Over two million registered Flickr users and counting have discovered the ease and fun of organizing their photo libraries, showing off their favorite pictures to the world, and securely sharing their private pictures with friends, family, or ad hoc groups. But Flickr's own plethora of intuitive menus, options, and features just scratches the surface.
Flickr Hacks goes beyond the basics of storing, sorting, and sharing your photos to the much bigger playground of what's possible. Whether you're a beginner looking to manage your metadata and play with tags, or a programmer in need of a detailed reference of Flickr API methods, you'll find what you're looking for here. In addition to getting under the hood of some of the most popular third-party Flickr toys already in the wild, you'll learn how to:
Post photos to your blog directly from your cameraphone
Mash up your own photos or others' public pictures into custom mosaics, collages, sliding puzzles, slideshows, or ransom notes
Back up your Flickr library to your desktop, and save the comments too
Set random desktop backgrounds and build your own Flickr screensaver
Geotag your photos and map your contacts
Download a list of photos and make a contact sheet
Make your own Flickr-style tag cloud to visualize the frequency of common tags
Build a color picker with a dynamic color wheel of Flickr photos
Feed photos to your web site and subscribe to custom Flickr feeds using RSS
Talk to the Flickr API using your web browser, Perl, or PHP; authenticate yourself and other users; and build custom API applications
Paul Bausch is an independent web developer living in Corvallis, Oregon. When he's not hacking together web applications, he's writing about hacking together web applications. In 2003, he wrote Amazon Hacks for O'Reilly and recently completed the forthcoming Yahoo! Hacks. Paul also helped create the popular weblog application Blogger (http://www.blogger.com) and maintains a directory of Oregon weblogs called ORblogs (http://www.orblogs.com). When he's not working on a book, Paul posts thoughts and photos to his personal weblog onfocus (http://www.onfocus.com).
Jim Bumgardner has been making innovative and entertaining software in Los Angeles since the early 1980s, including The Palace avatar chat system. He is the founder of the Flickr Hacks group, and the creator of the Flickr Colr Pickr, Hipbot and other Flickr-powered applications. Jim works in the Interactive TV industry and teaches kids how to make videogames at Art Center in Pasadena. His personal website, KrazyDad.Com, showcases his more recent software experiments.
I've found the book very useful so far and I think it's structure makes it appealing to a range of users because the hacks range from the very simple through to quite challenging. I'm particularly looking forward to grappling with the flickr mosaic hack.
Releasing Flickr Hacks as a Rough Cuts title is a great initiative, though my major complaint about this is that the zip file of the code text for all the hacks promised on page 4 doesn't seem to be available on the O'Reilly site yet. I know that the book is still in development but as the PDF file doesn't allow users to select text for copy/paste purposes it means that trying to implement any of the hacks involves some typing. This isn't a huge hassle but it's not as convenient as it could be. This will undoubtedly be remedied shortly but it is a but of a nuisance at the moment.