New Section On the Site + Flickr-Filter

December 23, 2010

As I’ve been finishing the site, I’ve also been trying to reorganize all the little pet projects that are strewn about my computer and the internet.  As I assemble them, get them cleaned up and (somewhat) ready for public consumption, they’ll be added to the tools section of the site here.  If I have time, I may attach an RSS feed or a mechanism to post to the Twitter feed (or both) to that area for those interested in keeping up with my code ramblings.

Many of these diversions started as “How does this work?” kinds of things, the need for something to solve a particular problem, or frustration at my inability to find something already available.  The first one out of the gates, Flickr Filter, falls into all three categories but probably the last one the strongest.  All I really wanted was something I thought should have either been in Flickr’s API or already created as a tool (that I couldn’t find):  the ability to limit  a Flickr RSS stream to images that were either all “portrait” or all “landscape” orientation.

Awhile back I bought an Epson digital picture frame through Woot.  A pretty simple gadget:  point it at your Flickr feed and it pulls and display pictures beautifully.  However, if an image wasn’t the same orientation as the frame, it would shrink the image down to fit.  Not a bit deal, but still irritating, since the problem could have been solved in a number of ways, including a little software on the frame itself.  It’s running a version of Linux and even sports its own web server interface for administration, so you’d think that, since they spent the time customizing webpages to create a pretty web UI, they could have added a little program code and an option to “screen landscape images from portrait mode” and vice versa.  Plus, the frame supported adding additional RSS feeds to pull from.  I just needed to find an existing RSS feed.

No such luck.  No worries, I’ll just check for some existing tool to screen the feed … with no success.  I looked everywhere, from PHP and Python scripts to Yahoo pipes with no luck.  Checked the Flickr API and, while you can get all the information through their classes, their existing feeds don’t expose anything close to an “orientation” parameter.

At any rate, it’s up GitHub.  You’ll need Dan Coulter’s phpFlickr class and will have to pick up your own Flickr API Key for the app once you drop it on a server.

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