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So, I finally created a Flickr account and started re-editing and uploading some old photos. I'm currently using Picasa with the Flickr Uploadr which seems pretty straightforward.
One of the oldies from 2005, shot under a dock in Vaksdal:
We are experiencing technical problems with Boblycat and slowdowns, which we need to address in the coming weeks. However, we have a number of ideas on how to handle these problems, where the possible solution in most cases will lead to an improved site.
The major issue we have is memory-use for each request, which in many cases cause the server to kill off random processes. This is a bad thing. Currently we are using a fairly memory-intense setup consisting of drupal and gallery2. Changing drupal to something else is not going to be easy in the short-term and will require a lot of work. The most likely candidate for optimising is gallery2 which currently serves as image server with convenient blog functionality. Some of our users are using Flickr and have the same functionality there, but (imo) with better tools. An added benefit is that the image-serving is done by Flickr which will use their bandwidth and allow Boblycat to be faster.
So one option we have is to terminate gallery2, install some migration-code to map existing (photo) blog-posts to retrieve the images currently in our gallery from Flickr instead, and any new blog-posts will have to be done from Flickr. This will solve a number of problems and will probably not be too much work (mostly restricted to the migration script).
However, Flickr is Flickr, and not everything we (may) want to do is possible via Flickr. The features that in general make Flickr useful is that it is the "cloud" (and will handle imagehosting and bandwidth) and it allows easy blogging from the image. Flickr is not alone providing image-"cloud" features for inclusion in a (photo)blog. Several others exist, e.g Picasa Web Albums, FreeImageHosting, and a bunch mentioned here. Most of these allow you to copy a link to an image and then paste it into your blog, but most have no simple way to directly blog to boblycat. Some of these are also meant for individual images and not generic sharing of albums/collections/slideshows. If people have any favourites of these that should be supported, please let me know.
However, imo the most serious contender for practical use to Flickr seems to be Picasa Web Albums. It has most of the features we need (as I see it now). The thing it lacks is the simple "blog this" button which is at Flickr, but it has a public API which allows us to integrate the images from picasa web albums in whatever way we want. Integration with rich client Picasa is also surprisingly good. But this will require some more work to integrate which might not be needed if everyone is happy about Flickr.
Solving the technical issues that plague us is priority number one, and in the weeks ahead we might be more unstable as we test various approaches. If you have other ideas or input, please let me know via comment, twitter, irc, mail, ...
Vi har flyttet igjen. Etterhvert som tiden har gått, har minnekonsumet vårt gått drastisk opp. VPS-løsningen vi hadde gav oss bare 256MB RAM, som til slutt ble altfor lite. Nå har vi kommet oss tilbake over landegrensen, og kjører hos solidhost.no.
Til de som har strevd med tjenestene våre i det siste tror jeg vi kan si at den verste perioden er bak oss. Naturligvis går alltid noe litt galt i slike flytteprosesser, så si fra dersom noe ikke fungerer som det skal.
Time for a new version of the Blimp layered photo editor. Some of the new features in 1.1.0 are:
- Exif metadata (information provided automatically by most digital cameras) can be viewed and will be included in exported images. See the screenshot below for an example.
- Exporting images should be faster and use less memory.
- Improved previewing quality when viewing zoomed-out images.
- Scroll around images more easily with the mouse (drag and drop).
Please report any problems and suggestions for improvements to me (email@example.com). If you don't have any issues, please send an email anyway. (I guess that goes for you too, spambots.)
More upgrades are on the way. Please report problems.
- Blogme doesnt appear on all screens, e.g after you've uploaded
- Sometimes blogme is hidden because fonts are too big
I decided to take a peek at Ruby again. There's something cute about the language. There's a also a bunch of tiny webapp libraries in their CTAN/CPAN-like gem collection. Doing something quick and really dirt was never easier:)
I then decided to add flickr and twitter feeds to my homepage, but I wanted the page to remain static. I picked down the twitter and flickr ruby libraries and go to work. The stability of these libraries leave something to be desired. It didn't take all that many minutes to debug most of the buggy parts, fire off a couple of suggestions for improvements/bug fixes, and start being productive. Using the flickr API to pick out four random photos from my photostream on flickr:
flickr = Flickr.new(API_KEY) user = flickr.users('karltk') if user.photos.length < 4 then ps = user.photos else ln = user.photos.length ps =  ps.push(user.photos[rand(ln)]) ps.push(user.photos[rand(ln)]) ps.push(user.photos[rand(ln)]) ps.push(user.photos[rand(ln)]) end urls = "" ps.each do |p| urls += "<a href=\"" + p.url + "\"><img src=\"" + p.source('Square') + "\"/></a>" end urls
Using the twitter API to fetch my four latest status updates:
feed = Twitter::Base.new('username', 'password').timeline(:user) msgs = "" feed[0,4].each do |s| tm = Time.parse(s.created_at) msgs += "<p><a href=\"http://twitter.com/karltk\"><b>(" + tm.strftime("%a %H:%M") + ")</b></a> " + s end msgs
The stings generated by each of these code fragments are inserted into a plain HTML template. The end result, with the twitter feed showing at the bottom right:
We are looking to replace Drupal with something more lightweight. The virtual server we host boblycat.org on is pretty cramped for space, so the price of a couple of apache instances running Drupal, plus MySQL sitting in the background, along with the rest of our services, is sometimes too much for the available RAM. The result: some not-so-surpising OOMs, and a script which prophylactically restarts Apache every now and again.
What I'm looking for is a solution that combines a gallery with a wiki with a blog. It must be multi-user, and each user must be able to have his own theme. LDAP integration would be nice for auth. These could be three different pieces of software, but proper gallery and blogging integration is a must for our current clientelle, which lives under the delusion that photoblogging is fun;P For the rest, integration between the wiki and blog is desirable.
If anybody knows of any gems hiding out there that fits this task, don't hesitate to get in touch.
I just released version 1.0.0 of the Blimp layered photo editor, grab it from here: https://projects.boblycat.org/blimp/wiki/DownloadBlimp
Whee! Release party tonight!
As some of you probably noticed, the last couple of months, and especially the last few weeks, have been rather unstable here at boblycat.org. The reason for the former has mostly been some severe network hiccups in Nextgentel's Laksevåg switch.
These incessant network outages combined with our own aging and increasingly unstable hardware, finally forced us into finding an alternative hosting solution. We ended up subscribing to a VPS (virtual private server) service in Stockholm.
The initial migration went rather smoothly, though we ran out of inodes (one of the resources severely limited by the VPS). The hosting company was kind enough to bump this limit for us. Unfortunately, at some point, the limit was reset, which caused last week's outage. We didn't report the problem as we mistakenly believed it was due to payment issues (we were transitioning from a trial service to a fully paid service).
In any event, things are up and running now. There are likely to be many small issues lurking about, so don't hesitate to contact Stig or myself if things need to be fixed. As usual, Stig manages Drupal and the gallery, while I do most of the other stuff.
We've now moved boblycat to a new site. Please report problems.