Upload API and Theme Change

It took a little longer than I hoped to get the upload API working, but I uploaded it a few days ago after testing it for several weeks on my home server. With the addition of the upload API FreeSVGClipart now has a complete functioning API for uploads, updates and search. If you are a developer with an app that relied on the Openclipart API you should be able to make a few changes and insert our API into your workflow. To get started with the upload API you will need to register to get an API key.

In other news I have switched the theme here on the site. The beauty of using ClassicPress is the ability to use many of the WordPress themes that are available. Since Openclipart likes to call us a “clone” of them, I thought it would be fun to use a WordPress theme based on Bootstrap, the same base that Openclipart has now started using. If we are going to be called a “clone” might as well go all in don’t you think?

As an added bonus the WP Bootstrap Starter theme offers several colour themes for their Bootstrap based them. A little bit of extra coding and registered users on FreeSVGClipart can select their favourite colour theme. So if you want to make FreeSVGClipart more your own feel free to select a new colour theme so when you are logged in.

On the Return of Openclipart

A response about the return of Openclipart and what that means for FreeSVGClipart. The short answer is: it changes nothing.

The slightly longer answer is I will not use Openclipart again. I do not trust them. I will not be making any attempts at mirror or adding the new clipart items they post. The community is welcome to upload those new items here if they wish.

Remember all new items and the data associated with those items are released regularly on our Google Drive. The community is welcome to it.

Some further information for the clipart community to consider:
According to Wikipedia, Openclipart went down on April 19, 2019. Openclipart was down for 6 months and 9 days when FreeSVGClipart opened. The majority of information that anyone seemed to get from Openclipart were only cryptic messages via Twitter like asking for more followers and of course the now well known begging for donations while they were closed page. Then on December 25th Openclipart seemed to reappear. 8 months and 6 days after it had disappeared from the Internet, Openclipart posted this on their website. This notice from Openclipart has since disappeared from their site but I am posting it here so it can be discussed, why it is not on the Openclipart site I do not know.

Our Founder Bassel would love this problem.
Little did he know that the work he started would continue long after he was gone. Little did he know that millions of people would rely upon his technology daily. Little did he know that his family, friends and you would never forget him.

Some stories of Bassel are known. Most are not.

Here’s one: The origin of Bassel began with Openclipart.

However, you are here for clipart. And, you noticed that Openclipart has been protected for months. Do you know why?

Today, December 25, 2019 is a new beginning.

Effective immediately, Openclipart is gifted to the community.

That still leaves four important questions: (1) Where are we? (2) Where do we want to go? (3) How do we get there? (4) How will you contribute?

As a community project, we must discuss these questions together through clipart. Please notice that Openclipart is currently simplified. Past members of Openclipart, your accounts work and you may share clipart. Librarians, once you login you will see how we may work together.

All of your clipart and Bassel’s code are safe. Openclipart was founded in 2004, 15 years ago. Technology has changed massively. Openclipart will emerge through your contributions.

Openclipart is making a grand call for participation of artists and developers towards becoming the new Openclipart Librarians.

Not sure how you may help? Donate to support the development of Openclipart. All monies generated from the operation of this website and donations made will be used to improve Openclipart. Also, community governance of the project is to be explored collectively, together.

Bassel would have loved this problem. This is our time. Let’s do this!

Jon Phillips, 2019-12-25

Discuss…

Update API, Tip URL and More!

There is a lot going on behind the scenes at FreeSVGClipart and depending on how busy I am at work it can take time for things to get moved over from testing to production but I was able to take some time yesterday and upload some new additions to the site.

First up is the release of the PUT/PATCH Update API. The Update API has actually been live on the site for a few weeks but was limited to only a few people, now it is available to anyone that has an account. You can use the update API to update your own clipart items either on the site or remotely if you feel so inclined to create your own. The Update API is how the site allows you to edit on the front end of the site. You can see an example of how it works in the video I took below.

The Tip URL is the next feature that went live yesterday. This little feature adds the ability for clipart contributors to add a link to a website for a tip. Using a link to Buy Me a Coffee or a PayPal.me link are probably the most likely use for this. Anyone that has contributed previously using Openclipart and has had their Openclipart files and their FreeSVGClipart account linked can also benefit, so this is not just for new contributors but anyone that has helped grow Openclipart through the years. You offered your art for free we just want to give people a way to say thanks to you for your work. To add your tip url simply sign up and add your tip url. Your new contributions will automatically include the link. For previous Openclipart contributors you will need to contact us after making your account so we can link your FreeSVGClipart account and the clipart items to your account.

And more updates coming, but this one takes longer. New PNG previews are coming for all clipart. For many of the clipart SVG files there are no problems creating a high quality PNG preview and download, but there are many that we had to bump the quality down to not overwhelm the server. Slowly but surely those new files are being uploaded and the PNG previews are being replaced with higher quality versions. Given the large number of files it simply takes a long time to process them and upload them.

I also wanted to mention that we have had some generous donors this month and hosting plus a little more has been covered for January! Thank you very much for your financial contributions to help pay for the costs of running this site. If you are interested in how much it costs to run this site you can read more on donate page. To see the actual donations visit our Buy Me a Coffee page, where it shows who and how many coffees were sent. Please note that we increased the price of a coffee, as was suggested from $3.00 to $5.00 so if you are doing some quick math that is why there is a difference in the coffees bought and the amount listed on the donate page.

That is all for now, there is more to come soon but I need to finish off a large project at work and then I will have more time to sort out the last pieces of the POST API. If anyone has any comments, ideas or suggestions feel free to leave a comment or send me a message. Always great to hear more ideas.

Running Behind

Just a quick update to mention that things are running a little behind getting API updates uploaded. The PATCH/PUT API routes are now available but I got sidetracked over the break with family and have not been able to complete the POST API route. I hope to get to it soon. Will post more once I have added the new route.

BTW: Yes I did see the latest from Openclipart, and their advancements in getting the site back up and running. I have many questions but doubt I will ever get answers, they do not seem to be very forthcoming with answers about anything and just seem to expect blind trust. It would be nice and go a long way in my opinion if they released the data on the clipart (tags, dates, etc) since that is copyrighted by them and not covered under the CC0. But I am not a lawyer so if someone knows more than me please inform me.

More to come!

Bug Fixes, Features and Other Updates

It has been a little bit since I wrote an update here so I thought I would make a quick note to let people know what has been going on. First up an update on a few bug fixes that have been added to the site.

Bug Fixes

Upload Bug
Thanks to PDSVG for letting me know about a bug in the upload form. It had a tendency to fail on files over 5MB. Long story short if you have SVG files over 5MB that you would like to contribute the upload should be working for you now. If it doesn’t drop me a note and let me know. Maybe even share the file you are trying to upload via Google Drive or Dropbox or some other service so I can try some debugging on my local test site.

PNG Preview Bugs
This is a persistent bug, and I knew when I got into this it was going to be a bit of a problem. Some SVG files simply do not convert to PNG’s very well and some need a bit more computing power than is available to do it fast enough. The easy way to fix this is the PNG’s are not created on the fly and are static files. The downside is this takes up more hard drive space on the server, especially if we were to generate PNG’s for all the sizes we need. The compromise is only the largest size is created and the smaller sizes are resized from the largest one on the fly. This is what is slowly happening, it just takes a long time to create PNG’s for 130,000+ SVG files and upload them. I ask for your patience on this, since it just takes time. Of course you are always welcome to download the SVG file and create the PNG or JPG you need at the correct size you need it.

Features

Front End Editing
I have a working copy of front end editing running on my local test site and I hope to move it over to the live site between Christmas and New Years. With it you will be able to edit titles, descriptions and tags on your clipart posts on the actual clipart post no need to use the admin section of the site. As well it will be available for the 20,000+ posts that are missing meta data and contributors so if you are logged in and are browsing the site you can easily help to improve the site as you go.

API Improvements
The front end editing is made possible by including a PUT/PATCH API route on the site. It will be made available at the same time the front end editing comes online. There will also be a POST route added at the same time to offer remote uploading of new SVG files. I am looking forward to seeing what others make from the data that is available. I was pleasantly surprised with this T-shirt creator demo that uses the API to add graphics.

Comments and Favorites
Openclipart used to allow people to comment and save clipart as favorites (collections). I can easily allow this as well but would like to know if people would like these turned on. If you would like to have the ability to comment on clipart and save items as favorites please leave a comment so I know.

Tipping Contributors
I guess many sites that allow user contributors often allow those contributors to provide a link to a tip site. I thought this was a great idea and would like the people who contribute to the site (both the Openclipart files and new) to be able to accept tips. Currently the plan is to allow contributors to save a link to either a buy me a coffee type site or PayPal directly. This will offer users that ability to tip the contributors they regularly download files from. I am open to suggestions on how to implement this. Was thinking a simple “Tip this Creator” link by the creator user name on the clipart posts, but I am open to suggestions. Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts.

Updates

Donations
Just a quick update on the donations here at FreeSVGClipart. If you appreciate the work that has gone into trying to restore what Openclipart was your help is appreciated. You can read more about what the costs are to run the site and buy me a coffee here to help keep the site running. All my time is volunteer so any help people can give is appreciated. My personal preference is to not have ads on the site, since they just slow the site down, add tracking cookies, and just get blocked with ad blockers anyway, so donations are really the only option available. If you cannot or don’t want to donate please consider other forms of donation such as your time to help fix the Openclipart items titles, descriptions and tags when front end editing is available or uploading your new clipart creations.

Backups
For those interested in having all the clipart I backup the files and spreadsheet data to Google Drive weekly. If you would like to download the clipart files and the data is it available.

GDPR
I have done my best to make sure this site complies with the EU GDPR laws. That includes only setting required cookies unless you agree to allowing other cookies. This means that unless you agree to setting cookies only the required cookies should get set. Other sites often have a cookie banner asking you to accept cookies but in reality many of them go ahead and set Analytics and Advertising cookies before you actually agree. If you find that the site set cookies please use the GDPR Complaint form to let me know so I can fix the problem. There are also forms available to export your data, request your data be deleted and to fix your data. All requirements of the GDPR.

Think that is all that is going on. I will post again when things are added to the site.

Updates to Contributors, Descriptions, Tags, Dates and Titles

I had a busy week at work this last week and was not able to spend as much time on FreeSVGClipart as I had hoped, but I was able to find a few hours in the week to pour over some data from Openclipart that I had from previous projects that I have worked on using their API. I have to admit I am a bit of a data pack rat and in this case I think it paid off. After combing through multiple projects and combining the saved data I had this very large spreadsheet that contained just over 100,000 rows, many of them complete with title, description, tags, correct dates, and contributors. After merging and removing the duplicate entries that spreadsheet shrunk to just over 70,000 rows. Merging this data with the already existing data the number of clipart items that are untagged has shrunk to just over 56,000. The number of untitled clipart items is just over 21,300 and there were correct publish dates for all 70,000 items in the spreadsheet. The other great bonus of this data is it contained the contributor name for many of the items. So many in fact that we now have 56% of the Openclipart collection marked by the original contributor.

I believe that is the end of the original data that I will be able to find for the clipart items. Unless by some miracle Openclipart decides to release the data or someone has a stash of data, which might happen I suppose, the rest of the Openclipart library will need to be done by hand, including titles, descriptions and tags for the remaining items. The good news is this latest update has provided a great deal of contributor data, so if you were one of the contributors to Openclipart you can sign up here and once again be able to edit the data about your clipart items. New uploaded items will then also be linked to your account and all be available to you in one place. I have already had some previous Openclipart contributors sign up and have connected their previous contributions to their new account here.

You can check out the contributor statistics here if you like. If you were a contributor and would like to have access to your files again simply register then drop us a note letting us know your original Openclipart contributor name and we will connect the clipart items to your user name here. If there are other clipart items that you know were your contributions we can connect those to your account also, just need the URL of the items.

Before I forget the CSV Export of the clipart data was uploaded today so all the new data should be available if you want it.

Stage Two Complete

I am happy to announce that nine days after stage one was complete all of the files in stage two have now been imported into the site. To explain a little more about what is included in each stage. Stage one included all the files that I was able to extract meta data from the SVG files. That usually included things like a title, date, description, tags and a creator. Not all stage one files had each meta data field but often more than one. When the title was not available in stage one files the title was created from the filename if it was possible.

Stage two files included all files that had no meta data included in the SVG file. In this case the filename occasionally had the creator, date and a title was able to be created from the filename. It is not exact since the file name scheme is inconsistent over time. Dates were harder, since there were no dates in the meta data the dates are often estimated based on the last file that had a date. When no date was able to be estimated based on the last date available by ID a default date of Jan 1, 1970 should have been assigned. Some creator names we included in the filenames, and when I noticed the name, or was able to pick it out those creator names were removed from the title and added as the creator. I am sure I missed many.

Stage three files, are all the files from stage one and stage two that have incomplete meta data and little to no clue in the filename about what they are. These files need to be done by hand. I might see if I can cross reference them with what is available in the Wayback machine but these will take longer to process. These files will also include files that have already been added that I simply missed or are having problems processing as SVG’s or images. I will probably leave many of these for a bit since I think I need a break from looking at spreadsheets of files.

Next on the site will be some clean up of things that will just make it easier to maintain the site. Here are some things on the list the next little while:

  • Ability to submit changes to existing listings from the listing pages themselves when you are logged in.
  • Improvement to how the quick search bar at the top and the search results page.
  • Getting back to the JSON API to include the ability to POST new clipart to the site via the API and accept edits to existing items.
  • Some automated processes to flag when images are not processing correctly.
  • Friendlier login, registration and profile pages. This includes nicer edit pages for creators to edit listings.

If any of the original Openclipart creators would like to join it is possible for you to have the Openclipart submissions linked to your account here. This allows you to do several things:

  • Edit the titles, description, dates and tags of the already included Openclipart items here on the site.
  • Eventually export a CSV file of just your submissions.
  • Get some statistics of downloads.
  • Other suggestions? Leave a comment.

To get started you need to create an account and drop me a note with your original Openclipart user name and we will sort out what items are yours. This is still a work in progress and I am still working out some of the edit screens.

I think it is important that the original creators get credit for their work here. While that is not required under the CC0 I think the creators behind the artwork should know that their work is appreciated.

I have also updated the CSV exports of the clipart listings. The CSV file export tool will be getting a little bit of an update in the next little bit since it currently only exports the Openclipart sourced files. Now that new files can be uploaded here I need to make sure those other listings get included.

Stage One Complete

I am happy to announce that stage one of restoring Openclipart files is complete. That does not mean all the work is done, but all of the files that were scanned and had meta data embedded in them are now uploaded on the website. There are a few exceptions for files that turned out to be bad for some reason or other. The files are still available in the archive on Google Drive and at some point I hope to actually take a look at them and see if they can be fixed/restored.

Since this is a bit of a milestone I also decided to release a backup CSV of all the data from the SVG files. All the CSV backup data files will be available on Google Drive. Here is what you will find:

Title,Description,Date,Creator,Tags,OCALid,Filename
75 Stroke And Fill,,2019-10-26 20:18,,Fill|Stroke,300280,id-300280---75-stroke-and-fill.svg
38 Stroke And Fill,,2019-10-26 20:18,,Fill|Stroke,300287,id-300287---38-stroke-and-fill.svg
AUDIO I2S DAC GY PCM5102,,2019-10-26 20:18,,AUDIOI|SDACGYPCM51,299722,id-299722---audio_i2s_dac_gy_pcm5102.svg
7bbn Oyv Bo W,,2019-10-26 20:18,,,300706,id-300706---7bbnoyvbow.svg
TFT LCD Screen,,2019-10-26 20:18,,145TFTLCDSCREEN,299721,id-299721---1.45_tft_lcd_screen.svg
2.1 Stroke And Fill,,2019-10-26 20:18,,Fill|Stroke,300281,id-300281---2.1-stroke-and-fill.svg
Pointing Hand,,2019-10-26 20:18,Unknown,Body|Hand|Pointing,298683,id-298683---1500150517_v2.svg

If you open the CVS file in a spreadsheet you should be able to sort and filter the data. The filenames all correspond with the folders and filenames in the Google Drive backup of the original files.

Some things to consider, just because the meta data in the SVG files was there does not mean it was accurate or complete. Many files would have meta data for one field but not have complete data about the file. This is why you see some very strange titles, dates that make no sense (obviously none of these files were published in October 2019). There are also several files that had similar meta data embedded in the files but it seemed to be copied from one file to the next. From what I can tell many of the newer remixes have that issue. My guess is creators copied an original SVG file, edited it and saved it but did not edit the meta data from the original file.

If you are interested in the CSV backup file feel free to download it. It is also possible for me to mass update those listing from a similar formatted CSV file, if you are a creator and know what that data should be, or just know what some are feel free to create a copy edit the items you know and send me the link via the Contact form where I can download it. I can then process the CSV file and update the listings. Just make sure the new CSV file has either the OCALid field or Filename field included.

It would be nice if the other Openclipart restoration projects would be release their data as well, but I won’t hold my breath on that happening.

Hoping to have uploads and editing on the site available by this coming weekend. Testing them now and have a few bugs left to fix.

In other news Openclipart actually tweeted for the first time since August 12th. I was shocked.

The conversation from that tweet is more interesting. Particularly what does this mean?

Personally I don’t think Openclipart can be trusted any longer but that is a topic for another post.

Openclipart SVG Restoration Update

The Openclipart SVG collection completed processing last night, after six straight days of running. To be clear what I mean by processing. I already had all the files, but I was processing them to make sure the files were valid SVG files, had no errors and then I minified them for use on the website. That means that the SVG files you can download here are not the original files. They have been minified to save on space. All the original files, including whatever metadata they contain, are available on Google Drive.

Here are the stats on the files for those that might want to know.

Good Files

Original Files: 157,692

Size: 82.5GB

49,856 had meta data of some kind. Title, Description, Author, Date, or Tags. Some had all metadata attributes, some had only one of those attributes.

107,836 had no metadata in the SVG file. However it is probably possible to create a title from the filename from 87,230 of those files.

That is a total of 137,086 files that are probably to recover fairly accurate titles for.

Bad Files

Bad Files: 718

Size: 6.03GB

These files failed for any number of reasons. Some failed XML checks, some files were just bad. They might still be recoverable but I will not look at them again for awhile.

Website SVG Files

Files: 157,692

Size: 80.1GB

By minifying the SVG files the website is able to save some space on storing and hosting the SVG files. Minification was done using SVG Sanitizer, a fantastic project BTW. By running the files through SVG Sanitizer is also how many of the bad files were identified and now moved to lower priority.

While 2.4GB of space saving might not seem like a great deal every little bit helps.

Now that all the files are done processing I will be continuing to add them to the site so they can be searched using the Search API. I also have been testing a POSTing API to add new files to the site, but it is still in the early stages and not ready for the live site yet.

Welcome to FreeSVGClipart!

I would like to welcome you to FreeSVGClipart! It probably seems odd to show up at a clipart site and not see a ton of clipart on the home page, but there is a reason for that but first let me introduce myself. My name is Lee and I have long been a fan and part of the Openclipart community. By day I spend most of my time coding for clients and the rest of the time it seems I spend driving my kids around. In between those times I like to work on other projects and that has now turned into FreeSVGClipart!

When the Openclipart site went down it was a great loss to the clipart community and to the Internet as a whole. Personally I had several work and personal projects on the go that were utilizing the Openclipart API and those projects suddenly ground to halt. As the downtime of Openclipart dragged on and the message on the Openclipart site gave little to no information many people, including myself looked to Twitter for answers. Unfortunately all that many of us got were odd replies asking to show love. There just seemed to be no answers and no one that could answer the question of what really happened.

Slowly there have been some new projects pop up that have offered some hope to the clipart community, most notably FreeSVG and ClipartZero. They are great projects, and they seem to be starting to get a following. It is nice to see the community starting to recover from the loss of Openclipart, but I realized that what those projects are offering are not what I need.

I want to lay out what is coming here at FreeSVGClipart and why I am spending my time and energy on this project.

First this site is about restoring as much of the Openclipart collection as possible. The complete collection of the original files from Openclipart will be made available in its entirety so anyone will be able to not only use the collection independent of any website. The original thought was to use Github for this, but the sheer size of the collection makes that impossible. At this point the collection will be uploaded to Google Drive and the link to the shared files will available on the site so anyone can have access to the files. As I type this the uploads have been running for a few hours now. The collection is available here for anyone who wants it.

Second, any new files that are added to this site will also be made available in the complete collection for anyone to access.

The point is that these files are not the property of anyone person or corporate entity and the community can do with them as they please.

Third, the API will be built out to enable as much use as possible. Currently I was able to build out a search API that defaults to searching titles. Searching by tags, creator and original Openclipart IDS is also available to registered users. Once the majority of the Openclipart collection has been added to the site the plan is to include PATCH and POST options to update and add new clipart to the collection.

To come is roughly 156,000+ clipart files. They are being uploaded based on how much information there is about the files. Many of the Openclipart SVG files have metadata included with them. Those files are first, second will be the files that we can gather some data from the filenames, and last will be the files that have very little information about. It will be an interesting journey and I look forward to working on this.