Wednesday 14 September 2011

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization.  
- One of Murphy's Laws of Technology

Ok a real Grumble now, the first but unlikely to be the last, (the post about Devon weather wasn't a Grumble - just a whinge - important distinction).

So, Aperture on the Apple Mac, a fine piece of software, powerful, friendly, great for retouching photos and also for cataloging them, and cheaper than Photoshop (although not much cheaper than Photoshop Elements, but that's another Grumble). Aperture also integrates seamlessly with Flickr making it easy to publish your pix - or does it?

No it fecking doesn't! Whoever designed that 'integration' should be taken out and beaten senseless with a cucumber. It's not just bad, it's abysmal! 

What's wrong you ask? (well you did didn't you?), I'll tell you (you knew I would):

For a start it just doesn't work. Most (but not all) of the time, when you 'share' your latest snaps to Flickr it takes an age, and then duplicates or triplicates most of them. Feck knows what it thinks it's doing, but you end up with three times as many copies as you started with or wanted.

Buts that's not the worst part, oh no!

It doesn't just 'publish' your pix and forget them like a good little uploader, it keeps track of them and maintains a link to the original. Which means that if you change the original it re-publishes it replacing the one you published earlier. Now what wombat thought that was a good idea? If I publish a copy of a pic I don't want some over enthusiastic, interfering little software busybody changing it without my knowledge or permission. I want it to stay how I published it. Even worse if I accidentally delete it from my Aperture album I DON'T want it deleting from Flickr - but that's exactly what happens.

Worst of all, every little change to the pic results in the Flickr copy being 'replaced' with a new copy, at a new Flickr address. A new address that is NOT the same as the one I used when I linked another website (say, this one) to the Flickr pic. So if I tighten the crop on a picture of my cat (in Aperture), after I have published it to Flickr, and linked to it from here, the link will be broken the next time Aperture 'synchs' with Flickr and I can't stop it happening.

Whoever thought this was a good way to manage the 'link' should be disemboweled using the cucumber mentioned above. 

It really is very bad, it's wasted hours of my life and probably pushed my systolic and diastolic through the ceiling.

Fortunately there is an answer, one that doesn't have to involve cucumbers.

A little program called FlickrExport by Connected Flow. It costs all of 14 quid, is only about 1.6Mb to download (remember the days when most apps were smaller than a 1.44Mb floppy?) and it works. 

It does , as they say, what it says on the tin. Once it's installed as an Aperture plug in, it sits quietly under the File->Export menu waiting for your instructions to publish your chosen snaps to Flickr. 

No 'two way integration' Bollux, no 'maintaining an active link' Malarky, just export to Flickr and forget. It will even pre-tag your pix for you and do lots of other houskeepingy things that you would normally not be arsed with. Excellent bit of kit. The developers should be allowed to watch while the  wazzacks from Apple who wrote the Aperture link are ravished with blunt vegetables.

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