Adios Picasaweb

Adios Picasaweb

It seemed easy enough – everything does in the tech world. Turned out Picasaweb is in the process of being taken to the slaughterhouse. I’m always late to the party, only signed up for it a few months back, thankfully. Google photos is the NKOTB.

As I’m running this blog on Redhat’s Openshift PaaS, I need to be careful that media uploads don’t destroy my 1GB storage limit. Thus using an image hosting service is a must, and I need one that can play nicely with WP, so I went with Picasaweb.

In battle, confrontation is done directly, victory is gained by surprise
Sun Tzu

Here are the hurdles I had to clear to get travel photos into the blog.

Make the album public

Seems easy enough, right. Nope. Google photos supports sharing with a link but not public albums, per se. At least not easily. There are a few solutions to be found here. I went with Picasaweb desktop app.

Get Picasa 3 running under Wine

I shudder when I need to rely on a Win app now. Wine is an imperfect science. Things went well until we got to the google sign-in stage. No dice. All the articles on the interwebs about this issue take the difficult approach of using winetricks with IE8 and some code repository ‘WineZeug’ with has moved to Github.

To cut a long story short, it’s a classic example of thinking about the problem at hand. This is a Windoze app. Pop quiz – where are settings stored. Did I hear someone say the registry? Aha! I can’t take the credit but the solution is elegent, as it should be. Give this man a cigar.

That’s why it’s a must IMHO to run some type of virtualisation s/w. I like Oracle Virtualbox. Makes solving problems like these much easier – and some stuff will just not run under Wine (or is flakey)

Get the photos into WP

I looked at a few different plugins:

I went with Shashin, that is to say I got it working. Couple of things you need to do:

  1. Edit the ShashinDatabaseFacade.php file. See this post The plugin will then activate.
  2. When adding the photo album into WP you will need to reformat URLS into the format https://plus.google.com/photos/uid/albums/album_id Read this
  3. With the album in WP you are good to go with shortcodes. Read all about that at the developers website.

JIG looks impressive. When I can scrape 30 bucks together I am so owning it !

Having said that Shashin is doing exactly what I wanted. Let’s hope Google don’t make further API changes and break the bloody thing beyond repair. (the plugin is no longer being maintained)

Just another day at the office.