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#13 2019-05-23 18:01:31

etc
Developer
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 4,191
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

Destry wrote #318188:

Yeah, I’m not saying it’s the sole factor. But in the discussion about this, there’s a big emphasis on static site generators being better. People talk about this all – the time in M’don.

They are better in generating static sites, which generally suffice for blogging, but lack advanced customize/search/etc features. Though this might be just the impression I get.

Okay. So there’s no impetus for the flat-file approach on the energy point, at least.

Well, if you are editing/serving, say, static js/css assets via txp, saving them as flat files is much better because they are then served directly, bypassing txp. But saving, say, a form with txp tags as flat file for importing it to txp from disk rather than db makes no sense, imo.

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#14 2019-05-23 18:17:16

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,554
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

Destry wrote #318183:

The Low-Tech mag article has been inspiring more work in similar directions. Good article here, Digital Guide to Low Tech.

Thanks for sharing this, it’s an interesting read!


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | State Machines | NeMe @ github
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#15 2019-05-23 20:04:57

etc
Developer
Registered: 2010-11-11
Posts: 4,191
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

colak wrote #318191:

Thanks for sharing this, it’s an interesting read!

Ranked 5369ième sur 17066 pages :-)

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#16 2019-05-24 09:40:34

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,405

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

Destry wrote #318185:

I also need to check with my host if they are running renewable. I don’t think they are. This seems to be a key factor in the calculations. Will probably make a change again when the year paid runs out.

I’ve worked with Permaculture magazine in the past. One of their tech folks (not me) did some research into green/renewable hosting and ended up choosing Hetzner. It’s a bit dated now — a lot has happened since — but might be worth a skim.

I wonder, though, is there an energy difference between a regular run of Txp versus the new Txp flatfile rig? If files are flat on server, isn’t there less web server calls? Dumb question? ;)

From my DIY approach/viewpoint, you can get some wins if you’re careful, but it’ll involve a lot of time if you want to truly minimise your footprint. You can home-host on a single board computer if your ISP allows the traffic, but you’re unlikely to be able to influence the footprint of the backhaul telecom equipment.

If you rent space on shared/managed hosting, you’re paying for infrastructure, staff, etc. A lot (many or most) of these organisations work on economies of scale. Some oversell their capacity, and end up with busy servers. You could argue a busy server is better than a quiet server since it’s working all the time for a lot of people.

A high density Blade-esque server might take 10U on a rack with a 3000W power supply. When you’re at this level of computing, efficiency and quality of power delivery becomes far more important. 85% to 95% efficiency is doable with Gold and Platinum-grade power supplies. This same server can potentially server hundreds or thousands of clients, typically a lot of mom-‘n-pop-shop clients get hosted on these servers because they’re comparatively set and forget. Less of a risk of over-provisioning when you know these sites won’t get changed often.

Purely on a Watts level, a computer will typically use more power when it does more work. So, it’s not a stretch to want to use more efficient software with a view to using fewer system resources overall. Anything that can get a higher density of clients on a server without affecting quality of service for the web host, the webmeister or the site users is — generally — a good thing, in my book.

I rabbit on about Nginx because of its low resource footprint. I’m the same about Textpattern. I installed a couple of development Wordpress instances yesterday and I was reminded about another (former) client who had a Wordpress-based site for a London organisation dealing with lots of graphic files (JPG, PNG, not porn). Their own site hosting had to be bumped up spec-wise numerous tiers because there was no image optimisation, no visibility of the plethora of plugins they had deployed, no care given to thinking about the experience of the viewing public. A front page load was 25MB…which on an office DSL connection is fine, but other’s mileage will vary. One of their plugins was (presumably unintentionally) creating a thumbnail of an image for every hit on every image of a given category, something about server-side caching I think, but this ended up creating hundreds of thousands of files in a messy tree deep inside the file system…and this then exhausted the inodes on the filesystem…and their solution was to throw more storage at the problem (with accompanying inodes) rather than investigate why. It was likely more expensive to have someone found out why than to tack on another terabyte of storage.

One thing that does focus the mind is web hosting that charges you based on storage used, database queries and Ingress/egress — AWS comes to mind — for some sites it becomes a game to see how cheap you can get it!

Aside: the Textpattern servers on DigitalOcean have pretty efficient (IMHO) software builds, and a nod toward monitoring metrics, so we can see areas of improvement pretty easily. When the forum is moved over (next week, all being well) we’ll have a good baseline on which to improve things further, hosting-wise at least.

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#17 2019-05-27 12:00:41

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,710
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

Thanks, Pete! Insightful.

I wasn’t aware of Permaculture Mag. Looks good.

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#18 2019-05-27 12:59:28

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,088
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

More fundamental and practical tips on designing for actual performance and at the same time reducing server load.


TXP Builders – finely-crafted code, design and txp

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#19 2019-05-27 13:03:29

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,088
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

gaekwad wrote #318197:

A front page load was 25MB…which on an office DSL connection is fine…

*gasp*!

One of their plugins was (presumably unintentionally) creating a thumbnail of an image for every hit on every image of a given category, something about server-side caching I think, but this ended up creating hundreds of thousands of files in a messy tree deep inside the file system…

*gasp* again! Sometimes that can happen with Wordpress if you try out lots of themes where each theme registers their own sets of thumbnails sizes.


TXP Builders – finely-crafted code, design and txp

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#20 2019-05-28 05:21:54

colak
Admin
From: Cyprus
Registered: 2004-11-20
Posts: 8,554
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

A list of green hosting providers might be of interest.


Yiannis
——————————
neme.org | hblack.net | State Machines | NeMe @ github
I do my best editing after I click on the submit button.

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#21 2019-05-28 09:10:27

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,405

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

jakob wrote #318241:

Sometimes that can happen with Wordpress if you try out lots of themes where each theme registers their own sets of thumbnails sizes.

Yeah. I need to be careful that I don’t inadvertently identify the person I was working with at the other agency, but – yikes – it was an eye-opening project. I’m used to keeping servers fairly secure, performant and maintaining a level of visibility that helps sustainability for me and the next person, but the Wordpress philosophy of just adding stuff to go into battle was scary. This one site had (has?) a 16 core CPU with 128GB RAM, upwards of 3TB drive space and the absolute worst incarnation of WHM Cpanel I have ever seen. The typical monthly invoice was north of 600GBP, including a 50GBP fee for when the server needed a reboot.

Zero optimisation. No image processing (which for an image-heavy site is just absurd). No time spent on actually making things run more happily under the lid. Spinning drives, so slow as molasses compared to modern solid state drives. No caching. Wordpress is great for a lot of people, I’m not taking a stab at them, but please find people who know what they’re doing for when you scale up your servers.

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#22 2019-05-28 09:39:02

jakob
Admin
From: Germany
Registered: 2005-01-20
Posts: 4,088
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

God, that’s shocking! Apart from all the other stuff they could do, they’d probably save a sizeable sum of money and transfer fees just by farming image generation and storage off to something like imgix.com.


TXP Builders – finely-crafted code, design and txp

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#23 2019-05-28 09:49:02

gaekwad
Admin
From: People's Republic of Cornwall
Registered: 2005-11-19
Posts: 3,405

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

jakob wrote #318260:

God, that’s shocking! Apart from all the other stuff they could do, they’d probably save a sizeable sum of money and transfer fees just by farming image generation and storage off to something like imgix.com.

In this case, users provide the images. They create the images, they upload (presumably) the full-fat versions and…well, I’m not sure what happens after that. My gut feeling is their site was originally pretty easy and was perhaps passed to a junior Wordpress person, and it sort of morphed over time into a beast…and the bills associated crept up.

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#24 2019-09-20 13:37:51

Destry
Member
From: Haut-Rhin
Registered: 2004-08-04
Posts: 4,710
Website

Re: Low-Tech Magazine, now solar-powered!

Destry wrote #314170:

Yesterday I discovered Low-Tech Magazine, which has been online since 2007. I don’t know how I have missed it for so long, but sadly I have, until yesterday. That’s when someone shared news about their new off-grid solar-powered version of the site, which they are migrating to permanently.

As I write this, the solar-powered site is in ‘down mode’ because the power supply is out. This is normal, as the article explains. The article is on the solar powered site too, which makes a nice means for comparison when you can see both.

Destry wrote #318183:

The Low-Tech mag article has been inspiring more work in similar directions. Good article here, Digital Guide to Low Tech.

Yet another article in this direction, in French, Le design pour lutter contre le changement climatique. It’s short, drop it in Deepl (which is available for macOS now too).

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