Replied to https://twitter.com/ds106dc/status/1332912679019810822?s=20 by ds106 Daily Create (Twitter)

#tdc3244 #ds106 Blue https://daily.ds106.us/tdc3244/

The sky is grey here today so I took a trip through my flickr. Modified a script to pull down my photos flickr thinks is blue.

There is nothing I could see in the flickr api to filter colours as there is in the search but I noticed the url for the search contains text=&color_codes=7 so I added that in. Sees to have worked.

Not because my photos are in anyway professional, but because of the wonderful things Flickr does. Flickr allows me to store and organise my photos. I can look at pictures by friends, acquaintances and all sorts of groups.

Most importantly Flickr curates and organises creative commons licensed and public domain photos. These are searchable and Flickr give access to them via an API that is useful and usable by non-professionals. I’ve had an amazing amount of fun and use (professionally as a teacher). To me Flickr is an important part of the web, I have a pro account to support that.

If you use Flickr and don’t have a pro account you can get 25% off with the code 25in2019 or use this link.

It’s also example of doing something that only I would want to do and yet having that thing echo into eternity without any additional effort.

from: API Nirvana – The Content – Bionic Teaching

Tom Woodward writing about his love of APIs, one of a series of posts. I love the idea of playing with things that do something that only I would want to do.

If you have a slightly geeky interest in technology & edu tech Bionic Teaching is a great blog to read.

I’ve a long term casual interest in playing with APIs, and love trying out some of the stuff Tom blogs about. In a timely fashion wordPress 4.7 came out today, including:

WordPress 4.7 comes with REST API endpoints for posts, comments, terms, users, meta, and settings.

from: WordPress 4.7 “Vaughan”.

This is the same API that Tom blogged about (I guess he was using a plugin). The opening up of WordPress sites via an API that an amateur like myself can use it welcome. Over the past few years several sites with interesting APIs move to make them harder to access with out a deeper knowledge than I have (twitter, instagram…).

I had a quick play with the WordPress api making a page that lists recent posts on 3 of my blogs, including this one. 1

wp-json-render

I guess this sort of thing is a minority interest, but I find it enjoyable and although I am never going to be a programmer, helpful in getting a better understanding of how technology can work.

Featured image on this post, one of my own turned up in a search for echo. test1-echo.tif | Using Image Bending in Audacity – CogDogBlo… | John Johnston | Flickr

 

  1. I added the Better REST API Featured Images WordPress Plugin to et the images following a hint on Tom’s post.

I’ve got a few IFTTT recipes on the go. IFTT is a useful service from linking up and pushing information around online services.

In the last week or so I’ve seen a couple of posts about the service, received an email and had an interesting incident so though it worth a post.

First I read this:

Kin Lane mentioned that IFTTT, a service entirely built on APIs, doesn’t have an API. That bothered Kin and the more I thought about it it bothered me. So I figured I’d start disentangling myself from IFTTT.

from: Shifting out of IFTTT – Bionic Teaching

I then had the problem illustrated by the screenshot at the side of the post. I have a recipe that posts my instagram photos to a blog. The blog then tweets them out and another recipe posts the images on to Flickr. This seemed to go a bit off the wall posted multiple times for a couple of photos and therefore my twitter timeline was filled with repeats.

I would rather this did not happen.

Next this:

Imagine if your sewer pipe started demanding that you make major changes in your diet.

Now imagine that it got a lawyer and started asking you to sign things.

from: My Heroic and Lazy Stand Against IFTTT (Pinboard Blog).

Pinboard is one of my favourite online services. I got an email from IFTTT saying that they would no longer be supporting pinboard unless pinboard made changes to their service.

All this got me thinking that there might be a way to do this without IFTTT. Most of my recipes are for pinboard, but I though to start with something that might be simpler.

Photo Flow

A while back I blogged Make you own SPLOT about a flow powered by IFTTT from instagram to blog to flickr. I like the system, but wonderd if I could DIY without IFTTT.

A while back I’d made a page to grab my instagram photos so I thought I could reuse that to create an RSS feed and then pull that into the photo blog using the FeedWordPress plugin. It was not too hard.

The feed is produced with php file and basically is this( I’ve taken out some caching code):

echo '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?> <rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom"> <channel>  <title>Insta john</title>  <description>some instagrams</description>  <link>https://www.instagram.com/troutcolor/</link> <atom:link href="http://johnjohnston.info/oddsandends/instarss/" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />';    
$url="https://api.instagram.com/v1/users/7835090/media/recent/?client_id_=CLIENT-ID-HERE&count=2"
$json =file_get_contents($url);
$jsonA=json_decode($json, TRUE);
foreach ($jsonA['data'] as $post) {
 echo '<item>';
    echo '<title>'.($post['caption']['text']).'</title>';
    echo'<description><![CDATA[ <img src="'.($post['images']['standard_resolution']['url']).'"> from <a href="'.$post['link'].'">instagram</a> ]]> </description>';
    echo '<link>'.$post['link'].'</link> <guid>'.$post['link'].'</guid>  </item>';
}
echo ' </channel> </rss>';

I’d guess this is not the prettiest piece of code but it produces a short (2 items) RSS feed that FeedWordPress can use.

I’ve also installed the FeedWordPress Advanced FiltersPlugin after reading about it here: Field Botany WordPress Site Breakdown – Bionic Teaching. This allows me to copy the image onto the WordPress site as opposed to keeping it in instagram. It also lets me add it as the featured image which works well with the theme on that blog. Until I am sure it is all working I am posting the photos as pending review, but if it all looks good after a few more pictures I’ll flick the switch and let it run.

There may be trouble ahead

I had just grabbed the code from my old page, including the info needed to connect to instagram’s api which I had set up before. So I checked out the Instagram API page where I read:

Any app created before Nov 17, 2015 will continue to function until June 2016. After June 2016, the app will automatically be moved to Sandbox Mode if it wasn’t approved through the review process.

from: Instagram Developer Documentation

Which sort of sounds like the API will be for more professional sorts than myself. I guess I’ll find out in June.

The other news was that IFTTT has backtracked allowing users to continue to use pinboard recipes without asking pinboard change its system. Hello Pinboard Customers, From Linden Tibbets, the CEO of IFTTT a blog post by Kin Lane, has the details. The post also repeats the waring that IFTTT, by not having an API itself IFTTT might not be something to depend on.

All of this change reminds me of how shaky a foundation we are building our online worlds on. This makes IndieWeb idea even more attractive.

I’ve read a lot of interesting things on Medium over the last couple of years. It seemed to start as an online space to write longer-than tweet posts, and evolved.

I’ve never written more than a few comments and one test post on Medium before this. I’ve been excited about blogging in a Domain of One’s Own and the ideas around that and those coming from the IndieWeb. A lot of the IndieWeb technology goes a wee bit over my head but I’ve installed a bunch of plugins here and thing about it a bit.

One of the IndieWeb ideas is POSSE Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. This site auto posts links to twitter and G+ as do many blogs. I can now send posts to Medium too.

Medium now have an API and there is a Medium/WordPress plugin which allows you to push blog posts to Medium. There are also Medium IFTTT recipes that will do the same thing from other blogging systems. I’ve installed the plugin here.

I don’t suppose I’ll send posts to Medium often, it seems a little too writerly for me, but it is fun to play with and think about a further extension of blogging.

The WordPress plugin attaches the Medium account to your profile, so if you have more than one person posting to a blog they all could posse to different medium accounts. There are settings for copyright and for posting links to the posts in different spaces. The API does not allow you, as of now, to update posts on Medium from your blog. There is a Meta Box on the WordPress post editor to set the status of Medium posts as you go.

medium-settings

 

Technical note: I had a bit of trouble getting  plugin to work as it uses php short echo tags and I had to do a bit of find-and-replace in the plugin files. I am not sure if that will effect many folk.

I read about this first not in medium but my RSS reader, followed through to these interesting links:

 

Update, multiple  Also published on Medium lines appear at the top of this post, I do not know why?

I’ve made a updates to a couple of simple web pages/apps aimed at pupils and teachers using iOS and images.

Photoblitzer

photoblitzer is a really simple page that just gives a list of ideas for taking photos. I originally made it for a #ds106 project (20 Minute Photo Challenge: ds106 Photoblitz – CogDogBlog) and blogged about it on my 106 blog 106 drop in – Photoblitzin.

Since then I’ve used it as a starting activity on a couple of iPad training courses for staff and it worked well.

Originally I was thinking of this as being used on an iphone or ipod touch, but we have seen a lot of schools buying iPads and running a fair number of training twilights on useing these so I updated the app to look a bit better on an iPad:

Staying the same on an iphone or ipod touch:

The idea of the app is to generate a list of ideas for taking photos from a list of over 106 and let people mark them off as they take them. This seems to get people started in thinking about making interesting photos even in the rather limited places we run training courses in. This leads in turn to more interesting possibilities later when working with application to use the photos, say SonicPics, comic makers, iMovie and the like.

FlickrStampr

After I had played with photoblitzer I though I’d do the same sort of thing for FlickrStampr ( a new slightly catchier name for flickrcctouch). I made this way back when I first looked into using iPod Touches in class and neglected it after that.

The idea behind FlickrStampr is to give pupils an easy way to use creative commons images with the required attribution. The app lets the user search for flickr photos by tag. and provides a set of thumbnails. Clicking on a thumbnail creates (on the server, a copy of the image with a strip at the bottom with a simple attribution text. The means the user can download the image and use it on blog posts or presentations and the attribution is on the image, easier, I hope, for pupils than copying both the image and the attribution and then useing them together.

I started by cleaning up the iPhone interface a wee bit, before it did a fair amount of hiding and showing, now it just shows everything: flickrstamper iphone I messed about with the CSS a little and the page looks a bit different on an iPad screen; FlickrStampr iPad The main problem with the interface as it stands is that if you want to just see a bigger version of the image the image is processed on the server adding the text. This is, I suspect, a little inefficient but it makes for ease of use: you don’t need to preview them click a create button, then download the result. Just press the ‘preview’ and choose save. 

Not exactly responsive

The design improvements falls quite short of what is normarly thought of as responsive. In FlickrStampr the layout just squishes as the screen gets smaller, pushing one secion below the other. I photoblitzer I’ve used a media query in the css for the first time: @media screen and (max-width: 480px) there are a lot of possibilities for improvment. I am slowly learning hopefully more improvements to come.

Icons

I’ve now given both an icon to make it look a bit nicer when added as a bookmark on your homescreen, Ive also use a useful bit of javascript that alerts folk to the fact they can do this:Add to home screen, you can see it in action on some of the screenshots above. iOS web apps are a lot less powerful that native apps, especially ones developed by peole like myself with pretty limited knowledge, but they do offer the possibility of simply addressing niche uses. I hope that some folk will find these things of interest or even useful. I’ve had a ton of fun working/playing with this stuff and am open to suggestions for improvments.

The value of free

As an aside, testing the flickr API, and some recent play with the freesound API reniforce for me the value of sharing under a CC license with the proviSion of a powerful API, there are some amazing people sharing wonderful captures and creations freely, this need to be vslued, used and protected.


A decade ago, metadata was all the rage among the geeks. You could tag, geo-tag, or machine-tag Flickr photos. Flickr is from the old community. That’s why you can still do Creative Commons searches at Flickr. But you can’t on Instagram. They don’t care about metadata. From an end-user point of view, RSS is out of favor. The new companies are not investing in creating metadata to make their work discoverable and shareable.

from: Joho the Blog – [berkman] Anil Dash on “The Web We Lost”

Some great reading this morning starting at How the Web is being body-snatched ~ Stephen’s Web through Doc Searls Weblog – How the Web is being body-snatched to the post with the above quote.

This quote really jumped out at me, I’ve loved the flickr API for a long time and used it for lots of fun. I enjoy Instagram too, for its easy, quick hit, and lightweight community.

I really hope that we are not drifting away from such valuable resources with apis and rss feeds to the easy and locked in.

One of the things that makes the huge gap between sites like flickr and facebook is who has access to data and how they access it. When you share on flickr you are doing something quite different, and potentially much more valuable than sharing on facebook or google+.

I hope that open never gets old.