Category: Geekery

  • A Quick Take On Guetzli

    I ran a few (incredibly unscientific) tests on Google’s new Guetzli JPEG encoder last night at 100%, 90%, and 84% compression. Why 84%? Well, that’s the lowest the Guetzli binary will let you go without editing the source and recompiling.

    Each run (compressing a single image) took about 20 minutes on a medium sized cloud instance with 8GB of RAM. During these runs, the server routinely went into swap. If you’re interested in seeing how things panned out, here’s the output:

    Included in the link above are 2 versions (lossless, and lossy) of the same image run through ImageOptim on macOS. Doing both of those took me less than 2 minutes, combined. And while the output of ImageOptim’s lossy compression isn’t near as sharp, it’ll still be “good enough” for most folks.

    At the end of the day, Guetzli’s output is really nice. And it does do a great job compressing things. I saw anywhere from a 74.63% to 89.28% decrease in size from my original image with very few visual artifacts. In its current form, however, it takes way too long to act as an efficient enough batch processor for small, independent publishers.

    So don’t go throwing away Kraken, Imagify, or Smush just yet… Especially if you post a lot of galleries. πŸ˜€

  • Return of the Slack

    While I find the official WordPress Slack team incredibly useful, the sheer scope of it β€” over 10,000 users & 66 channels β€” makes the copy of Slack on my desktop ridiculously sluggish. It’s actually pretty crazy how much lower the RAM usage on my machine is when I remove the WordPress team from the app.

    At this point I feel like my options are:

    1. Stop hanging out in WordPress Slack. 😞
    2. Requisition a new work machine with more RAM. For Slack. πŸ˜•
    3. Shut up and continue to deal with it. πŸ’©

    I’ve gone with a modified version of option #3 thanks to Nativefier. It quickly wraps any site in an Electron shell and creates an executable for your operating system. So now I’ve got an app just for WordPress Slack. My (7) other teams can stay snappy and I can restart the Electron app as needed when RAM gets tight.

    And if you’re using a Mac, you can have it too… Just click the image below to grab a (totally unsupported) copy.


    Pardon the hastily thrown together icon. It’s this Dribbble shot plus a plain ol’ WordPress logo. To be honest, I wasn’t looking to blow a whole lot of time on this. And I didn’t. So that’s cool.

    Hopefully at least one other person finds this useful!

  • Playing with Laravel Valet

    I finally had the chance to do a little WordPress work in Laravel’s lightweight development environment Valet last week. My hot take?

    It's the best. I love it.

    If you’re interested in setting it up on your Mac, there’s a solid tutorial that outlines how to get started by Tom McFarlin over at Tuts+. And if you’d like to go down the rabbit hole even further, Aaron Rutley has written a script that helps you create and delete sites under Valet in seconds.

    I’m going to spend a little more time with this over the coming weeks. Maybe I’ll put something interesting together if I can find the time… No promises though.