Developing a component or plugin similar to topic list thumbnails or topic list previews

The purpose: keep the topic list pretty much “vanilla”, but improves the visibility of “gallery” topics (topics that are made for people to post their pictures, with few discussion) and have a glance at the newly posted pictures without having to open the topic.

For someone who almost never had an in-depth look at components and even less in plugins, based on Topic List Thumbnails and Topic List Previews Theme Component, and how hard would it be to have a
similar component/plugin with these only features?

  • if a topic has a particular tag, let’s say #gallery, 5 thumbnails (or less, based on the last uploaded images from the topic) are generated and displayed under the topic’s title.

  • to make thing simples, adding a tag to an existing topic wouldn’t generate thumbnails based on existing posts. Only new images from the next posts would then create thumbnails.

  • removing the tag would remove the thumbnails from the topic list, but maybe keep them stored somewhere so they’ll be displayed again if we add the tag again?

  • As the the component/plugin options, there would be:

    • Tag slug or id to be considered as a gallery
    • Number of maximum thumbnails to display under the topic’s title in the topic list

The result would be like this, with maybe a link on each image that leads to the corresponding post from which the thumbnails are (no lightbox on click):

Not simple. You’d need to serialise several thumbnails which would require significant changes to the thumbnail architecture. So you’d need it to be a plugin off the bat.

This could also be a data nightmare on slow connections and space on mobile is in any case limited so no idea how you are going to present that?

Why not just add an “images+” or “gallery” icon in response to a specific tag whilst showing a single preferred preview image?