About the owner
This site (woolie.co.uk) has been my internet dumping-ground since 2005. To introduce myself in three lines, I:
- Enjoy tinkering with internet technologies, particularly focussing on scalability and performance.
- Am curious about all things aviation and fly a microlight from Hunsdon airfield (near London Stansted, UK).
- Currently work at the BBC. Which also means it's best practice to mention that all views and opinions expressed on this site are my own and are not those of my employer. Other disclaimers are available.
Feel free to email me directly using 'woolie' at this domain (is email address scraping still a thing?). I also lurk in other places, but am shockingly poor at keeping them updated:
About the site
There were some specific reasons for creating this most recent version of woolie.co.uk:
- Learning CSS flexbox. I hadn't made a website without using the Bootstrap framework since 2013. Back then, the grid system that Bootstrap provided was exceptionally handy - floats and tables were the only tools available. In the meantime, flexbox had turned up in CSS and I knew nothing about it!
- Using SVGs. Back in 2008, decent SVG support across browsers was shonky. Being able to include and resize SVGs properly is a big advantage.
- Self hosting web fonts. As much as I like the convenience of Google Web Fonts, the extra external dependency always bugged me. With WOFF/WOFF2 now widely supported, the cross-browser compatibility that Google Web Fonts provided (based on User-Agent) isn't as required. Although I haven't measured whether it actually makes a difference, including a preload link in the head might reduce the FOIT.
If you're as sad as me, you like probing the components used to generate and host websites. For this site, both the source code and CloudFormation templates are available to view on GitHub. In summary:
- Generated using Nanoc. Even though Nanoc requires wrangling Ruby, it's worth the pain of Stack Overflow Driven Development. Nanoc is a superb unopinionated static site generator.
- Hosted on Amazon Web Services. No complicated setup, just S3, fronted by CloudFront with an ACM certificate. I have no particular affection for AWS, but for now it's cheap as chips and I don't have to worry about HA.
- Uploaded using s3sup. This open source S3 static website uploader is a side project of mine. You should take a look at the features if you host a static site on S3.