Flickr Namespace and array_multisort() Issues

Aaron Wormus recently criticized me on IRC for putting too much thought and effort into blogging. He may have a point there. I’ve got a huge list of things I want to write about, but I haven’t put forth the effort because I do take too much time to write a post. So, here goes one for writing up a quick post…

I recently upgraded a few things around here (in particular, an upgrade to PHP 5.2), and I noticed two issues that occurred after the upgrade:

  1. My Flickr photo feed no longer worked, and
  2. My blogroll was no longer sorting alphabetically

I easily solved both of these issues:

The Flickr photo feed

I’m not entirely sure whether this problem was a result of the PHP 5.2 upgrade and SimpleXML becoming more particular about namespaces or Flickr simply changing the namespace string in their feed. I believe it was the latter. In short, my code stopped working because the namespace lacked a trailing slash (/). It would’ve been great if Flickr had notified everyone about this first.

The code looked something like this:

$flickr_rss = simplexml_load_file('');
foreach ($flickr_rss->channel->item as $item)
$link = (string) $item->link;
$media = $item->children('');
$thumb = $media->thumbnail->attributes();
$url = (string) $thumb['url'];
$width = (string) $thumb['width'];
$height = (string) $thumb['height'];
$title = (string) $item->title;
// display image here

Note the namespace listed in $item->children('');. It’s lacking a trailing slash. This was never a problem before, but it seems that the Flickr feed changed to include a trailing slash, so SimpleXML was no longer able to properly get the data. I simply changed it to (note the trailing slash), and all worked fine.

Blogroll sorting

This was more than likely a result of the upgrade to PHP 5.2, though I can’t be sure. My blog sorting code worked like this:

// sort by name
$name = array();
foreach ($blogs as $k => $v)
$name[$k] = $v['name'];
array_multisort($name, SORT_ASC, $blogs);

Unfortunately, after the upgrade, this no longer worked. I had to add the SORT_STRING flag as a parameter to array_multisort() so that the line now reads:

array_multisort($name, SORT_ASC, SORT_STRING, $blogs);

And that fixed it.

Just thought I’d share the info in case this helps anyone.