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    New website for Pepper&Carrot / PepperCarrot · Wednesday, 28 July - 12:44 · 4 minutes

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, their 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 loose 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 :-)

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    Episode 35, screenshot before release / PepperCarrot · Thursday, 17 June - 14:56

Tomorrow will be the release of Pepper&Carrot episode 35! 🥳 I’m currently working on the final details of this big episode. Here is a sneak peek into page 1.

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    Price hike at 1st july / PepperCarrot · Tuesday, 8 June - 14:55

😩 The printer of my self-published comic books announced a dramatic increase of prices (+45%) starting 1st July. That's sad... So, if you want them, I invite you to shop in June before the price hike:


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    Derivation: Episode 3 Motion Comic by Morevna (Backstage video) / PepperCarrot · Friday, 4 June - 14:17

Here is a video from the Morevna team that explain their work and process on their on-going project: converting the Episode 3 of Pepper&Carrot into a Motion Comic. The team use only Free/Libre and Open-Source tools and release their result under the Creative Commons Share-Alike license.

I really liked this polished video that shows all the team members and also all the steps necessary to make their Motion Comic. I also liked to see all the care they put to give life to my original artworks, and the way their process is publicly open. That's fantastic to see the tiny sequences animated!

For a reminder, the Morevna team already made in 2017 a motion comic adaptation of Episode 6 . You can support their project, they propose right now to their supporter a blog-post to select what will be the next episode after episode 3.

Other links:

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    Process for panels on episode 35 / PepperCarrot · Wednesday, 2 June - 18:33

Black and White thumbnails enlarged

Sketch over the thumbnails turned bright and yellowish

Speedpainting under the sketch lines

After flatting all; paint over

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    The official chat room moved / PepperCarrot · Saturday, 29 May - 19:06 · 1 minute

In response to recent events of ownership change and conflict on Freenode ), I decided to move the main official Pepper&Carrot chat room somewhere else. Here are the new links:

If you are not familiar with this networks and just want to join our chat room; it's easy. You don't need to install anything and can happen in your web-browser. Just click this link to open Pepper&Carrot chat room and you'll be able to read our recent discussions. To interact with us, you'll need to create an account (and I recommend the read of our CoC ) but that's all. Easy!

The community bridges (eg. the popular Telegram bridge ) will follow soon, hopefully. Thank you for your patience.

On a last note, I want to say that I used daily Freenode to chat with many projects since 2009 (Blender open movies, Krita, Inkscape) and it was also the home of Pepper&Carrot and contributors since 2014 and I'm grateful for that. So many countless ideas and good time happened on this network for me. It is sad to leave it. But knowing most of the Freenode staff moved to makes me feels confident the good time and good ideas will continues to happen on our new place. Thanks again to: Dezponia for the setup of our Matrix room, M1dgard and Cmaloney for reserving the namespace on and thanks gleki for the work on the bridge! And thanks also to Matrix and networks for hosting Pepper&Carrot!

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    Episode 35 WIP screenshot / PepperCarrot · Friday, 28 May - 13:32

sneak peak to a panel of future episode 35