I recommend an ASCII Art banner for any tentpole product. It’s a beautiful homage to a prehistoric time in technology that’s easily forgotten. It’s just a few bytes that buys you the indulgence that only technical whimsy can afford.
Anyway, you know what can stop this whole scheme in its tracks? Cloudflare’s overeager HTML optimization. Normally HTML comments are useless, but it does turn out they’ve been used in… hacky use cases, among others. HTML comments for ASCII Art isn’t so much a hack but perhaps using comments for SSR hydration boundries is.
How can we stop Cloudflare from stripping out HTML comments? In theory, there might be a switch somewhere in the Cloudflare control panel. You might not have access to the control panel thoguh so sometimes it’s better to handle it on the code side.
Here’s how I approached the issue:
<!-- _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ | '_| || / _` | ' \| ' \| '_| |_| \_, \__,_|_||_|_|_|_|_| |__/ -->
Apparently Cloudflare will pull this right out. Here’s the secret. Surround this block with a
<noscript> <!-- _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ | '_| || / _` | ' \| ' \| '_| |_| \_, \__,_|_||_|_|_|_|_| |__/ --> </noscript>
I have tested this with what I think is a generic Cloudflare configuration, and I tested it out with an old school EJS deployment, a more modern Next SSR deployment and a Vite Static HTML file deployment.