Flickr Integration

In celebration of the Independence Day, I upgraded my Flickr account. Flickr has really been impressing me lately, so for $24/yr, I was happy to do the upgrade to Pro so I could have more albums. I figured it might be nice to actually show a few more photos on the website too; my blog is rather, er, word-heavy, so providing an alternative means to browse content seems like the thing to do.

I am using FAlbum for the Flickr integration. It’s pretty cool! Geeky notes follow.

Installing FAlbum

FAlbum is a WordPress plugin that talks to Flickr through the Flickr API. It’s a pretty nifty plugin, though I was almost convinced it wasn’t what I needed. A few tricks to know:

  • I had some hiccups with the installation; this post at idano.com cleared up some of the requirements for the .htaccess file and page creation. After that, it was a matter of chasing down the little theme incompatibilities.

  • If you still have a WordPress 1.2-style theme all in a single index.php file (as this site was until 2 hours ago), you’ll get a few errors and a mysterious lac of formatting. You’ll need to modify the wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php file to eliminate the get_header(), get_sidebar() and get_footer() calls. This file is what generates the actual page layout on your photo URL. I decided to break out my header, sidebar, and footer into separate files like a good boy.

  • I had to dig through the FAlbum_WP.class.php file to figure out what the options are, as the documentation is still pretty light. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the content of the ../falbum/styles/ directory; in particular the falbum.css.php file so you can customize the layout for your theme.

  • I am having one cosmetic issue with the default size that Flickr returns. It’s 500 pixels wide, and my default column with is 458 pixels; as a result, there’s some nasty resizing artifacts in the browser. Very irking.

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p>One thing I’m concerned about is the additional processing load FAlbum may impose. For example, there’s a giant XPath library class included with the plugin that’s over a megabyte in size…that can’t be good. I’m also noticing that the cacheing is not really working correctly; will have to track that down :/

That said, it is pretty neat that people can browse my Flickr photos without leaving the site. For one thing, I can add a real portfolio section again!