Monday, January 29, 2018

Back to Business

That's small bee business. I'm aiming to create more regular posts. Partly, I was fighting with the Blogger platform; a battle I have been waging since I started using SVG files. The issue is that I can't upload SVG images. After a few forays of cutting and pasting the code into the html, I found it awkward and cumbersome. I should mention that there are plenty of solutions but I was looking for options that I could share with my students that would be free so that they could also do it on their own. I feel that it's important to show students free tools so that when they leave university they can still do things regardless of their situation. I would hate for my students to only be able to do things without expensive tools or services — for instance, if all they work on is CS7 or laser cutters, they start to think through these tools and will be crippled without access. Also, I'm pretty frugal.
To help remind me later of my contortions, I'll jot down a few highlights. My first solution: I figured out a way to link google drive files to the page. Essentially, google allowed you to serve up drive files as web pages to the world. This was worked well until google decided to change their policy on google drive. Before their policy change, I had served up a lot of my class examples through drive files — I prefer to also keep my class examples accessible so that after a class ends, they still retain access to the examples that help them later. My class wiki's (wikispacescoderesources is one of my public ones which isn't closed to a particular class like mmsun) were littered with links to my google drive. After some scrambling I was on to my second solution. I was able to switch to dropbox only to realize after one semester that they too would discontinue their ability to serve up personal files as web resources. For my third solution, I ended up using a site which I purchased the domain Unfortunately, the free version has a 250M limit and restricts individual files to 500k. Since most of my examples are code related, I have modest storage needs but some of my files exceed 500k: in particular, Brocolli.svg is a fractal images that is more than 1MB in size. So after attempting to use a gzip-ed version that failed. I was finally found svgomg , which was able to reduce the file size to 493K — luckily under 500K.
I was able to then fix my old entry Embedding my Broccolli — a play on the embed tag that I'm not even using anymore....
As a further complication, Blogger doesn't like that my free site is unsecured. It complains and doesn't work for the summaries or previews but it seems to work otherwise. I may have to migrate again... Who knew that there would be so much maintenance with a blog?

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