Who Needs Flickr, Anyway?

Bruno pointed me to SimpleViewer the other day, and after a bit of testing I rebuilt my Photo Album around it.

(The new layout and navigation was only tested on Firefox and Safari, and I expect it to be fundamentally broken in IE and Opera - bear with me, I will be tweaking it a bit during the next few days, and am aiming for simplicity, not übercool.)

SimpleViewer is just the thing to go with Kubrick - it fits my "simple, lean, effective" approach, and has a number of nice points:

  • It requires little more than an XML file to work, which means pointing it to my dynamic thumbnail directory was trivial (I designed it to be that way when I coded all my photo code years back, and simply tuned my RSS feed).
  • It supports captions (which I already had but never bothered to code into my DHTML album), keyboard navigation and hyperlinks (clicking on the caption will provide you with an 800x800 version of the selected photo).
  • Decorations are optional, which made it easy to give a distinctive look to my album by leaving only my own rounded borders.
  • It has multiple layout options, one of which was almost the same as my previous photo album layout.

It does, however, have a couple of problems:

  • It is very aggressive at preloading images - it not only preloads all thumbnails, but it also preloads large images, which is a severe bandwidth hit for me. And you can't turn that feature off, at least in the version I'm using.
  • There's a slight layout bug that may be derived from large download delays (the large image is mis-positioned if the thumbnails take too long to load).

Nevertheless, it's a great piece of Flash code - one I expect to see all over the place.

And yes, you can borrow and improve upon my quick and dirty DHTML navigation bar - I welcome your suggestions as well.