I spent the weekend modifying ObjectiveFlickr to work on the iPhone, which was mostly a matter of changing the response handling code that depends on NSXMLDocument. I was pretty much able to plug in my MCFlickrParser class, which I use in LOLCats, to create a NSDictionary structured very much like the XML document.
Yesterday I was informed about FlickrKit, which already works on the iPhone. FlickrKit seems more advanced, but it’s also a lot larger than ObjectiveFlickr. I created simple Flickr browsers using both frameworks. The FlickrKit version is 704k, while the ObjectiveFlickr version is only 148k. I’ve only tried it on the simulator and the performance seems about the same for both.
I will probably stick with OF for this project, since I would like to support Zooomr as well as Flickr and OF already seems to support Zooomr.
UPDATE: Minutes after I posted this, I got a notice from Apple that the update has been approved and is now ready for sale.
Apple still hasn’t approved my update to LOLCats. Still no response from Apple for the second update, which I feel is pretty urgent, since it reduces the possibility of inappropriate images appearing, which I’ve received several complaints about.
I’m now getting close to another update, which adds Zooomr support.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a second Flickr-related application. I had expected to share a lot of code with LOLCats, but it turns out I’ve only reused one class, my Flickr parser.
For this app, I need to support Flickr authorization, so it seemed easier to rewrite Flickr’s ObjectiveFlickr code, which already supports authorization. However, ObjectiveFlickr depends on XMLDocument, which isn’t available on the iPhone. I’m replacing the response handling code with my Flickr parser class. When it’s finished, I’ll release the Flickr-related code (not the entire app) as open source.
On a fun note, I purposely added the LOLCATS tag to this photo of Midnight to make it to appear in the application. As a result, the number of hits on that photo are about 100x the average for my similar photos.
Until I started poking around in Flickr’s Objective C code, I didn’t realize that Zooomr supported a variant of Flickr’s API. I found that it’s fairly easy to port code which uses Flickr to Zooomr. In less than an hour, I had LOLCats working with Zooomr. I plan to include Zooomr support in the other iPhone Flickr app I’m working on.
I’ve received a few complaints about some images that showed up in the LOLCats application.
Unfortunately I have very little control over which images appear (except for the one that appears in the initial loading screen, which is my own cat, Cody). I simply search Flickr for the tags ‘LOLCAT’ or ‘LOLCATS’ and present any images it returns. Since I’m not logging into Flickr, it will always do a safe search, although that depends on the images being tagged as not safe. Perhaps requesting the results sorted by relevance or interestingness may improve the results; I’ll experiment with that for the next version.
I’ve been asked to make the OFFISHUL LOLCATS application, which will use the feed from icanhascheezburger.com and several related sites. I will continue to maintain both applications.
I have a few fixes planned for an upgrade. Most importantly, it will verify Flickr’s reachability, so it won’t simply hang if it has no network connection. Since it can take long to load images over an Edge connection, I’ve also disabled user interaction while the image is loaded, since swiping during that time can cause the image to disappear.
Checking Apple’s daily stats, it ‘sold’ almost 2400 copies in one day, including 2200 in the US, 159 in Canada, 19 in Mexico, and a few in several other countries. Since this is a free app, I’m not getting paid for it, of course. Not bad for something I just wrote for fun and as a proof of concept for testing the Flickr API 🙂
SmugMug has several pros & cons in comparison with Flickr. SmugMug lets you create really beautiful galleries where you can customize both the color theme and the photo layout. The default layout shows thumbnails on the left side with a large view of a single photo on the right. You can even let your visitors choose which layout they want to use.
SmugMug does have some significant weaknesses, though. On Flickr, all of your photos appear in your photo stream and it can also be included in multiple sets or group pools. SmugMug doesn’t have a photo stream; it has albums and every photo can appear in only one album. Flickr also feels more like a community.
For general use, I prefer Flickr, but for a professional, SmugMug seems like a nicer way to show off your best photos.
As you probably know, Flickr introduced their video feature earlier this week. Unfortunately their effort is half-assed and only detracts from the site. They only allow videos of 90 seconds or less, which isn’t really useful. It’s obviously meant for the short videos you can take with many point-and-shoot cameras or cell phones, but there are plenty of other sites which do it much better.
Flickr can already be slow at times, and I’m afraid they won’t have the bandwidth to support video without making it even slower. They should keep doing what they excel at, which is being the best photo sharing site, and not try to do something where their effort is only mediocre.
There’s already a no video group and petitions. While most Flickr petitions have been pretty stupid, this is one I agree with.