Some assembly required

This blog is about unimplemented ideas. At least until they get ticked off; I suppose a few eventually will have implementations too, but fresh posts never will. Because that's the primary purpose of this blog: keeping track of ideas I'd like to dive into, or problems I'd like to see solved. Feel free to join me in implementing, or further developing these ideas. I don't mind working solo, but it's a whole lot more fun working in concert!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Generic image browser Greasemonkey script

I used to keep two bookmarklets around to do quick image browsing from directory lists, and the like:

The first one even had some keyboard commands that once upon a time enabled zooming to the next and previous image and centering the present image vertically by pressing shift, ctrl and return, but I believe the code rotted sometime, and either way bookmarklets are painful to maintain if you don't keep a copy around of the code prior to minimization. I tend to misplace such data.

Anyway, I'd like to revisit the idea and make this into a handy Greasemonkey script I can keep around and perhaps auto-invoke on some pages too. The only problem I want to address first is finding some really good photo album viewer / image browser to raid some good UI ideas from. On invocation, the script should proceed to:

  • Pick out all linked images in the page, as do the above bookmarklets.

  • Rewrite the page to drop all prior content, replacing it with the album viewer.

  • Add convenient browsing hotkeys for operations like "drop image from album view", "focus previous/next image", "zoom image to full screen"; any others?

I'm also considering something similar to the configuration screen of Mark my links for adding sites or URLs matching some given regexps to always invoke the album view for, right after the page has loaded. Similarly for pages whose referrers match given regexps.

But first I'll have to find some good album viewers. Suggestions? While a bit off target, LightBox (and the (and JQuery greybox redux, for that matter) has some nice visual properties it might be worth lending too, though I have yet to come across a neat and tidy image browser, without clutter soup. I'm thinking something about as tidy as the Google (Web) Search front page, of a few years ago (more clutter has found its way there since, though it's still good).

Tips and feedback very welcome.