Aug. 15th, 2008

sylke: (Default)
Still getting on the Flickr bandwagon, so I'm looking at how to organize photos. I'm trying to figure out the difference between collections and sets. Bold denotes direct quotes from Flickr's FAQ.

Q. How is a collection different than a set? (convenient question!)
A. A set contains photos. A collection can contain sets (or other collections).

Oh, okay, that makes sense, but...

Q. Isn't this just sets of sets? (<-- they're very good at predicting my questions!)
A. Yes, but no. It's better. (<-- but not very good at answering them satisfactorily.)

Yeah. That helps clear things up. Thanks a lot. So what you're saying is...

Collections behave just like sets.
Except...
a set can be in more than one collection, but a collection can only be part of one other collection.

That really doesn't sound nearly as helpful as I'd like it to be.

At this point I'm wondering what kind of crack these folks were on when they designed this whole set-collection notion. What finally occurred to me was if free accounts can make sets only, but pro accounts can make both sets and collections, it started sounding like set vs collection was just a permissions thing in code to distinguish pro accounts. And then it clicked. Java has classes (well, interfaces) called Sets and Collections. When I think in those terms, it makes a lot more sense. Free accounts can make instances of Sets, Pro accounts can also make instances of collections. A Java Collection has to contain objects of only one type. ([livejournal.com profile] bluekitsune, I tried to add a photo and a set to a collection, and I can't get just a photo added to a collection -- if you figure it out, can you let me know if it's possible?) Essentially, the underlying code structure is visible to the end user in a way that doesn't seem (to me) appropriate. Bad Flickr, no UI design cookie.

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sylke

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