iFlickr PHP Script: Create mRSS feed of interesting pictures on Flickr.com

Did you notice the “Flickr Gallery” on top right corner of the home page of this blog? The picture slide show is provided by Google’s Ajax Slide Show, but this post is not about that. Google’s Slide Show needs a mRSS feed, which it parses to get the list of thumbnails it wants to present. mRSS is just a normal RSS feed particularly tailored for presenting media. It gets its ‘m’ from media. In this case it is picture media. For my blog’s “Flickr Gallery”, I have scheduled a cron job which runs every day at 5.30 am UTC. This way every day my blog gets fresh set of interesting pictures to present. You can get a good example of mRSS feed on my site at http://www.applegrew.com/util/if.xml. Safari and Firefox will use their own styling rules to style this XML. If you want to check it out the way I want it, then view it in Google Chrome.

The Script

This PHP script spits out mRSS feed of the interesting pictures on Flickr.com. This script can be invoked from web or directly from command line. When invoked it connects to Flickr using its API and gets the list and all related infos from there. Flickr likes to call this list – Flickr Interestigness.

Download package (License GPL v2)

How to use this script

This scripts accepts a number of parameters:-

  • api_key (Default: NoKeyGiven) – The Flickr API key. Get it from here.
  • pg (Default: 1) – Which page to fetch. This is to help you paginate if that makes sense for you.
  • per_pg (Default: 10) – How many pictures you want per page. So, if you want 11th to 20th most interesting pictures then set pg to 2 and per_pg to 10.
  • thumbnail_type (Default: , i.e. not set) – Possible values are – SquareThumbnail, Small, Medium or *Large. *The picture of the type set here is set as thumbnail picture. If the type specified is not available then no thumbnail is mentioned. If this is not set then all possible picture sizes would be listed as thumbnails in the feed, with the bigger pics at the top.
  • min_size (Default: 0, i.e. not set) – If set (i.e. it is not set to zero) then the pic which is equal or just larger than this dimension will be chosen as thumbnail.

This script can be run from command line as shown below:-

$ /usr/bin/php iflickr.php --api_key=key_here --min_size=240 > mrss.xml

When run from web:-

http://example.com/iflickr.php?api_key=key_here&min_size=240

Please note: To be able to run this from web, you need to set $bind_address variable in the script as empty string.

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