Taking a Step Back & Scratching an Itch

August 14, 2017

I’ve been spending the past two weeks adjusting to working at Auth0. Thus far everything’s been great. The domain is interesting and challenging, the problems are fun, and there are a lot of smart people working here. While I’ve been getting up to speed, I’ve been working on a new bit of functionality and learning a few of our products. The one that’s been getting a lot of my time this week is our Webtask.io platform.

The elevator pitch for Webtask.io is that it allows you to make serverless HTTP endpoints with Node. It’s a pretty neat concept, similar to AWS Lamdbda or Google Cloud Functions. One thing that we do is allow you to require a number of modules from npm without worrying about bundling them yourself. For determining what packages are available, I’ve been utilizing a solution developed by one of my coworkers, Pablo Terradillos, hosted at canirequire. canirequire lets anyone search for their favorite npm module to see if it’s already available inside of a Webtask script. It’s been really handy and appreciated.

Over the weekend I was trying to get a little bit further on my task at work, when I realized I need to just take a step back and solve a different problem for a while. My mind immediately went to converting canirequire to a CLI script so that I could search for packages without leaving my terminal. After about 30 minutes of tinkering around, since Pablo had already taken care of any of the challenging bits, I was able to publish canirequire-cli. All it really does it call the webtask endpoint that tells me what packages we support, transform the data a bit, and then run a regex search over the modules to see if any match what I’m looking for. Once the search is done it simply returns a JSON response and ends.

The problem wasn’t hard at all, but it was enough to redirect my mind elsewhere and scratch my own itch.

If you want to put some code up on Webtask.io, give the package a try:

$ npm install -g canirequire-cli
$ canirequire request
 "request": [
 "request-progress": [
 "request-promise": [
 "request-replay": [
 "xmlhttprequest": [