Slickrshow is simple in concept, more entertaining in application, and is available for download for you!

The idea is simple: you search Flickr™'s site for anything you want to see, and stream it into SL as a video, thus saving yourself upload charges. Although there are occasional issues with the viewer changing streams according to the scripted instructions, but what's new there?! the system works very well overall.

This is done in conjunction with a few bits of code. Firstly the people at Flickr™ provide a nice set of web APIs to let you search their site by script. This is something that I obviously use. The original client, however, is running an old version of PHP and the simple phpFlickr package that I tried to use at first doesn't work. This has led to integrating the code to decipher the replies from the API straight into my code. It has made for a nice tight bit of code though - the phpFlickr folder was pretty heavy in code terms. The downside: adding new functionality means writing not only the code to handle the request, but also to handle the responses from the API, making it longer to do.

I also wanted to keep the hit on the server as small as possible. To this end, rather than downloading each image and tying them together directly into a movie, I simply create a smil file using the QuickTime extensions. This gives you a rather simple and small movie to stream from your own server - the donkey work of providing the images comes directly from the Flickr™ site and their (presumably rather large) bandwidth.

All-in-all a rather nice tying together of some technology to meet the needs of a client in a fashion which is elegant and fun. I will be providing downloadable versions of all the scripts (all 4 of them, 3 php, one lsl). These scripts are licensed under Creative Commons as share-alike with attribution and non-commerical. If you would like commercial rights, please ask. If you make changes to the system, particularly if you add more functionality, please can you send either copies of the new scripts or a link to your download site.

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