Simon Willison’s Weblog

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10 items tagged “cloudflare”

2024

Weeknotes: Page caching and custom templates for Datasette Cloud

My main development focus this week has been adding public page caching to Datasette Cloud, and exploring what custom template support might look like for that service.

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2023

Cloudflare does not consider vary values in caching decisions. Here’s the spot in Cloudflare’s documentation where they hide a crucially important detail:

“Cloudflare does not consider vary values in caching decisions. Nevertheless, vary values are respected when Vary for images is configured and when the vary header is vary: accept-encoding.”

This means you can’t deploy an application that uses content negotiation via the Accept header behind the Cloudflare CDN—for example serving JSON or HTML for the same URL depending on the incoming Accept header. If you do, Cloudflare may serve cached JSON to an HTML client or vice-versa.

There’s an exception for image files, which Cloudflare added support for in September 2021 (for Pro accounts only) in order to support formats such as WebP which may not have full support across all browsers. # 20th November 2023, 5:08 am

Analytics: Hacker News v.s. a tweet from Elon Musk

My post Bing: “I will not harm you unless you harm me first” really took off.

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Wildebeest (via) New project from Cloudflare, first quietly unveiled three weeks ago: “Wildebeest is an ActivityPub and Mastodon-compatible server”. It’s built using a flurry of Cloudflare-specific technology, including Workers, Pages and their SQLite-based D1 database. # 23rd January 2023, 12:03 am

2022

Stringing together several free tiers to host an application with zero cost using fly.io, Litestream and Cloudflare. Alexander Dahl provides a detailed description (and code) for his current preferred free hosting solution for small sites: SQLite (and a Go application) running on Fly’s free tier, with the database replicated up to Cloudflare’s R2 object storage (again on a free tier) by Litestream. # 7th October 2022, 5:47 pm

2021

1.1.1.1/purge-cache (via) Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS service has a tool that anyone can use to flush a specific DNS entry from their cache—could be useful for assisting rollouts of new DNS configurations. # 6th December 2021, 11:15 pm

New HTTP standards for caching on the modern web (via) Cache-Status is a new HTTP header (RFC from August 2021) designed to provide better debugging information about which caches were involved in serving a request—“Cache-Status: Nginx; hit, Cloudflare; fwd=stale; fwd-status=304; collapsed; ttl=300” for example indicates that Nginx served a cache hit, then Cloudflare had a stale cached version so it revalidated from Nginx, got a 304 not modified, collapsed multiple requests (dogpile prevention) and plans to serve the new cached value for the next five minutes. Also described is $Target-Cache-Control: which allows different CDNs to respond to different headers and is already supported by Cloudflare and Akamai (Cloudflare-CDN-Cache-Control: and Akamai-Cache-Control:). # 21st October 2021, 10:40 pm

2019

Details of the Cloudflare outage on July 2, 2019 (via) Best retrospective I’ve read in a long time. The outage was caused by a backtracking regex rule that was added to the Web Application Firewall project, which rolls out globally and skips most of Cloudflare’s regular graduar rollout process (delightfully animal themed, named DOG for the dogfooding PoP that their employees use, PIG for the Guinea Pig PoPs reserved for free customers, then Canary for the final step) so that they can deploy counter-measures to newly discovered vulnerabilities as quickly as possible—but the real value in the retro is that it provides an extremely deep insight into how Cloudflare organize, test and manage their changes. Really interesting stuff. # 12th July 2019, 5:36 pm

2018

The Now CDN (via) Huge announcement from Zeit Now today: all .now.sh deployments are now served through the Cloudflare CDN, which means they benefit from 150 worldwide CDN locations that obey HTTP caching headers. This is particularly relevant for Datasette, since it serves far-future cache headers by default and uses Cloudflare-compatible HTTP/2 push hints to accelerate 302 redirects. This means that both the “datasette publish now” CLI command and the Datasette Publish web app will now result in Cloudflare-accelerated deployments. # 12th July 2018, 3:34 am

Everyone can now run JavaScript on Cloudflare with Workers. This is such a brilliant piece of software design: Cloudflare took the service workers spec and used it as the basis for their edge-executed JacaScript feature. This means you can run server-side JavaScript in hundreds of edge locations worldwide, applying custom dynamic logic (including additional async cached fetch() calls) with only around 1ms if additional overhead. The pricing model is a steal: $0.50 per million requests with a $5/month minimum. # 13th March 2018, 4:36 pm