Well, That’s Surprising, It Seems that I Have Written a Plugin for 500px
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Not really, at least not completely.

A couple of months ago in “Saga of Frustration: Developing (and Abandoning) a Lightroom Plugin for 500pxI vented about my horrible experience with the folks over at 500px.com, and said that I would not be developing a plugin for their service (as I have for many photo-hosting services) until they got their act together. A lively discussion followed here on my blog and on Google+.

I noticed today that they finally released their long-promised plugin and I took a look. It seems that they use a bunch of my code under the hood, such as my libraries for SHA-1 Secure Hash computation and HMAC-SHA1 secure signature computation, and for JSON-encoded data consumption and production. The former, in particular, is extremely difficult to do in Lightroom, so without it they may not have been able to do the plugin at all.

I mention this only because it seems somehow ironic, and I wonder whether they even notice the connection between the developer they alienated during the summer and the source of the libraries they later chose to use. If so, did they use my libraries with sheepishness, a smirk, appreciation? It's sort of amusing to wonder.

To be clear, I'm not complaining... I made that code available with the express hope that it would be helpful to those who might want to use it, and it seems that's exactly what's happening here. I did not make its use conditional on attribution or even a kind word of thanks, so I can't fault 500px there, either.

Anyway, I'd given up writing my own plugin because I couldn't get support from them, and I'd needed support from them because their plugin API simply didn't work. I suppose I could take today's events as an indication that at least they finally got their API working, and give my own almost-done plugin another try.... but nah, I don't think so.

I'm not a 500px customer so I didn't actually try the plugin, but if you're their customer and a Lightroom user, give it a try.

All 12 comments so far, oldest first...

Jeffrey: I installed and tried out the plugin today – works okay, but I inevitably found myself comparing it to your Flickr plugin, which I also have and use and found the 500px one somewhat wanting. It works, and it’s still in Beta, so thanks!

(BC, Canada)

— comment by Mike Nelson Pedde on December 2nd, 2011 at 4:08pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

It’s an old joke for a guy, when asked how many kids he has, to say “Two…That I know of.”

Now you can say, when asked how many plugins you’ve written, “32…That I know of.”

— comment by Zachary on December 2nd, 2011 at 8:08pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Interesting. Your earlier experience with 500px matches mine just as a user. If they ever do get their act together, I might even use the plug-in. If I ever go back to that service.

— comment by David H on December 2nd, 2011 at 9:02pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for your unintended support, and mentioning it here. Maybe I’ll give them another go now that I don’t have to jump through hoops to upload content.

@zach – hahaha!

— comment by Mike Wren on December 3rd, 2011 at 12:39am JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I doubt that anyone who has had much to do with them is surprised by this sort of behaviour, somehow.

“This sort of behaviour” — not reinventing the wheel — is smart engineering. It’s just a bit ironic in this case, that’s all. —Jeffrey

— comment by juice on December 3rd, 2011 at 3:13am JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve actually removed all my images from their site. They’ve been promising things like the ability to block users and fully delete comments for months but can’t seem to get it together. They have more of a spam problem than flickr so I don’t enjoy the site much anymore. I did try the plugin and found it basically useless in its current stage. It kept logging me out after each upload and doesn’t convert keywords to tags, so you still have to open each individual photo up on the site and manually add very basic information. It also kept forgetting my file size specs. Seems more like an alpha than a beta product to me. They seem to be losing a lot of steam and support already, the only ones I hear singing their praises anymore are the Kelby Crew. Most I know have already given up on them and are just reverting back to Flickr and Google+.

I have an “awesome” account with them so I’ll keep checking back but they just seem way too disorganized to ever get their service fine tuned.

— comment by Andrew on December 6th, 2011 at 5:35pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve always been impressed with your efforts to provide useful plug-ins to users or all levels and have but don’t often use your Flickr plug-in (because I don’t often use Flickr) and I’ve wrangled metadata, and have always been impressed with your efforts to make access available to the many. I’ve just come upon your saga, and tried to picture myself reacting to events with your aplomb and ability to stay focussed on your goal , and your restraint in dealing with the personalities involved. Couldn’t. It does sound more like a case of the dog catching the car than deliberate exploitation, but –– jeez! I’m just a random G+ user at this point, and have but haven’t used a 500 basic account. Between this tale and the smugness the 500 crewd seems to exude I;m not likely to. I admire your work (amazed to see you refer to it as a hobby) and always drop in on your plug-in site to see what;s new whether or not it’s something I may use. Keep up the good fight.

— comment by Will on December 6th, 2011 at 8:30pm JST (12 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Funny… kinda… I read your Saga article a couple days before 500pix announced “their” LR plugin. At first I thought you went back to help them at the last minute.. I guess not! Oh well that Karma thing will catch up to them.

— comment by John V on December 27th, 2011 at 3:23am JST (12 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Have you considered writting a Plug-In for WeTransfer (beta). A great site for transferring up to 2 GB of images on a Free Transfer Service. Members of our photo club have been using and enjoy the site.

Keep Up the Blog… It’s a great source of knowledge…………

— comment by RANDY HARRIS on December 29th, 2011 at 2:53am JST (12 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

1. Its still impossible to re-upload the photo after modifications in lightroom. Only metadata updates could be particulary updated. Ups … guys, is it really a publish plugin 🙂 ? It breaks completely my vision of this idea in Lightroom.
2. Authentication … hmmm. Well done!!! Just e simple modal dialog where they ask you to type your site login and password. Simple and trustful – everybody should trust this plugin just because it was claimed as “official” 🙂
Sorry, – it was sarcasm from my side 🙁 And there is a section on the site for developers, where they tell us about their API which relies completely on OAuth 1.0 🙂

— comment by Alexey Osetyanov on January 19th, 2012 at 5:01am JST (12 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

It seems they anounced that the plugin is now open source.


Does this change anything ? i would love to have a 500px plugin with the same functionality as your excellent flickr plugin.

Yeah, I noticed that. You can see my code in there. —Jeffrey

— comment by Wieger wijnia on January 28th, 2013 at 4:59am JST (11 years ago) comment permalink

I am not working as psychologist but you seem to have an interesting profile : do you really need as much recognition ? You have developed 32 plugins for free ? Amazing ! I must confess that I do code development for customers , but not for free. A shame, I know. And of course I am not so good as you ! Just to help me a bit a little better to understand you: how old are you ? 16 I guess… No need to answer, I already have two teenagers at home who do it all the time ! Thank you for the recreative reading.

— comment by Sam on December 18th, 2013 at 10:53pm JST (10 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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