Posted on Mon 19 August 2013

My Movies: Rottentomatoes and U1db

New Releases Box Office Upcoming Settings Search Movie Details

It’s been 4 days, 35 commits, and many hours of coding. My Movies is coming along handsomely.

A number of the core features have been completed: mainly integration with the Rottentomatoes API and data storage through U1db.



The Settings tab allows for persistent user preferences stored in a local U1db instance.

For the moment the basic options all control display properties of the user’s lists, but now that the backend is put together it would be trivial to expand this section to allow for more customization.

Rottentomatoes API Integration

My Movies is fully tied in to the Rottentomatoes API service used to access to their online movie database. Levaraging this access allows My Movies to provide search functionality:

The Search tab sends a request to rottentomatoes to find matching movies.


The selected result will then open in a new Movie Details Page, sending another request to rottentomatoes for additional detailed information on the movie.

Movie Details

Movie Details

When opening a movie from any of the lists, the Movie Details Page will shown to the user. If the movie already exists in the local database, the information displayed here will be pulled from the db, otherwise a request is made to Rottentomatoes for full movie details.

Adding the movie to one of the user’s local lists [by checking the relevant checkbox] will automatically save the movie data locally:

Colection Checkbox

Saved movies can be accessed from the list they’re placed in and be pulled up at any time.

All Movies

When a movie page is opened, the page’s background automatically display’s the movie’s poster. An overlay above this contains the movie details. If you’re like me and you like to look at these posters all you have to do is swipe the details away to the side and reveal the image without the text and overlay obstructing it:

Swiping details out of the way

Flicking the overlay away will remove it completely, sliding back in as soon as the page is tapped.

Additionally since the details can get too long to fit on the screen, the synopsis and cast text can both be individually collapsed and expanded. And the whole text region can be scrolled.

Cast and synopsis collapsed Cast and synopsis expanded Cast collapsed, scrolling

More Lists

The Rottentomatoes API also provides us with easy access to New Releases, Box Office, and Upcoming movie lists. These get incorportated in My Movies under the All Movies tab.

All Movies New Releases Box Office Upcoming


There are a couple of critical issues that need to be resolved:

  • Querying and deleting from U1db seems to be a bit problematic at the moment, which means getting movies to show up in the correct user list is currently broken, and movies added to the db never get removed.

  • To prevent costly requests and to allow offline access movie images should be saved locally - I’ll need to write a custom qt/c++ plugin and integrate that.

Once those are resolved I’ll be working on more features and fixes, with the next main push being for the grid and coverflow layouts described in the brainstorming post.

I’ve opened a few issues on the github page, so that’s a good place to keep track of development and contribute.

Category: project

Tags: ubuntuappshowdown, mymovies, development

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