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Local caching for inclusion of JavaScript and CSS assets in Laravel projects
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README.md

Laravel Asset Cache

A Laravel package that automates downloading CSS and JS assets from CDNs so that they can be self hosted.

Why shoud I do this? <- Long-read!

Installation

Install the package with composer:

composer require rosswintle/laravel-asset-cache

Cached assets are stored in and served from the public file storage "disk". You will need to have symlinked your public/storage directory to storage/app/public as per the Laravel docs using:

php artisan storage:link

Be sure to do this in ALL environments: local, staging, and production.

Usage

Blade directive

If you just want a <script> tag for a JavaScript asset then you can use the blade directive

@jscript(<package>, <version>, <file>)
  • package is the name of an npm package (currently only npm is supported via jsdelivr.net)
  • version is a version constraint such as 1.9.0. Semantic versioning is assumed. You can use 1.9 to get the latest 1.9.x version as per the jsdelivr docs but this is not recommended in production environments
  • file is the path and filename (with extension) for the asset that you want relative to the package's root. For example dist/alpine.js

Example

@jscript('alpinejs', '1.9', 'dist/alpine.js')

Method call

A more flexible way is to use the static cachedAssetUrl() method of the LaravelAssetCache class, accessible through a facade as follows:

<script defer src="{{ LaravelAssetCache::cachedAssetUrl(<package>, <version>, <file>) }}"></script>

Parameter definitions are the same as for the Blade directive, above.

This is more flexible as you can add your own attributes to the tag that refers to the asset.

<script defer src="{{ LaravelAssetCache::cachedAssetUrl('jquery', '3.4', 'dist/jquery.min.js') }}"></script>

You can also use this method for CSS:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="{{ LaravelAssetCache::cachedAssetUrl('tailwindcss', '1.1.4', 'dist/tailwind.min.css') }}">

What does this do?

Using the Blade directive or cachedAssetUrl method:

  • Downloads the asset from jsdelivr.net
  • Caches it in your apps public directory
  • Returns the URL of the cached, local asset

What problem does this solve?

There's a FULL explanation on my blog.

It saves you having to manually download assets and include them in your project if you want to host them locally.

There are various reasons why you may want to do this, such as avoiding having your users tracked, to avoid depending on third-party CDNs and there are possible performance benefits too.

I'm also on a mission to ditch npm and build process from simple projects, so this bit of automation seemed useful.

If you dare specify an imprecise version constraint such as just 1.9 you can also get latest releases of dependencies without having to do anything! But all the big CDN's advise against this as it can break your site so use with caution and avoid in production environments!!

Compatibility

This package was built for and tested with Laravel 6.x, but should work on older and newer versions.

Be aware that package auto-discovery only works in Laravel 5.5 and higher. With older versions you will have to add the service provider and alias manually. I'm not providing instructions because you should be running newer Laravel.

Limitations

This is my first public package. All sorts of things could be wrong! Please be gentle.

I've not tested this on huge files, but it works for 73kb of compressed TailwindCSS.

Currently only works with npm packages, and pulls from cdn.jsdelivr.net

Downloads are currently synchronous so if an end user hits a cache operation they will see a slower page load.

Testing

I'm not an expert tester, so I've tested some aspects of the package, but not the use of Cache and Storage.

Feel free to contribute tests if you know how.

Roadmap

  • Better use of Guzzle - can it send straight to the file?
  • Configuration for, for example, cache duration, or use of different CDNs
  • Auto-discovery of "main" file for a package
  • Automatic asynchronous cache refreshing (is this possible?)
  • Add some slight randomisation (plus or minus a few minutes at random) of cache times so that one person doesn't get ALL the assets re-cached in one request.
  • cron job/cli for asynchronous cache refreshing

Credits

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