…so I joined the time-complexity cult - 02/02/2023

I went through what most of the software engineers go through

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…so, I joined the time-complexity cult,

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4 min read·Feb 2, 2023



albert e. himself was bugged by space & time.

Continuing the last post, this time I want to go over my strategy. As the title highlights, I decided to go for time-complexity optimizations. Every software project at some point have to make a decision when they want to optimize their code. Often, software projects don’t abide by the …

2 birds, 1 stone.

principle. It’s either Space or Time decision. You can’t have both most of the time. Analyzing my case, space wasn’t a problem. Because our “shared hosting” constraint had unlimited space but limited computing power. Thus-

Read along to find out how I am about to light it up, what about dynamic contents like comments and user authentication, etc.

How to save time?

Static generation to the rescue.

I know, I know, not that of a revolutionary. But I have no other way. So I want to statically generate all the pages that the site requires ahead of time, wasting some time, to save some time. So, I decided to look for ways of doing it. It turns out there are many solutions, e.g.

But each didn’t ring any bell.

template language? why not 🤷‍♂️

Gatsby powered by React, that’s the root cause anyway 🤦‍♂️; Nunjucks execution at runtime, just like react, interferes with animations 😢; jinja couldn’t figure out how to integrate, something for the next major version iteration. pug separate templating syntax, adds overhead for later maintainers. So, yeah, there are a lot, but they borrow from these and that’s a no GO! Hence,

Build a template engine from scratch!

Another template engine 🤔? Even though I could have gone with already available stuff, I don’t want to stumble again along the road just like I did in past years.

Experiences Hurt 🥺

So, I made up my mind to build a custom templating engine just for SPC’s website. Now, have to think of how 🤷‍♂️ and what it should do.

Here are my problems:

Complex templates to manually edit for each page required, e.g., factory index.html had like 230 tags excluding the head tag, just the body 🤯.

Later maintainers might be haunted by all the mess, hence suiciding themselves ☠

If done manually, each blog post requires the writer to edit 15 tags, arrange photos, uploading to the server which the writer could spend writing and making 🏆 posts.

So, my template engine should

And some bonuses like,

With these in mind here’s what I want to do:-

So now writers deal with GUI then a double-click on the script (thinking of .bat) that will generate the site. Then, another build will run (s)ftp solution on the out dir and sync the server.

What about Miscellaneous stuff?

Images and other assets

One thing that our site is rich in is assets of photos. It’s photos everywhere. My first plan was to host an S3 bucket with django. That poof. Then when I decided for nextjs I opted for Vercel’s Image CDN which comes with Image Optimization. You know what happened! (If not then read the previous blog, When Django nextjs and Laravel failed me). Then with Laravel, I was gonna go with the local shared hosting, but the server was busy interpreting the post-request-stuffs, not responding for assets download for a while.

But this time around, I decided to go with a separate CDN service. Not just separate, but free of cost and with unlimited storage. Along with mimic-Vercel Image Optimizations. I will go over this in upcoming posts. That also optimized for time, not space 😳!

Build time

Static generation saves some time by doing work ahead of time. This is one drawback I see. We can borrow Incremental Compilation. Thought to later, Birnadin 😎.

Dynamic bits of the site

Now that we are static, we can’t utilize any dynamic behavior that might personalize the site for users. Our website has comments and an account feature. These sure require some server interaction in real-time. I am thinking about pseudo-react like operation. I dunno right now, but I will figure it out. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment publicly or privately. Open to ideas.


If you are intrigued and interested, make sure you follow me on Medium or Twitter for follow up.

That’s it for today. Till next time, it’s me the BE signing off. 👋

Cover Background by Philippe Donn and Einstein’s image from Wikitext API