14/05/2021

2021/05/14#p1
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Took my wife to get her second Covid jab this morning so, after the next couple of weeks, it should be up to full efficacy. The Oxford Astra-Zeneca jab requires at least four weeks between doses and I was unfortunately one day short so couldn't have my second jab at the same time. They have, however, suggested checking next week if I can get it done early instead of waiting until 3rd July.

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2021/05/14#p2
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It's always a bit sobering to see the variances in the response to and current position with the pandemic in different countries. The US is ending the mask mandate while thousands are infected each day in India. While on work meetings I keep hearing stories of colleagues based in our Indian offices who are either I'll in hospital or have sadly passed.

As I've mentioned before, I think it's a bit strange that all social distancing restrictions in England are due to be lifted on 21st June even though it will take until the end of July to offer all adults a first dose of vaccine. Still, that date may now be in doubt as cases of infection with the "Indian variant" are increasing. It does make me wonder, however, just how bad things will have to get before the government actually decides not to proceed with lifting the last phase of restrictions. Doing so will be admitting defeat and I'm not convinced egos will allow that.

I can understand why the UK government has not said that if you are fully vaccinated you can immediately go back to normal. They want everyone following the same path so that resentment doesn't start to manifest. The more I read from the US the more I see a two tier system developing — the haves and the have nots, with the former criticising the latter. Comments to the effect that those who are not yet fully vaccinated are ruining things for the rest whose freedoms should not be impinged because of it. Some of it is quite vitriolic.

I understand that it's been a long, hard battle and that we have suffered way beyond the immediate impacts of the virus, but this is still something we have to see out together.

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2021/05/14#p3
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Inspired by Doug Belshaw's efforts to create small web pages I decided to look at the performance of my own.

I immediately realised I didn't have gzip compression enabled on the server and then looked at adding defer attributes to script and stylesheet links. This reduced my 'first contentful paint' (FCP — the time it takes to get something up on screen that someone can see) by 0.6 seconds. The only problem was that it broke some of the functionality.

Stylesheets appear to be deferrable but my script files are not — without loading them when required things like fragmentions and highlighting linked comments don't work.

Having had essentially the same look for 6 years (on WordPress and the new site) I have been reluctant to get rid of the Open Sans and Open Sans Condensed fonts, although they are self-hosted now rather than using Google Fonts. I like the contrast between the two fonts but have been experimenting with returning to default fonts. Not only does this simplify things but it reduces the overall size of the site and (on the test site) reduces the FCP even further to less than one second.

Using negative letter-spacing I can condense certain elements to approximate the effect the font variants provided and I think it's a worthy trade-off for the size and performance improvements.

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2021/05/14#p4
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All the changes have been made and spotted a couple of things I'd not noticed before with regards to comments on indented posts. I think I need to change some of the text sizing but nothing major.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog