jlelse's Blog

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Translations: Deutsch

How I curate links for my blog

in Posts

On my blog there is a section called “Links” (recently not only in English but also in German). But how do I find links that I find interesting and worth sharing? In this post I will describe my process. What I like to read most are blogs of other people. I don’t know many of them at all, at least not personally, but met them by chance sometime in the internet.

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in Micro

Yesterday evening I hinted that I will give my blog a new design in the next days. I woke up relatively early today and thought that I could just finish it quickly now. My goals were on the one hand to simplify the design significantly, but on the other hand to save as much HTML and CSS as possible. Now the page should load even faster than it did before. Almost every page on this blog (except the ones with images) uses less than 10 KB for transfer.

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in Micro

To give readers a bit more context, I’ve extended my Hugo theme so that it will be displayed below each post if it is mentioned or linked in another post on my blog. This increases the build time from about 7 to about 17 seconds (on my machine it takes 2 seconds, but it is also much faster than the VPS), but I don’t know how I can make it more performant.

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My blog is now faster

in Micro

Yesterday and today I worked very hard on making my blog faster. In the Google Search Console I saw that my blog suddenly gets half as many clicks since a few days and that my pages are only “moderately” fast. I don’t really care about the number of clicks, but I do want the site to be fast. PageSpeed Insights also showed me that the time until the “First Contentful Paint” seems to be longer than a second for many users (and it has to be under a second for it to be considered fast).

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in Micro

Inspired by the posts of Kev Quirk and Jake Bauer, I did a Lighthouse test of my website. I wanted to see how good my blog is SEO wise. Some shortcomings were pointed out to me, for example I forgot to add rel="noopener" to external links with target="_blank" and in the mobile view some “tap targets” were too close together, so you could have clicked on the wrong one. I have addressed the problems and improved a few things in my theme.

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Eleventy

in Links

I’m currently browsing the docs of the static site generator Eleventy (also known as 11ty). Although I prefer Go and I’m not a big JavaScript (and npm) fan for various reasons, I now consider Eleventy as an alternative to Hugo for my blog. I’m reaching the limits of Hugo more often and have to find complicated workarounds, because it’s almost impossible to add custom functionalities to Hugo. Eleventy is apparently very flexible and can be easily extended.

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Towards a Commenting System

in Links

Matt Baer from Write.as wrote about his ideas for a comment system for Write.as called Remark.as. I think he thought things out pretty well and instead of just building a comment system as known from other blog systems, he found a good solution that allows human conversations. My aim is to address the problems of spam and trolling on personal blogs by gently adding friction, while sending conversation to the most fitting digital channel (which might not be blog comments).

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in Micro

I finally took the time to fix the reading feature on my blog (the “Read to me, please!” button below the title). Initially, I used the property textContent to get the text content from the DOM element, but I figured out that it’s better to use innerText for this purpose. Read this article on the differences. I also made the script to not block the rendering anymore by removing it from the critical request chain.

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in Micro

It was a very spontaneous decision, but it is now possible to follow my blog via Telegram: https://jlel.se/tgblog

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How I use the Speech Synthesis API on my blog

in Dev

I just added the feature to my blog that allows you to have any article read to you. For some articles I already add an MP3 file with a natural sounding pronunciation, but now it is also possible to get articles read aloud that don’t have an MP3 file (if the browser and operating system support this). There is an experimental SpeechSynthesis API in some browsers (Firefox and Chrome support the function).

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Jan-Lukas Else