robots.design™ is a hosted tool, because it can be, and it makes it accessible to everyone.
By reading an image, and extracting the colors from CSS files, then generating sed commands, the design is changed in an extremely efficient manner. There are also shell commands that will find the images, either in a directory or in a CSS file, then display them in a browser, so you can simply create new images, with the same dimensions, with the same names and copy them to complete the transition.
This is also an example of how the whole LAMP stack can be used to reduce the amount of code that has to be written.
- ImageMagick is used for the image processing
- sed handles all substitution. It could have been done with PHP, but sed is already there. The commands displayed are run on the CSS files for the blog - exactly as displayed
- Two open source components were also used to handle the color coding and analysis. They are identified in the credits area
- Providing shell commands gives the user complete control. They can be adjusted to better fit the requirements
The one hesitation people may have about the tool is that they must submit an image. There are several ways the images can be protected. One option is to use software to extract the image colors and paste them into the textbox on the page, in the correct syntax. Another solution would be to create an image with the colors, but no identifying text or images, or use a piece of the image that has the colors. The images are deleted immediately after the colors are extracted, they are not analyzed, viewed, stored or collected in any way.
The code isn’t offered for download for several reasons:
- It isn’t distribution quality code, it is a utility and the code reflects that. The PHP is interspersed with the HTML, and the CSS is in the same document.
- It relies on components from other sources (which are given credit), so distribution would either have to include those components or provide instructions to go get them and install them
- Thus far, the level of interest has not justified a significant investment beyond what has been done
The project began as an investigation to find a cost-effective way to change the colors of an existing design without manually recoding it. This solution meets that requirement.