All posts by Rita Kozlov

Introducing Cloudflare Pages: the best way to build JAMstack websites

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-pages/

Introducing Cloudflare Pages: the best way to build JAMstack websites

Introducing Cloudflare Pages: the best way to build JAMstack websites

Across multiple cultures around the world, this time of year is a time of celebration and sharing of gifts with the people we care the most about. In that spirit, we thought we’d take this time to give back to the developer community that has been so supportive of Cloudflare for the last 10 years.

Today, we’re excited to announce Cloudflare Pages: a fast, secure and free way to build and host your JAMstack sites.

Today, the path from an idea to a website is paved with good intentions

Websites are the way we express ourselves on the web. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist with a blog, or the largest of corporations with millions of customers — if you want to reach people outside the confines of 140 280 characters, the web is the place to be.

As a frontend developer, it’s your responsibility to bring this expression to life. And make no mistake — with so many frontend frameworks, tooling, and static site generators at your disposal — it’s a great time to be in your line of work.

That is, of course, right up until the point when you’re ready to show your work off to the world. That’s when things can start to get a little hairy.

At this point, continuing to keep things local rather than committing to source starts to become… irresponsible. But then: how do you quickly iterate and maintain momentum? As you change things, you need to make sure those changes don’t get lost — saving them to source control — while keeping in sync with what’s currently deployed to production.

There are no great solutions.

If you’re in a larger organization, you might have a DevOps organization devoted to exactly that: automating deployments using Continuous Integration (CI) tooling.

Most CI tooling, however, is quite cumbersome, and for good reason — to allow organizations to customize their automation, regardless of their stack and setup. But for the purpose of developing a website, it can still feel like an unnecessary and frustrating diversion on the road to delivering your web project. Configuring a .yaml file, adding and removing commands, waiting minutes for each build to run, and praying to the CI gods at each one that these are the right commands. Hopelessly rerunning the same build over and over, and expecting a different result.  

Often, hours are lost. The process stands in the way of you and doing your best work.

Cloudflare Pages: letting frontend devs do what they do best

We think there’s a better way.

With Cloudflare Pages, we set out to simplify every step along the journey by tying deployment to your existing development workflow.

Seamless Git integration, with builds built-in

With Cloudflare Pages, all you have to do is select your repo, and tell us which framework you’re using. We’ll take care of chanting CI incantations on your behalf, while you keep doing what you were already doing: git commit and git push your changes — we’ll build and deploy them for you.

As the project grows, so do the stakes, and the number of collaborators.

For a site in production, changes need to be reviewed thoroughly. As the reviewer, looking at the code, and skimming for red flags only gets you so far. To thoroughly review, you have to commit or git stash your changes, pull down locally, get it running to make sure it actually works — looking at code alone won’t catch everything!

The other developers on the team are not the only stakeholders. There are designers, marketers, PMs who want to provide feedback before the changes go out.

Unique preview URLs

With Cloudflare Pages, each commit gets its own unique URL. Preview URLs make it easier to get meaningful code reviews without the overhead of pulling down the branch. They also make it easier to get feedback from PMs, designers and marketers on the latest iteration, bridging the gap between mocks and code.

Infinite staging

“Does anyone mind if I take over staging?” might also sound like a familiar question. With Cloudflare Pages, each feature branch will have its own dedicated consistent alias, allowing you to have a consistent URL for the latest changes.

With Preview and Production environments, all feature branches and preview links will be built with preview variables, so you can experiment without impacting production data.

When you’re ready to deploy to production, we’ll redeploy to production for you with the updated production environment variables.

Collaboration for all

Collaboration is the key to building amazing websites and products — the more the merrier! As a security company, we definitely don’t want you sharing password and credentials. Which is why we provide multi user access for free for unlimited users — invite all your friends, on us!

Modern sites with modern standards

We all know premature optimization is a cardinal sin, but once your project is in front of customers you want to have the best performance possible. If it’s successful, you also want it to be available!

Today, this is time you have to spend optimizing performance (chasing those 100 lighthouse scores), and scaling, from a few to millions of users.

Luckily, we happen to know a thing or two about running a global network of 200 data centers though, so we’ve got you covered.

With Pages, your site is deployed directly to our edge, milliseconds away from customers, and at global scale.

The latest web standards are fun to read about on Hacker News but not fun to implement yourself. With Cloudflare Pages, we’ll do the heavy lifting to keep you ahead of the curve: IPv6, HTTP/3, TLS 1.3, all the latest image formats.

Oh, and one more thing

We’re really excited for developers and their teams to use Cloudflare Pages to collaborate on the best static sites together. There’s just one thing that didn’t sit quite right with us: why stop at static sites?

What if we could make building full-blown, dynamic applications just as easy?

Although APIs are a core part of the JAMstack, today that refers primarily to the robust API economy developers have access to. And while that’s great, it’s not always enough. If you want to build your own APIs, and store user or application data, you need more than third party APIs. What to do, though?

Well, this is the point at which it’s mighty helpful we’ve already built a global serverless platform: Cloudflare Workers. Workers allows frontend developers to easily write scalable backends to their applications in the same language as the frontend, JavaScript.

Over the coming months, we’ll be working on integrating Workers and Pages into a seamless experience. It’ll work the exact same way Pages does: just write your code, git push, and we’ll deploy it for you. The only difference is, it won’t just be your frontend, it’ll be your backend, too. And just to be clear: this is not just for stateless functions. With Workers KV and Durable Objects, we see a huge opportunity to really enable any web application to be built on this platform.

We’re super excited about the future of Pages, and how with the power of Cloudflare Workers behind it, it represents a bold vision for how new applications are going to be built on the web.

But you know the thing about gifts? They’re no good without someone to receive them. We’d love for you to sign up for our beta and try out Cloudflare Pages!

PS: we’re hiring!

Want to help us shape the future of development on the web? Join our team.

Announcing wrangler dev — the Edge on localhost

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/announcing-wrangler-dev-the-edge-on-localhost/

Announcing wrangler dev — the Edge on localhost

Cloudflare Workers — our serverless platform — allows developers around the world to run their applications from our network of 200 datacenters, as close as possible to their users.

A few weeks ago we announced a release candidate for wrangler dev — today, we’re excited to take wrangler dev, the world’s first edge-based development environment, to GA with the release of wrangler 1.11.

Think locally, develop globally

It was once assumed that to successfully run an application on the web, one had to go and acquire a server, set it up (in a data center that hopefully you had access to), and then maintain it on an ongoing basis. Luckily for most of us, that assumption was challenged with the emergence of the cloud. The cloud was always assumed to be centralized — large data centers in a single region (“us-east-1”), reserved for compute. The edge? That was for caching static content.

Again, assumptions are being challenged.

Cloudflare Workers is about moving compute from a centralized location to the edge. And it makes sense: if users are distributed all over the globe, why should all of them be routed to us-east-1, on the opposite side of the world, causing latency and degrading user experience?

But challenging one assumption caused others to come into view. One of the most obvious ones was: would a local development environment actually provide the best experience for someone looking to test their Worker code? Trying to fit the entire Cloudflare edge, with all its dependencies onto a developer’s machine didn’t seem to be the best approach. Especially given that the place the developer was going to run that code in production was mere milliseconds away from the computer they were running on.

When I was in college, getting started with programming, one of the biggest barriers to entry was installing all the dependencies required to run a single library. I would go as far as to say that the third, and often forgotten hardest problem in computer science is dependency management.

We’ve not the first to try and unify development environments across machines — tools such as Docker aim to solve this exact problem by providing a prepackaged development environment.

Yet, packaging up the Workers runtime is not quite so simple.

Beyond the Workers runtime, there are many components that make up Cloudflare’s edge, including DNS resolution, the Cloudflare cache — all of those parts are what makes Cloudflare Workers so powerful. That means that without those components, a standalone runtime is insufficient to represent the behavior of Worker request handling. The reason to develop locally first is to have the opportunity to experiment without affecting production. Thus, having a local development environment that truly reflects production is a requirement.

wrangler dev

wrangler dev provides all the convenience of a local development environment, without the headache of trying to reproduce the reality of production locally — and then having to keep the two environments in sync.

By running at the edge, it provides a high fidelity, consistent experience for all developers, without sacrificing the speedy feedback loop of a local development environment.

Live reloading

Announcing wrangler dev — the Edge on localhost

As you update your code, wrangler dev will detect changes, and push the new version of your code to the edge.

console.log() at your fingertips

Announcing wrangler dev — the Edge on localhost

Previously to extract your console logs from the Workers runtime, you had to have the Workers Preview open in a browser window at all times. With wrangler dev, you can receive your own logs, directly to your terminal of choice.

Cache API, KV, and more!

Since wrangler dev runs on the edge, you can now easily test the state of a cache.put(), without having to deploy your Worker to production.

wrangler dev will spin up a new KV namespace for development, so you don’t have to worry about affecting your production data.

And if you’re looking to test out some of the features provided on request.cf that provide rich information about the request such as geo-location — they will all be provided from the Cloudflare data center.

Get started

wrangler dev is now available in the latest version of Wrangler, the official Cloudflare Workers CLI.

To get started, follow our installation instructions here.

What’s next?

wrangler dev is just our first foray into giving our developers more visibility and agility with their development process.

We recognize that we have a lot more work to do to meet our developers needs, including providing an easy testing framework for Workers, and allowing our customers to observe their Workers’ behavior in production.

Just as wrangler dev provides a quick feedback loop between our developers and their code, we love to have a tight feedback loop between our developers and our product. We love to hear what you’re building, how you’re building it, and how we can help you build it better.

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/making-magic-reimagining-developer-experiences-for-the-world-of-serverless/

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

This week we’ve talked about how Workers provides a step function improvement in the TTFB (time to first byte) of applications, by running lightweight isolates in over 200 cities around the world, free of cold starts. Today I’m going to talk about another metric, one that’s arguably even more important: TTFD, or time to first dopamine, and announce a huge improvement to the Workers development experience — wrangler dev, our edge-based development environment with all the perks of a local environment.

There’s nothing quite like the rush of getting your first few lines of code to work — no matter how many times you’ve done it before, there’s something so magical about the computer understanding exactly what you wanted it to do and doing it!

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

This is the kind of magic I expected of “serverless”, and while it’s true that most serverless offerings today get you to that feeling faster than setting up a virtual server ever would, I still can’t help but be disappointed with how lackluster developing with most serverless platforms is today.

Some of my disappointment can be attributed to the leaky nature of the abstraction: the journey to getting you to the point of writing code is drawn out by forced decision making about servers (regions, memory allocation, etc). Servers, however, are not the only thing holding developers back from getting to the delightful magical feeling in the serverless world today.

The “serverless” experience on AWS Lambda today looks like this: between configuring the right access policy to invoke my own test application, and deciding whether an HTTP or REST API was better suited for my needs, 30 minutes had easily passed, and I still didn’t have a URL I could call to invoke my application. I did, however, spin up five different services, and was already worrying about cleaning them up lest I be charged for them.

That doesn’t feel like magic!

In building what we believe to be the serverless platform of the future — a promise that feels very magical —  we wanted to bring back that magical feeling to every step of the development journey. If serverless is about empowering developers, then they should be empowered every step of the way: from proof of concept to MVP and beyond.

We’re excited to share with you today our approach to making our developer experience delightful — we recognize we still have plenty of room to continue to grow and innovate (and we can’t wait to tell you about everything we have currently in the works as well!), but we’re proud of all the progress we’ve made in making Workers the easiest development platform for developers to use.

Defining “developer experience”

To get us started, let’s look at what the journey of a developer entails. Today, we’ll be defining the user experience as the following four stages:

  • Getting started: All the steps we have to take before putting in some keystrokes
  • Iteration: Does my code do what I expect it to do? What do I need to do to get it there?
  • Release: I’ve tested what I can — time to hit the big red button!
  • Observe: Is anything broken? And how do I fix it?
Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

When approaching each stage of development, we wanted to reimagine the experience, the way that we’ve always wanted our development flow to work, and fix places along the way where existing platforms have let us down.

Zero to Hello World

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

With Workers, we want to get you to that aforementioned delightful feeling as quickly as possible, and remove every obstacle in the way of writing and deploying your code. The first deployment experience is really important — if you’ve done it once and haven’t given up along the way, you can do it again.

We’re very proud to say our TTFD — even for a new user without a Cloudflare account — is as low as three minutes. If you’re an existing customer, you can have your first Worker running in seconds. No regions to choose, no IAM rules to configure, and no API Gateways to set up or worry about paying for.

If you’re new to Workers and still trying to get a feel for it, you can instantly deploy your Worker to 200 cities around the world within seconds, with the simple click of a button.

If you’ve already decided on Workers as the choice for building your next application, we want to make you feel at home by allowing you to use all of your favorite IDEs, be it vim or emacs or VSCode (we don’t care!).

With the release of wrangler — the official command-line tool for Workers, getting started is just as easy as:

wrangler generate hello
cd hello
wrangler publish

Again, in seconds your code is up and running, and easily accessible all over the world.

“Hello, World!”, of course, doesn’t have to be quite so literal. We provide a range of tutorials to help get you started and get familiar with developing with Workers.

To save you that last bit of time in getting started, our template gallery provides starter templates so you can dive straight into building the products you’re excited about — whether it’s a new GraphQL server or a brand new static site, we’ve got you covered.

Local(ish) development: code, test, repeat

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

We can’t promise to get the code right on your behalf, but we can promise to do everything we can to get you the feedback you need to help you get your code right.

The development journey requires lots of experimentation, trial and error, and debugging. If my Computer Science degree came with instructions on the back of the bottle, they would read: “code, print, repeat.”

Getting code right is an extremely iterative, feedback-driven process. We would all love to get code right the first time around and move on, but the reality is, computers are bad mind-readers, and you’ve ended up with an extraneous parenthesis or a stray comma in your JSON, so your code is not going to run. Found where the loose parenthesis was introduced? Great! Now your code is running, but the output is not right — time to go find that off-by-one error.

Local development has traditionally been the way for developers to get a tight feedback loop during the development process. The crucial components that make up an effective local development environment and make it a great testing ground are: fast feedback loop, its sandboxed nature (ability to develop without affecting production), and accuracy.

As we started thinking about accomplishing all three of those goals, we realized that being local actually wasn’t itself a requirement — speed is the real requirement, and running on the client is the only way acceptable speed for a good-enough feedback loop could be achieved.

One option was to provide a traditional local development environment, but one thing didn’t sit well with us: we wanted to provide a local development environment for the Workers runtime, however, we knew there was more to handling a request than just the runtime, which could compromise accuracy. We didn’t want to set our users up to fail with code that works on their machine but not ours.

Shipping the rest of our edge infrastructure to the user would pose its own challenges of keeping it up to date, and it would require the user to install hundreds of unnecessary dependencies, all potentially to end up with the most frustrating experience of all: running into some installation bug the explanation to which couldn’t be found on StackOverflow. This experience didn’t sit right with us.

As it turns out, this is a very similar problem to one we commonly solve for our customers: Running code on the client is fast, but it doesn’t give me the control I need; running code on the server gives me the control I need, but it requires a slow round-trip to the origin. All we had to do was take our own advice and run it on the edge! It’s the best of both worlds: your code runs so close to your end user that you get the same performance as running it on the client, without having to lose control.

To provide developers access to this tight feedback loop, we introduced wrangler dev earlier this year!

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

wrangler dev  has the look and feel of a local development environment: it runs on localhost but tunnels to the edge, and provides output directly to your favorite IDE of choice. Since wrangler dev now runs on the edge, it works on your machine and ours exactly the same!

Our release candidate for wrangler dev is live and waiting for you to take it for a test drive, as easily as:

npm i @cloudflare/[email protected] -g

Let us know what you think.

Release

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

After writing all the code, testing every edge case imaginable, and going through code review, at some point the code needs to be released for the rest of the world to reap the fruits of your hard labor and enjoy the features you’ve built.

For smaller, quick applications, it’s exciting to hit the “Save & deploy” button and let fate take the wheel.

For production level projects, however, the process of deploying to production may be a bit different. Different organizations adopt different processes for code release. For those using GitHub, last year we introduced our GitHub Action, to make it easy to configure an integrated release process.

With Wrangler, you can configure Workers to deploy using your existing CI, to automate deployments, and minimize human intervention.

When deploying to production, again, feedback becomes extremely important. Some platforms today still take as long as a few minutes to deploy your code. A few minutes may seem trivial, but a few minutes of nervously refreshing, wondering whether your code is live yet, and which version of your code your users are seeing is stressful. This is especially true in a rollback or a bug-fix situation where you want the new version to be live ASAP.

New Workers are deployed globally in less than five seconds, which means new changes are instantaneous. Better yet, since Workers runs on lightweight isolates, newly deployed Workers don’t experience dreaded cold starts, which means you can release code as frequently as you’re able to ship it, without having to invest additional time in auxiliary gadgets to pre-warm your Worker — more time for you to start working on your next feature!

Observe & Resolve

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

The big red button has been pushed. Dopamine has been replaced with adrenaline: the instant question on your mind is: “Did I break anything? And if so, what, and how do I fix it?” These questions are at the core of what the industry calls “observability”.

There are different ways things can break and incidents can manifest themselves: increases in errors, drops in traffic, even a drop in performance could be considered a regression.

To identify these kinds of issues, you need to be able to spot a trend. Raw data, however, is not a very useful medium for spotting trends — humans simply cannot parse raw lines of logs to identify a subtle increase in errors.

This is why we took a two-punch approach to helping developers identify and fix issues: exposing trend data through analytics, while also providing the ability to tail production logs for forensics and investigation.

Earlier this year, we introduced Workers Metrics: an easy way for developers to identify trends in their production traffic.

With requests metrics, you can easily spot any increases in errors, or drastic changes in traffic patterns after a given release:

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

Additionally, sometimes new code can introduce unforeseen regressions in the overall performance of the application. With CPU time metrics, our developers are now able to spot changes in the performance of their Worker, as well as use that information to guide and optimize their code.

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

Once you’ve identified a regression, we wanted to provide the tools needed to find your bug and fix it, which is why we also recently launched `wrangler tail`: production logs in a single command.

wrangler tail can help diagnose where code is failing or why certain customers are getting unexpected outcomes because it exposes console.log() output and exceptions. By having access to this output, developers can immediately diagnose, fix, and resolve any issues occurring in production.

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

We know how precious every moment can be when a bad code deploy impacts customer traffic. Luckily, once you’ve found and fixed your bug, it’s only a matter of seconds for users to start benefiting from the fix — unlike other platforms which make you wait as long as 5 minutes, Workers get deployed globally within five seconds.

Repeat

Making magic: Reimagining Developer Experience for the World of Serverless

As you’re thinking about your next feature, you checkout a new branch, and the cycle begins all over. We’re excited for you to check out all the improvements we’ve made to the development experience with Workers, all to reduce your time to first dopamine (TTFD).

We are always working on improving it further, looking where we can remove every additional bit of friction, and love to hear your feedback as we do so.

Helping with COVID-19 Projects: Cloudflare Workers now free through Project Galileo

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/helping-with-covid-19-projects-cloudflare-workers-now-free-through-project-galileo/

Helping with COVID-19 Projects: Cloudflare Workers now free through Project Galileo

Helping with COVID-19 Projects: Cloudflare Workers now free through Project Galileo

The Internet has been vital to our response to the COVID-19 crisis: enabling researchers to communicate with the rest of the world, connecting resources with people who need them, and sharing data about the spread.

It’s been amazing to see some of the projects people have stood up on Cloudflare Workers to assist during this crisis. Workers allows you to get set up in minutes, it’s fast and scalable out of the box, and there’s no infrastructure to maintain or scale, which is great if you want to create a project quickly.

To support critical web projects that help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re giving free access to our Cloudflare Workers compute platform through Project Galileo. We believe sites, apps, APIs, and tools that can help people with COVID-19 are exactly the type of critically important projects that Project Galileo was designed to support.    

Free Cloudflare Workers

One of the earliest impacts of the COVID-19 crisis was the switch that many organizations made to a fully remote model. As that happened, and we realized that many organization’s VPNs were not up to the task of scaling to support this increased load, Cloudflare made Cloudflare for Teams free through at least September 1, 2020.

If you’re working on a COVID-19 related project, follow the Project Galileo link and submit a request — we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. And if you’re interested in getting started with Workers, there are some links at the bottom of the post that will help.

Example Projects

Amidst all the devastating news, it’s been really inspiring to see  developers jump in and build tools to help the public through the pandemic. We are excited to share a few of the stories they’ve shared with us.

API-COVID19-In

API-COVID-19-In, built by Amod Malviya, is an API for tracking COVID-19 cases in India, sourced from The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and separately from unofficial sources.

“I created api-covid19-in to make it easier for people working all over India to contribute to fighting this situation — be it by creating mass transparency (the aggregate data API), or detecting patterns (the crowd sourced patient data API), or planning (hospital beds API)”.

Why Workers?

  • Very simple to be up & running. From the first code being written, to being up and running happened in less than an hour.
  • Better than the alternatives of maintaining an Origin (higher cost), or exposing it via Github pages (can’t do compute on every call).
  • Not having to be worried about scaling or performance.

MakeFaceMasks

A few weeks ago, a Belgian grassroots movement of makers started to brainstorm on how they can fight the COVID-19 crisis. One of the projects is MakeFaceMasks. They have created a DIY manual to sew masks, which has been approved by the Belgian Government.

Why Workers?

  • We could automate our development/translation flow. This allowed us to quickly generate translated versions of the website.
  • Websites are deployed automatically with Github Actions.
  • Handle the load: the day we launched we immediately attracted 100,000 unique visitors with any downtime.

Mask A Hero NY

Mask a Hero NY is a volunteer-run site that matches medical professionals that need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic with people that can donate it.

“We launched it about 2 weeks ago. The COVID-19 situation in New York is very worrying. My friends that are doctors are doing everything they can to help and they saw a lot of people on Facebook groups offering to donate small amounts of PPE, but it was hard for these people to know where it was needed the most and coordinate pickups. So my friends reached out to me to see if I could help. I pulled in my colleague MJ, and we designed and built the site in about 2 days.

The site has been a big success so far. It has facilitated over 27,000 mask donations already with a lot more to come this week. It’s been featured on NBC News, CBS, MSNBC, on Katie Couric’s social media and newsletter, some NY-area newspapers, and more. That matters because each feature has been followed by an increase in donation submissions. The site has facilitated donations to a variety of large and small hospitals and medical departments that are feeling the strain during this time. We’re really proud of the impact so far but want to do even more to help these medical professionals.”

Why Workers?

“When we built the site, we wanted the absolute easiest and most straightforward tech stack. It’s a 4-page site with no dynamic information. A static site generator was the obvious choice, so I chose Jekyll. Then for hosting, the last thing I want to deal with on a static site is complex server configuration and uptime. Workers Sites is super easy to deploy – I just run wrangler publish after a Jekyll build. Workers Sites handles cache breaking and has Cloudflare’s caching built-in. Most importantly, I don’t have to worry about the site going down. We’ve seen big traffic spikes after being featured in the media. The site has never gotten slower and I don’t have to worry. Cloudflare Workers Sites lets us concentrate on helping the people that need it instead of spending time managing hosting.”

CovidTracking API

The COVID Tracking Project collects and publishes the most complete testing data available for US states and territories. The project emerged from a tweet of a Google Sheets spreadsheet, where someone was keeping tabs on the testing from each state.

“I had been making something similar but Jeff Hammerbacher had a more complete version. After Jeff combined forces with Alexis Madrigal I thought it best to use the data they had. Since we’ve used Google Sheets to power websites in the past I thought I should spin up a quick service that fetches the sheet data from Google and make it available as JSON for people to use.”  

Why Workers?

“Google often requires an API key or has some strange formatting. I just wanted an array of values that reflected the sheet rows. No long complicated URL. I picked Cloudflare Workers because it works really well as a serverless proxy.

At first the Worker was just a simple proxy, making an API request for every Worker request. Then I added cf: { cacheEverything: true, cacheTtl: 120 } to the fetch() options so Cloudflare could cache the fetch result. Caching the source is great but still requires having to decode, modify and serialize on every request. Some endpoints requested XML from AWS. Since it takes some time to parse really big XML strings we started seeing errors that the process was taking longer than 50ms CPU time. Cloudflare had to (generously) increase our limits to keep things running smoothly.

Not wanting consumers of our API to be kept waiting while the servers crunched the data on every request we started using Cloudflare Key Value storage for saving the parsed and serialized result. We put a TTL limit (like an hour) on every file saved to the KV store. On a new request we return the previous generated result from the cache first and then lookup the TTL of the item and if it’s more than 5 minutes old we make a new request and save it to the cache for next time. This way the user gets a fast result before we update an entry. If no user makes a request for an hour the cached item expires and the next request has to wait for a full process before response but that doesn’t happen for the popular endpoint/query options.”

Get Started

If you’re building a resource to help others cope with COVID-19, and getting started with Workers, below are a few resources to get you started:

  • Workers Sites: allows you to deploy your static site directly to Cloudflare’s network, with a few simple commands. Get started with our tutorial, or video.
  • Tutorials: check out our tutorials to get started with Workers. We’ve highlighted a couple below that we think might be especially useful to you:
  • Localize a website: make your website accessible to an even greater audience by translating it to other languages.
  • Chat bot: with more people using chat for remote communication, chat bots can be a great way to make information more easily accessible at the public’s fingertips.
  • Template gallery: our template gallery is designed to help you build with Workers by providing building blocks such as code snippets and boilerplate. For example, if you are writing an API, we suggest getting started using our Apollo GraphQL server boilerplate.
  • HTMLRewriter API: the HTMLRewriter is a streaming HTML parser with an easy to use selector based JavaScript API for DOM manipulation, available in the Cloudflare Workers runtime. With so much disparate information on the web, many services that provide data about COVID-19 rely on scraping and aggregating data from multiple sources. See an example of the HTMLRewriter in action here to learn how you can use it to extract information from the web.
  • Want to help, but not sure what to build? Our Built with Workers gallery features projects utilizing Workers today to give you an idea of the possibilities of what you can build with Workers.

Introducing the HTMLRewriter API to Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-htmlrewriter/

Introducing the HTMLRewriter API to Cloudflare Workers

Introducing the HTMLRewriter API to Cloudflare Workers

We are excited to announce that the HTMLRewriter API for Cloudflare Workers is now GA! You can get started today by checking out our documentation, or trying out our tutorial for localizing your site with the HTMLRewriter.

Want to know how it works under the hood? We are excited to tell you everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask, about building a streaming HTML parser on the edge; read about it in part 1 (and stay tuned for part two coming tomorrow!).

Faster, more scalable applications at the edge

The HTMLRewriter can help solve two big problems web developers face today: making changes to the HTML, when they are hard to make at the server level, and making it possible for HTML to live on the edge, closer to the user — without sacrificing dynamic functionality.

Since the introduction of Workers, Workers have helped customers regain control where control either wasn’t provided, or very hard to obtain at the origin level. Just like Workers can help you set CORS headers at the middleware layer, between your users and the origin, the HTMLRewriter can assist with things like URL rewrites (see the example below!).

Back in January, we introduced the Cache API, giving you more control than ever over what you could store in our edge caches, and how. By helping users have closer control of the cache, users could push experiences that were previously only able to live at the origin server to the network edge. A great example of this is the ability to cache POST requests, where previously only GET requests were able to benefit from living on the edge.

Later this year, during Birthday Week, we announced Workers Sites, taking the idea of content on the edge one step further, and allowing you to fully deploy your static sites to the edge.

We were not the first to realize that the web could benefit from more content being accessible from the CDN level. The motivation behind the resurgence of static sites is to have a canonical version of HTML that can easily be cached by a CDN.

This has been great progress for static content on the web, but what about so much of the content that’s almost static, but not quite? Imagine an e-commerce website: the items being offered, and the promotions are all the same — except that pesky shopping cart on the top right. That small difference means the HTML can no longer be cached, and sent to the edge. That tiny little number of items in the cart requires you to travel all the way to your origin, and make a call to the database, for every user that visits your site. This time of year, around Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, this means you have to make sure that your origin, and database are able to scale to the maximum load of all the excited shoppers eager to buy presents for their loved ones.

Edge-side JAMstack with HTMLRewriter

One way to solve this problem of reducing origin load while retaining dynamic functionality is to move more of the logic to the client — this approach of making the HTML content static, leveraging CDN for caching, and relying on client-side API calls for dynamic content is known as the JAMstack (JavaScript, APIs, Markdown). The JAMstack is certainly a move in the right direction, trying to maximize content on the edge. We’re excited to embrace that approach even further, by allowing dynamic logic of the site to live on the edge as well.

In September, we introduced the HTMLRewriter API in beta to the Cloudflare Workers runtime — a streaming parser API to allow developers to develop fully dynamic applications on the edge. HTMLRewriter is a jQuery-like experience inside your Workers application, allowing you to manipulate the DOM using selectors and handlers. The same way jQuery revolutionized front-end development, we’re excited for the HTMLRewriter to change how we think about architecting dynamic applications.

There are a few advantages to rewriting HTML on the edge, rather than on the client. First, updating content client-side introduces a tradeoff between the performance and consistency of the application — that is, if you want to, update a page to a logged in version client side, the user will either be presented with the static version first, and witness the page update (resulting in an inconsistency known as a flicker), or the rendering will be blocked until the customization can be fully rendered. Having the DOM modifications made edge-side provides the benefits of a scalable application, without the degradation of user experience. The second problem is the inevitable client-side bloat. Most of the world today is connected to the internet on a mobile phone with significantly less powerful CPU, and on shaky last-mile connections where each additional API call risks never making it back to the client. With the HTMLRewriter within Cloudflare Workers, the API calls for dynamic content, (or even calls directly to Workers KV for user-specific data) can be made from the Worker instead, on a much more powerful machine, over much more resilient backbone connections.

Here’s what the developers at Happy Cog have to say about HTMLRewriter:

"At Happy Cog, we’re excited about the JAMstack and static site generators for our clients because of their speed and security, but in the past have often relied on additional browser-based JavaScript and internet-exposed backend services to customize user experiences based on a cookied logged-in state. With Cloudflare’s HTMLRewriter, that’s now changed. HTMLRewriter is a fundamentally new powerful capability for static sites. It lets us parse the request and customize each user’s experience without exposing any backend services, while continuing to use a JAMstack architecture. And it’s fast. Because HTMLRewriter streams responses directly to users, our code can make changes on-the-fly without incurring a giant TTFB speed penalty. HTMLRewriter is going to allow us to make architectural decisions that benefit our clients and their users — while avoiding a lot of the tradeoffs we’d usually have to consider."

Matt Weinberg, – President of Development and Technology, Happy Cog

HTMLRewriter in Action

Since most web developers are familiar with jQuery, we chose to keep the HTMLRewriter very similar, using selectors and handlers to modify content.

Below, we have a simple example of how to use the HTMLRewriter to rewrite the URLs in your application from myolddomain.com to mynewdomain.com:

async function handleRequest(req) {
  const res = await fetch(req)
  return rewriter.transform(res)
}
 
const rewriter = new HTMLRewriter()
  .on('a', new AttributeRewriter('href'))
  .on('img', new AttributeRewriter('src'))
 
class AttributeRewriter {
  constructor(attributeName) {
    this.attributeName = attributeName
  }
 
  element(element) {
    const attribute = element.getAttribute(this.attributeName)
    if (attribute) {
      element.setAttribute(
        this.attributeName,
        attribute.replace('myolddomain.com', 'mynewdomain.com')
      )
    }
  }
}
 
addEventListener('fetch', event => {
  event.respondWith(handleRequest(event.request))
})

The HTMLRewriter, which is instantiated once per Worker, is used here to select the a and img elements.

An element handler responds to any incoming element, when attached using the .on function of the HTMLRewriter instance.

Here, our AttributeRewriter will receive every element parsed by the HTMLRewriter instance. We will then use it to rewrite each attribute, href for the a element for example, to update the URL in the HTML.

Getting started

You can get started with the HTMLRewriter by signing up for Workers today. For a full guide on how to use the HTMLRewriter API, we suggest checking out our documentation.

How the the HTMLRewriter work?

How does the HTMLRewriter work under the hood? We’re excited to tell you about it, and have spared no details. Check out the first part of our two-blog post series to learn all about the not-so-brief history of rewriter HTML at Cloudflare, and stay tuned for part two tomorrow!

Not so static… Introducing the HTMLRewriter API Beta to Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/html-rewriter-beta/

Not so static... Introducing the HTMLRewriter API Beta to Cloudflare Workers

Not so static... Introducing the HTMLRewriter API Beta to Cloudflare Workers

Today, we’re excited to announce HTMLRewriter beta — a streaming HTML parser with an easy to use selector based JavaScript API for DOM manipulation, available in the Cloudflare Workers runtime.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Cloudflare Workers is a lightweight serverless platform that allows developers to leverage Cloudflare’s network to augment existing applications or create entirely new ones without configuring or maintaining infrastructure.

Static Sites to Dynamic Applications

On Friday we announced Workers Sites: a static site deployment workflow built into the Wrangler CLI tool. Now, paired with the HTML Rewriter API, you can perform DOM transformations on top of your static HTML, right on the Cloudflare edge.

You could previously do this by ingesting the entire body of the response into the Worker, however, that method was prone to introducing a few issues. First, parsing a large file was bound to run into memory or CPU limits. Additionally, it would impact your TTFB as the body could no longer be streamed, and the browser would be prevented from doing any speculative parsing to load subsequent assets.

HTMLRewriter was the missing piece to having your application fully live on the edge – soup to nuts. You can build your API on Cloudflare Workers as a serverless function, have the static elements of your frontend hosted on Workers Sites, and dynamically tie them together using the HTMLRewriter API.

Enter JAMStack

You may be thinking “wait!”, JavaScript, serverless APIs… this is starting to sound a little familiar. It sounded familiar to us too.

Is this JAMStack?

First, let’s answer the question — what is JAMStack? JAMStack is a term coined by Mathias Biilmann, that stands for JavaScript, APIs, and Markup. JAMStack applications are intended to be very easy to scale since they rely on simplified static site deployment. They are also intended to simplify the web development workflow, especially for frontend developers, by bringing data manipulation and rendering that traditionally happened on the backend to the front-end and interacting with the backend only via API calls.

So to that extent, yes, this is JAMStack. However, HTMLRewriter takes this idea one step further.

The Edge: Not Quite Client, Not Quite Server

Most JAMStack applications rely on client-side calls to third-party APIs, where the rendering can be handled client-side using JavaScript, allowing front end developers to work with toolchains and languages they are already familiar with. However, this means with every page load the client has to go to the origin, wait for HTML and JS, and then after being parsed and loaded make multiple calls to APIs. Additionally, all of this happens on client-side devices which are inevitably less powerful machines than servers and have potentially flaky last-mile connections.

With HTMLRewriter in Workers, you can make those API calls from the edge, where failures are significantly less likely than on client device connections, and results can often be cached. Better yet, you can write the APIs themselves in Workers and can incorporate the results directly into the HTML — all on the same powerful edge machine. Using these machines to perform “edge-side rendering” with HTMLRewriter always happens as close as possible to your end users, without happening on the device itself, and it eliminates the latency of traveling all the way to the origin.

What does the HTMLRewriter API look like?

The HTMLRewriter class is a jQuery-like experience directly inside of your Workers application, allowing developers to build deeply functional applications, leaning on a powerful JavaScript API to parse and transform HTML.

Below is an example of how you can use the HTMLRewriter to rewrite links on a webpage from HTTP to HTTPS.

async function handleRequest(req) {
    const res = await fetch(req);
    return new HTMLRewriter()
    .on('a', { element:  e => rewriteUrl(e, 'href') })
    .on('img', { element: e => rewriteUrl(e, 'src') })
    .transform(res);
}

In the example above, we create a new instance of HTMLRewriter, and use the selector to find all instances of a and img elements, and call the rewriteURL function on the href and src properties respectively.

Internationalization and localization tutorial: If you’d like to take things further, we have a full tutorial on how to make your application i18n friendly using HTMLRewriter.

Not so static... Introducing the HTMLRewriter API Beta to Cloudflare Workers

Getting started

If you’re already using Cloudflare Workers, you can simply get started with the HTMLRewriter by consulting our documentation (no sign up or anything else required!). If you’re new to Cloudflare Workers, we recommend starting out by signing up here.

You are, of course, not limited to Workers Sites only. Since Cloudflare Workers can be deployed as a proxy in front of any application you can use the HTMLRewriter as an elegant way to augment your existing site, and easily add dynamic elements, regardless of backend.

If you’re interested in the nitty, gritty details of how the HTMLRewriter works, and learning more than you’ve ever wanted to know about parsing the DOM, stay tuned. We’re excited to share the details with you in a future post.

One last thing, you are not limited to Workers Sites only. Since Cloudflare Workers can be deployed as a proxy in front of any application you can use the HTMLRewriter as an elegant way to augment your existing site, and easily add dynamic elements, regardless of backend.

We love to hear from you!

We’re always iterating and working to improve our product based on customer feedback! Please help us out by filling out our survey about your experience.


Have you built something interesting with Workers? Let us know @CloudflareDev!

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/workers-sites/

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

Performance on the web has always been a battle against the speed of light — accessing a site from London that is served from Seattle, WA means every single asset request has to travel over seven thousand miles. The first breakthrough in the web performance battle was HTTP/1.1 connection keep-alive and browsers opening multiple connections. The next breakthrough was the CDN, bringing your static assets closer to your end users by caching them in data centers closer to them. Today, with Workers Sites, we’re excited to announce the next big breakthrough — entire sites distributed directly onto the edge of the Internet.

Deploying to the edge of the network

Why isn’t just caching assets sufficient? Yes, caching improves performance, but significant performance improvement comes with a series of headaches. The CDN can make a guess at which assets it should cache, but that is just a guess. Configuring your site for maximum performance has always been an error-prone process, requiring a wide collection of esoteric rules and headers. Even when perfectly configured, almost nothing is cached forever, precious requests still often need to travel all the way to your origin (wherever it may be). Cache invalidation is, after all, one of the hardest problems in computer science.

This begs the question: rather than moving bytes from the origin to the edge bit by bit clumsily, why not push the whole origin to the edge?

Workers Sites: Extending the Workers platform

Two years ago for Birthday Week, we announced Cloudflare Workers, a way for developers to write and run JavaScript and WebAssembly on our network in 194 cities around the world. A year later, we released Workers KV, our distributed key-value store that gave developers the ability to store state at the edge in those same cities.

Workers Sites leverages the power of Workers and Workers KV by allowing developers to upload their sites directly to the edge, and closer to the end users. Born on the edge, Workers Sites is what we think modern development on the web should look like, natively secure, fast, and massively scalable. Less of your time is spent on configuration, and more of your time is spent on your code, and content itself.

How it works

Workers Sites are deployed with a few terminal commands, and can serve a site generated by any static site generator, such as Hugo, Gatsby or Jekyll. Using Wrangler (our CLI), you can upload your site’s assets directly into KV. When a request hits your Workers Site, the Cloudflare Worker generated by Wrangler, will read and serve the asset from KV, with the appropriate headers (no need to worry about Content-Type, and Cache-Control; we’ve got you covered).

Workers Sites can be used to deploy any static site such as a blog, marketing sites, or portfolio.  If you ever decide your site needs to become a little less static, your Worker is just code, edit and extend it until you have a dynamic site running all around the world.

Getting started

To get started with Workers Sites, you first need to sign up for Workers. After selecting your workers.dev subdomain, choose the Workers Unlimited plan (starting at $5 / month) to get access to Workers KV and the ability to deploy Workers Sites.

After signing up for Workers Unlimited you’ll need to install the CLI for Workers, Wrangler. Wrangler can be installed either from NPM or Cargo:

# NPM Installation
npm i @cloudflare/wrangler -g
# Cargo Installation
cargo install wrangler

Once you install Wrangler, you are ready to deploy your static site, with the following steps:

  1. Run wrangler init --site in the directory that contains your static site’s built assets
  2. Fill in the newly created wrangler.toml file with your account and project details
  3. Publish your site with wrangler publish

You can also check out our Workers Sites reference documentation or follow the full tutorial for create-react-app in the docs.

If you’d prefer to get started by watching a video, we’ve got you covered! This video will walk you through creating and deploying your first Workers Site.


Blazing fast: from Atlanta to Zagreb

In addition to improving the developer experience, we did a lot of work behind the scenes making sure that both deploys and the sites themselves are blazing fast — we’re excited to share the how with you in our technical blog post.

To test the performance of Workers Sites we took one of our personal sites and deployed it to run some benchmarks. This test was for our site but your results may vary.

One common way to benchmark the performance of your site it using Google Lighthouse, which you can do directly from the Audits tab of your Chrome browser.

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

So we passed the first test with flying colors — 100! However, running a benchmark from your own computer introduces a bias: your users are not necessarily where you are. In fact, your users are increasingly not where you are.

Where you’re benchmarking from is really important: running tests from different locations will yield different results. Benchmarking from Seattle and hitting a server on the West coast says very little about your global performance.

We decided to use a tool called Catchpoint to run benchmarks from cities around the world. To see how we compare, we deployed the site to three different static site deployment platforms including Workers Sites.

Since providers offer data center regions on the coasts of the United States, or central Europe, it’s common to see good performance in regions such as North America, and we’ve got you covered here:

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

But what about your users in the rest of the world? Performance is even more critical in those regions: the first users are not going to be connecting to your site on a MacBook Pro, on a blazing fast connection. Workers Sites allows you to reach those regions without any additional effort on your part — every time our map grows, your global presence grows with it.

We’ve done the work of running some benchmarks from different parts of the world for you, and we’re pleased to share the results:

Workers Sites: deploy your website directly to our network

One last thing…

Deploying your next site with Workers Sites is easy and leads to great performance, so we thought it was only right that we deploy with Workers Sites ourselves. With this announcement, we are also open sourcing the Cloudflare Workers docs! And, they are now served from a Cloudflare data center near you using Workers Sites.

We can’t wait to see what you deploy with Workers Sites!


Have you built something interesting with Workers or Workers Sites? Let us know @CloudflareDev!

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Post Syndicated from Rita Kozlov original https://blog.cloudflare.com/just-write-code-improving-developer-experience-for-cloudflare-workers/

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

We’re excited to announce that starting today, Cloudflare Workers® gets a CLI, new and improved docs, multiple scripts for everyone, the ability to run applications on workers.dev without bringing your own domain, and a free tier to make experimentation easier than ever. We are building the serverless platform of the future, and want you to build your application on it, today. In this post, we’ll elaborate on what a serverless platform of the future looks like, how it changes today’s paradigms, and our commitment to making building on it a great experience.

Three years ago, I was interviewing with Cloudflare for a Solutions Engineering role. As a part of an interview assignment, I had to set up an origin behind Cloudflare on my own  domain. I spent my weekend, frustrated and lost in configurations, trying to figure out how to set up an EC2 instance, connect to it over IPv6, and install NGINX on Ubuntu 16.4 just so I could end up with a static site with a picture of my cat on it. I have a computer science degree, and spent my career up until that point as a software engineer — building this simple app was a horrible experience. A weekend spent coding, without worrying about servers, would have yielded a much richer application.

And this is just one rung in the ladder — the first one. While the primitives have moved up the stack, the fact is, developing an application, putting it on the Internet, and growing it from MVP to a scalable, performant product all still remain distinct steps in the development process.

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

This is what “serverless” has promised to solve. Abstract away the servers at all stages of the process, and allow developers to do what they do best: develop, without having to worry about infrastructure.

And yet, with many serverless offerings today, the first thing they do is the thing that they promised you they wouldn’t — they make you think about servers. “What region would you like?” (the first question that comes to my mind: why are you forcing me to think about which customers I care more about: East Coast, or West Coast? Why can’t you solve this for me?). Or: “how much memory do you think you’ll need?” (again: why are you making this my problem?! You figure it out!).

We don’t think it should work like this.

I often think back to that problem I was facing myself three years ago, and that I know developers all around the world face every day. Developers should be able to just focus on the code. Someone else should deal with everything else from setting up infrastructure through making that infrastructure fast and scalable. While we’ve made some architectural decisions in building Workers that enable us to do this better than anyone else, today isn’t about expounding on them (though if you’d like to read more, here’s a great blog post detailing some of them). What today is about is really honing Workers in on the needs of developers.

We want Workers to bring the dream of serverless to life —  of letting developers only worry about bugs in their code. Today marks the start of a sustained push that Cloudflare is making towards building a great developer experience with Workers. We have some exciting things to announce today — but this is just the beginning.

Wrangler: the official Workers CLI

Wrangler, originally open sourced as the Rust CLI for Workers, has graduated into being the official Workers CLI, supporting all your Workers deployment needs.

Get started now by installing Wrangler

npm install -g @cloudflare/wrangler

Generate your first project from our template gallery

wrangler generate <name> <template> --type=["webpack", "javascript", "rust"]

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Wrangler will take care of webpacking your project, compiling to WebAssembly, and uploading your project to Workers, all in one simple step:

wrangler publish

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

A few of the other goodies we’re excited for you to use Wrangler for:

  • Compile Rust, C, and C++ to WebAssembly
  • Create single or multi-file JavaScript applications
  • Install NPM dependencies (we take care of webpack for you)
  • Add KV namespaces and bindings
  • Get started with pre-made templates

New and Improved Docs

We’ve updated our docs (and used Wrangler to do so!) to make it easier than ever for you to get started and deploy your first application with Workers.

Check out our new tutorials:

Multiscript for All

You asked, we listened. When we introduced Workers, we wanted to keep things as simple as possible. As a developer, you want to break up your code into logical components. Rather than having a single monolithic script, we want to allow you to deploy your code in a way that makes sense to you.

no-domain-required.workers.dev

Writing software is a creative process: a new project means creating something out of nothing. You may not entirely know what exactly it’s going to be yet, let alone what to name it.

We are changing the way you get started on Workers, by allowing you to deploy to a-subdomain-of-your-choice.workers.dev.

You may have heard about this announcement back in February, and we’re excited to deliver. For those of you who pre-registered, your subdomains will be waiting for you upon signing up and clicking into Workers.

A Free Tier to Experiment

Great products don’t always come from great ideas, they often come from freedom to tinker. When tinkering comes at a price, even if it’s $5, we realized we were limiting peoples’ ability to experiment.

Starting today, we are announcing a free tier for Workers.

The free tier will allow you to use Workers at up to 100,000 requests per day, on your own domain or workers.dev. You can learn more about the limits here.

New and improved UI

We have packaged this up into a clean, and easy experience that allows you to go from sign up to a deployed Worker in less than 2 minutes:

Just Write Code: Improving Developer Experience for Cloudflare Workers

Our commitment

We have a long way to go. This is not about crossing developer experience off our list, rather, about emphasizing our commitment to it. As our co-founder, Michelle likes to say, “we’re only getting started”.

There’s a lot here, and there’s a lot more to come. Join us over at workers.cloudflare.com to find out more, and if you’re ready to give it a spin, you can sign up there.

We’re excited to see what you build!