Simon Willison’s Weblog

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021

A framework for building Open Graph images. GitHub’s new social preview images are generated by a Node.js script that fetches data from their GraphQL API, generates an HTML version of the card and then grabs a PNG snapshot of it using Puppeteer. It takes an average of 280ms to serve an image and generates around 2 million unique images a day. Interestingly, they found that bumping the available RAM from 512MB up to 513MB had a big effect on performance, because Chromium detects devices on 512MB or less and switches some processes from parallel to sequential. # 9:25 pm

What I’ve learned about data recently (via) Laurie Voss talks about the structure of data teams, based on his experience at npm and more recently Netlify. He suggests that Airflow and dbt are the data world’s equivalent of frameworks like Rails: opinionated tools that solve core problems and which mean that you can now hire people who understand how your data pipelines work on their first day on the job. # 5:09 pm

GitLab Culture: The phases of remote adaptation. GitLab claim to be “the world’s largest all-remote company”—1300 employees across 65 countries, with not a single physical office. Lots of interesting thinking in this article about different phases a company can go through to become truly remote-first. “Maximally efficient remote environments will do as little work as possible synchronously, instead focusing the valuable moments where two or more people are online at the same time on informal communication and bonding.” They also expire their Slack messages after 90 days to force critical project information into documents and issue threads. # 12:37 am

2021 » June