jlelse's Blog

Thoughts, stories and ideas

Thoughts

Welcome to the Thoughts section of my blog. Thoughts are better kept on my blog than on Twitter or other online platforms.

Platforms

in Thoughts

I built myself a TikTokToJsonFeed tool a month ago to follow some profiles, because I don’t want to install the app or create myself an account there. That tool uses a JavaScript library called tiktok-scraper. Unfortunately TikTok changed some things in the UI or unofficial API and now the scraper is broken. This and the fact that platforms like TikTok or Instagram (and many more) block IPs when they detect scrapers is actually a big warning sign.

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My own Static Site Generator

in Thoughts

Because I don’t have enough side projects yet, I started programming my own static site generator, with the creative name GoBlog. I doubt it will replace my use of Hugo in the near future, but it is exciting to write a Go program that is designed for high speed. I get to know features that I have never used before. I also learn what to pay attention to when thousands of files have to be parsed and processed concurrently.

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Self-hosted server(less) functions

in Thoughts

One thing which I have never looked more closely at, but which I think is very interesting, are “Serverless Functions”, although they are not so serverless because they run on a server. Whatever. On Hacker News, I found a GitHub repository and an article about it. With fassd, it’s easy (and possible without Kubernetes) to install a runtime for serverless functions on a single server. Sort of like Lambda from Amazon, but open source and self-hosted.

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Time and focus

in Thoughts

It’s crazy how quickly time can pass when you get very engrossed in something. When it grabs you and you forget almost everything around you. When you’re in the flow. Today I experienced such a situation again. Inspired by a lot of “minimal classless CSS frameworks” (like this one) I thought about redesigning my blog and reworking the HTML structure as well as the CSS and making it much more minimal.

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Habits

in Thoughts

I use one of my domains mainly for services that I use personally. My Miniflux instance for example. For a long time I ran Miniflux on a device from home, before I moved it to my virtual private server in the “cloud” a few weeks ago. To also adapt the subdomain I use for it to the scheme of the other subdomains, Miniflux now runs on a different subdomain than before.

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Thoughts on owning my run data

in Thoughts

I use Strava as my tracking app on runs. I used to use Runtastic (now Adidas Running), but unfortunately there is no native app for my Samsung Galaxy Watch. But since Strava has now implemented some more restrictions for free users and I’ve been toying with the idea that I need a different system to own my run data (self-hosted) for a while anyway, I’ve now started to program something myself (as always when my desired solution doesn’t exist…).

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Corona-Warn-App

in Thoughts

The German government tasked SAP and Deutsche Telekom with the development of an open-source contact tracing app (named “Corona-Warn-App”) using the APIs from Google and Apple. Now they’ve published the code for the backend server. I took a quick look at the code and I’m quite a bit surprised about the quality and best practices used. They are using the Java-based Spring framework and use Postgres and minio to store data.

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GNOME's games are awesome

in Thoughts

I almost never play computer games, but what I sometimes like are classic logic games like Minesweeper or Sudoku. And I must say, the versions from GNOME (on Linux), GNOME Mines and GNOME Sudoku are really nice. Simple design, plain and focused on the game with the most important features. I have also just discovered on the GNOME Wiki that there are a number of other simple games available, like 2048, Four in a row or Chess (Chess is probably not so simple).

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Why I use a paid CDN

in Thoughts

To answer the question from an anonymous reader: Any reason why you’re using a paid CDN for a personal website and not a free one like Cloudflare? I still use Cloudflare, but only as a registrar for a few domains and for the DNS management (which I do by code lately). (I have not yet found a better alternative to Cloudflare for this.) As a CDN I use BunnyCDN (alternatively here is my referral link), firstly because I don’t like how Cloudflare makes Tor users’ browsing so difficult, but also because BunnyCDN gives me more flexibility (with edge rules and all the other features - like the cloud storage which I use for media files on my blog), it’s an European company and it’s more sustainable if I pay for the services I use myself.

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Git is great

in Thoughts
Like of: I Now Know How To use Git

After Kev Quirk was initially skeptical about Git and was desperate about using it, he finally made it thanks to community help and realized that Git is better than he thought: After 30 minutes I had successfully carried out my first commit and push from the Git CLI. I have to say, once the basics had clicked into place for me, the whole thing became much simpler to follow.

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Jan-Lukas Else