I spend hours whittling away at this ‘blog’. This extremely low-fi whole brain emulation. I transfer little essays up to it as I learn. It helps me figure stuff out, and more importantly it helps me understand what I don’t have figured.
So writing this stuff is helpful and I share it on the off-chance that it might help others as well. But if I’m honest, it is more than that. If you land on a page here, I consider you all guests and many of you my friends. I love it when you stop and say something in the comments. Sometimes asking for help, while some correct mistakes and others offer new ideas.
I had half-arsed the comment section for way to long. I just went with the easiest, and lowest effort system I could find. Long ago, I dropped a free version of Disqus down. It was free and easy to install. It sorta worked. Then they started rolling ads (hey, how could I complain - the service was free). Then came all the trackers, social media, advertising. Like 14 of the bloody things. This ‘free’ commenting system had become a Trojan horse for everything I despise on the Internet.
It had gotten way out of hand. Depending on what ads got sucked in, one of my pages would balloon to a fully loaded time of 7.1s, 585KB and 113 requests. I got mad and lost it.
I mean, you are my bloody guests. If you came and visited me in person, I wouldn’t make you wait at my door for 30 minutes. You know, made you wait while I rang the Zuck and let him know you were here. Rang twitter and a bunch of advertising companies. Then looked you in the eye while I held up a bunch of ads about the other places you visited before getting here.
The whole point of this customisable place is the freedom to strip away as much cruft as I can. On a page, I just want a thought nugget. So why not the comments as well? In a fit of rage, I ripped all that Disqus crap out and rolled my own instance of Discourse.
The performance results for that page Disqus had slowed down to 7.1 seconds? Discourse dropped that to 1.1s, 92.6KB and 16 requests. You knock the door, I open it and we start a discussion.
Hi! Subconsciously you already know this, but let's make it obvious. Hopefully this article was helpful. You might also find yourself following a link to Amazon, Lego or eBay to learn more about parts or equipment. If you end up placing an order, I make a couple of dollarydoos. We aren't talking a rapper lifestyle of supercars and yachts, but it does help pay for the stuff you see here. So a massive shoutout to everyone that enables this place. Thanks!