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.

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.