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Fix rainbow colormaps before it's too late!
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iiif-biorxiv @ 9942728


Build Status codecov License: MIT

Scientists co-opt our visual system to convey numerical data in a format that's easily understandable using spatial and color variation to capture details of the underlying data. A “colormap” transforms the set of numbers into a pattern of plotted colors.

When done poorly, this transformation introduces well-established visual artifacts and obscures the underlying detail. Furthermore, certain colormaps create images that are inaccessible to readers with anomalous color vision (i.e. colorblindness).

Unfortunately, widely-used rainbow colormaps, like "jet", face these issues but are pervasive in the scientific literature. Jetfighter aims to prevent this by detecting problematic colormaps in publically available pre-print manuscripts and then contacting the authors, if necessary.

Explore recently screened manuscripts here, and check out a companion website that provides a solution for published figures,, as well!


(a wishlist we may never get to...)

  • Monitor arxiv feed (make a list of other preprint servers)
  • Check detection code and data saved into database
  • Some heuristic for red/green used together? in addition to rainbow colormaps?
  • Write tests for cmap detection code
  • Current pending count

Other notes

  • pdf url resolver needs to be cloned into the repo for works (submodule)

  • a number of config vars need to be in .env and are handled on Heroku with heroku-config

  • some jobs can take a long time, so we adjust timeout to 30m. Also, make sure that wait_timeout on the mysql database is sufficiently large (e.g. 28800 seconds)

heroku config:push -o #  Writes the contents of a local file into heroku config (-o overwrites)
heroku config:pull # Writes the contents of heroku config into a local file
  • Workers should have all requirements installed
pip install -r requirements.txt
pip install -r requirements_worker.txt
  1. Start backend worker(s) flask rq worker
  1. Configure a cronjob to monitor feed (e.g. crontab -e, below for every 20 minutes)
*/20 * * * * FLASK_APP=~/github/jetfighter/ /home/saladi/anaconda3/bin/flask retrieve_timeline >> ~/logs/jetfighter_retrieve.cron.log
  1. Test/start frontend (in practice, runs on Heroku) flask run
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