Thursday, December 4, 2008

An Online Image Thumbnailer

Hey folks,

I've published a small online image thumbnail utility. If it proves useful (without bogging down our servers), I'll leave it up for public consumption. If you're interested in reading a little more about it, you can find the story below. If you'd just like to see the utility, visit D. Patrick Caldwell's Image Thumbnailer.

So, there I was, trying to get a background off of my Picasa Web Albums to put on my iPhone. In the iPhone Safari browser, you can save images by holding your finger on the image until a save dialog box comes up. Problem is, Picasa has somehow (somewhy) disabled it. So, I figured a bookmarklet would help me out. I could then link directly to the image and all of the Picasa scripts would be gone.

I found a few bookmarklets that displayed all of the images in the page, but they all open in the current window and I wanted a new window (and some nice formatting wouldn't hurt either). So, I looked for an online image thumbnailer and couldn't find one. About 30 minutes later, I had a thumbnailer. An hour after that, I had my bookmarklets (and a new background incidentally). I added a little error handling and some logging and had a fully functional service in about 2 hours.

Then I spent about 8 hours styling the welcome page :).

In any event, here's what my Thumbnailer does. I can take any image anywhere on the net (well, most anywhere . . . I have to have access to the image), and produce a thumbnail with one or two constraints: maximum width and maximum height. Here's an example of the same image scaled to 4 different heights:

The same thing works for widths:

Finally, you can specify both width and height and it'll use the most restrictive parameter.

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