SEARX instance + logo refresh

A long long time ago, I can still remember, how that music used to make me smile ♬ wait no– that’s not my story. Let’s start over…

A long, long time ago, I deployed my own searx(sic) instance. Listed it and everything. I even forked it! The idea behind it was to contribute in the only way I could so far—design.

Quick design recap: I’m not a designer.

I keep mentioning this. I’m aware but it’s for a good reason; I have been designing more stuff lately and thus posting here and there more about it, pretending to be a designer carries too much responsibility to be held to that standard. Thank you, next 🎅🏿✌🏼. I just zen out while I’m on the artboard and sometimes something good comes out of it. That’s it.

I liked the design I made, of course, I’m biased. But just as the list of designs I’ve done for other individual/organizations, I’ve never delivered any of them partly because of embarrassment and because it wasn’t code but mostly because it wasn’t code and I didn’t know exactly if that’s a thing (sharing non-code assets in GitHub repos. Plus I fear using Git because I don’t want to upload the wrong thing. The nomenclature is so ambiguous I rather stay off doing things by hand.

Anyway, my instance started getting blacklisted, I think, because searches were starting to take forever, and during hypervisor maintenance I just never turned it on again.

Fast forward to this week when I wanted to bring it up, but before doing so I stopped by the project to check how behind I was, it turns out, enough that I missed the redesign window, there’s little chances my submissions would be considered at all. That said, searx can be deployed by anyone, and I don’t see why anybody would be bothered to be given an few more options for their homepage logo—if they’re not using their own brand, of course.

Because at the end of the day I didn’t make it for me, I made it for searx. I respected their accent colors, plus added one of my own and a third with neither. Since with searx comes with a couple of these images, I thought they were automatically selected in response to the browsers’ own response to the system’s brightness/time-of-day/or-whatever setting.

That ain’t the case. So I scratch the first two I had designed and for a minute I thought about trying a neutral color, visible on most backgrounds, like gray, cyan, magenta. But those are sort of my go-tos already and I wanted black because I wanted it to be bold without being too loud (like cyan or magenta), so I just added a contrasting silvery border and gradiented the sh*t out of it so it looks “metallic but like it’s just a coincidence it ain’t really trying, y’know, maybe if you squint and take some molly” that’s was the explanation I’m told I gave. I don’t remember like that but whatever. To finish up the not-really-trying-but-behind-the-scenes look, it has subtle shadowing and highlighting so it jumps from the screen, but still looking flat, that’s the not-really-trying part I suppose.

All three colors are visible on just about any background.

In addition to the logos, I also created favicons in even more color combinations, they’re all pretty common so there should be something for everyone. I had a little bit of fun with the names so just ignore that. They will be renamed favicon.(ico|png) in regardless, so…yeah.

Normally I use Firefox2, but I tested in Chrome and saw for the first time ever the tab’s loading animation circling the logo, it looks very cool.

I was forced to use Firefox after Apple decimated Safari, but didn’t have enough and then went for the Mac, scaring all devs away except for the very worst subscription-eager ones. I still launch Safari from time to time for reading type sites, because it’s very fast and lightweight, but I’m mostly using High Sierra on all Macs, voluntarily, so things, like my own site (this one) won’t load correctly.

2: Sidenote

Below is the original searx logo. It was designed back in the day during the great depression…I got after realizing that Google had came out with something that didn’t suck8. Nothing against Google, well, not back then. But I knew it was going to be the next Ubuntu orange the first time I saw it.

8: Sort of… it still has a cartoonish look to it, the crooked “playful” E, yet pale colors that aren’t cartoonish enough to go fully unapologetic about it. But it’s readable whereas before it you could set Android’s system font to Comic Sans if you were that big of a dick.

Wit the logo itself (not Material Design)there’s nothing wrong, I think, I like the rounded font. The R could be wider but overall I think it could more condensed kerning1. I do have a personal issue the big X which is double the size of the R before it, triggers my OCPD. I’m fine with an “X marks the spot” kind of situation, if the spot was indeed being marked with the X, then by all means, but in here, it’s so much bigger (and in color) that it kind of breaks apart the word into “sear X”. If keeping the giant X was crucial, I’d also add a second X in the proper size and (a closer) color to match the rest of the text, blur a little the giant one to make it seen out of focus or something, like some sort of shahow or projection from the X in the front. That’s just me though.

Gray is a solid color choice for dynamically lighted pages, or whatever they’re called, and the gradient is nice because it’s subtle, kind of showing somebody out there was classy enough not to go with a contrasting gradient. Of the little shadow I’m not sure though, because it reminds me of Google’s Material Design, which I think is lazy, unoriginal, and I keep seeing that type of trend over and over: before Material Design was when the geekhood adopted orange, a color that goes with nothing that just happened to be the one used extensively everywhere in by Ubuntu, the most popular distro at the time among the same circles. And again, I don’t think Material Design is bad, it just seems people ain’t critical of it because it came free with something or… never mind. I should have that megarant ready soon enough. I just need a little time to channel it.

1: Look at har with the fancy words. Honestly I’m not sure if that’s the correct term for how squished together the glyphs are.

Designs

To get the files click on this link then enter your social security number and other fun details like maiden name, and in less than 48 ho…just kidding!— It’s a direct, tracker-less, may I add, link to a fileserver3. Alternatively, they’re on Github (github.com/vitaprimo/searx).

SVGs and PNGs are included for each, as well as the original AFDESIGN (Serif Affinity Designer) file. SVG though the more arguably the more desirable neutral format, doesn’t support many properties desirable export that aren’t a problem for PNG files. PNG files, on the other hand, we know they’re raster files in the end (despite some tricks Adobe Fireworks files had back then) so the whole document resolution was bumped up from the regular resolution of 72dpi to 400dpi.

Original twist

These are the first three new logos a year two years ago:

Refresh

On the (very late) December 2022 refresh4, kerning was tightened and hard corners on the letters’ quadrants were softened where possible for a roughly slanted/skewed rounded rectangle look/fit. The exception is the X because, well…it’s an X.

Favicons

The first three were eventually discarded. The designs are fine but they’re hard to be discerned on a tab icon where things are too tiny for shadowing tricks to work their subtlety.

3: BTW, if nothing of that raised an alarm for you, please get off the Internet and seek urgent Gullible Online+ON Help (the +/”plus” symbol is pronounced “more”), it’s in the online aisle at help place. Ask anybody working there, if somebody says “oh, honey!…” and looks at you concerned, you’re on the right track (…and that’s pity, not concern.)

4: two years later according to GitHub’s commit dates; SEARX is deployed straight from GitHub making it the safest indicator for this.

Domain name change and status of registration

Originally SEARX ran under our actual domain, vitanetworks.link, and it was properly registered on the searx.space instance directory.

There even were some unfortunate times were it had to be taken offline which served to make us learn that instances reappear adter they come back online.

Unfortunately our instance spent too long offline, it seems, so it was removed for good. On top of that, we’ve been switching publicly-accessible services to our email domain, Antipostal.com, solely because it’s more memorable than the real domain’s domain name.

Accessing the searx subdomain in any our subdomain will connect to the same instance. So far it has not had issues loading, but if there’s some sort of domain awareness/expectation, things might be bound to break.

We’ll abstain from registering again, since we already did once, just out of respect only as we already “took a number” ; it doesn’t mean that the instance will be closed, hidden, segmented, etc.

In the queue

Our edge security is blocking so much stuff, namely most image search engines, that there was some urgency into getting SEARX back online, plus a whole lot of supporting stuff needed to be created for it thus it was skipped delving into SearxNG5, but we do want containerize the instance so its connections can be better managed by the network once it’s singled out, because as opposed to our last instance, this time SEARX is running on a shared host.

Additionally, morty appears to be running; the web tools show all connections are made through SEARX. But on SEARX, there’s no morty service (or filtron, though it doesn’t matter on this one because HAProxy handles that)

5: I have this script that I use to setup systems, vprep, it’s very useful to me. Scratch that, it’s extremely useful to me and I absolutely need it. I started writing in originally as smaller individual scriptlets, the minute I learned what a Bash script was so you can bet it was rudimentary. I’ve become much better at it and I’ve rewritten it a lot of it more efficiently very differently as a new script that will eventually get the old name when it’s ready. So in the meantime as an private joke of how I would never do such a thing because how lame it is, I named it vprepng. It made me laugh to myself every time it showed up in the VS Code palette thingy. But when I saw searx did the same thing, but like for real, yeah… that wasn’t the best. This is a project I really look up to. 🙁

Sensei’s Temple Announcements

Tantric tempura ki sightings and tantric tempura ki fockus NGh will be cancelled on Fridays this month because of COVID restrictions. In their place we’re adding a brand new Zen the virus away workshop that is completely effective for COVID treatment6. It has had a 100% treatment rate where it’s been met. Attendees will be required to wear a mask during the first 15 minutes of the Sensei’s teachings, or about the required time needed to achieve the basic virus free7 technique that has been passed for millennial.

7: i.e; virus free vs virus-free

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