this. You already have "column width" setting, which is responsive by nature. It will show the amount of columns that fit into the screen width, and will be progressive across all screen sizes (more than just three). May I ask, how would this improve your responsive layout in columns mode? I find it more satisfying in modern web design to have layout responsive naturally, instead of having to predefine based on a group of screen widths (which is not precise or 100% reliable). Anyway, noted!
metallissimus wrote:- Unsaved changes: Many times (especially in the beginning of working with X3) I accidentally discarded changes because I forgot to save them. Maybe a prompt like „There are unsaved changes, do you really want to leave?“ could be implemented, preferrably with an option to turn it off globally for those who don’t need/want it.
You mean for example when you try to close browser?
metallissimus wrote:- Markdown/Html: The ability to mix those would be great. Once you start using html you can no longer use markup inside the html-tags, which forces you to rewrite everything from markdown to html in some cases.
I get your point. Technically, markdown was never really made to be mixed with HTML (point of markdown is to avoid having to use <tags> in the first place), and therefore all markdown text editors are limited also. The idea is that once you start HTML, it means you will be using HTML (inside the block where you started the html) ... The editor then doesn't want to render markdown inside, in case it's not meant to be markdown. There is a workaround for this by using markdown=1 inside the html tag where you want to continue using markdown. Example:
Code
<div class="mystuff">
  <div class="otherstuff" markdown=1>
    ## This will be a H2 header in markdown mode.
  </div>
</div>
Unfortunately, I don't see it happening that you will get improved combined markdown+html editor options. The markdown editor is primarily a markdown editor, which also conveniently highlights HTML tags, which seems practical for X3 usage. We do want to offer a better wysiwyg HTML editor, for those users who are used to that (and don't know markdown).
metallissimus wrote:- Hidden pages/menu tree: The styling of the menu tree in the panel is a little confusing: Greyed out seems to mean hidden but actually doesn’t necessarily, also hiding a page from the menu doesn’t reflect in any way in the menu tree. Maybe some icons or additional styling (like line-through) could make it easier to understand and to discern different possibilities.
See response in this post. Request noted ... There is always room for improvement, although it's not easy to squeeze all information about the page into the menu texts style.
metallissimus wrote:- SEO Title: I usually don’t want the site <title> to be the same as my <h1>. The workaround of hiding the title in the context and adding an <h1> manually in the content is quite tedious for bigger sites with lots of pages. I can imagine an option in the page settings like „append SEO Title to page title“ which gives you the ability to 1. set a title appendix globally (like your business name) and 2. don’t use that on every page if you (e.g. for SEO reasons) don’t want to.
I believe this will be available in next X3 release. I think it will be too complicated with „append SEO Title to page title“ ... Surely, if you want a separate SEO title vs page title, you could just write it? I think there will simply be a new optional input "SEO Title" ... If set, it will be used for the page <title> meta tag (SEO). If not set, your page title will be used in the <title> tag (as it is now).
metallissimus wrote:- Style options: The ability to look at and modify all the default stylings via menu instead of custom CSS would likely appeal to many, especially not tech-savy users. (Of course that carries the risk of the users messing up the great default styling, but that’s their choice and responsibility.)
Definitely room for many improvements to X3 styles. I would like to note that "custom CSS" isn't specifically meant for overriding styles, but yes you could and would use it for that. Also, I would have to note that STYLES would always have to presented in "CSS" format, so user would still have to dare to see and do some basic edits of CSS. It's unreasonable to imagine that we can provide a user interface with input fields and checkboxes to style an X3 website, as CSS was invented specifically for this reason, and the X3 stylesheet is very complex.

As it is currently, all styles are packed into the single-file X3 CSS (which looks like this). That CSS also contains structure and layout of course, mostly (99%) which should never be edited by user. How I see it, I would like to extract the skin/color specific CSS styles into a separate CSS file, and perhaps present this stylesheet to user for easier editing. Perhaps not easy to implement, and the problem of making websites too customizable for the user, is that it often affects the creators ability to style the website in terms of modern web design.

Thanks!
 
metallissimus
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 06:54

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

30 Oct 2019, 08:56

mjau-mjau wrote:
metallissimus wrote:- Image focal point
Noted. This is quite complicated. For the "intro", we are not resizing images or anything, but simply fitting an image into the slideshow area, depending on many factors (slideshow height, image aspect, screen aspect). I'm struggling to see how this can be done logically ...
I think the key here would be that the shift of the image to keep the focal point visible only happens after all the aspects (resizing, display size and so on) are already known. I guess then it's purely a question of calculating the right amount. But of course I don't know if this is technically possible in this way because I don't know in what order certain tasks of content delivery are performed. But it seems to be quite a common feature on many platforms nowadays so obviously there is a way (unless of course those platforms work on some fundamentally different principals than X3).
mjau-mjau wrote:
metallissimus wrote:- Responsive column count
You already have "column width" setting, which is responsive by nature. It will show the amount of columns that fit into the screen width, and will be progressive across all screen sizes (more than just three). May I ask, how would this improve your responsive layout in columns mode?
I tried the "column width" setting of course, but then you are bound to that one width across all devices. Let's say I want to have 2 columns on mobile, so I have to set a pretty small width, but that leads to an enormous number of columns with tiny images on big screens.
mjau-mjau wrote:
metallissimus wrote:- Unsaved changes
You mean for example when you try to close browser?
For example that. More often I lost changes because I switched to another page/folder that I wanted to edit.
mjau-mjau wrote:There is a workaround for this by using markdown=1 inside the html tag where you want to continue using markdown.
That's great, I didn't know that.
mjau-mjau wrote:I think it will be too complicated with „append SEO Title to page title“ Surely, if you want a separate SEO title vs page title, you could just write it?
Of course you can, but it was already a tedious task for me with less than 15 pages on my website. For bigger sites with a lot more pages (and there are examples of this even in the X3 showcase) that's really a lot of work. And now imagine you want to change that SEO title for some reason or another and having to change it manually on every page again... If there was a global setting for this that could be turned off (ideally on a per page basis as well as globally) I'd consider that a huge improvement.
mjau-mjau wrote:How I see it, I would like to extract the skin/color specific CSS styles into a separate CSS file, and perhaps present this stylesheet to user for easier editing.
I like that idea!
metallissimus wrote:- Saveable styles/themes: I would have liked an option to save a whole configuration to easily compare it to something completely differently styled. I think that would lead to some kind of switchable themes, which again I guess could also attract a lot of users and therefore make the whole X3 ecosystem grow.
You didn't comment on this one. I don't want to force you into a discussion about it, but I'm curious if this is a direction you just don't see X3 going or if you simply missed it.
 
User avatar
mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 11785
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

31 Oct 2019, 00:10

metallissimus wrote:I think the key here would be that the shift of the image to keep the focal point visible only happens after all the aspects (resizing, display size and so on) are already known. I guess then it's purely a question of calculating the right amount. But of course I don't know if this is technically possible in this way because I don't know in what order certain tasks of content delivery are performed. But it seems to be quite a common feature on many platforms nowadays so obviously there is a way (unless of course those platforms work on some fundamentally different principals than X3).
Would be nice to see an example of another page/cms shifting an intro image, and I would definitely be very curious to find out how they created a user interface for that.
metallissimus wrote:I tried the "column width" setting of course, but then you are bound to that one width across all devices. Let's say I want to have 2 columns on mobile, so I have to set a pretty small width, but that leads to an enormous number of columns with tiny images on big screens.
Ok, I got your point. Seems a bit clumsy to be honest. It basically means you want smaller images on mobile, and larger images on desktop. Not naturally responsive.
metallissimus wrote:For example that. More often I lost changes because I switched to another page/folder that I wanted to edit.
Ok, got it. That would mean that we have to bring up an ALERT for ANY changes made on a page when trying to navigate away from the page. That could include an empty space in an input, or toggling a setting. I'm guessing this could become annoying, even if you in fact want this to happen sometimes.
metallissimus wrote:Of course you can, but it was already a tedious task for me with less than 15 pages on my website. For bigger sites with a lot more pages (and there are examples of this even in the X3 showcase) that's really a lot of work. And now imagine you want to change that SEO title for some reason or another and having to change it manually on every page again... If there was a global setting for this that could be turned off (ideally on a per page basis as well as globally) I'd consider that a huge improvement.
I don't quite understand what you are suggesting here. You mean you have a GLOBAL SEO title, and then you want an option to combine {page title + global SEO title} for the page's <title> tag? That definitely won't cover all SEO requirements ... Many users (including myself) will want to create a UNIQUE page SEO <title>, which does not include (start with) the page title, and does not include (end with) a generic page title repeated across all pages. If you add the same keywords into all your titles (keyword stuffing), it doesn't help Google if it see's the same phrase repeated in all your pages ... I'm not categorically against adding such a feature, but we will definitely need a unique "SEO title" input field, where users can create a unique <title> for the page, regardless of page title and any "global seo title" repeated across all pages. I would say all SEO plugins would require this feature at core.
metallissimus wrote:You didn't comment on this one. I don't want to force you into a discussion about it, but I'm curious if this is a direction you just don't see X3 going or if you simply missed it.
I did read it, but I kinda answered about styles in the question before, and this is one step ahead of that again. I would definitely love to have user-savable skins. However, although it's clear you have extensive knowledge, I would say that you may be underestimating the complexity of CSS styles in modern websites. For example, if you purchase one of the best / most-modern HTML templates on themeforest.com [link], there is little chance you will be able to style this website into a different color-theme, unless you have extensive web design experience, and can use modern web design tools like SASS/SCSS. Even if I purchased a template from there, it would be incredibly tedious trying to create a new skin with colors that cascade across virtually thousands of elements that all should be related. There is no reason I could make it easier with X3. That's why I pointed out in my previous post, that this behavior is only realistic if X3 styles were really simple (like websites probably were a decade ago), but that of course puts heavy restrictions on the creation of the skin. As mentioned, it would be good to make it easier to modify "key" elements of skins, but it's unrealistic to expect users to be able to "create their own skins". I could probably write another page about this, but it's probably pointless.

Below is the link to the X3 CSS. You can use https://unminify.com/ to view it un-minified, by copying the source.
https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/x3.photo.g ... ylight.css

When un-minified, it's 14000 lines of CSS, much of which contain color codes for elements that inherit colors from another value, or get a color slightly darker/lighter than the parent color, maybe depending on state of a menu item (open/closed), depending on screen size, and maybe layout. The only way we can effectively write CSS skins like this, is by using tools like SCSS, which makes it easier to manage colors (and more). Even if we extract all the "color" logic from that stylesheet into a user-editable CSS, it would still be vastly complex. So at this point, it's already a large enough challenge trying to make basic skin customization more approachable.

Thanks again!
 
User avatar
mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 11785
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

31 Oct 2019, 00:24

In regards to custom skins, it would be amazing if ALL browsers supported CSS variables, in which case we could allow users to define various color values, which then would be used throughout the X3 skin without having to edit 1000's of elements manually. Problem is, it's not supported by IE 11 (caniuse.com/#search=css variables), so it would break the website on IE11 or older. Furthermore, only SCSS can be used to dynamically create variations of colors (for example making a defined color 5% lighter or darker), and SCSS has to be pre-rendered into CSS before we publish new X3 versions. 
 
metallissimus
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 06:54

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

12 Nov 2019, 05:39

Hey,
sorry for getting back so late, was quite busy lately.
mjau-mjau wrote: Would be nice to see an example of another page/cms shifting an intro image, and I would definitely be very curious to find out how they created a user interface for that.
Koken had it, unfortunately most of their documentation is down already and they don't use the feature on their own demo.
Here's a little bit about it from when they announced it: http://blog.koken.me/essays/2013/06/sne ... -koken-09/
It also worked for fullscreen intros, but I can't find an example, sorry.

I also found a plugin for Kirby: https://forum.getkirby.com/t/focus-defi ... point/4249 I guess the GitHub might be especially interesting for you.

You can easily find more examples just by searching for some CMS and the term "image focal point" or something similar:
https://www.wpsmartcrop.com/
https://extensions.typo3.org/extension/focuspoint/

mjau-mjau wrote: Ok, I got your point. Seems a bit clumsy to be honest. It basically means you want smaller images on mobile, and larger images on desktop. Not naturally responsive.
Honestly I don't understand why you offer that option for grids but don't think it's relevant for columns. I think wanting smaller images on smaller screens and bigger ones on bigger screens is quite logical...
mjau-mjau wrote: Ok, got it. That would mean that we have to bring up an ALERT for ANY changes made on a page when trying to navigate away from the page. That could include an empty space in an input, or toggling a setting. I'm guessing this could become annoying, even if you in fact want this to happen sometimes.
Agreed. That's why I proposed to include the possibility for the user to turn it off. But of course it would be quite a waste of time to implement something if it's gonna be turned off mostly.
mjau-mjau wrote: I don't quite understand what you are suggesting here. You mean you have a GLOBAL SEO title, and then you want an option to combine {page title + global SEO title} for the page's <title> tag? That definitely won't cover all SEO requirements ... Many users (including myself) will want to create a UNIQUE page SEO <title>, which does not include (start with) the page title, and does not include (end with) a generic page title repeated across all pages. If you add the same keywords into all your titles (keyword stuffing), it doesn't help Google if it see's the same phrase repeated in all your pages ... I'm not categorically against adding such a feature, but we will definitely need a unique "SEO title" input field, where users can create a unique <title> for the page, regardless of page title and any "global seo title" repeated across all pages. I would say all SEO plugins would require this feature at core.
Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "SEO title". I was basically referring to something I've got used to, namely that there is some global variable that is appended to all <title> tags, which I think in case of a brand name is really useful. But I can see that you have already put more thought into such a feature which covers a lot more.
mjau-mjau wrote: However, although it's clear you have extensive knowledge, I would say that you may be underestimating the complexity of CSS styles in modern websites.
You're right, I really had no clue, that unminified stylesheet is quite astonishing. After all I'm just a user who knows a little bit about programming in general and taught himself some basic html and CSS.
 
User avatar
mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 11785
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

12 Nov 2019, 06:48

metallissimus wrote:Koken had it, unfortunately most of their documentation is down already and they don't use the feature on their own demo.
Here's a little bit about it from when they announced it: http://blog.koken.me/essays/2013/06/sne ... -koken-09/
It also worked for fullscreen intros, but I can't find an example, sorry.

I also found a plugin for Kirby: https://forum.getkirby.com/t/focus-defi ... point/4249 I guess the GitHub might be especially interesting for you.

You can easily find more examples just by searching for some CMS and the term "image focal point" or something similar:
https://www.wpsmartcrop.com/
https://extensions.typo3.org/extension/focuspoint/
This is all good, but I can't see anything in the above related to an intro which must also scale within the users screen size and aspect ratio. I would be keen to see any working website example of such a feature, but I'm guessing it will be hard to find.

Apply a focal point to a cropped preview image would not be too complicated. We can simply center the cropped version at the focal point, which then will be the center of the image. The center point would however need to shift to accommodate the full image width or height ... For example, if you place focal point at top left corner (0,0) the center point would naturally need to shift to the accommodate the crop (which crops EITHER left/right OR top/bottom, not both).
metallissimus wrote:Honestly I don't understand why you offer that option for grids but don't think it's relevant for columns. I think wanting smaller images on smaller screens and bigger ones on bigger screens is quite logical...
That is a fair point. Although the technical reason for this is because the GRID by default uses a layout based on large, medium and small screens. The method to set grid item WIDTH is actually a custom implementation by us, which allows the grid to be automatically responsive by nature, not locked to only 3 screen sizes.

Columns by width is however how columns layout works by default. You set a column width, and columns will naturally fit into screen depending on the screen width. It also means you will get consistent layout sizes across all screens devices.

What I don't like about setting amount of columns per screen size: For average users, it's not logical to apply a comma-based list. You need to understand responsive design, which without this option is already natural. Furthermore, our current foundation uses 3 sizes (small, medium and large), but newer fundaments (like Bootstrap 4, which we may use in a future X3 release) uses 4 sizes ... It's inconsistent. Also, with the amount of different screens now, with different pixel densities, there is no way you can be sure how your small, medium and large definitions will come out across all device screens. Also, specifically for our own case, complex X3 options has done little favors for our business unfortunately ... I would say you are the top 2-3% who have the understanding to actually use some advanced setting like this. For many X3 users, the interface is simply too intimidating.

In a future X3 release, we will implement native CSS columns. It will be much faster and more flexible than existing X3 javascript columns. The downside is that items will be sorted downwards (instead of sideways). I'm sure I can add additional options to define columns on a per-screen-size basis, although the default will be to set column width.
metallissimus wrote:Maybe I shouldn't have used the term "SEO title". I was basically referring to something I've got used to, namely that there is some global variable that is appended to all <title> tags, which I think in case of a brand name is really useful. But I can see that you have already put more thought into such a feature which covers a lot more.
We could perhaps add global options "title append" and "title prepend", which would allow you to add some text that would append and/or prepend to ALL titles for ALL pages. We are speaking of the <title> tag here, not the page title that visitors see, so it will kinda be "SEO title append" and "SEO title prepend".
 
metallissimus
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 06:54

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

12 Nov 2019, 08:47

mjau-mjau wrote: This is all good, but I can't see anything in the above related to an intro which must also scale within the users screen size and aspect ratio. I would be keen to see any working website example of such a feature, but I'm guessing it will be hard to find.
I just remembered I still have an old koken site running that never saw the day of light. I will send you the link via PM.
mjau-mjau wrote:What I don't like about setting amount of columns per screen size: For average users, it's not logical to apply a comma-based list. You need to understand responsive design, which without this option is already natural. Furthermore, our current foundation uses 3 sizes (small, medium and large), but newer fundaments (like Bootstrap 4, which we may use in a future X3 release) uses 4 sizes ... It's inconsistent. Also, with the amount of different screens now, with different pixel densities, there is no way you can be sure how your small, medium and large definitions will come out across all device screens. Also, specifically for our own case, complex X3 options has done little favors for our business unfortunately ... I would say you are the top 2-3% who have the understanding to actually use some advanced setting like this. For many X3 users, the interface is simply too intimidating.
I totally get that. In the end that was just something I noticed while setting up the site and wanted to mention because it would be a nice option.
mjau-mjau wrote:The downside is that items will be sorted downwards (instead of sideways).
This is gonna be a – pardon my language – real PITA for anyone who wants to have control over the order in which visitors see images. I can imagine there might be some outrage coming towards you ;)
mjau-mjau wrote: We could perhaps add global options "title append" and "title prepend", which would allow you to add some text that would append and/or prepend to ALL titles for ALL pages. We are speaking of the <title> tag here, not the page title that visitors see, so it will kinda be "SEO title append" and "SEO title prepend".
Sounds perfect.
 
User avatar
mjau-mjau
X3 Wizard
Posts: 11785
Joined: 30 Sep 2006, 03:37

Re: Feedback and ideas from a new user

12 Nov 2019, 10:25

metallissimus wrote:
mjau-mjau wrote:The downside is that items will be sorted downwards (instead of sideways).
This is gonna be a – pardon my language – real PITA for anyone who wants to have control over the order in which visitors see images. I can imagine there might be some outrage coming towards you ;)
You are probably right, and is why we might need to keep the javascript columns layout as an option. It's a bit funny actually ... The CSS specification for "columns" has been available for a while now (columns like you would read a newspaper) ... problem is, nobody reads websites like a newspaper (scroll down, and then back up again), and that means CSS columns is very little used in reality. Of course, it will still be favorable for those who use shuffle sort or don't care about the order of their images. It's a pity, because using CSS to render the layout is much faster, more precise and more powerful. For instance, if we add a live filter and sort mechanism to X3 galleries, it will work beautifully with CSS based layouts (without having to re-create layout with javascript), but it will be too slow to re-render layouts in javascript (on live search / sort) ... especially with lots of images and/or slower devices.

I am soon launching a small single-file gallery app, which will have 3 new CSS-based layouts methods: grid, columns, justified (flexbox). I am hoping to replace X3's javascript methods with modern CSS methods, now that browsers are ready to use them.