2022.03 - About Page, AWS Lambda, Heroklock


Updating my About page was an objective which I have been postponing for quite a while. The task wasn’t too hard, but it just wasn’t enticing enough for me to work on it. But one day, I just sat down and went f**k it let’s just do it and began to fancify my About page. These encounters of just do its seems inevitable in my life but always happen when it is least expected. I guess that’s just how it is.

By updating the About page, I wanted to include a brief history of my career although it has just begun and there isn’t really much to put on display. Currently, it looks almost identical to my resume with the academics, internships, and projects. However, as time goes on, I expect to fill it with new experiences and projects while keeping the old ones too while my resume will only have the latest ones.

After working on the About page and pushing the changes to the S3 bucket, I went to check on the results. While checking the new About page, I noticed that the .jpg image files were all returning a 404 NOT FOUND error. At first, I thought there was a typo with the image link. But then I noticed the error also appearing in my old posts that had .jpg image files. However, everything seemed fine on my local machine. I quickly realized that the problem was coming from the Lambda function I had written decades ago to redirect the request to the correct index.html page by handling the slash \ at the end of the request URL. The post covering this issue can be found here and this is the post that I referenced.

In addition to the Lambda@Edge function introduced in the post, I thought handling the file extensions such as .js, .css, .svg, etc. inside the function would provide extra security to my website (which I am not sure though). However, the downside to this additional step was that I had to specify every file type served from my website. Based on the information above, the fix was simple:

  1. Add the .jpg to also be handled in the Lambda function
  2. Make sure to deploy the updated Lambda function and publish a new version
  3. Go to CloudFront and select the appropriate distribution
  4. Edit the behavior to update the Lambda function in the Viewer request to the correct version
  5. Save changes and wait for the redeployment
  6. Pat yourself on the back

The fix was quick but the method seems pretty laborous compared to the result. I might also update the Lambda function but I am not sure.

Along with updating the homepage, I started a new Golang project called Heroklock. I got stuck on the previous Golang project Warden with the multithreading aspect of the application, so I decided to work on something more simple to get comfortable with Golang and its features.

Heroklock is a simple application to keep the free Heroku dynos awake for a period of time. The project started from my previous project SoSiZi which is a simple web application that utilizes the free Heroku dyno since it only has to run once a month. However, a small problem was that the free dyno server would go to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity. I needed the dyno to stay awake and be responsive just for one day (approx. 8 hours) in the entire month. So, I decided to make Heroklock.

There is already a convinient app called Kaffeine that keeps the Heroku app alive forever. However, the app does not have a timer option. I know creating a full fledged Golang application just to solve the problem of keeping my application awake for a limited amount of time seems like an overkill since it can be done with few lines of shell script. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m trying to get familiar with Golang. I hope to finish this project ASAP and get back on track with Warden.

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