• Today I decided to move from FA5 to FA6, but to my disappointment I am running into issues making the transition due to this ACF FA plugin and its FA6 implementation.

    I paid for the FA6 Pro subscription, with the plan to gain access to the updated icons and new options 6.4 currently provides. I have no desire to use any of the subscription related features in the future, beyond my initial setup, as I am very GDPR conscious and try to make sure everything is locally hosted (at least on the frontend).

    The standard Pro package seems to be heavier than FA5, and understandably so when the “Regular” style for example seems to be going from 1800 icons to 6400. This is a great reason to use the Pro Subsetter to strip down some of the icons that seem unnecessary. I downloaded the Pro Subsetter, selected the icons I wanted and created a custom Icon Subset. This worked fine and I have no issues with the Font Awesome 6 side of things, but…

    • The plugin requires an API token and selected Kit. Fair enough, but these have zero relevance to a locally hosted solution.
    • If I do add an API token and create a Kit to enable Pro icons, I am enabling ALL icons in the ACF field, which is not what I want. You would see all the icon choices that I have decided not to use and then selecting one that my locally hosted subset doesn’t have would cause it to not work. This is unacceptable. Clients would run into broken icons all the time.
    • It’s true that the plugin has the “Icon Set Builder”, which theoretically would allow me to choose the icons you see in the field. In reality however the select-based UI is meant for a handful of icons, not for hundreds/thousands (think of a ~half stripped down original 6.4 set). Furthermore, it would be extremely cumbersome to always customize the selection again if/when I make changes to my local Icon Subset.
    • Utilizing the API token and Kit to enable Pro icons, would likely also break once my subscription runs out. To reiterate, I have no plans of renewing my subscription, since I am simply looking to create a reliable locally hosted GDPR compliant setup based on FA 6.4 Pro, much like previously with FA 5.x Pro.

    So clearly I am already running into multiple problems. I’ve been a big fan of this plugin in the past, but now I need to figure out a solution to these issues if I want to make the jump to FA6. With FA5 I was using all the regular/brand icons, so it’s not ideal either, and I figured it was an aspect that I could improve as I transition to FA6. By default, this problem gets worse with FA6.

    It seems like the plugin doesn’t really support local hosting or Icon Subsets you create with their Pro Subsetter feature. Given the need for more carefully selected icon sets and growing concern over GDPR compliance, I would hope the plugin gets updated to better support local hosting and custom Icon Subsets. Both are well supported by FA itself. I believe the plugin has an over reliance on the API right now. I understand it has its benefits, but ideally, I wouldn’t need API tokens etc. and there would be a way to import the Icon Subset(s).

    Am I missing something? I would welcome any good ideas.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Plugin Author Matt Keys

    (@mattkeys)

    Hey @kipex thanks for the thoughtful comments. I’ll do my best to answer you.

    The plugin requires an API token and selected Kit. Fair enough, but these have zero relevance to a locally hosted solution.

    One of the big reasons that I started using the API token’s and kit system in this plugin is so that I can leverage their API to do searches in the backend when trying to find icons. One of the biggest complaints on the old version of this plugin was that the search in this plugin didn’t work the same as the search on fontawesome’s own site. Now because of the API token + kits everything matches. This even includes kits that are using a subset of the icons as you are. When the kit token is passed into the search, my plugin is able to search only within icons that you have enabled.

    Without their API it would be very difficult for me to know which fields you have/haven’t included in your subsetted selection of icons on your site. Back in the day a simple regex was used on FA4/FA5 icons to figure it all out, but the world of FontAwesome icons has grown and gotten much more complicated for a solution like that to be reliable.

    Some people still choose to locally host their icons on the frontend of the site for a variety of reasons, and that is still fully compatible with this implementation. It is only the backend that needs to communicate with the API.

    If I do add an API token and create a Kit to enable Pro icons, I am enabling ALL icons in the ACF field, which is not what I want. You would see all the icon choices that I have decided not to use and then selecting one that my locally hosted subset doesn’t have would cause it to not work. This is unacceptable. Clients would run into broken icons all the time.

    When creating your kit, make sure to select ‘Custom Subsetting‘ in the options, and select which icons you want to enable. It sounds like you may need to do this in two places since you are also creating a ‘local’ subsetted icons to host as well.

    It’s true that the plugin has the “Icon Set Builder”, which theoretically would allow me to choose the icons you see in the field. In reality however the select-based UI is meant for a handful of icons, not for hundreds/thousands (think of a ~half stripped down original 6.4 set). Furthermore, it would be extremely cumbersome to always customize the selection again if/when I make changes to my local Icon Subset.

    Back in the FA5 days I saw the need to create a stripped down version of the icons. Like if people just wanted to show social media icons in a field for instance. FontAwesome has grown to offer their own even more robust version of this feature, but I think my implementation is still handy for some people, and will continue to exist for now for backwards compatibility for those who use it.

    Utilizing the API token and Kit to enable Pro icons, would likely also break once my subscription runs out. To reiterate, I have no plans of renewing my subscription, since I am simply looking to create a reliable locally hosted GDPR compliant setup based on FA 6.4 Pro, much like previously with FA 5.x Pro.

    I think this is probably true. I’ve thrown this hypothetical scenario out to a contact I have at FontAwesome for their comment but it’s the weekend and I don’t expect to hear back right away.

    I know previously made pro selections aren’t going to just disappear, but I suspect the ability to use the API to search Pro/Subsetting icons in your kit would.

    It seems like the plugin doesn’t really support local hosting or Icon Subsets you create with their Pro Subsetter feature. Given the need for more carefully selected icon sets and growing concern over GDPR compliance, I would hope the plugin gets updated to better support local hosting and custom Icon Subsets. Both are well supported by FA itself.

    I think you should be able to subset your icons in your kit, and locally host your subset on the frontend. Which may resolve most of your concerns. Perhaps with the only ‘rub’ being the subscription.

    I believe the plugin has an over reliance on the API right now. I understand it has its benefits, but ideally, I wouldn’t need API tokens etc. and there would be a way to import the Icon Subset(s).

    Am I missing something? I would welcome any good ideas.

    I think there are two points to be made about the API integration with this plugin. One is that this is the direction FontAwesome as a product has moved, and migrating to it is the easiest path for this plugin to stay up to date with what FontAwesome is doing.

    The second, and perhaps biggest thing I’d like to point out: I am just one guy, doing this in my free time. FontAwesome has a highly skilled development team whose full time job it is to innovate and bring new features to this product. This was a very simple little plugin 9 years ago when I made it. My biggest problems were making sure things didn’t break in repeaters/flexible content fields. Today things are much more complicated. I’m always on the back foot now.

    Plugin Author Matt Keys

    (@mattkeys)

    The response from the question about if a Pro subsetted kit would stop working when a subscription expires:

    kit is a Pro service that works as long as one has an active subscription. An API token tied to an account with no active subscription would not work. So basically, they can’t continue to use a Pro kit if they don’t have a Pro subscription.

    Plugin Author Matt Keys

    (@mattkeys)

    Okay further information/clarification based on some things I’ve learned today while chatting with a FontAwesome dev.

    The custom subsetting is very new to the kits, like within a week or so. The GraphQL API this plugin uses for searching icons in a kit does not yet include functionality to limit the search to the subset icons.

    It seems FontAwesome is interested in the use cases where this would be needed; and this plugin represents a very clear use case for it. So it sounds like some discussions will happen internally about adding that capability to GraphQL. I know this doesn’t help you right now, but it is good to know that FontAwesome is listening and thinking about how to best to support use cases like ours.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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