Hacking Flickr Manager 1.5.1

I am looking at moving all of the photos on an existing site over to Flickr. The plan is to convert the site over to WordPress and use the images from Flickr so I wanted an easy way to insert photos. I was looking for something that would be as simple to use as ImageManager or WordPress’s existing interface. So I went over to WordPress.org/extend/plugins to see what everyone was using.

The most popular Flickr plugin was PhotoXhibit by Benjamin Sterling. It has a lot of appealing qualities. You could bring photos from Picasa, Flickr, and Smugmug. It has a lot of sophistication and it used jQuery for the heavy lifting. I just could not get it to work right. It was unbearably slow showing the pictures.

Then I tried Flickr Manager. This plugin worked despite the fact the ReadMe file says it needs PHP version 5 and my PHP version says it is 4.4.7. It looked really good. It used a very straightforward and intuitive way to insert photos. My only complaint was that it had this Lightbox thing going on. That meant that my web page was going to load the prototype JavaScript library and its friends(~100K). Recently I found a jQuery version of Lightbox that is a much lighter load so I really did not want to go back to loading prototype and his friends.

The next plugin I tried was WP-Flickr. This plugin worked but had less features than Flickr Manager. I thought about hacking this plugin to add support for jQuery Lightbox to show the larger picture when you clicked on it. Before I had gotten too far in my thinking I was struck with the thought that Flickr Manager has more desirable features. Maybe I should look at changing Flickr Manager to work without the prototype library. It was an easy change. All I had to do was comment out one line. I even found the lines to change to get the Lightbox feature to work with the jQuery version of Lightbox. Well it kind of works. I did not get it to work properly with single photos. It never finishes loading the larger photo from Flickr. The demo at Trent’s site shows the Lightbox feature working with photo sets. Lightbox is a “would be nice” feature for me. The way it works now is to take you to the Flickr page of the larger photo. That’s not that bad so I decided to stick with the slightly hacked version of Flickr Manager. Now I can start uploading pictures to Flickr.

3 thoughts on “Hacking Flickr Manager 1.5.1”

  1. Bill,
    Sorry to hear that PhotoXhibit was slow for you; can you clarify what part was slow and if you had any suggestions on what you think would improve it? I just pushed out version 2.0.5 that fixed a bunch of little bugs that probably was what was causing it to be slow. I, like you, looked and looked for a WP plugin that pulled in my wife’s photos that just worked, plan and simple, but sadly could not find one. The ones that had potential, the devs were not very responsive. So I am really looking to make PhotoXhibit that plugin that people don’t have to think to use it, that is “just works.” So any and all feedback would be greatly appreciates. Feel free to post any comments, request and/or concerns on the plugin’s page @ http://benjaminsterling.com/photoxhibit/.

    Thanks for your insight so far.

  2. Thanks Benjamin! Your plugin is very interesting. I had some performance issues but I think I was looking to accomplish a different task. I have been testing PhotoXhibit with the previous version, 2.0.4, so the new version may help my performance issues. The part of PhotoXhibit that I found slow was building the gallery. It seemed to take a long time before the Flickr photos populated the screen. My problem appears to be like Stefan’s problem.

    Probably the most important issue for me was the way I was going to insert a single photo into a post. This has been my most common task in the past but is not the objective of photoxhibit. The Flickr Manager method of double clicking on the photo was the method I preferred of the browser based methods I tried. Having said all of that I probably will end up using the Flickr4Writer plugin since I use Live Writer for most of my posts. It’s interface is simple to use.

    I still have a need to show galleries and slide shows on my blogs on an infrequent basis. I did not find any of the Flickr gallery plugins have met my needs so I will probably manually code up the galleries for the time being. I am sure that the next time I look at the plugins I will be pleasantly surprised. Keep up the good work!

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