Flickr's Move From Flash to Dynamic HTML

May 26, 2005

I was thrilled when I first caught wind of Lickr, a Greasemonkey extension for Firefox that replaces Flickr's flash interface with a fully-functional HTML one. The flash was noticeably slower (especially when you have many photos open in your browser tabs), and didn't let me do common things without jumping to other pages. Lickr proved you can duplicate the interface using HTML, Javascript, and AJAX techniques, and it's a much nicer user experience to boot. Well, Flickr made the jump officially, while adding several new features. You can now link to photos insides the little photo notes. You can add the photo to one of your sets or groups without moving to a new page. I wondered why exactly that they made the change, other than many user requests. Eric Costello went in to some of this a bit at the recent Ajax Summit. He cited the faster loading times and added features as reasons.