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Hugo Images Processing feature

Hugo Images Processing

Hugo static website creating is a fantastic tool and I told you before. Since I changed to it, I’m very confident that the site is fast and responsive.

However, my site is packed full of images. Some are personal. Some are huge. Some are PNGs and some are JPGs. I created a gallery component just to handle posts that I want to fill with dozens of them.

Managing posts images is a boring task. For every post, I have to check:

  • Dimension
  • Compression
  • EXIF metadata
  • Naming


Hugo images processing size 2.jpg

Having a bigger image than the size of the screen is useless. It’s a bigger file to download, consuming bandwidth from both the user and from the server. Google Lighthouse and other site metric evaluators all recommend resizing the images to at most the screen size.

In Hugo, I’ve automated using some functions:

{{ $image_new := ($image.Resize (printf "%dx" $width)) }}


Loss compression comparison.png

My personal photos are, most of the time, taken in JPEG. Recently I changed the default compression to HEIC for my phone camera, that provides better compression to hi-resolution photos. The web, however, does not allow such format.

Some pictures used to illustrate the posts are PNG. They have better quality at the expense of being larger. Mostly only illustrations and images with texts are worth to have a lossless format.

Whatever the format, I would like to compress as much as possible to waste less bandwidth. I’m currently inclined to use WebP, because it can really shrink the final size to a considerable amount.

{{ $image_new := ($image.Resize (printf "%dx webp" $width)) }}

EXIF metadata

Each digital image have a lot, and a mean A LOT, of metadata embedded inside the file. Day and time when it was taken, camera type, phone name, even longitude and latitude might also be included by camera app. They all reveal personal information that was supposed to be hidden.

In order to share them in the open public internet, it is important to sanitize all images, stripping then all this information. Hugo do not carry these infos along when it generates new images. So, for all images get a minimal resize, this matter is handled by default.


I would like to have a well organized image library, and it would be nice to standardize the file names. Using the post title to rename all images would be great, even more if used some caption of user provided description.

However, Hugo does not allow renaming them. To make matters even worse, it appends to each file name a hash code. A simple picture.jpeg suddenly became picture-hue44e96c7fa2d94b6016ae73992e56fa6-80532-850x0-resize-q75-h2_box.webp.

An incomprehensible mess. If you know a better way, let me know.

So What?

So, if most of the routines can be automated, that’s the problem?

The main issue is that Hugo have to pre-process ALL images upfront. As mentioned in the previous post, it can take a considerable amount of time. Especially if converted to a demanding format to compute such as WebP.

Netlify is constantly reaching the time limit to build the site, all because the thousands of image compressions. I am planning to revert some commits that I implemented WebP and rewrite them little by little, allowing Netlify to build a version a cache the results.

There are some categories of images:

  • Gallery full-size images: there are hundreds of them, it would take a lot of the processing time, but I will have the metadata extracted from the originals. The advantage is that they are rarely clicked and served.
  • Gallery thumbnails: the actual images that are shown on gallery mode. They are accountable of the biggest chunk of the main page overall size when a gallery is in the top 10 latest posts.
  • Post images: images that illustrate each article. They are resized to fit the whole page, so when compressed they represent a nice saving.
  • Post top banner: some posts have a top image. They are cropped to fit a banner-like size, so they are generally not that big.

I will, in the next couple of hours, try to implement the WebP code on each of these groups. If successfully completed, it will save hundreds of megabytes in the build.

Bonus Tip

Hugo copies all resources (image, PDF, audio, text, etc.) from the content folder to the final public/ build. Even if you only use the resized ones. Not only the build becomes larger, but the images that you wanted to hide the metadata is still online, there. Even if not directly pointed in the HTML.

A tip for those that are working with Hugo with a lot of images processed: use the following code into the content front-matter to instruct Hugo to not include these unused resources in the final build.

    publishResources: false

Let’s build.

Edit on 2021-08-25

I discovered that Netlify has a plugin ecosystem. And one of the plugins available is a Hugo caching system. It would speed up drastically the build times, as well the possibility of converting to WebP all images once and for all. I will test this feature right now and post the results later.

Edit on 2021-09-13

The plugin worked! I had to implement it using file configuration instead the easy one-click button. Building time went from 25 minutes to just 2. The current cache size is about 3.7 GB, so totally understandable.

It will allow me to must more frequent updates. Ok, to be frank: it will not restrict the posting frequency. However, patient, inspiration and focus are still the main constrains on blogging.

On netlify.toml file on root, I added:

# Hugo cache resources plugin
# https://github.com/cdeleeuwe/netlify-plugin-hugo-cache-resources#readme
package = "netlify-plugin-hugo-cache-resources"

# If it should show more verbose logs (optional, default = true)
debug = true

Project Curva

For the last 9 years, I work as a planner and controller of a multinational Brazilian oil company. The team consolidates all the planning information of the whole company, analyses it, and reports to the company board of directors.

For all these years, I’ve struggled to deal with some basic business scenarios:

  • At the very end of the process, someone in the chain of information submits a last-minute update that cannot be ignored
  • The board decides to change the plan
  • The existence of multiple simultaneous plans, for optimistic and pessimistic scenarios
  • Changes in the organizational structure

The current information systems used or developed by the company are too restrictive to accommodate their business cases. The general solution is to create entire systems using dozens of spreadsheets. It is a patchwork of data, susceptible to data loss and zero control.

To address this, I decided to develop, on my own, a new system that is both flexible and powerful. The overall core propositions are:

  • Versioning: instead of overwriting data whenever there is a change request, the system should be able to preserve the existing data and generate another version. Both should be accessible, in other to allow comparison and auditing.
  • Branching: not only sequential versioning (v1, v2, v3), it should allow users to create multiple current versions. Creating scenarios of event temporary exercises should be effortless.
  • Multiple dimensions: for each unit (ie, a project in a list of projects), the user could insert the future CAPEX, OPEX, production, average cost, number of workers, or any arbitrary dimension. It’s all about capturing future series of values, regardless of the meaning.
  • Multiple Teams: in the same organization, users can create inner teams that deal with different aspects of the business. The system should allow to users set the list of units to control (projects, employees, buildings, or whatever), their dimensions of measurement, and then control the user access to all this information. It’s a decentralized way to create plans.
  • Spreadsheet as a first-class citizen: small companies might not use them much. But any mid-to-big companies use spreadsheets for everything. Importing and exporting system data as Excel/LibreOffice/Google Docs is a must.

With this feature set in mind, I started to create a spear time what is now temporally called Project Curva for the last 3 months. I will post more about it in the future: the used technology, the technical challenges, and some lessons learned.

A beta is due at the end of April 2021.

Update 2021-10-18

The project is called NiwPlan and can be checked on NiwPlan.com.

Hugo feature


Hello World. Testing the new site!

For the N’s time, I migrated the blog to a new blogging system. This time, I’m using Hugo.

Hugo is a class of CMS’s that generate static sites. Just like compiled and interpreted programming languages, the whole site generated beforehand and the result is uploaded to a server.

The main advantage using this method is a substantially faster site and zero attack surface form the CMS. The main disadvantages are the less user-friendly interface and big building times.

Let’s dig into theses issues:

Faster Experience

Since all the pages are now static and pre-made, the only variable it the server latency to delivery the files. The page does not need to be built on the fly for each user, which can be tremendously slow. And it also waste CPU from the server, rebuilding it time after time after time.

Most CMS’s have some caching system to mitigate this issue. They first check if the page have been already built. If so, serve it. If not, build it and save the result. The problem lies on implementing a CDN and/or a technique to invalidate the cache to force a rebuild (in case the content was altered by the author).

Build time.png

More Secure

Since it does not compile the page on the fly, it eliminate the security issues inherited form the language. It also does not access any type of database. There is no admin page. Event DOS attacks can be much more robust, since the CDN can migrate the traffic to another server easily.

User Interface (Lack of)

Well, Hugo uses the developer-driven approach that requires the user to use an IDE and compile the whole site. It does not offer any type of interface in which you can drag and drop widgets. It’s is definitively not WYSIWYG.

If you are seasoned to programming tools, you will have not much problem. It will be very familiar. For a non-tech savvy mom blogger, Hugo is a no go.

Build Times

Even to see a single post that you just wrote will take time. Like compiled programming languages, the site have to be built before you can check on it. Hugo have an automatic service that propagate the incremental changes and it really fast, so iterating the content will not slow you down.

It will take even more time if you have some extra processes implemented, like resizing images.

But the process to rebuild the entire site might take a while. Thankfully, for the production the whole building process can be delegated to CI/CD tools. Using GitHub or GitLab, they will automatically build the site on each commit.

The process of writing this post, the very first on the new platform, was quite nice. But I’m in the perfect spot of product requirements and technical skills

Anyway, I’m going to try to post more content in the following months. :)

Best static site generator 2020

IsThereAnyDeal feature


A couple of years back I was following a site that had a great insight: track Valve’s Steam prices and point out the best deals over time. It was great because if you are interested in a particular game, it was just matter of waiting to get a big promotional discount! Unless you are super-duper fan and want that game now, or it has a very heavy multiplayer component, here is no need to buy a $40-$50-$60 game. It will eventually get much cheaper (and much sooner than you imagine).

Unfortunately, I forgot the name of it, and I am a lazy writer that is not in the mood to search.

The good side is that is not needed anymore. That site closed doors and I discovered IsThereAnyDeal.com. It follows the same basic idea but in much bigger scale. It tracks Steam, GOG and a dozen of other online portals.

Also, it offers a chance to create custom alerts when a desired game get a price bellow a threshold. Indie games are often bellow $5. AAAs are also often promoted bellow $10. It opens a great window for great deals. My wanted list now have about 30 games!

It sounds unfair to the creators. But with so many good games in the market right now, I can play them all if I buy them cheap, or choose one or two with full price. Indies gets much more opportunities this way. The big players, that invest millions on a single title hopping to sell millions at a full release price, will suffer more and will have to adapt.

Is there any deal 2.jpg

Just like Netflix, the abundance of games opens great business opportunities for those that have a long tail catalog instead only high-demand products.

So if you are a game developer, never count on making most of the sales with the full price. It was not true before, and it is even more true now. Your projections should include several strategies for promoting your product so 2-3 years at least.

With proper marketing and positioning, companies still can attract audience during launching. Mario, Zelda, Fallout, The Witcher, Doom and many, many other titles are recently launched and have massive initial sales. Of course there are always an EA, Ubisoft and Activision that tries to implement some weird and fake mechanism that forces players to buy or play in very specific way. Disasters like SimCity happens to them…

Otherwise: have fun buying!


Discovered This Week n3

Thursday! Let’s see what stuff I’ve discovered this week.


HootSuite.com It’s a useful service for yourself or your business to manage the several Social Networks that we use constantly. It can replicate the same posts in all of them, manage the followers and comments, and see what they are saying about you in every network at once. I use it for both personal and Gamenific spheres.

Concurso INOVApps

comunicacoes.gov.br/concurso-inovapps Brazilian only. É um concurso que o Ministério das Comunicações que está interessado em promover apps e jogos móveis. Serão 25 ganhadores nas duas categorias. Eu estou pensando seriamente em participar.

26 melhores sites brasileiros sobre desenvolvimento de jogos

https:://producaodejogos.com/os-26-melhores-sites-brasileiros-sobre-desenvolvimento-de-jogos Brazilian only. A great compilation of 26 Brazilian sites about game development. There is a mix of associations, indie devs, and general discussion. Great source of material and a good networking opportunity.