Week 40, 2017 - Pipelines Multiple Steps; Cloudflare; New Echo

My feature request for Bitbucket Pipelines was implemented, Cloudflare had several good announcements, and Amazon launches new Echos.

Bitbucket Pipelines Multiple Steps

When I did my initial review of Bitbucket Pipelines, I filed several feature requests that would improve the way it works. Last week, one of them was closed and is now publicly available for everyone to use. Instead of having a single step in the form of a bash script, it’s now possible to divide that up into multiple steps where each step is configured separately and can have its own Docker image.

This is a huge win for readability and reusability of your pipelines config, and I’m very happy to see this available now. Of course, I still have one more feature request1 open for the ability to have reusable steps but that doesn’t seem to have as much traction yet. Hopefully that will be implemented at some point as well, but in the meantime I’m happy to see that Pipelines keeps improving.

Cloudflare Unmetered and at the Edge

As part of their 7th birthday celebration, Cloudflare released a number of new features throughout the week. Two of them stand out to me enough that I’ll mention them here.

Aside from Cloudflare2 the industry standard was to send bills for these mitigations, which can be very pricey with big attacks. Cloudflare instead kept protecting you until you started to impact other customers, but they’ve now grown big enough that this doesn’t actually happen anymore. Because of that they’ve now decided to offer unmetered mitigation, which means that your site will be protected, regardless of the plan you have with them. Obviously this is a good thing and will hopefully help many sites. As it’s Cloudflare, they also wrote an interesting article about how their infrastructure makes this possible.

The other new feature is Cloudflare Workers. These workers are similar in idea to AWS’ Lambda@Edge, with the ability to run JavaScript code at the endpoints of the Cloudflare network. Obviously the actual implementation is different, but I can see how it can be used to great effect for some things. An obvious example is a script to bypass the cache based on certain headers for better debugging, but I’m sure you can think of use cases for your own situation or application.

New Amazon Echo

Amazon announced several new models in their Echo line, this time including a new version of the regular Echo as well as more luxury Plus and Spot versions.

A couple of things to note about this, first they’ve looked at the Google Home and now have a lot more different cases to fit in with your house. They’ve also improved the sound, lowered the price, and the Plus model comes with a built-in smart hub. This means it can replace, for example, your Philips Hue Hub3 so you’ll need one less device for your home automation.

The Spot seems like another attempt to put a screen on the Echo, albeit a smaller and better looking one. Of course, this lost its main selling point when Google yanked YouTube from the Echo Show.

  1. Unfortunately, the third feature request was closed by Bitbucket the week after I reported it. [return]
  2. According to Cloudflare at least. [return]
  3. The square white thing in the starter pack that you need to connect to your lightbulbs. [return]
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