Photostream Disk Image Caching

Topics: Developer Forum
Sep 5, 2006 at 2:03 PM
First, the Flickr Plugin for Windows Writer is fantastic, especially since it was developed so fast from the time Writer was released into the wild. I took a peak at the source code and it looks pretty damn solid.

My only annoyance with the application is that I find myself hitting the 'load' button all the time. I would love for the plugin to act as follows in this use case:

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1. The first time I load the plugin, prompt my for my username (and password) just once.

2. Once I save my flickr credentials, I login to my account and start downloading the thumbnails (or whatever size image you pull) into a local disk cache. The plugin should just do this automatically without me hitting 'load' all the time (You might limit this to a few hundred pics for performance reasons... or maybe not! Perhaps the user could decide how many thumbnails to download).

3. When I select the image I want, I hit 'Insert'. The dialog goes away like it does (Or if you can, make the dialog non-modal so I can still write my blog post while I'm inserting images... this would reduce 'task switching')

4. I write a bit more in my blog about the picture

5. When I add another image, I click 'Insert Flickr Image...' and the dialog is as where I left it last. Currently the dialog is reset and I have to figure out where I was in the photostream when I was previously in the dialog.

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One of the GREAT things about Writer is that I can write my blog posts on the airplane, if I had my flickr stream cached offline, I could also easily add images from my 3 hour flight. Ok.. ok.. so most people aren't blogging from an airplane, but it IS nice to have your Flickr photostream images loaded from disk right away instead of hitting 'Load' or 'Refresh' all the time. This is especially noticeable when you try scrolling through the photostream; when you hit an arrow over, it takes a round trip to Flickr and loads the pictures.

I'm not sure how the sidebar works in Windows Live Writer, but if I could see my photo Flickr stream WHILE I'm blogging, that would be much better than breaking into a dialog every time. If the entire plugin could be accessed from the sidebar, that would make things run much smoother.

As a super-fancy 'nice to have', you might even think about caching the photo tags with each picture; when a user starts to search for a tag and looks through the cache for the images and loads 'em up from the web. But meh, I can see that being very difficult to implement (searching across disk AND the web, but trying to make it seemless).

Geeze, I hate dumping feature requests on people after they graciously take the time to write a plugin and release it to the masses for nothing. Great job!