Important Note for OpenWhisk Developers

Yesterday while working on a new book (yep - I’m writing a book for OpenWhisk!) I discovered something pretty important. I generally use the OpenWhisk docs on IBM Bluemix as my reference: I knew that the docs were sourced from the GitHub repo, but what I did not know is how far behind the Bluemix docs were.

This is probably just a random fluke, but it bit me in the rear (and I’ll explain why next) so I’m now updating my own bookmarks to the GitHub docs:

Ok, so why was this a big deal to me? In the past when I’ve blogged about Web Actions, I’ve mentioned that you need to manually add a CORS header to use it in client-side applications. In fact, about a month ago I shared a generic solution for this: Using a Generic CORS Enabler in OpenWhisk

While working on my book though, I discovered that I no longer needed to do this! In fact, the CORS header is now automatically added. This is documented along with a new annotation you can add if you want more control over this behavior. This is a great new addition and one that makes a lot of sense I think.

In the docs you’ll also see a note about another new feature, Vanity URLs. All this does is make your API urls a bit nicer looking, so it isn’t a huge big deal, but it’s nice to know about. You may be curious though how you can actually use it since it requires a namespace with pretty strict restrictions.

The namespaces must match the regular expression [a-zA-Z0-9-]+ (and should be 63 characters or fewer) ...

My namespace fails this right away: / Space/. However, I forgot that in the Bluemix you can rename both your org (the “”) part above and the space (“My Space”). However… currently the OpenWhisk UI on Bluemix does not handle the rename correctly. Until the bug is fixed, I’d avoid renaming your org/space on Bluemix if you have existing OpenWhisk actions.

I said this feature “just” adds a nicer URL, but is does include a way to automatically load an HTML resource as well, and that could be handy for quick documentation purposes.

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