Category Archives: lang:en

Blogposts on blog.futtta.be in English (mostly because these posts are republished in a non-Dutch-speaking context).

Music from our Tube; Lianne gets Weird Fishes

I get eaten by the worms and … For 2 seconds the drums seem to announce this is just a cover but then the beat changes drastically and you’re left wondering what happened while the different vibe grows on you. You (almost) have goosebumps when the bridge happens and you stop breathing to hear it all and then, after that bridge, everything comes together and you’re floating on those familiar minor 9th chord arpeggio’s and those fabulous voices until all fades out and you hit repeat.

Weird Fishes
Watch this video on YouTube.

Past, present and future laptops

bulky T510 and tiny n135When my Thinkpad x250 broke down last week with what appears to be a motherboard failure, I tried to convince my daughter to hand over her T410 but work-from-home-schooling does not work without a computer, so she refused. Disillusioned in my diminishing parenting powers, I dug up my 10 year old Samsung n135 netbook instead. It still had Ubuntu 14.10 running and the battery was pining for the fjords, but after buying a new battery (€29), updating Ubuntu to 18.04 LTS and switching to Lubuntu it really is usable again.

Now to be honest, I did get replacement laptop (a bulky T510 with only 4GB of RAM) with my own SSD inside from my supplier, so I’m not using that old netbook full-time, but happy to have it running smoothly nonetheless.

The future, to end this old-fashioned geekery off with, will very likely be a Dell XPS-13 9300 (yep, I’ll be cheating on Lenovo) on which I’ll happily install Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on. I’ve upgraded my wife’s x240 to that already and I must say it runs smoothly and looks great when compared to 18.04 which I’m still running.

Google PageSpeed Insights updated, new metrics and recommendations!

If you tested your blog’s performance on Google PageSpeed Insights yesterday and do so again today, you might be in for a surprise with a lower score even if not one byte (letter) got changed on your site. The reason: Google updated PageSpeed Insights to Lighthouse 6, which changes the KPI’s (the lab data metrics) that are reported, adds new opportunities and recommendations and changes the way the total score is calculated.

So all starts with the changed KPI’s in the lab metrics really; whereas up until yesterday First Contentful Paint, Speed Index, Time to Interactive, First Meaningful Paint, First CPU Idle and First input delay were measured, the last 3 ones are now not shown any more, having been replaced by:

  • Largest Contentful Paint marks the point when the page’s main content has likely loaded, this can generally be improved upon by removing removing render-blocking resources (JS/ CSS), optimizing images, …
  • Total Blocking Time quantifies how non-interactive a page while loading, this is mainly impacted by Javascript (local and 3rd party) blocking the main thread, so improving that generally means ensuring there is less JS to execute
  • Cumulative Layout Shift which measures unexpected layout shifts

The total score is calculated based on all 6 metrics, but the weight of the 3 “old” ones (FCP, SI, TTI) is significantly lowered (from 80 to 45%) and the new LCP & TBT account for a whopping 50% of your score (CLS is only 5%).

Lastly some one very interesting opportunity and two recommendations I noticed;

  • GPSI already listed unused CSS, but now adds unused JS to that list, which will prove to be equally hard to control in WordPress as JS like CSS is added by almost each and every plugin. Obviously if you’re using Autoptimize this will flag the Autoptimized JS, disalbe Autoptimize for the test by adding ?ao_noptimize=1 to the URL to see what original JS is unused.
  • GPSI now warns about using document.write and about the impact of passive listeners on scrolling performance which can lead to Google complaining about … Google :-)

Summary: Google Pagespeed Insights changed a lot and it forces performance-aware users to stay on their toes. Especially sites with lots of (3rd party) JavaScript might want to reconsider some of the tools used.

Autoptimize 2.7; final stretch, testers needed!

Autoptimize 2.7 is in the final stages and the beta version can as of now be downloaded from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/autoptimize.zip

Main new features:

So who want to test? Feedback in the comments please! :-)

Autoptimize: no more broken pages due to CSS/ JS not found!

When cached HTML links to deleted Autoptimized CSS/ JS the page is badly broken … no more with a new (experimental) option in AO27 to use fallback CSS/ JS which I just committed on the beta branch on GitHub.

For this purpose Autoptimize hooks into template_redirect and will redirect to fallback Autoptimized CSS/ JS if a request for autoptimized files 404’s.

For cases where 404’s are not handled by WordPress but by Apache, AO adds an ErrorDocument directive in the .htaccess-file redirecting to wp-content/autoptimize_404_handler.php. Users on NGINX or MS IIS or … might have to configure their webserver to redirect to wp-content/autoptimize_404_handler.php themselves though, but those are smart cookies anyway, no?

If you want to test, you can download Autoptimize 2.7 beta here and replace 2.6 with it.