A few weeks ago I (tentatively) released flickArray, a simple PHP class for retrieving image information from Flickr. While I love the idea of Flickr, I wanted to improve on the way the images were displayed on my site – this was the catalyst for creating both the flickArray class and a new user interface.
The Back End
While the original flickArray class contained a number of useful functions, I needed to add to it in order to achieve some of the results I wanted. These changes mainly involved modifying the existing methods to retrieve additional data. I also created ‘raw’ versions of all of the retrieval methods which return the information in pure XML form, a requirement for accessing the information through Flickr.
To make the retrieved information more usable, I also extended the flickArray class to add methods that returned the information in XHTML structures, (mainly lists) which can be accessed directly from a PHP/XHTML page.
The Front End
Once the elements have been generated and positioned, an onClick event is attached to each image link that will shift the relevant image into view and execute an AJAX request to retrieve the image, image title and image description from Flickr via the flickArray class.
The software still needs some improvements – I would like to enhance the interface further and the previous/next buttons are conspicuous by their absence. I also need to address how the system displays larger numbers of pictures, as currently the list of links simply wraps and looks confusing. Browser compatibility wise, there are some slight bugs in Opera that result in lost image descriptions.
A number of people have expressed interest in the software to display images on their own sites. You can download the entire gallery software under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial licence. If you are using it, please link to this article so other people can get the software too. I would also like to hear of any improvements so they can be added to the main code base.
Download Beseku gallery v0.1.