The site is down, but it used to work some months ago. Maybe I’m out of the loop, what happened?
I think it’s been down for at least a month or more now. At least based on this discussion from late last year, it seems that the main ipfs.pics site is (was?) maintained by one person who doesn’t have much time to keep it running.
For what it’s worth, xloem.ipfs.pics seem to be redirecting to a partially-functional mirror (no ipfs daemon running, though). This also doesn’t help with all of the people who tried to use ipfs.pics as a “permanent” image hosting site and now have broken links – but they still have the hashes.
I just noticed that you can actually add images to the IPFS, and it’s very easy to embed them, e.g. on online forums, even just using the plain IPFS hash, but you need a gateway for that. So a dedicated online picture solution would be great… maybe something like Lychee for IPFS?
They way I see a long-lived ipfs.pics is to make it actually distributed by providing some easy-to-run software people can run to help host the content. I had this idea before but didn’t have time to actually finish it (see pincoop: https://github.com/victorbjelkholm/pincoop).
Basically, the web interface would allow people to upload images and gets the hash. This hash would be automatically distributed to the nodes who want to help host content (via pubsub possibly) and then also provide some gateway for easy linking.
But for really long-term working, people need to not link to the gateway but load the images via IPFS directly, might be via browser extension or forum software supporting embedding via IPFS.
I can help with that! I can set up a writable gateway and deploy ipfs pics somewhere.
If we have already existing source code for the “front end” (I remember that ipfs.pics was on GitHub somewhere, right?) we can set things up. But I may need some help!
I think that part is the easy one. Just deploy it and provide a gateway.
However, I think a different structure is needed for a future ipfs.pics to actually stay online. Uploading to one host is not enough and having a backend shouldn’t be necessary.
I have planned to dive into the code. Hopefully it is using
js-ipfs-api so I can just point to a writable gateway and provide ipfs.pics easily
We would also need some automated way of adding images, either from the local filesystem, or directly in the browser.
A good example (for macOS) is ImageShareUr which is an app wrapping an appex that works via the “Share” menu in macOS in every application. So you can click on an image in your browser, and select “Upload to Imgur” from the Share menu, or you can do it with local files from Preview.app, directly from your file manager (Finder) etc.
Something like this would be great for IPFS image sharing, once a platform like ipfs.pics is up and running; the IPFS image sharing appex would then return the gateway URL for embedding, in different formats, e.g. either in bbcode, as a pure URL etc. (But sadly I don’t know anything about appex programming.)