Well, after some work, I've rearranged the website and installed a rather good gallery web application from http://gallery.menalto.com/. In addition I've also integrated the Gallery2 into the main Drupal installation using the appropriate module, which can be found at http://drupal.org/project/gallery. Of course, some minor tweaks were made as well.
Not that it was easy. Although the documentation was pretty straightforward, I've had my deal of issues. First I installed the Gallery2 in a standalone mode, and played with it a bit (to see if it will fit my needs). And indeed, it did. Very nice piece of software. It has support for both comments and ratings, also providing a captcha plugin (which is very nice, I want anonymous users to be able to post them, but bots are not allowed this way). I still wish I could have the captcha plugin use the captcha from http://recaptcha.net/, but oh well... Maybe some additional searching around the net will help. Nice thing about reCAPTCHA is that it hasn't been broken (yet), and you also help them digitise books. The bad thing is that it's an external dependency, and not Free Software, but oh well... Another bad thing might be that you need to register at their site and use some kind of passwords for getting the captcha images, but that can be tolerated. They probably just want to make sure bots don't abuse or something. Anyway, after initially playing with the Gallery2, I decided to integrate it with the rest of Drupal. First of all I decided to wipe-out the standalone installation, and put Gallery2 inside of Drupal's tree, as recommended. That went fine, except for one part - I've enabled <i>all</i> of the rewrite rules in the Gallery2, and that was causing problems. The solution was to turn on rewrite rules <i>only</i> for viewing the images/albums. I.e. no rewrite rules for administration purposes etc. Besides, in the end it was my goal to make the links to pictures and content user-readable, and I'll be probably the only one accessing the administration part of Gallery2. After spending nearly half-a-day on this, in the end I had a fully working and integrated Drupal/Gallery2 configuration. I added a nice Gallery block to the left side with random images from the gallery. I've also uploaded three albums, one from my trip to Anaheim (CA, USA) for some training, another one from my 4th grade excursion to Greece (there should be more of these photos coming up), and one from some LUG meeting we had in Belgrade.
Not that uploading those images was a straightforward thing, of course (sigh). First I was looking for a nice upload utility integrating with the Gallery2. The one they made in Java wasn't of much use. It just refused to work with https (heck, I'm not sending my passwords and sessions in open after all the trouble I went to setup SSL on my website). In the end I decided to go for a nice little command-line utility written in Python, called Gallery Uploader (http://code.google.com/p/galleryuploader/). Proved to be just the thing I need, except it barfs a bit on non-Latin characters (things like that funny-looking 'c' in my logo). I think I know what the problem is, so once I get around I'll probably patch it and send the patches in.
After finding the right utility for uploading the photos, I needed something to take care of IPTC tags in the jpeg files. Now, some may think this'll be easy, but... I've ditched KDE for good, so I didn't want to install digiKam. I also didn't want to use the Mono-encumbered F-Spot. So I kept searching, and searching, and searching, and... Well, you get the idea. But <i>then</i> I found out that gThumb (my image viewer of choice) has the option to edit IPTC captions. Yay, I thought to myself, except for one tiny problem - captions are not titles, unlike what I thought. And Gallery2 wasn't picking those up for the image title, so I decided to get dirty and go into command line to edit those. I've put together a small bash script to interactively ask me for the image titles, and lots of hours spent tagging all the images later, I've uploaded the final versions of photos.
Of course, that wasn't the only thing needed to be done. What site can stand without links to other sites, eh? I've created small block with custom-inserted banners/links to sites of projects I like, and a good friend of mine, Jason (his link is currently the ugliest, I really need to get around to fix it, maybe make him a small logo or something, I also might get around to having two separate blocks, one for personal sites, one for projects).
In the end, I've decided to leave the superadministrator account alone, and created a separate one for everyday use. Although, it's still a power-user account. I might change its privileges a bit later on, but it's a step in good direction.