New website for Pepper&Carrot

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After a big month of hard work, I'm happy to release today a new website for my webcomic Pepper&Carrot! It was a rewrite from scratch this time.

New features

The website is now faster than the previous website and has many new features :

I also simplified the layout for more visual and less text, and added date, numbers of comments, recent blog-post; all this little plus that add life to the website (this infos are extracted from my blog).

I hope this new website will provide you comfort into reading the future episodes, and good time browsing the artworks, sketches and wallpapers.

Why a rewrite

With over 11 Millions readers in 2021 (from January to July) reading Pepper&Carrot website, there is no doubt about why it is important to get a good website. Thank you for that big numbers: it's amazing! Pepper&Carrot continues to grow slowly, without any marketing, adv, sponsored recommendation or manipulation of algorithms. It's amazing to know it is still possible to get a popular website in a world where the dominant social medias now decides for us what we should read and see and keep readers the longer they can on their platform. I know I owe that to many of you who still use Rss and social medias unfiltered like the one on the Fediverse. Again, thank you.

But this huge traffic also revealed the fragility of the previous website over the last 7 years: continuous piracy attacks (fortunately, nothing to steal; no user profile/account on, random bugs, sudden switch of the default language for no reason during month, weekly warning of resources overload.

So, right after the release of episode 35 in june, I decided to allocate a couple of days to fix the most urgent problems on the website. But I quickly realised many of the problems where linked to its core structure. So, I decided to create a new repo, I added a white page and started the rewrite from scratch because previous website really was falling appart. I wasn't happy to start this big rewrite. I knew the huge time investment necessary for that, but I had no other choice if I wanted to continue Pepper&Carrot. You can see the first commit here.

The new website use nothing fancy under the hood: technologies that have been around for the last 20 years: PHP, HTML and CSS. I excluded JS, I also didn't wanted to base it on a CMS this time or complex frameworks. They would all explodes at the requirement of Pepper&Carrot website anyway. I also rewrote external big libraries I was using; like the library for caching image, resizing thumbnails, etc... I wanted only things I could read, understand and fix myself.

During the rewrite, I also implemented all the wishes and fixed all the issues reported on the previous website... It was a long journey!

I now miss so much my stylus, brushes and pencils.

Big numbers

  • 11 Millions readers in 2021 (from January to July)
  • 14,419,561 readers in 2020 ;-)
  • 98GB of data
  • 34,326 JPEG files
  • 22,270 Inkscape SVG files
  • 14,659 PNG
  • 9,329 HTML
  • 1,665 Krita KRA files
  • 1,348 JSON databases
  • 794 Markdown MD files
  • 502 ZIP files
  • 57 languages

Huge maintenance

I also made a lot of file maintenance. This time it was mainly about the convertion of Krita 2.x/3.x (ODG vector based) to Krita 4.x/5.x (now SVG layer based). Future Krita 5.x doesn't know how to read ODG vector based layers and return an empty layer. In short: all my episodes before 2018 would lose their panels without this convertion once Krita 5 open them.

I unfortunately had to do the convertion manually; so I opened them one by one, making a selection to mark the file changed, deselect it, then save, then close.... and repeat by the number of Krita files available... It took full afternoons of hypnotic work. I have similar stories with the 34K jpg and 22K SVG of course. I'm not blaming the design and developers of this files; I know this change are healthy for their projects and agree on them. I even want to thanks the developers because so far, I always found a way to port these files to new versions without data loss. Even if it involves manual work, there is always a way with Free/Libre and Open-Source software. That something I don't remember being possible with many proprietary software in my carreer before 2010.

But yep, it is normal I have maintenance issues with serving so many files. The huge numbers are the problem. Something I learnt on Pepper&Carrot: exponential growth means exponential time required for maintenance.

Translators: I need help!

Unfortunately, you'll notice an obvious regression on this new website: I couldn't port the 33 previous translations.

I took advantage of the rewrite from scratch to switch to a new system. The website uses now Gettext Po files (it was requested many time over the last 7 years to ease the work of translation). Unfortunately, I couldn't auto-convert the big PHP array from the old system to the new Po system. I tried, but the result was sketchy and only 5% of the string survived... with mistakes.

I added instruction for translation here and I promise this major change is done for a good reason, and a "once each 7 years". If you want to translate, thanks for your help!

Bug and feedback

Let me know on the bug report of the website repository if you found an issue. You can also use this report for discussions, wishes and feedback.

Have a good visit :-)

License: "New website for Pepper&Carrot" by David Revoy − CC-BY 4.0
Tags:  #maintainance  #website  #lab   | Download: Markdown


link Jab  

Looks terrific. BTW, I think some of the old sketches are missing. For instance, there used to be a sketch of the page in which Pepper and Carrot are waiting at table for her friends to show up to her party, at first looking happy, then sad in the next panel. I couldn't see it anywhere, and I think there others which are missing now too...

link David Revoy Author,

Thanks! I'll look at it; I think you refer to an old fodler with scan of traditional pages of Pepper&Carrot. I removed it a while ago because it was hard to maintain; but with this new structure it shouldn't be too hard to add it to the 'Source Explorer' (because this part simply manage all for me, I just need to put a folder with the artwork and everything else is managed by the scripts). I'll see if I can find this ones on the backup. thanks for the feedback.

link David Revoy Author,

I found the scan, now I know why I removed them: a lot of them received crop + contrast and joined the sketchbook; and I made a triage at the time of making the Artbook (last year) so only the best one joined the artbook. I'll put on a 'someday' to-do a note to do restore the old sketches; they need fixes, contrast and a bit of work before being presentable again, in my opinion.

link Jab  

That's really too bad, I used to use them all the time to help me practice drawing ): I should have downloaded them when I had the chance haha...

Oh and by the way, the site used to automatically redirect you to, but now it doesn't.

link David Revoy Author,

Ha, too bad. About the https redirection; it will happens as soon as you click any link on the website if your browser support it.
I'll test to make it at a htaccess level; but I remember I had issues with user trying to access from a public wifi 5 years ago. Probably the network evolved enough to support https all the time.
Thanks for the feedback!

link Yalyn  

Hello. I've just discovered someone is posting your work on Tapas platform and I'm wondering if this is allowed?

Sorry if this is old news.

link David Revoy Author,

Hey Thanks for pointing it.

First, I saw the bad ratio ( ) and this is clearly an insult to the work I put in the comic.
If the reposter can't even get the proportion right; their is not a single effort in this repost.
Secondly; last time I checked the ToS of Tapas; it wasn't compatible with any Creative Commons material; as Tapas required the poster to be the owner of the work to 'get a permission to co-own' and then do whatever they want with their permission. I'll need to read again the ToS. I'm not confident it has changed...

link David Revoy Author,

I reread it; they haven't changed. So this repost is not legal; and not good quality.
Similar case already happened twice this year on Webtoons.

link David Revoy Author,

At least, Tapas has a quick 'Report button' (the three dots under the page) and its possible to report without an account and leaving only an email. I reported. I'll wait and see.

link Andreas  

When i reading this comments here i really felt like having Déjà-vu. I could swear both was alredy asked somwhere alredy ... xD ...

But cool new website. Looks cleaned someway.

link David Revoy Author,

Thanks about the website ;)

Yes, the "repost on another comic platform monetised with screwing the ratio" is probably a technique and for sure a Déjà-vu :D
Maybe the author imagine the website has algorithm to detect the copyright, and by screwing the ratio; the page will get ignored (a guess).

link Yalyn  

Yeah it's no longer there anymore.

I wonder maybe someday you could make a blog post about why you are unable to post your webcomics on these platforms, if it is still a recurring question. Though it doesn't help that these Terms of Services can change any day, so a typical disclaimer at the start of the post will be needed.

I guess it can also provide other fellow creators that uses CC license an idea on why they shouldn't put their content on those type of websites.

I'll be honest, I am not good at reading these kinds of legal stuff.

link David Revoy Author,

That's a good idea. Thanks, noted. 👍
(I have a long list of blog-post I wish I could make, it might take time)

link Châu  

¿You have translation pack for update?

link David Revoy Author,

Hi @Châu! Sorry, right now it is only on Framagit, but I can create a quick zip:
I put in it the _catalog.pot, a vi.po (with probably 10 to 20% of old translation ported automatically, containing mistake but still easier than starting from scratch) and I also added the vi.php old file; for reference, because many things are similar to previous website; but because I removed the html tags from the translation it wasn't possible to port the string automatically.

Also, the translation of the website will soon be available on the Weblate instance of Framasoft:

link Châu  

¡Merci beaucoup! Sorry I answer slow, I watch too much Olympic Tokyo (東京). Weblate instance of Framasoft look cool, I like can see progress level.

link David Revoy Author,

Take your time, and please put Olympic Tokyo in priority; they will not happen twice. I forgot to start to watch them, but I remember I had very good time watching olympic in the past. I'll try to listen a bit while painting this week. :)

link Herb  

Did you delete the wiki??

link David Revoy Author,

Hi, of course not 😊 I moved it to 'contribute'. Mainly because all item of contribute are related to community projects in English.

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