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External Editors Jeffrey Friedll Plugins

thalesm

New Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2015
Messages
18
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Version Number
13
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  1. Windows 10
Hi,
I would like to know if someone has the contact of Jeffrey.
I have several of his plugins, and my Zenfolio one is not working correctly after several Adobe updates in the catalogue structure.
I also noticed that he excuses himself for not answering on his website because he is retiring.
So, I have two questions:
1 Does anyone have a direct e-mail from Jeffrey or have personal contact with him to update us on his plans for the future?
2 Is anyone willing to take all of his work and update it if he stops supporting it? Maybe he will sell it if a pretender shows up, and it will be a win-win solution for everyone.

The features provided by his development are far better than those offered by Adobe, and I think many people will deeply regret it if it just disappears.

Thanks for any info on this subject.
 
my Zenfolio one is not working correctly after several Adobe updates in the catalogue structure.
I'm pretty sure this isn't related to the changes introduced in LR 13.3 or 13.3.1.

I've got more than 7500 photos published at Zenfolio since 2013. I last successfully published to Zenfolio with Friedl's plugin about two weeks ago using LR 13.3. Now in LR 13.3.1, I get this error consistently:

1717690074967.png


I've seen this error many times over the years. It's caused by Zenfolio's servers sending an unexpected response to the plugin. The HTTP response code 500 is usually called "Internal Server Error" and is sent by Web servers when something has seriously gone wrong on their side. The term "database" in the message refers to Zenfolio's database, not LR's catalog. I've seen lots of other such flaky behavior over the years.

Typically I wait a for a couple three days and the issue goes away. I tried contacting Zenfolio support a couple times but that always ended in tears with nothing accomplished (as typical with any technical support).

As a longtime developer of LR plugins, I know the general structure of how publishing plugins are implemented and I have long experience examining the LR catalog base internally. LR 13.3 introduced a re-engineered sync with LR cloud, but I don't think this likely affected publishing plugins. The re-engineered sync made large changes to the Sync.lrdata side database in the catalog folder, but this is only used for syncing with LR cloud, not other publishing services like Zenfolio. It's possible that LR 13.3.1 broke something in LR's plugin API called by publishing plugins, but I think that's unlikely (but not impossible) in this case.

I think Zenfolio's support for Friedl's plugin may be on its last legs. On the plugin's web page it has said this for at least a year or two:
Note: this plugin is not compatible with Zenfolio accounts on theirProSuite, PortfolioPlus, and Portfolio plans. This plugin is compatible only with “Classic Zenfolio” plans.
In other words, Zenfolio has introduced several new plans and moved their old plans to legacy ("classic") status, and the new plans don't support the plugin API. When companies do this, they invariably swear up and down they have no plans to discontinue support for the legacy ("classic") product, but they always ramp down their investment and support as fast as they can transition customers to the new products. (I think Lightroom "Classic" is the exception -- Adobe's marketers were incompetent enough to use the word "Classic" to label a product they fully intended to keep investing in indefinitely.)

I'm fully expecting to have to migrate my photos to another platform in the near future. Zenfolio also introduced a "feature" in the last year in which they migrate older folders to archival storage -- if someone tries to view them, it could take many hours or a day or more for them to retrieve the photos from the offline storage. So I regularly republish all 7500 photos to prevent this.

LR Cloud doesn't cut it for me because my (very small) audience and I rely on the use of keywords, which LR cloud sync doesn't support. Before Zenfolio, I was on Flickr, which was rapidly going downhill as Yahoo entered its death spiral as a public company. In their attempt to compete with social-media platforms, Flickr made it much harder for my audience to see the captions, dates, and keywords on my published photos, and it was even flakier than Zenfolio. I still have a lot of older photos published on Flickr, and though they continue to have regular hiccups, since being purchased by Smugmug, they seem to have stabilized and instituted more sensible product management. So I might go back to Flickr or search for another ill-supported service.
 
Running LrC/13.3.1 with the latest verson Jfriedl's ZenFolio plug in and it is work for me as of today.

Make sure you are running the latest version of the plug in
 
Running LrC/13.3.1 with the latest verson Jfriedl's ZenFolio plug in and it is work for me as of today.
An hour ago I got the error message I showed above, but just now, it worked. So my observation, "wait a for a couple three days and the issue goes away", is once again true :-<
 
Zenfolio is a bit unstable when using the API to manage content rather than using their web site pages. It is not uncommon for it to not work and then a few minutes/hours/days later it works fine. This includes working for some images and not for other images in the same "Publish" set of changes. This has been the case for as long as I've been using it which is many, many years.

I use color lables on these collections in my Publish Services.
  • Green = All is OK
  • Yellow = Publish command issued, check on it later
  • Red = Last Publish comand had error, try again later
1717698718195.png

I use
 
Thanks, everyone, for providing me with more information about the problem.
I tried the e-mail mentioned by John but got no return.
It's unfortunate to see such a good feature die like that, but I cannot prevent it if we don't get a return from Jeffrey.
I'm also not happy with Zenfolio. This is why I also have a copy of my images with Smugmug, which, in my opinion, doesn't provide a more flexible workflow than the Zenfolio one.
In this situation, there is a market opportunity for someone to come and replace the current providers of this kind of service with something that we all want but can't find.
I'll continue to complain about Zenfolio's 500 errors on their support. Maybe they will take us more seriously and seek a solution instead of excuses.
It will be better to have a community complaining than a few people like me, but that's what I can do now.
P.S.
Maybe this is why Jeffrey just preferred to retire rather than continue dealing with the providers on which he is dependent for his plugin.
It's good for you, Jeffrey, but bad for us, but at least I can understand now his point of view.
 
Based on how sporadic the Zenfolio issuses are and that they mysteriously just start working again, sometimes very quidkly) I suspect that its a server or network capacity issue on their end. If too many folks submit huge add or modify streams all at once, other folks can't get processing cycles on that server and wind up with it throwing a non descriptive error message.
I'll continue to complain about Zenfolio's 500 errors on their support. Maybe they will take us more seriously and seek a solution instead of excuses.
It will be better to have a community complaining than a few people like me, but that's what I can do now.
Personally, I'm a bit cautious about being too big a pain in the @#$% to companies like Zenfolio for fear that they, Like Picassa, Google Photos, Facebook, and Instagran before them, will just kill off their API for images rather than trying to fix them. So far SmuigMug (which also owns Flickr as well) are still committed to the LrC Publish Service interfaces (at least on paper and emails I've traded with them) and Zenfolio as far as I know has not said anything. But, a for profit company is a for profit company and if maintaining this tech starts costing more than they think it generates in additional imcome they will just kill it. And lots of mainenance work or more server power costs $.
 
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