My new blog software - boxpub, which runs this site - got a new feature last night. Fairly recently, Dropbox implemented webhooks for applications, so I added two simple webhook handlers (for the verification step and the data step). How am I using this?

I run this site behind Fastly, a great caching proxy service / CDN based on Varnish. I use it because it basically gets me an insanely fast front end to my little gunicorn app running on a fairly meager Linode. Fastly caches all my HTML permanently (the way I have it configured) unless explicitly invalidated. How do I invalidate? Fastly supports a great Varnish setup that allows me to send a PURGE request (curl -X PURGE <url>) to my home page and Fastly invalidates the cache for that page, and it is re-fetched and generated on next request. Think of it as a just-in-time in-memory static site generator (buzzword bomb).

So, in the current naïve implementation:

@boxpub.route('/webhooks/dropbox', methods=['POST'])
def dropbox_webhook_handle():
    url = CONFIG.SITE_DATA['url']
    try:'PURGING site index')
        purge_resp = requests.request('PURGE', url)
        resp = make_response(purge_resp.text)
    except Exception, e:
        resp = make_response("ERR: " + e.message)
    return resp

Still to do is determining what post or page changed, and purging those particular URLs.