I've been wanting to post an update on the Picasa Web Albums image resizing bug I discovered during a beta test last week, for several reasons:
- I felt bad about posting a bug when the site is, after all, in beta testing,
- the software team was quick to acknowledge that this was a bug, not a feature, and
- Google has been taking a lot of hits more generally for the program's non-wowing feature set, a problem which will be much harder to fix than any bug the beta-testers are turning up.
But the problem hasn't been fixed to date, so I'm itching to bang the gong a bit to make sure it's taken seriously. Thanks to Kevin Freitas I can roll my own bug report up in a tasty Firefox extension. (If the FLOOD WATCH 2007-type weather reports were this useful, we'd all be glued to our sets - how to right an inverted umbrella, etc. etc.)
It looks like my browser-measuring mod will be headed back for the desk drawer. Using the fantastic Measure-It Firefox extension, I was able to precisely calculate the extent of Picasa's image-resizing. The extension drops a toggle on/off button in the bottom lefthand corner of your screen that changes your mouse pointer to a crosshairs for drag-out measurements.
Measure-It gave me a reading of 512 pixels wide, and it looks square, so I didn't bother measuring the height. The actual image size, as provided to Picasa, is 441x441 pixels, which means that Picasa Web Albums bumps it up by about 16%, well over my nicey-nice estimate of 10%, the outside limit of what lazy (overworked!) designers consider to be the "safe" upsizing limit. Google, fix this bug!
If this sounds like big-G bashing, I'll be posting some love for Google next week to demonstrate my undying affection for the Google universe. Right now I'm playing with SketchUp and dreaming of the educational possibilities, complete with language arts integration! If you have ideas of your own to share regarding how SketchUp might be used in the classroom, post them in the comments below and I'll be sure to incorporate them.