Flickr Floatr

Surely you have questions

Hi! My name is Alice. I was playing around with the Flickr API one day and this is what I ended up with. You can read more about me at my site.

Note:

Currently this application runs really, really poorly on Linux, Mac OS X and BSD systems. I have no idea why, but I think it has something to do with the way Javascript is executed versus how it's done in Windows. I'm really sorry if things don't work in your browser/OS of choice, but if you have any idea what's causing this and how I can fix it please don't hesitate to email me. spacer image

There are a few things I have planned for the future, here's the roadmap.

  1. Not have to refresh the page to search for a different tag
  2. Be able to limit your search to a certain person's photos
  3. Be able to limit your search to a certain group's pool
  4. Search multiple tags at once

FAQ

  1. What is Flickr?
  2. What is Flickr Floatr?
  3. What do I need to run it?
  4. How does it work?
  5. How do I change my search query?
  6. It runs really slow on my computer!
  7. Why does it take so long for photos to show up?
  8. Why is the animation so choppy?
  9. Why do photos show up as empty boxes sometimes?
  10. So I'm at work and surfing the 'fetish' tag when my boss walks by, what do I do?
  11. I set the "Maximum on Screen" flag but more photos showed up, what gives?
  12. I am a far superior writer of javascript than you and can make this one-hundred times better.

General Flickr Floatr Questions

Top1. What is Flickr?

See the official Flickr FAQ. I stole borrowed their template, not their content.

Top2. What is Flickr Floatr?

I'm a Yahoo! Employee and they encourage cross-branch innovation. Consider this my 20% project... only done at night and on weekends... and I'm not getting paid for it.

Top3. What do I need to run it?

You need a browser capable of making an XMLHTTP request. Most modern browsers should work, and you should get an error if your browser isn't supported.

Top4. How does it work?

The magic faries inside your computer-box gather pixie dust and... Actually there's two parts to it. There's an AJAX component that takes the form input and sends it to a server-side script which calls Flickr's API, parses the result, and sends it back to the AJAX component in an easy-to-swallow format. The photo data is handed off to a Javascript animation class which makes things dance around the screen.

Top5. How do I change my search query?

Uh... you can't. It's on the roadmap. For now, just refresh the page.

Top6. It runs really slow on my computer!

The script is a bit memory intensive, and so it may lag your computer. If this is the case, you may want to limit the number of photos on screen at a time (five or so works well and still looks pretty nifty).

Top7. Why does it take so long for photos to show up?

Paitence is a virtue. When you click the "Fetch Photos" button you are making a live call to Flickr's server. It is entirely possible that the connection may hang and eventually time out (at which point an error should appear). Once the photos are retrieved, they are drawn at a random distance from the top or the bottom of the screen, so all the boxes don't appear to be marching in lines into battle.

Top8. Why is the animation so choppy?

This is my first real Javascript application, and it shows in many ways. If you think you can make the animation smoother in some regard, please feel free to email me.

Top9. Why do photos show up as empty boxes sometimes?

Photos aren't loaded by your browser until they're drawn on the screen, so if the photo doesn't load in the time they're drawn and first move on screen it may come up partially loaded or not loaded at all. This is likely to happen on slower connections.

Top10. So I'm at work and surfing the 'fetish' tag when my boss walks by, what do I do?

Both hands on the keyboard. Please. Anyway, if you want to make any photo disappear, double click on it (but know that you're probably going to open two instances of the detail page in a new window/tab).

Top11. I set the "Maximum on Screen" flag but more photos showed up, what gives?

The Maximum on Screen setting is merely a suggested number of photos on screen. Photos are drawn three at a time every few seconds, so long as the current number on screen is less than the Maximum on Screen setting, and so it's possible one or two more may appear. The intention is if you don't want a lot of photos on the screen at once, setting it to five is going to display a whole lot less than setting it to 100.I set the "Maximum on Screen" flag but more photos showed up, what gives?

Top12. I am a far superior writer of javascript than you and can make this one-hundred times better.

Well let me know! Like I said above, this is my first real Javascript application so there may be plenty of things I'm doing wrong. The source for the Javascript file is here so feel free to hack it into something better.

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