Javascript

Have a great idea for an article?

We're always looking for guest contributors or article suggestions. Shoot us an email at blog@intoli.com, we would love to hear yours!

Building a YouTube MP3 Downloader with Exodus, FFmpeg, and AWS Lambda

Let’s focus on the easy part first: what we’ll be building in this tutorial. The end result will be a browser bookmarklet which can be used to convert YouTube videos to MP3s and download them. The basic interaction flow is that you click on the bookmarklet while on the page for a specific video, a new tab opens and displays a progress bar for the conversion, and then the download starts automatically as soon as it’s ready.

Continue reading

Running FFmpeg on AWS Lambda for 1.9% the cost of AWS Elastic Transcoder

Building a Media Transcoder with Exodus, FFmpeg, and AWS Lambda When delivering media content over the internet, it’s important to keep in mind that factors like network bandwidth, screen resolution, and codec support will vary drastically between different devices and connections. Certain media encodings will be better suited for certain viewers, and transcoding source media to multiple formats is a must in order to ensure that you’re delivering the best possible experience to your users.

Continue reading

Using Ant Design in Sass-Styled Projects

I recently started using Ant Design as my go-to React component library over ported frameworks like React-Bootstrap or React Material UI. There’s a lot to love about Ant Design: it follows a collection of well thought out design principles, has a comprehensive component library, and can easily be customized through a simple theming system. It also uses Less as its styling language, which is unfortunate if you want to transition an existing Sass-based project to Ant Design, or if you simply prefer using Sass to style your components.

Continue reading

Extending CircleCI's API with a Custom Microservice on AWS Lambda

There’s a lot to love about CircleCI. First of all, continuous integration is just awesome in general. You can certainly develop fine software without it, but a good CI configuration can really make your life easier. Beyond that, CircleCI has a generous free tier, provides four free containers per open source project, allows the use of custom Docker images, and is reasonably easy to configure. There’s unfortunately also some stuff not to love about CircleCI.

Continue reading

It is *not* possible to detect and block Chrome headless

A few months back, I wrote a popular article called Making Chrome Headless Undetectable in response to one called Detecting Chrome Headless by Antione Vastel. The one thing that I was really trying to get across in writing that is that blocking site visitors based on browser fingerprinting is an extremely user-hostile practice. There are simply so many variations in browser configurations that you’re inevitably going to end up blocking non-automated access to your website, and–on top of that–you’re really not accomplishing anything in terms of blocking sophisticated web scrapers.

Continue reading

JavaScript Injection with Selenium, Puppeteer, and Marionette in Chrome and Firefox

Browser automation frameworks–like Puppeteer, Selenium, Marionette, and Nightmare.js–strive to provide rich APIs for configuring and interacting with web browsers. These generally work quite well, but you’re inevitably going to end up running into API limitations if you do a lot of testing or web scraping. You might find yourself wanting to conceal the fact that you’re using a headless browser, extract image resources from a web page, set the seed for Math.

Continue reading

Saving Images from a Headless Browser

In this post, I will highlight a few ways to save images while scraping the web through a headless browser. The simplest solution would be to extract the image URLs from the headless browser and then download them separately, but what if that’s not possible? Perhaps the images you need are generated dynamically or you’re visiting a website which only serves images to logged-in users. Maybe you just don’t want to put unnecessary strain on their servers by requesting the image multiple times.

Continue reading

Designing The Wayback Machine Loading Animation

SVGs and Wayback Machine Logos I’ve gotta say, I’m a big fan of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). They’re an open standard, they’re supported by all major browsers, they often take up less space than rasterized images, and they look clean and crisp at any size or resolution. XML, which the SVG standard is based upon, might not be the cool kid on the block these days, but it does make SVG really easy to parse and modify from basically any language.

Continue reading

Check If A Website or URL Has Been Submitted to StumbleUpon

It can sometimes be a bit difficult to figure out whether a specific URL has been submitted to StumbleUpon yet because they don’t provide an easy way to search through their indexed sites. If you’re trying to figure out if your website–or a specific web page–has been submitted to StumbleUpon, then simply enter the URL into the widget below to fetch the latest information from StumbleUpon’s index. #url-checker input { margin-bottom: 10px; width: 100%; } #warning-message.

Continue reading

Making Chrome Headless Undetectable

Detecting Headles Chrome A short article titled Detecting Chrome Headless popped up on Hacker News over the weekend and it has since been making the rounds. Most of the discussion on Hacker News was focused around the author’s somewhat dubious assertion that web scraping is a “malicious task” that belongs in the same category as advertising fraud and hacking websites. That’s always a fun debate to get into, but the thing that I really took issue with about the article was that it implicitly promoted the idea of blocking users based on browser fingerprinting.

Continue reading