February 18th, 2011
github is becoming the most valuable open source tool. There are tons of open source over there. I believe that it might have surpassed sourceforge and may be google code.
Last week I tested a project called hiphop from facebook that compiles php into C, and then to binary executables. The project claims to achieve about 2-3 times speed improvement. Although that is a good improvement, yet it does not beat psyco, that can achieve 10 fold when compiling python.
It took me around an hour to compile hiphop. The main reason it requires to patch most of its dependencies before compiling them so it is not just the matter of installing the dependencies using synaptic or apt.
After I compiled it, I tried several simple examples and it was able to generate a standalone webserver application executable. Once the program is executed it can be ran once as a regular executable or you can run it as a web server that listens on a given port.
February 17th, 2011
This extension is the best and easiest one I found that converts a web page into a PNG file. The original service that the plugin uses is called IWeb2Image and it converts a web page given its link into an image. Towards the bottom of the page there is a link to a chrome extension that communicates with the service directly.
All the other extensions that I used before had their own troubles, including high cpu usage. I hated almost all of them. Safari used to have an export menu in the File menu, that exported to image. It seems that they have removed it a while back as well.
This extension will not convert pages based on login sessions as it sends the page url to sciweavers IWeb2Image service to convert it, which will essentially attempt to connect directly to the URL.
February 7th, 2011
I just updated the svg edit with a more recent version. Actually, after a lot of testing I found that the current trunk version has fewer bugs and way better performance than v2.5 . As far as clker’s application is concerned, we are much happier with the trunk.
An example is editing auto traced images. There is a significant improvement in the selection performance, a very notable one. You will find a grid control as well and the main menu changed a little bit. The older bug that forced the icons to smaller was fixed as well. IE9 now works without chrome frame plugin. Right click context menu shows copy/paste functions as well.
Things that I hope svg edit will add:
1. Run external plugins: If svg edit gets hosted let’s say at google, and another website loads it just like jquery, there should be a means for loading plugins without resorting to editing the code of svg edit. This can be accomplished by ajax call that adds a <script> tag.
2. Using the default web fonts instead of serif and sans. So I hope that the Arial, courier new and the other set of web fonts are the standard in svg edit instead of sans and serif.
January 15th, 2011
We just released a new feature that allows professional graphics designers to show two things:
1. It allows you to indicate on your profile that you are a professional graphics designer. The work “PRO” will then appear beside your name every where on clker, including the community activity on the homepage and on all your uploaded clipart pages.
2. If you are a professional, you may now select another option on your profile that indicates whether or not you may accept projects from other clker users (for a fee). Clker will not involved in any agreements and does not plan to to nor will be compensated. If you get a big project it’s yours – we’re happy for you.
The opposite is true. Now if you need help designing your website or your fliers, look for those blue buttons beside clker user. See their uploaded images and talk with them.
The reason we released this feature is the numerous emails and requests from people who have projects and are looking for a professional designer. Unfortunately, I don’t do that.
Look soon for another feature that will even help professional graphics designers and seekers more .
December 3rd, 2010
We just rolled an update to the svg edit part of the website. Next time when you open the online svg editor make sure to click CTRL+R to force your browser to reload the code instead of using the old one from the cache. Although the server responds with the correct modification date, yet chrome insists on pulling the content from the cache and not fetching the full code.
November 16th, 2010
Linux kernel has just got a patch schedules the tasks better for desktops. The video linked from the above article ( http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=linux_2637_video&num=2 ) shows an impressive CPU distribution before and after, which clearly benefits the desktop apps. My understanding of the patch is that it is just better scheduling, not really improve the CPU utilization. That means it is not more tasks per second, but more of better perception of the human user that the computer is faster. That won’t affect server applications in my opinion, but will strongly influence desktop and mobile apps especially with large rich media and interactive online content.
September 23rd, 2010
Now you can easily manually trace any raster image on clker. Click on the raster image or click the edit icon, and the image will be opened inside the online editor. Remember that any raster image larger than 1024×768 will be automatically vectorized and placed in your profile. So you might sometimes consider editing the automatic vectorization as well.
September 23rd, 2010
Just solved some problems with the editor and internet explorer, now it works without problems as long as the chrome frame is installed. So now, every one can edit SVG.
September 20th, 2010
Making a new clip art out of old public domain images is not a hard process. Although on clker.com we are trying to apply more research into automating this process, yet the quality of manually traced images cannot yet be matched.
The example described here is based on this image from the Library of congress and which is shared on flickr:
1. The first step is visit clker.com’s home page and click on Draw.
2. Select the “Image tool” and insert the URL of the image from flickr.com : http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2266/2178246585_14139d6905_o_d.jpg
3. Using thick black lines (size 5), trace all the outside of the balloon using the path tool.
4. Use the node tool (two clicks on the path) while the “link control points” option is set to curve the segments where necessary as you see below:
5. In order to help see the rest of the details, we set the transparency to 50% until we finish the rest of the drawing.
6. Change the color of the balloon to purple/bluish color.
7. Using thin lines (size 2) trace the details inside the balloon using the path tool.
8. Before saving, make sure to return the transparency back to 100% and delete the background image. Make sure to set the bounding box correctly by using the Document Properties -> Canvas Size -> Fit to contents.
The result is shown here which is a nice balloon clip art.
September 17th, 2010
Now you can draw new SVGs online on clker.com, thanks to svg-edit. This tool can edit the existing SVGs or be used to create a new SVG image from scratch. I disabled editing using IE due to buggy behavior, but the edit functionality works almost fine in chrome, safari, firefox and opera.
Now, you can upload a raster image to be vectorized then edit it and remove unwanted regions all online on clker.com ! .
Happy designing and editing