When you organise your photos online, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to arrange them in nested galleries? I used to do that on the old Mig installation I ran on my home Linux server – photos arranged by year / event. Nice and easy to navigate.
Flickr has let you create Sets for ages, but until now they have had to be a flat structure with no nesting. Yesterday, Flickr launched the much-anticipated “sets within sets” feature… they call it Collections.
Since I started using sets, I’ve actually been naming them with prefixes as a way of separating, for example, travel photos (prefixed “Places”) from event photos (which I’ve been labelling “Events”). So, I hurried across to Flickr to try out the Collections feature. The obvious thing to do would be to fold up my ~30 sets into a couple of collections which grouped the Events and Places, with the rest remaining separate sets at the top level.
This is where I began to hit issues. Although Flickr will let you build Collections in a nested way, there are some really irritating limitations:
- A collection can contain sets, or collections, but not both. In my case this isn’t too much of an issue, since I only want to group one level of sets together, but I will have to rethink this if my structure gets more complicated – say I decide to have UK locations and international locations separated under the Places collection I just made, I would have to make them both as collections, move all the sets into them, and then regroup the two collections into another collection. Clunky.
- You can now customise your main photos page to alter the way in which the photos and the sets / collections are displayed. You can display the Sets or Collections in the sidebar – but not a mixture of both. This is really nasty, as I only have two collections so far, and I’d like them at the top of the sidebar followed by the remaining ~10 standalone sets
Saying that, I’m still really happy that Flickr has finally introduced the feature… I have some complaints about the way they’ve added this extra level of complication, but it is nice to be able to start getting my photos more organised.