Transforming JSON Data into an API with Serverless

Transforming JSON Data into an API with Serverless

This is something that has been sitting in my “To Write” Trello board for a while now and today I finally got around to building a demo. One of my favorite things to do with serverless is to build API wrappers. There are thousands of APIs out there, but many times you need to manipulate or change the data to make it more appropriate for your use. While you can do that on the client, it can be much more efficient to do so on the server. Of course, who wants to setup a server just to change an API when you can use a serverless function instead? Some examples of this are:

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Keeping Up with Browser Updates

Keeping Up with Browser Updates

This is something I’ve been kicking around in my head for probably near two years now. I pitched it to a few publications and conferences and it never quite worked out, so I thought it would be nice to simply write up my thoughts here. As a web developer who has been in this biz since, pretty much, day one, I’m incredibly happy with how far the web has come and how great our platforms are now. That is certainly not to say that everything is ideal, but we’ve come a long way and I think that deserves to be celebrated.

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An Update

There is no real easy way to write about this, so I’ll just put words down and let them lie where they fall. For those of you connected to me on Facebook or Twitter, you already know. On May 23rd, my best friend, my love, and my wife of twenty-two years, passed away suddenly.

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RIP ColdFusion Bloggers

RIP ColdFusion Bloggers

So today I killed ColdFusion Bloggers. This was rather abrupt and I apologize for that. A week or so ago it was reported to me that the data wasn’t updating. I logged into the service providing hosting and discovered they were shutting down for good in a few weeks. I’ve had free credit with them for a few years now, but honestly, I didn’t want to go find another cheap Node hosting solution.

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Text Sentiment Analysis IoT Demo

Text Sentiment Analysis IoT Demo

I spent the last week at a company offsite in Panama (which is quite beautiful, although I spent most of my time in a hotel). During that time I participated in a hackathon using multiple IoT devices. One of them was this nice little LCD panel:

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Deploying a VuePress Site to Netlify

Deploying a VuePress Site to Netlify

Before I begin, let me just state that what I’m covering today is already covered in the docs (Deploys - Netlify), but for me it wasn’t quite detailed enough and I wanted to run through, and then document, the process myself. I don’t know if this is helpful, and as always, I hope my readers will tell me, but I figured I’d share how it worked for me. Also note that VuePress is still early on in development, so what I describe today may not make sense in the far flung future of flying cars and jetpacks.

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Welcome to RaymondCamden.com 2018

Welcome to RaymondCamden.com 2018

Today marks the release of the latest version of my blog. I’m back to Jekyll and sporting a new theme by Just Good Themes. If you’re curious, here’s a bit of background into why I switched.

The last time I blogged on Jekyll, I was a bit upset with it. In fact, I said this: “So yes, I’m officially done with Jekyll.” But… things happen. At work, we use Jekyll for our docs and blog, and I actually had little to no difficulty getting both of those working in WSL on both my laptop and desktop. Given that experience, I began to think about migrating my blog back.

What spurred that even more was me finally figuring out how to get Jekyll to exclude most of my content locally. Maybe this wasn’t a feature last time I used it, but now it is rather trivial. Here’s the config setting I use:

exclude: [_posts/2003,_posts/2004,_posts/2005,_posts/2006,_posts/2007,_posts/2008,_posts/2009,_posts/2010,_posts/2011,_posts/2012,_posts/2013,_posts/2014,_posts/2015,_posts/2016,_posts/2017]

With this in play, my startup and reload time is about four seconds. Still a bit slow but acceptable. (And if I really cared, I could knock out various months in 2018 as well.) While Hugo definitely has Jekyll beat on speed, I cannot describe how much I disliked using it. Everything it did annoyed me. To be clear, I’m not saying it is a bad project. It is incredible fast, has lots of features, and served me here well for years. But as a developer, I really disliked using it. On the other hand, I enjoy hacking around with Jekyll.

Using it with Netlify was pretty simple. I followed this blog post which basically came down to adding 2 files and changing my build settings. Build times are pretty decent too:

Image showing build times in Netlify

One thing I really like about this theme, but which may be a bit annoying to regular readers, is that every post has a clear callout to the author (me). At first that seemed a bit silly since every single post here is from me (I have had a few guest posts, but not in years), but since most folks come in here via a Google search and probably have no idea who I am, I think it will be a nice change.

Speaking of “regular readers”, note that I’m no going to use FeedBurner to host my RSS feed. If you want to subscribe to my RSS, just use this URL: https://www.raymondcamden.com/feed.xml. I’m toying with the idea of setting up an email subscription list, but I’m not sure if that is worth the effort.

The only real “bug” I am aware of now is that my tag and categories archive are single pages. That means I’ve got (nearly) 6000 links on them which is pretty ridiculous. Jekyll can’t generate new files so to fix this, I need to create files for each tag and category and have them run one simple template. That’s pretty trivial work, but I just haven’t done it yet. Once I do I’ll update the links on the right. There are a few Markdown issues on some older posts, but I’ll address those whenever I see activity (something I was doing on the old theme for even older posts).

Outside of that - well - I hope you like it!

Header photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

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