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Versions, A small module for creating a flexible CDN application
JavaScript
Tag: 0.1.0

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README.md

versions

Versions is a simple but powerful node module that allows you to create a flexible static server or content delivery network. Serving static assets is a pain in Node, it's not something it focuses on and everybody advises you to setup a static server using NGINX or implement a cache proxying using varnish or squid. The biggest advantage that these servers have is that they support sendfile for sending static assets and is generally agreed upon that this is "The Best" method for sending static data.

But Node doesn't have this advantage, it's removed from the core "due to reasons" and the only way to get decent file serving performance is to do agressive caching of the assets in memory to reduce I/O operations as well as optimize for cache hits inside the browser or using conditional requests. And that is the goal of this project. Cache all the things!.

Features

Versions comes with tons of features to make it easier for you to set up a simple static server.

Origin Pull

In addition to serving files from disk you can also configure versions to pull static content from an origin server. This way you don't have to upload you static assets to a separate server in order to get them cached.

REST API

You can communicate with the server using a REST API. You can inspect items from the cache, see what keys are cached or flush the server. The possiblities are endless.

Metrics

Everybody loves stats, thats why we are gathering metrics about the requests and the state of the server. These metrics can be accessed through the REST API.

Love

It's crafted with love, what else do you need?

Installation

Installation is done through the node package manager (npm)

npm install versions --save

The --save tells npm to automatically add this file to the dependencies object of your package.json file.

Configuration

The server can be configured in 2 different ways or a hybrid of both. It has a dedicated configuration file called versions.json that lives in the root of your application folder (the application folder is the folder that contains your node_modules folder). But you can also configure the module through a chainable API. And the last would be a hybrid of those. Using a configuration file and using the API to override some of the configuration values.

versions.json

The versions file can configure different aspects of the module. The following properties can be configured:

auth
The auth property is a simple security token that you can use to secure your versions REST API. It's unsecured by default but by after setting this property it requires an ?auth= parameter to be used to access the API.
blacklisted extensions
Black list extensions that you do want to have pulled from your origin server. You can for example black list .conf files or maybe some other random files. Please note that people can still fetch these files directly from the origin server.
cors
Set custom Access-Control-Allow-Origin headers. The default value is * so all values are allowed. If you only want allow access from a specific domain set the domain here.
directory
A directory that is relative the module that required versions that is used to serve static content. If you want this directory to be relative to a different path. You can see a root property.
expire internal cache
How long should we keep items in our internal (memory) cache. It accepts a numeric value as miliseconds or a human readable string like 10 hours or 90 minutes. Defaults to 1 hour.
max age
How long should the browser cache the files? It accepts a numeric value as miliseconds or a human readable string like 10 hours or 90 days. Defaults to 30 days. Please note that this value should not be longer then a year.
port
As you might imagine, on which port number do you want to run the server. Defaults to 8080.
origin servers
An array of of servers objects that is used to fetch resources from that is not found in the directory property. { url: "http://example.com", name: "foo" }

Full example of a versions.json:

{
  "auth": "my-secret-auth-key",
  "blacklisted extensions": [".foo", ".conf"],
  "cors": "*",
  "directory": "./public",
  "expire internal cache": "1 hour",
  "max age": "30 days",
  "origin servers": [
    { "url": "https://www.nodejitsu.com", "id": "home" },
    { "url": "https://webops.nodejitsu.com", "id": "webops" }
  ],
  "port": 8080
}
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