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Zach Leatherman

Bridgy for Webmentions with Brotli

June 29, 2019

Summary: Just a fair warning if you use the amazing Bridgy service to gather webmentions from social networking sites. It won’t actually work with your site if you’re using Brotli compression. Use gzip for your HTML requests instead of Brotli and it will work fine.


On June 11, 2019 I tweeted:

Unfortunately, I would learn much later that this would cause my webmentions to stop working too!

I logged into webmention.io and had zero new webmentions from Twitter coming in. My webmentions from Twitter come from Bridgy. I logged into my Bridgy admin panel and saw a bunch of errors:

No webmention support: https://www.zachleat.com/web/css-tricks-web-fonts/

Apparently this stopped working when I added Brotli compression to my web site. Bridgy doesn’t support Brotli compression so when it fetches my site it can’t decompress my HTML content for parsing. My site does correctly fallback to uncompressed output when Brotli support is not advertised in the request’s Accept-Encoding header, but unfortunately Google App Engine assumes that all applications support Brotli compression and always includes this in request headers made on the service 😱. Star this issue to ask Google App Engine developers to fix this!

Anyway, I modified my site to compress gzip on HTML requests and use Brotli for everything else (if supported). I’ll go back to full Brotli after this issue is fixed 🏆.

Hope this helps someone else!

Zach’s ugly mug (his face)

Zach is a Web Craftsperson with the award winning Filament Group. He’s currently fixated on web fonts and static site generators. His public speaking résumé includes talks in eight different countries at events like Beyond Tellerrand, Smashing Conference, CSSConf, and The White House. He also helps herd NEJS CONF and the NebraskaJS meetup. Read more about Zach »

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Riccardo Erra
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  1. Jeremy Keith

    Jeremy Keith https://adactio.com/ #

    Bridgy for Webmentions with Brotli—zachleat.com July 2nd, 2019 This is good to know! Because of a bug in Google App Engine, Brid.gy won’t work for sites using Brotli compression on HTML.

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  1. ‪Good catch. Thank you @zachleat for‬ the write up Just a fair warning if you use the amazing Bridgy service to gather webmentions from social networking sites. It won’t actually work with your site if you’re using Brotli compression. Use gzip for your HTML requests instead of Brotli and it will work fine.zachleat.com

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    1. Adactio Links

      Adactio Links @adactioLinks #

      Bridgy for Webmentions with Brotli—zachleat.com zachleat.com/web/bridgy-bro…