Pantheon Community

Investigate or Ignore: what web trends/techs do you find most compelling? baffling?

As web professionals we need constantly need to sort through what new things are worth investigating and what new things are safe to ignore… at least for now.

I’ve got a few in mind but I’d love to hear from others. Anyone want to volunteer some candidates?

PS - I will offer up my services to help investigate top contenders - maybe via blog post(s)?

One trend I have been investigating is Serverless. The value prop reminds me a lot of Pantheon. Basically it’s “Write your JS/Python/Go/etc such that you’re not relying on platform-specific details and we’ll run it, don’t worry about how.”

When I first used Pantheon, I liked the idea that I could take my normal Drupal codebase and just push it somewhere and have it work. I could focus on what the code was doing, not how it was deployed, or how the server was configured.

To that end, I’ve been writing a Serverless function to connect to an IoT device.


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WebAssembly [https://webassembly.org/] looks worth investigating to me. Admittedly, I haven’t done too much experimentation, but it is something I’m keeping an eye on.

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Yeah - that does look interesting… and only something I’d been vaguely aware of. Thanks for sharing!

I’ve actually encountered a use case a couple of times recently, edge redirects, where having access to edge compute at Fastly via Pantheon would have made life a lot easier. That seems like a nice feature for Pantheon.

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Ok - that’s something I would love to document and share with our Product team. Are you comfortable sharing the use-case and need here? If so - please do so. If not, let’s connect over email so we can help make this possible in the future. :slight_smile:

What it really boiled down to is that some routing logic was needed and doing it at the edge seemed like a simpler solution.

In one case a site was moved from a sub-domain to a sub-directory of a domain using a reverse proxy. What was needed was a way to determine where a request was coming from to route the requests appropriately. Using edge compute, we could have looked for a header from the proxy, but on the server, the header was not reliably there in the case that a request had been already been served from the cache.

The other use case was to do some routing.

In both cases, a decent solution was found, but having something more integrated into the hosting platform would have been a little nicer.

Hopefully, that helps, but let me know if I can clarify anything.

What I find fascinating and want to learn more about is headless Drupal to work with a React (or other framework) front-end. Either directly or with something like Gatsby in between. One thing about React native is that you’d have to write your own CRUD areas (not tough, but, why reinvent the wheel), and by using Drupal as a back-end, you get all of that “for free” and then you can use the power of something like React for the front. I haven’t really looked too much into it (besides some basic React classes) but it is intriguing!

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@benbridge we’re trying to move a site from a sub-domain to a sub directory of a domain. We tried CloudFront but ran into a bunch of issues. Are you able to share your high level solution?

@jamesdixon We used CloudFront a couple of times and in one case our client used a proxy that was built in-house. I haven’t used either of these in production, but both seem capable and are interesting projects (in my opinion), https://fly.io/ and https://developers.cloudflare.com/workers. If you are using Pantheon for hosting, they may be able to help via Professional Services so it might be worth reaching out to them.

Thanks @benbridge! Yeah we are trying the CloudFlare Workers out now and seeing if it’s viable with Pantheon. Cloudfront was giving us issues, so we’re hoping that will work. Going to go to office hours tomorrow if we can’t figure it out.

@jamesdixon How did Cloudflare Workers turn out for you? Were you able to find a viable solution?

@benbridge We were able to get Wordpress served from /blog using CloudFlare service workers in a test of ours, but for infrastructure reasons we switched to a solution with CloudFront.

For the CloudFlare test we got running we used this article as a guide: https://medium.com/@liran_co/how-to-use-webflow-to-host-parts-of-your-site-cloudflare-workers-f0f972503aef

It’s a good recipe. We ended up modifying it so the service workers had a wildcard rule that grabbed any traffic from /blog/* and served that up from a different Wordpress panthoen site.

Other issues we worked through were redirects from thedomainwewant.com/blog to wordpressurl.com/lbog. Most of those were cleared up by changing settings in the redirect plugin and in wp-config.php.

@jamesdixon Glad to hear you worked it out! Also thanks for the reference, it looks like a good one to keep on hand for reference. It’s funny how things seem to come full circle on some projects.