Category talk:Chemical images that should use vector graphics

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High resolution PNG images[edit]

In my opinion, no high resolution PNG images should be categorized here (example). Nobody will go to replace them by a SVG version, because there just is no benefit and there are tons of poor quality images that should be replaced instead. The only result of categorizing high resolution PNG images here is that the category gets more and more clogged. Any opinions concerning my suggestion? --Leyo 19:46, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. There are some images within the first 200 that need improving up to the level of a high-resolution PNG, but to include here all chemical images which aren't in SVG format is simple bigotry. Creating high-quality PNG chemical structure images is within the realms of many people on various WM projects: for various technical reasons, it is very difficult to produce SVG images of the same professional quality, and very few users are capable of such a feat. This category hides the images which really need improving with a huge number of images which are perfectly fit for their purpose, all in the name of the idea that, because they happen to be in lines and in black-and-white, they should be in SVG format regardless of the quality of the product. Physchim62 (talk) 20:52, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

If I didn't have ChemDraw, I'd really need chemical structures to be available in PNG format. I've never successfully downloaded an SVG from WP and inserted it into, say, a Microsoft Word document, something that is easy with PNG, JPG etc. Is it possible without special tools?

There are a lot of poor quality chemical images out there (mostly GIF, JPG, PNG but some SVG too!) and I agree that the focus should be on making higher quality versions of those images than on the issue of SVG vs PNG, which seems to make little difference to most users of Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

An image, be it SVG or PNG or any other image format, is only as good as its author makes it. Luckily, the vast majority of chemical SVGs on Commons are of the highest quality, thanks to a handful of highly skilled, knowledgeable and prolific authors. Probably because PNGs and their raster siblings are more easily made, the vast majority of bad chemical images are in these formats, but that is not a reflection of the relative merits of the formats, rather on the authors.

Ben (talk) 21:22, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


I see three, not two categories of images:

  1. Excellent, high res PNG/SVG
  2. Well-drawn images, but in low-res PNG/GIF. Mostly uploaded a looong time ago, before our current standards were promulgated.
  3. Poor images, PNG, GIF, SVG

For the purpose of the infobox, #1 and #2 are acceptable, #3 is not. I'd suggest focusing on #3 first and foremost. (So yes, I agree only poor images (#3) should be listed here, but not necessarily in vector format).

To answer Ben, PNGs are created on the fly, so you can display the image at the highest res possible, and download it as-is as a PNG. To answer Leyo, I know you've been tagging some of my images, and I'd fix them if they are trivial structures. But they are more intricate reaction schemes, so I don't quite have the time for that now. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 01:01, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I fully agree with Rifleman 82. I know we have also a lot of crap in categorie #3, mostly not used anymore. We should tag them with speedydelete and get rid of them asap. Redrawing structures is a time-consuming process (fortunately I have ChemDraw), so I normally focus on bad/old (low-res) PNGs. Tagging high-res PNGs (as Leyo pointed out) is odd and completely unnecessary! Cheers, --Yikrazuul (talk) 15:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The intention of starting this discussion was to get a consensus to remove high res PNG from this category. I think we should place a statement such as
Please do not categorize high resolution and quality PNG images here. They will not be redrawn as there it no need to and there are plenty of crap images around here to be replaced first.
so we can refer to that. Suggestions or alternative wording is welcomed.
Rifleman, I think you missed to add JPG images to your category system. Concerning the images tagged by me, I replied on your talk page. I know that the {{SVG|chemical}} and {{Low quality chem}} actually do overlap. The latter is also used for poor quality images that may be deleted after they have resided for more than one month in Category:Low quality chemical diagrams without objection, if they are replaced or orphaned. So, I probably should have used {{SVG|chemical}} for your two GIF reaction schemes.
--Leyo 19:52, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
How about "Because of technical limitations, both in most existing molecule editors and in MediaWiki, these images are unlikely to be redrawn in the near future. All help is welcome in tackling the worst cases, which can be found at Category:Low quality chemical diagrams. Physchim62 (talk) 01:26, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, my mistake. JPG should be in (I thought they are near-extinct!) Yes, let's remove this category/template? --Rifleman 82 (talk) 04:30, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
@Physchim62: You suggested to replace just my second sentence, didn't you? I would like to keep the first one. --Leyo 18:33, 3 December 2008 (UTC) PS. I added “PNG” to the first sentence what I had missed before.

Delete this category[edit]

This category should be deleted. The above discussion clearly shows that there is no consensus to redraw images in svg just for the sake of having them in that format. In fact, such efforts have almost always resulted in lower quality images when a high-resolution png already existed - the most recent well-intentioned but poorly done re-drawing actually happened yesterday :-S This category also goes against the English (and German?) Wikipedia's structure drawing guidelines. It would be nice to have a list of low-res structures that should be re-drawn or re-uploaded (I still have the source files of all my structures and just have to save them using the current settings) - but that would be a completely different category. Unless somebody comes up with good arguments to keep this category I will nominate it for deletion. Cacycle (talk) 22:59, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure if these images would not just be categorised in Category:Images that should use vector graphics (using {{Convert to SVG}}) by users after a potential deletion of the present category. Maybe it is better to put the note on the category page as discussed above. Consecutively, all high quality images could be removed from the present category. --Leyo 00:10, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The category shouldn't be deleted just because someone does a poor job on conversion, or because some high-res images get placed in the category. Low-quality raster images should definitely be re-done as vector, and this category is how we identify the candidates. --JaGa (talk) 21:29, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Given the difficulties by most of creating high quality SVGs, on en, we've already accepted that SVG is not the way to go for now. It's a simple matter to tag all chemicals with a convert-to-SVG in the future. IMHO, it's a pie-in-the-sky dream for the SVGs to replace PNGs for the moment. I'm not quite convinced of having a huge category of work which will be done extremely slowly (how many people out there actually can create good SVGs?) --Rifleman 82 (talk) 00:52, 21 December 2008 (UTC)


In fairness to Harbin, his images actually *are* high quality SVGs. The "native" resolution may be low, but since it's a vector, and scales infinitely, they actually do display quite nicely even at high res ([1] - 800 px). --Rifleman 82 (talk) 00:54, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

New policy suggestion: Only images used by other projects[edit]

Wouldn't it make sence to concentrate efforts on files that are used by other projects? Second suggestion would be to get a top 50 or something of the most used files to prioritize. Appart from that, there are some combinations of templates I found which I don't know if they make sence:

  1. convert to SVG + disputed chem
  2. convert to SVG + low quality chem
  3. convert to SVG + BadGIF
  4. vector version available + disputed chem
  5. vector version available + low quality chem
  6. vector version available + BadGIF

I think no. 3 and 6 should not be. But what about the other combinations? --Cwbm (commons) (talk) 20:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

What's the problem?[edit]

I can not see what the problem really is. This is a hidden category so doesn't need diffusion, it doesn't really matter how big it gets. It doesn't take anything away from the bit-mapped image to have an SVG as well. We have got past the stage where people want to delete the bitmapped images where-ever a SVG image is available.
Are people upset about having their hard work de-valued by having someone plaster {{svg}} on it? If so, sorry it is not meant to be that, those bitmapped contributions are highly valued. But there is also no harm in having an SVG and there are certainly benefits to some people and projects.
Perhaps just adding the hidden category, rather than plastering the image with an {{svg}} template would be more acceptable to the authors of the bitmap graphics. --Tony Wills (talk) 19:46, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

If high quality PNGs are tagged with {{SVG}}, then refined to {{chemical}}, it only clogs up the category listing the images which do need to be fixed. --Rifleman 82 (talk) 04:32, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

How about two SVG tags, then: one for bad bitmap images that need a new version (either SVG or high quality PNG), and one for good bitmaps which do not need an SVG version. I know the good bitmap SVG tag seems pointless, but maybe it'll separate the two types of image. We don't seem to have much chance of stopping people wanting to slap a "convert to SVG" template (of some kind) on any bitmap chemical image.

Ben (talk) 13:16, 1 March 2009 (UTC)