Review #4: Flickr Size URLS Thumb Page (Userscript)

Update 6/1/15: This script doesn’t work anymore with Flickr’s interface upgrade. I still haven’t find any way to generate original image URLs quickly.

As an online image gallery, Flickr is cool. As an image sharing site, it sucks. But it’s still the one with the largest storage space.

Call me overthinking or over-prepared, but when I had the thought of starting this blog, not only I searched for the right bloghosting service and blog editor, I also searched for an image hosting service where I could store the screenshots I would use for my posts.

And, no surprise, I chose Flickr. Mostly because of its 1 terabyte storage space, which would need many years to fill.
I have a complaint, though: I hate it that it took too many steps for me to get the direct URL of my screenshot.
I would need to click on a screenshot from the Photostream until it took me into a bigger view, click on that ‘share’ button on the bottom-right of the page so a pop-up would appear (which takes about 5 seconds), copy and paste the BBCode somewhere, and then delete a bunch of strings from the front and the back. That’s it. It took about 30 seconds to do, and when I’m reviewing something I would add about 25 screenshots.
Yeah, I know that Flickr is more suitable for photography enthusiasts who want a photo gallery (that’s what the Photostream is for), but there must be a quicker, more direct way to get the URL.
Thankfully, Hannah Nicholas has created a script to get URLs directly from the Photostream. You would need Greasemonkey (Firefox) or Tampermonkey (Chrome) installed and enabled first. They’re add-ons that could load scripts (written in Javascript) that would be loaded along with a webpage to add functionality to/edit the appearance of the page. There are thousands of scripts available from here, here, and here.

After you installed the add-on(s), go to the script’s Github page and download the script by right-clicking on the ‘Raw’ button and clicking ‘Save link as’:

Raw

Save the script anywhere you want, name it anything you like, but the name must be something like ‘file_name.user.js’ with underscores instead of spaces (if the name consists of more than one word), followed with ‘.user’ and has .js as the fletype:
Drag the file into your browser. On Firefox, Greasemonkey would instantly recognise it, and ask if you want to install it:
You would want it installed, of course.

install

On Chrome, for safety reasons, you would need to allow Tampermonkey access to local files from Settings>Extensions:
Then drag the file into the browser window, just like in Firefox.
After you’ve installed the script, visit any Flickr Photostream and you’ll notice some differences:

flickr

There’s a dropdown menu on the top-left corner, where you could choose the size of the images you want to link:
The ‘Original’ option is a bit misleading, though. When I chose it, all of my images were linked into this:
This was because none of my screenshots are wider than 2400 pixels wide.  My desktop’s resolution is 1366×768 pixels (so does the screenshot of my desktop), but using this script, the largest screenshot I could have is 1024x 576 pixels.
I also noticed that the file extensions are different from the original – instead of .png’s, the URLs linked to .jpg’s. Maybe these differences are due to the URLs came from c2.staticflickr.com instead of farm4.staticflickr.com

Conclusion

There’s not a lot to say about this script, since it only has one function. The script is quite helping (I have already used it when writing my previous post), although the URLs it made doesn’t refer to the original images. I’m okay with the limited choices of image size, but I’d rather have screenshots in png’s rather than jpg’s; according to some sources, png is good for computer-generated images, and jpg is better for photos.
 
Pros:
  • Showing URLs directly on the photostream
  • Multiple choices of image size
Cons:
  • Limited choices of image size
  • Converts every image to jpg’s
  • Doesn’t generate proper URL for small images
Download the script from here, Greasemonkey from here and Tampermonkey from here.
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