Thanks for the compliment Frantz, much appreciated!
Anyway, here's the finish product (I hope!)
The zip file is at the end of this post. Includes a README file with install instructions and explanations. In brief:
Gallery Album List Plugin v1.0 by wirewolf
Installs a Menu Link to a bulleted list of Albums, listed by Category,
See example: http://academyphotos.net/photogallery/index.php?file=album_directory/album_list
(You'll see my links end in html, I have mod rewrite, but the script is written with the normal php paths.)
The script will only list Categories that have at least one Public Album and Albums that have at least one approved file.
While always best to have titles for the files, this script will also check for a title, and if there is none, it will substitute the filename.
unzip package and upload album_directory folder as is to plugins folder and use plugin manager to install it.
if you're not sure, read - How to install plugins - http://forum.coppermine-gallery.net/index.php?topic=24327.0
english, french and dutch now available in the package. You can translate into your language, please share if you do.
The script as is defaults to showing the 'The Latest, the Greatest and Pot Luck!' screen with Image CSS pop up preview below the Album List. See example above. You can toggle this option on or off, and you can also select preview or no preview. In the codebase.php file look for and edit the following lines:
// CONFIGURATION OPTIONS - BEGIN - THIS ARE THE ONLY LINES YOU NEED TO EDIT!!!
// define ALBUM_LIST_SCREEN for true or false
// true - use 'The Latest, the Greatest and Pot Luck!' screen
// false: don't use 'The Latest, the Greatest and Pot Luck!' screen
// if you define ALBUM_LIST_SCREEN as true, then define ALBUM_LIST_PREVIEW for true or false
// true: use image css preview - pop up window, false: don't use image css preview - just normal url links
// if you define ALBUM_LIST_PREVIEW as true, then you can define the preview image width here,
// 200 default (200 pixels, 150 pixels works well too)
// if you define ALBUM_LIST_PREVIEW as true or false, define limit here.
// limit is the number of thumbnail columns and the column spans. 3 or 4 works well.
// CONFIGURATION OPTIONS - END - DO NOT EDIT ANY LINES BELOW!!! REALLY!!!
I've played around a lot with these values, and the image width of 200 seems to be a good number. 150 works well too. But any value larger than 200 blows out the page too much and anything less than 150 doesn't seem worth it. Also, the value of 3 or 4 for the number of thumbnails works well too. I originally set the LIMIT to cpg's $CONFIG ['thumbcols'] (same as the thumbnail page, set in the Admin Panel), but decided to keep this script independent. Some users may not select the use of thumbnail pages.
There are some other options in the the preview script for the css, but I won't list them here. The css file is commented through out. They're in the README file.
For now I suggest leaving the default values. Try the script out and get used to it. Edit the codebase file first for ALBUM_LIST_SCREEN, ALBUM_LIST_PREVIEW, IMAGEWIDTH and LIMIT and see how it works. Then play around with the other values if you want.
If the Devs like, move accordingly. Or if anyone has any suggestions, don't hesitate to post them.