Stefan Baumgartner

Web ops, performance and front-end

List of articles

Saving and scraping a website with Puppeteer

For some of my performance audits I need an exact copy of the webpage as it is served by my clients infrastructure. In some cases, it can be hard to get to the actual artefact. So it’s easier to fetch it from the web.

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Cutting the mustard - 2018 edition

The other day I was holding a workshop on performance optimisation for single page applications. For this workshop I needed an example that I could optimise step by step. I decided not to use a framework, as I didn’t know the experiences and background of my attendees. Also, I didn’t want to draw attention to framework details, rather focus on concepts that build on the platform and that are universally applicable to SPAs.

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Wordpress as CMS for your JAMStack sites

The almighty JAMStack brings you fast and secure static websites, and with things like headless content management systems they become even easy to edit! However, every once in a while you will find yourself in front of a Wordpress blog that has way too many articles (and way too many authors that fear change!) to be reasonably transferred. But Wordpress can be headless, too. In fact, Wordpress’ own hosting service uses its core only via API, the editing interface comes with the shiny new Calypso.

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My most favourite podcast episodes in 2017

After my most favourite tech books and my most favourite tech talks I want to conclude my yearly review with some of podcast episodes I really enjoyed! I listen to one or two hours of podcasts a day. Most of the podcasts I subscribed to are about growing up in the 80s and loving things like the Nintendo Entertainment System or Indiana Jones. But I also listen to a couple of tech podcasts occasionally. And there I found some true gems. Let’s go!

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My most favourite talks in 2017

So it IS finally a tradition. After my most favourite talks of 2015, and the top talks to watch in 2016 – the conference videos strike back!, we complete the trilogy with my most favourite talks of 2017 – Return of the Bingewatch:

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My most favourite books in 2017

I started taking reading seriously again in 2017. I had highs where I read about 10 books a month (phew), and also lows where I haven’t touched a page for a couple of months. Now with having both a toddler and a Kindle*, I gladly spend night again guarding the crib while reading both fiction and non-fiction. And oh, did I read a lot of non-fiction this year. There were some amazing books, and I want to share with you the ones that I found the most compelling.

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The Best Request Is No Request, Revisited

I had the incredible privilege to work with the fine folks at A List Apart on a text concerning resource bundling in the age of HTTP/2. Using the powers of the new protocol is something that keeps my head busy for quite some time now, and I had to write down my findings. Aaron and Jeremy from ALA were kind enough to accept this piece and work with me on it. It’s been a very thorough process, but it strengthens my belief that an editor’s work can’t be valued enough. Thanks for all your help in getting this one out!

I hope you enjoy reading The Best Request Is No Request, Revisited as much as I enjoyed writing it. And if you stop by, please pay some attention to the awesome artwork by Dougal McPherson.

The Artwork

Not so hidden figures - Organizing ScriptConf

I met Laura from Travis Foundation a couple of years ago at a conference in Austria, and we had some good time and nice chats together. It’s not easy to keep always in touch with everyone you meet a conference, but thankfully Laura and I managed to cross paths mutliple times in the last few years. I was also delighted to work with her on bringing diversity tickets to Script’17. After attending Script’17, she asked me to write about my experiences in organizing and getting such a wonderful line-up on stage. Laura was super patient, as it took me about six months to finally get the piece done. But here it is, finally! Check out Not so hidden figures - organizing ScriptConf over at Travis Foundation!

My podcast journey to ScriptCast

I love podcasting. I started back in 2009 and hosted a literature podcast for roughly two years. That’s where I made my first steps in producing non-written content and had lots of fun! I fiddled around doing interviews, chats, specials and audio dramas. Trying to read certain passages of books and added some sound effects to make those passages more interesting. Best thing was buying a semi-professional equipment and record public readings from authors directly from the mixer.

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Grid layout, grid layout everywhere!

One of the great things about Microsoft Edge is that as a developer, you always know what to expect from an upcoming version. Communication is key! The platform status page gives you a by feature list of the current development status, and the Edge user voice allows you to actively influence the developers’ backlog!

I used this privilege to cast my three votes to the “Update CSS Grid” feature request. IE 10 was one of the first browsers to implement the CSS Grid specification. This specification comes from a time where Microsoft pushed the web platform hard to be a fully competitive platform for app development. And for that, it needed a proper layout mechanism. Hello, grid layouts! The original spec was pretty early and has been improved over the years. The new specification has reached candidate recommendation and has been since implement in … well, all major desktop browsers! The only one missing was Edge, until last week, when I got a notification from the Microsoft Edge Developer User Voice:

Grid landed in Edge preview

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