Firebase-integration-golang

Firebase integration for Golang

Since Golang is considering a lightweight programming language and Firebase is the next-generation Backend-as-a-Service, we think it could be a savvy combination to develop with ease both performant and secure microservices or stand-alone projects. Here are several advantages that could convince you to try this combo.

When it comes to Golang, it is as speedy as a compiled language, but it feels like an interpreted one. Moreover, as we mentioned in one of our previous articles, it has clean syntax with text-based workflow and clear language specification. Thus, you can write the code fast, and even faster compilation speeds are allowed for a rapid feedback style.

On the other hand, Firebase is an all-encompassing product that has everything you need to develop. From a real database to authentication modules. when you connect your app with Firebase, you’re not connecting through normal HTTP, but through a WebSocket which is much faster than HTTP and sends you new data as soon as it’s updated.

Firebase Storage provides a simple way to save binary files to Google Cloud Storage directly from the client thanks to its own system of security rules to protect your GCloud Socket from the masses while granting detailed write privileges to your authenticated clients.

Regarding Authentication, Firebase Auth has built in email/password authentication system. It also supports OAuth2 for Google, Facebook, Twitter and GitHub. Moreover, Firebase Auth integrates directly into Firebase Database so you can use it to control access to your data.

Last but not least, Firebase includes an easy-to-use hosting services for all your static files that serve them from a global CDN with HTTP/2 making your development particularly painless.

Firebase admin SDK for Golang

The Firebase Admin Go SDK enables access to Firebase services from privileged environments (such as servers or cloud) in Go. Currently, this SDK provides Firebase custom authentication support.

To install Firebase Admin Go SDK, simply execute the following command in a terminal from your $GOPATH:
[crayon-5bf16f922b366905605723/]
Firebase Admin SDKs enable application developers to programmatically access Firebase services from trusted environments. They complement the Firebase client SDKs, which enable end users to access Firebase from their web browsers and mobile devices.

And that’s only the beginning. To explore further, here are 4 Go libraries and apps for Firebase that we think you will find useful:

Go-fcm - Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) Library using Golang (Go). This library uses HTTP/JSON Firebase Cloud Messaging connection server protocol. Its main features are: send messages to a topic, send messages to a device list, message can be a notification or data payload, supports condition attribute (fcm only), instance Id Features

Examples:

Send to A topic

[crayon-5bf16f922b376938663919/]

Send to a list of Devices (tokens)

[crayon-5bf16f922b37e263302330/]
Firebase-server-sdk-go - This is the Server SDK written in Golang for the newly announced Firebase suite of services. This SDK, like its Java and Node counterparts, supports the following functions needed on the application server: Authentication, Real-time Database, Cloud Messaging (FCM)

Examples:

Create Custom Tokens

To create a custom token, pass the unique user ID used by your auth system to the CreateCustomToken() method:
[crayon-5bf16f922b385162904902/]
You can also optionally specify additional claims to be included in the custom token. These claims will be available in the auth/request.auth objects in your Security Rules. For example:
[crayon-5bf16f922b38b899829819/]

Verify ID Tokens

To verify and decode an ID Token with the SDK, pass the ID Token to the VerifyIDToken method. If the ID Token is not expired and is properly signed, the method decodes the ID Token.
[crayon-5bf16f922b391883865863/]

Fireauth - A Firebase token generator written in Go

cosn/firebase - This a library for invoking the Firebase REST API.

In conclusion, a combination of those two can lead you to solid and scalable application development. Golang might be the perfect solution to scale your idea, while Firebase has all that you could need to begin a worthwhile business solution or to launch your current configuration forward on the right track.


3-reasons-why-you-should-grow-with-golang

3 reasons why you should grow with Golang

Why Golang became the way for many companies?

Let’s start answering to this question through an imagination exercise. Did you ever confront with that kind of frustration of dealing with complexity generated by very large teams of people working on very large pieces of software written languages with large feature sets? Well, as you might know already, Golang was created to solve that kind of frustration. Then, why not using it to increase your business?

In the end, Golang is your friend, but not your friend at a party asking you to take a taxi back home, it is your friend at an intervention telling you that he’s thrown all the alcohol out of the window. BBC Worldwide enjoyed such a friend when it implemented Golang in different areas, as a backend for different games (mobile and social) in production and development, Social Media crawlers and scrapers for an internal analytics product and web services that front various object stories.

But how exactly will that kind of friend help your business? Let’s find out from other small and middle businesses that grew with Golang.

A faster development process

Golang has the speed of a compiled language, but the feel of an interpreted language. Moreover, has clean syntax with text-based workflow, minimalistic design, and clear language specification. Thus, you can learn a language and become productive real fast. You can write the code fast, and even faster compilation speeds allow for a rapid feedback style. And speedy development means saving time and money for your company.

For example, Dnsimple found operation Golang processes in production to be relatively painless. They used their own flavor of continuous delivery. Actually, deployment was a breeze, and they had the application running in production shortly after deciding to do so. Both memory and CPU usage are at least an order of magnitude lower than the Ruby application they used before Golang.

Another business that chooses to grow with Golang was Toggl. They decided to re-implement some part of their backend with it. So far, it has paid off, as the development process was fast, and deployment surprisingly simple. The resulting code was a big improvement in terms of speed.

Mender also discovered that Golang has more core languages features and libraries that allows much faster development of applications. This means that more Mender features had been developed for the community and users much faster than if C was chosen as the main language. As it is a compiled language, Golang runs natively and very efficiently on embedded devices. Moreover, it provides wide platform coverage from cross-compilation to support different architectures.

And one of Heroku favorite productivity gains was provided by Golang’s source formatter: gofmt. Deploying Doozer was satisfying simple. Golang builds statically linked binaries which means Doozer has no external dependencies.

In the end, you’ll have a product much more performant in terms of CPU load, memory usage and more. The reason is that Golang is focused on fast compiling and faster runtunes. For Digg, their average response time from their service was almost cut in half, their timeouts were happening on time and their traffic spikes had minimal effects on the service.

Minimum maintenance costs

Even if switching to Golang will cost your business in terms of initial development time, you’ll recoup that time in maintenance costs. Which is usually way more than the time to develop a feature.

Golang is lighting fast, and it’s perfect for serving up your applications. In fact, it’s so efficient that Moovweb not only built some small part of their platform in Golang, but now it is the heart of their tech. Their SDK is a compiled binary that they pack and send out to their clients and integration partners. Their production system is handling millions of pages a day and millions of dollars of e-commerce a month.  And as Digg was having difficulty with handle fast their requests for their platform, they moved to Golang as well. With their Golang upgrade, they’ve been able to handle 200 requests per minute and 1,5 million S3 item fetches per day.

Another powerful aspect of Golang is the way to which it hands object orientation. Golang has a notion of an interface used to identify a capability of an object and where it can be used. CloudFlare explored its advantage in their own work. Moreover, at CloudFlare, goroutines are now handling both the multiplexed Internet connections (of which there could be many between a single CloudFlare data center and their client) and the connections needed to get content from origin web servers and provide the content back to the nginx server that sends it on to the web browsers.

Golang and an easier HR process

When it comes to HR in a business focused on web development or depends on this activity, using a functional language make hiring and training new people more difficult. But not anymore, thanks to Golang because it’s concurrency makes writing software that must scale up and down very easy.

While the pool of Golang developers is definitely smaller from what we’ve seen, the people who are excited/knowledgeable about Golang tend to be developers who are truly interested in learning new things and pushing the envelope.

Because of the simple fact that is open-sourced and much more simpler than other languages, Golang makes developers feel that is in more control over the product that he is creating or maintaining. Golang has libraries for HTTP, raw network connections, URL manipulation, TLS, many different types of serialization systems, cryptographic hashing, compression, and the more mundane string manipulation, date/time, and logging. He will feel like in case of problems, he doesn’t depend on the creator to fix his issues.

For example, Movio discovered for the first time ever, that they actually can read the language spec when they were unsure of how something works. That’s how simple it is; the spec is readable. An approachable and complete guide to the language strengths developer confidence in making assumptions while following a piece of code and in justifying their decision-making rationale.

It the end, your business will gain in terms of time, reputation and money if your developers aren’t fighting the language they have to use in developing products. Take a look at Moovweb. They remote all their internal software in Golang and they saw how fast new users/employees have learned it.

 

In conclusion, Golang code tends to look ready for the public much sooner than most other languages, it provides a much stronger feeling of comfort to the developer, and the community embraces small-simple solution over big-sophisticated ones.

So, how about giving it a Go?


golang, middleware, negroni

Using Negroni middleware in Golang for specific routes with httprouter

In the last days I’ve played a little bit with negroni middleware and httprouter router. I found that the documentation about how can we use negroni middlewares for specific routes with httprouter is pretty poor. So I decided to write this article to share with you what I’ve found.

Negroni is an idiomatic approach to web middleware in Golang which will help you build and stack middleware very easily. It comes with some default middlewares like:

  • negroni.Recovery - Panic Recovery Middleware.
  • negroni.Logger - Request/Response Logger Middleware.
  • negroni.Static - Static File serving under the "public" directory.

But it also letting you create your own middlewares very easily:
[crayon-5bf16f922c6f8700753872/]
Negroni is BYOR (Bring your own Router) so we can use it with httprouter.

Httprouter is a Golang lightweight and high performance HTTP request router which is fast and has low memory consumption. TLDR: it is one of the fastest routers.

Here you have an example on how a simple route can be added when using httprouter:
[crayon-5bf16f922c703418293159/]
Where loginHandler will look like:
[crayon-5bf16f922c709245262222/]
Now lets suppose you want to access GET profile endpoint but you need to be authenticated.
We will start by creating an authentication middleware:
[crayon-5bf16f922c70e839201670/]
Then we will create a handler which will return profile information after the authentication will be done. This handler will be sent to the auth middleware as a callback using "next" parameter:
[crayon-5bf16f922c715297057143/]
Now let’s send everything to the router:
[crayon-5bf16f922c71a308020838/]
That was simple, but now if we have a route which contains parameters inside it (like /hello/:name) we cannot access it from our handler function. To solve that, I’ve written the following functions which will help us call the handler with the parameters:
[crayon-5bf16f922c720898587324/]
And will be used like this:
[crayon-5bf16f922c726764382256/]
 

The full working example can be found here.


Mysqldump Through a HTTP Request with Golang

So, in a previous post I explained how one can backup all databases on a server, each in its own dump file. Let's take it to the next level and make a Golang program that will let us run the dump process with a HTTP request.

Assuming you already have Go installed on the backup server, create first a project directory in your home folder for example. Copy the mysql dump script from here and save it as dump.sh in your project folder. Modify ROOTDIR="/backup/mysql/" inside dump.sh to reflect current project directory.

We will create a Golang script with two functions. One will launch the backup script when a specific HTTP request is done. The other one will put the HTTP call behind a authentication, so only people with credentials will be able to make the backup request.
[crayon-5bf16f922d71c803089128/]
This uses DB_BACKUP_USER and DB_BACKUP_PASSWORD that you will have to set as environment variables. Just append this to your ~/.bashrc file
[crayon-5bf16f922d729996333579/]
Now run source ~/.bashrc to load them.

Build the executable with go build http-db-backup.go where http-db-backup.go is the name of your Go file. Now you need to run the executable with sudo, but while preserving the environment: sudo -E ./http-db-backup

Now if you open your browser and open http://111.222.333.444:8080/backup (where 111.222.333.444 is your backup machine IP) the backup process will start, and you will get the output of the dump.sh in your browser when backup finishes.

We can furthermore add another function to list the directory in browser, so you can download the needed backup or backups.
[crayon-5bf16f922d730241640037/]
All you need to do is to add http.HandleFunc("/", lister) to your main() and navigate to http://111.222.333.444:8080/ . You will be able to navigate the backup directory to download the dump files.


Golang Guide: A List of Top Golang Frameworks, IDEs & Tools

Golang Guide: A List of Top Golang Frameworks, IDEs & Tools

Since its introduction, Google’s Go Programming Language (Golang) has been experiencing an increasing popularity among mainstream users. In a December 2016 survey, 89% of the 3,595 respondents claimed that they program in Go at work or outside of work.

Additionally, Go ranks highest among the programming languages in terms of expertise and preference. This July 2017, Go ranks 10th in Tiobe's Programming Language of the Year, jumping from its 55th ranking last year.

Clearly, Go is attracting many programmers from various disciplines and software development outsourcing professionals. And it’s safe to say that this is due to the ease of using Go.

As a compiled, open-source programming language, Go makes it easy for developers to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. It is the product of the innovation and evolution of the more conservative languages such as C and C++.

With Go, the amount of code typing is reduced and writing robust APIs without sacrificing its performance has become easier. Designed for scalability and concurrency, Go makes optimizations possible. A compiler can perform all the code inspection work before runtime.

We’ve compiled a list of the top frameworks, IDEs, and tools for Golang for your quick reference. Bookmark it on your browser so that you can come back whenever you’re working with Go!

Frameworks for Golang

Web frameworks help developers build applications as easily and quickly as possible. Go is still relatively new, so it’s important to use frameworks with sufficient documentation.

Here are 9 frameworks you can use to help you build projects using the Go Language.

1. Revel

As a high productivity framework for Go, Revel includes a Hot Code Reload tool that lets you rebuild your project on every file change. It also includes a wide variety of comprehensive and high-performance features, so you don’t need to find external libraries to integrate into the framework.

Golang Framework Revel

2. Beego

Beego is a full-fledged MVC framework with its own logging library, ORM, and web frameworks. You don’t need to find and install third-party libraries. It features a built-in tool called Bee Tool that watches out for code changes and runs tasks when changes are detected.

Beego will save you a lot of hours, especially in the beginning of a project when you’re figuring out the logging framework or application structure.

Golang Framework Beego

3. Martini

Inspired by Sinatra, Martini is an extremely light but powerful framework. It was developed for writing modular web applications and services in Golang.

It features a non-intrusive design that’s quick and easy to use and includes a wide range of handlers and middleware. It’s capable of performing basic routing, exception handling, and default document serving for AngularJS apps in HTML5 mode.

Golang Framework Martini

Martini’s best feature is its use of reflection, which lets developers dynamically insert data into the handler functions and add new services. Martini is also fully compatible with the http.HandlerFunc interface. The downside, though, is that the Martini framework is no longer maintained.

Golang Framework Martini 2

4. Gin Gonic

Gin Gonic is a web framework with a martini-like API, but with much better performance. If you’ve used Martini before, then you’ll be familiar with Gin Gonic. Otherwise, it will only take you 10 minutes to learn Gin. It’s that easy!

Gin Gonic is a minimalistic framework that includes only the most essential libraries and features. This makes it perfect for developing high-performance REST APIs. Plus, it’s 40 times faster than Martini.

You can add middleware, nested groups, JSON validation, and rendering, but it still maintains its optimum performance. Gin Gonic uses httprouter, the fastest HTTP router for Go.

Golang Framework Gin Gonic

5. Buffalo

Building new web applications with Go is quick and simple with Buffalo. When you’re starting a new project, Buffalo already has everything setup for you—from front-end to back-end development.

It features Hot Reloading, which means that dev command will watch your .go and .html files automatically. It will then rebuild and restart your binary for you. Just run the dev command, and you’ll see the changes go live right before your eyes!

Buffalo is more than just a framework – it’s a holistic web development eco-system that lets you get straight to building your application.

Golang Framework Buffalo

6. Goji

Goji is a lightweight and fast web framework that has composability and simplicity as its main priority. Much like net/http.ServeMux, Goji is a minimalistic HTTP request multiplexer. It includes Einhorn support, which makes it possible for you to have websocket support in Goji.

Additional features include URL patterns, re-configurable middleware stack, graceful shutdown, and more. Goji can be used in production and has served billions of requests across several organizations.

Golang Framework Goji

7. Tiger Tonic

Inspired by Dropwizard, Tiger Tonic is a Go framework for developing JSON web services and building high-performance REST APIs. To stay true to the principles of Golang, Tiger Tonic strives to keep features orthogonal.

The downside to Tiger Tonic is its inadequacy when it comes to building large, back-end applications.

Golang Framework Tiger Tonic

8. Gocraft

Another powerful yet minimalistic framework, Gocraft offers fast and scalable routing performance. It adds routing to the net/http package from the standard library.

Gocraft is a Go mux and middleware package that features casting and reflection capabilities so that you can type your code statically. You can also add an optional functionality with the built-in middleware or write your own.

Since performance is always one of the top concerns for developers, Gocraft is a great choice for developers. It’s very easy to write backend web applications using the Gocraft framework.

Golang Framework Gocraft

9. Mango

Although Mango is not actively maintained by its creator, Paul Bellamy, a lot of Go users still use it. The great thing about Mango is its modularity. You can choose from a variety of libraries to include in your project.

Mango lets you build reusable modules of HTTP functionality as quickly and easily as possible. It compiles a list of middleware and application into a single http server object to keep your code self-contained.

Golang Framework Mango

Integrated Development Environment (IDEs) for Golang

IDEs for Golang are gaining popularity, along with the Go Language. While many developers still prefer to use text editors, many prefer to use IDEs as well.

If you’re working on a large-scale project with an extensive codebase, an IDE can help you organize your code and navigate it with ease. Furthermore, IDEs can help you test your code and edit them accordingly.

Here are the top IDEs that work great with Golang.

1. Gogland

Software development company JetBrains released another reliable IDE, but this time, for Golang. Gogland is a commercial IDE that provides a robust ergonomic environment for Go developers. It also features coding assistance, debugger, and an integrated terminal.

Because an established company created Gogland, it has an extensive IntelliJ plugin ecosystem where you can get additional tools should you need more.

Golang IDE Gogland

2. Visual Studio Code

Created by Microsoft, Visual Studio Code is a full-featured, open-source IDE and code editor that supports a wide variety of programming languages. It features smart completion with IntelliSense; debugging using break points, call stacks, and an interactive console; built-in Git integration; and hierarchical folder and file explorer.

As another popular IDE, Visual Studio Code has a supportive community of Go developers that regularly contribute. With Visual Studio Code, you can extend functionalities with the array of available plugins.

Golang IDE Visual Studio Code

3. LiteIDE

LiteIDE is among the first Golang-centric, open-source IDEs that was created more than 5 years ago. As a C++ Qt application with a unique look and feel, LiteIDE offers code management, configurable build commands, gdb and Delve debugger, auto-completion and theming with WordApi, MIME type based system, and more. It also provides JSON and Golang support.

Golang IDE LiteIDE

4. Wide

Wide is a web-based IDE for Golang programmers. It’s designed for collaborative development and works best for teams and web development agencies. Wide features include code highlight, debugging, Git integration, and more.

Because Wide is created and maintained by a Chinese developer, most of its documentation and support are in Chinese.

Golang IDE Wide

5. Atom with go-plus plugin

If you’re already using Atom, your code editing experience in Golang can be improved with an open-source package called go-plus. With go-plus, you get instant, real-time feedback on your syntax and build errors.

Golang IDE Atom

The go-plus package offers almost all Golang support in Atom. It can also be used for tools, build flows, linters, vet and coverage tools.

Go-plus also includes various code snippets and features such as autocomplete with gocode, code formatting with gofmt, goreturns, or goimports, and more.

Golang IDE Atom+go-plus

6. Eclipse with GoClipse

Because Eclipse is a widely popular IDE, numerous plugins have been created for it. GoClipse is an Eclipse plugin for Golang that offers Go source code editing with configurable syntax highlighting and automatic indentation and brace completion.

GoClipse also serves as a project wizard and builder that reports syntax and build errors instantly. Additional features of GoClipse include debugging functionality and code assist.

Golang IDE Eclipse+GoClipse

7. Sublime Text with GoSublime

Sublime Text is another sophisticated text editor with a large community of contributors and developers. As such, a wide variety of plugins has been created for this IDE.

GoSublime is a Golang plugin for Sublime Text 3 that offers code completion from Gocode, lint/syntax check while you’re wiring code, automatic addition and removal of package imports, and more.

Golang IDE GoSublime

8. Vim with vim-go plugin

Vim is a free, open-source IDE that can be customized and configured with various plugins. If you’re a Golang programmer, you can use Vim with the vim-go plugin created by Fatih Arslan. Vim-go automatically installs all the necessary binaries for providing a smooth Vim integration for Golang.

Vim-go is a powerful plugin suite for writing and developing Go. Its features include advanced source code analysis, adding and removing import paths, multiple 3rd liner support, goto definition, quick file executions, and much more.

Vim-go is highly customizable, with individual features that can be enabled or disabled according to your need.

Golang IDE Vim-Go

9. Komodo

Komodo is a full-featured Go language IDE that supports other programming languages such as Node.js, Python, Ruby, Perl, and more. With this Go IDE, you can write clean code easily. Its features include an advanced code editor, intelligent code completion, syntax checking, version control and unit testing, and a Go Code Intelligence that allows code browsing and code hinting.

The great thing about Komodo is that it works great for team collaboration since multiple developers can edit a document simultaneously. Komodo can be installed on Mac, Windows, or Linux with just one license.

Golang IDE Komodo

10. IntelliJ IDEA with Go Language (golang.org) Support Plugin

IntelliJ IDEA (same company as JetBrains) is an IDE that can be used with Golang through the Go language support plugin. If you want to use IntelliJ IDEA with Golang, you need to install this plugin, albeit with limited features as opposed to Gogland.

Golang IDE IntelliJ IDEA Golang Support

Tools for Golang

Golang tools can be used for a wide variety of projects and web applications. Developers can write code and build applications as quickly and easily as possible with these helpful tools.

Here’s a list of the top Golang tools for your reference.

1. Apicompat

Apicompat is a new Go language tool that helps developers detect backwards, incompatible changes and exported declarations.

With Apicompat, you can avoid false positives. However, not every backwards incompatible change can be detected by Apicompat. Swapping argument parameters and other changes still need to be considered by the library author.

Golang Tool Apicompat

2. Checkstyle

Inspired by Java Checkstyle, Checkstyle for Golang prints out coding style suggestions. It also lets developers check file line/function and line/param number, which can then be configured by the user.

Golang Tool Checkstyle

3. Depth

Depth is another useful Golang tool that helps web developers retrieve and visualize Go source code dependency trees. It can be used as a standalone command-line application or as a particular package within your own project. You can add customizations by simply setting the appropriate flags on the Tree before resolving.

Golang Tool Depth

4. Go-Swagger

This toolkit includes a wide variety of features and functions. Go-Swagger is an implementation of Swagger 2.0, and can serialize and deserialize swagger specifications. It’s a minimalist yet powerful representation of your RESTful API.

With Go-Swagger, you can swagger spec document, validate against jsonschema, and other extra rules. Other features include code generation, API generation based on swagger specs, spec document generation based on the code, extended string formats, and more.

Golang Tool Go-Swagger

5. Go Meta Linter

If you need to run Go lint tools and normalize their output concurrently, that’s exactly what Go Meta Linter can do for you. Go Meta Linter is intended to be used with a text editor or an IDE integration such as Sublime Linter plugin, Atom go-plus package, Emacs Flycheck checker, Vim/Neovim, and Go for Visual Studio Code. It also supports a wide variety of linters and configuration files like JSON.

Golang Tool Go Meta Linter

6. Go-callvis

Go-callvis is a web development tool that allows you to visualize the call graph of your Go program with Graphviz's dot format. This tool is especially useful when building large projects with complex codebases. This is also useful when you want to understand another developer’s code structure or rebuild someone else’s project.

With go-callvis, developers can focus specific package within a program; group functions according to package and methods according to type; and limit packages to custom path prefixes, and ignore those that contain them.

Golang Tool Go-Callvis

7. Gonative

Gonative is a simple Golang tool that lets you build Go toolchains with native libs, which can be cross-compiled while still utilizing the Cgo-enabled versions of the stdlib packages.

Gonative downloads the binary distributions for each platform and copies their libraries into its proper places. At the same time, Gonative sets the correct mod time to avoid unnecessary rebuilds.

Unfortunately, Gonative remains untested on Windows. Additionally, there’s no Linux/arm support provided.

Golang Tool Gonative

8. Grapes

Grapes is a lightweight Golang tool designed to distribute commands over ssh easily. It’s written and actively maintained by Yaron Sumel.

Grapes will soon support full host key validation, so that’s something developers should watch out for.

Golang Tool Grapes

9. Gosimple

The great thing about this Golang linter is that it focuses on simplifying Go source code. Gosimple always targets the latest Go version, so it requires Go version 1.6 or later.

If there’s a new Go release, gosimple will suggest the easiest and simplest methods to avoid complicated constructs.

Golang Tool Gosimple

10. Go Vendor

Go Vendor is the Golang tool that works with the standard Vendor folder. It allows developers to copy existing dependencies from $GOPATH with govendor add/update. You can also directly pull new dependencies or update existing dependencies with govendor fetch and move legacy systems with govendor migrate.

Golang Tool Go-vendor

Wrapping It Up

If you’re coming from a JS/Node background, you need to learn some new programming concepts such as coroutines, channels, strict typing with compilation, interfaces, structs, pointers, and some other differences. But, once you get into the groove, you’ll find Golang easier and faster to use.

 


Profiling web applications in Golang

I've been watching the 2017 Gophercon videos from here. There are many good talks that I would recommend watching from that list.

One that I really wanted to try out on my own was the profiling presentation that Peter Bourgon did. I assume for the sake of simplicity, he left some details out. I've been trying to figure them out on my own.

I was inspired to try to profile my own Golang web apps using the method he presented in his talk. So in this post I'll show you a simplified example of how to profile your own web applications in more detail.

The web app

To see a practical example of profiling and to keep it simple, we need to create a web app that when called on a particular route, performs some sort of calculation and returns a result in it's payload.

If we were to mimic real life scenarios, we would be here all day. So just to keep it simple, we will create a single route that calculates the 25th Fibonacci number when it's called and returns it in the response body.

I've written two versions of the Fibonacci function before hand, one that performs recursion (exponential time - very CPU intensive) and one that calculates the number using a vector (linear time - not very CPU intensive).

In order to use the profiling tool, you need to import the [crayon-5bf16f922e43c532122619-i/]  package and register some routes. In the presentation I mentioned earlier, the speaker mentioned that we could leave this imported even in production environments since it does not affect performance.
[crayon-5bf16f922e447502718242/]
As you can see, this is a really simple application, save it to a file called [crayon-5bf16f922e450163752528-i/] and build it like this: [crayon-5bf16f922e456694154496-i/] .

Now you can run your binary: [crayon-5bf16f922e45b238554541-i/] and to check if it's working we'll send a request to it:
[crayon-5bf16f922e461517555762/]

The CPU profile

Now, while the server is running, you will need to run two commands in parallel. You first need to start the profiling tool which will record data for 30 seconds after it is run AND as it is running, run the Apache Benchmark tool to send a few requests it's way.

So you will need to run the profiling tool like this:

[crayon-5bf16f922e466875075187-i/]

While that's running, run the benchmark:

[crayon-5bf16f922e46c485663522-i/]

This will create a total of 100,000 keep-alive requests to your server, using 8 cores. To better understand what this benchmark command does, it is explained in the link provided.

After 30 seconds, the profiling tool will show a prompt for commands that will look something like this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e471037833331/]
Here you can run commands to show you how much of CPU time each function took and other useful information. For example, if I run [crayon-5bf16f922e477046624781-i/]  it will list the top 5 functions that are hogging the CPU:
[crayon-5bf16f922e47c080735737/]
As you can see the [crayon-5bf16f922e482620265147-i/] function really hogs the CPU.

Please note: These values might differ on your machine. For reference I'm using a MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015), 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5 Processor and 8 GB 1867 MHz DDR3 of Memory.

If we wanted to see a graph of this profile we need to run the web command like this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e488540531969/]
This will open up your default browser and display an image of the profile. Here's a crop of the image that concerns our Fibonacci function:

golang profiling

So during that profile, 60.97% of the time, the [crayon-5bf16f922e48d756720964-i/] was running on the CPU.

Optimizations

Now, we know from the theory that O(n) < O(2^n). Let's see if this holds up in practice, it we were to replace the [crayon-5bf16f922e493018248240-i/]  call with [crayon-5bf16f922e498358921984-i/]  inside the [crayon-5bf16f922e49d471248398-i/]  function.

Now we run the profile again. You can immediately see that it took less time because the benchmark actually finishes really fast this time.

If we run [crayon-5bf16f922e4a3425131324-i/] now, the [crayon-5bf16f922e4a8300969594-i/]  function doesn't even make the cut.  Even if you try to do [crayon-5bf16f922e4ad542374534-i/] you will not find it because the compiler inlined that particular code.

So we need to rebuild the application with the compiler flags that disable inlining like this:

[crayon-5bf16f922e4b2625272994-i/]

 

Now even with this flag enabled I had a hard time finding the function in the top. I went ahead and increased the hard-coded value for the n-th Fibonacci number to 10,000. So I'm looking for the 10,000th Fibonacci number, this number doesn't even fit inside the integer datatype in Golang. It will overflow several times before coming to a stop. I also increased the benchmark to 1,000,000 requests.

Now if I run [crayon-5bf16f922e4b8593763821-i/] I get:
[crayon-5bf16f922e4bd007331922/]
Or in graphical format:

golang profiling

As you can see, it barely even makes a dent.

So for this test, calculating the 25th Fibonacci number recursively takes 60% of the CPU while calculating the 10,000th Fibonacci number linearly takes 4% of the CPU (without inlining).

Another useful command for pprof to see how much CPU time a function takes is the [crayon-5bf16f922e4c3424940505-i/]  command. Or, if you're like me, to find out if a function is actually called.

For our [crayon-5bf16f922e4c9201969157-i/]  function it looks like this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e4ce875949924/]

A better comparison

A better way to compare the two methods, and the theory to practice, is this:

  1. Knowing that the exponentialFibonacci method is O(2^n), it would take approximately 2^25 = 33554432 instructions to calculate the 25th Fibonacci number.
  2. Linearly, calculating the 33554432th Fibonacci number should take roughly the same time as calculating the 25th number exponentially.

So following the methodology above we do this:

  1. Build the application using the exponentialFibonacci(25) call.
  2. Start the application.
  3. Start the Apache Benchmark for 1,000,000 requests.
  4. Start the CPU profile for 30s seconds.

We get this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e4d6092134443/]
Now for the second part:

  1. Build the application using the linearFibonacci(33554432) call.
  2. Start the application.
  3. Start the Apache Benchmark for 1,000,000 requests.
  4. Start the CPU profile for 30s seconds.

We get this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e4dc351522343/]
As you can see, the flat percentages, which is how much of the time was spent in the routine itself, is roughly the same. 61.38% vs 57.45%, it's about 4% difference between them.

Profiling memory

Using the same process, you can run the following command to profile memory:

[crayon-5bf16f922e4e2272824144-i/]

If you run a top command you should see something like this:
[crayon-5bf16f922e4e7356958345/]

Conclusion

Now that you've seen the basics on how to profile your Golang web apps, you can start diving into heavier stuff like this. Take some time and run a profile on your own Golang web apps.

Also, you should see the Gophercon talk I mentioned at the start of this post, it's quite good.


OOP in Golang vs C++

Before I started to learn Go, every online opinion I would read about the language complained about the lack of generics and how OOP was dumbed down  and so on.

It made me put off learning it for quite some time, more than I would like to admit. Coming from a C++ background, OOP, generics and meta-programming was my daily bread.

It wasn't until I had to actually learn Go that I saw what it offered me in terms of OOP and it was just enough. As such, I wanted to put a side-by-side comparison of typical C++ code that deals with classes, and it's corresponding implementation in Go that does more or less the same thing.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of examples, but I thought it might prove useful for someone trying to figure out Go.

To run all Go examples, copy them to a file and run [crayon-5bf16f922f802850133684-i/] .

To run all C++  examples, copy them to a file and run [crayon-5bf16f922f80d362015841-i/] .

Class declaration

In C++:
[crayon-5bf16f922f813939976013/]
Go equivalent:
[crayon-5bf16f922f819397110107/]

Inheritance (sort of)

In C++:
[crayon-5bf16f922f820333002387/]
Go equivalent:
[crayon-5bf16f922f826923128481/]

Interfaces

In C++:
[crayon-5bf16f922f82c803642293/]
Go equivalent:
[crayon-5bf16f922f832205847052/]

Conclusion

There are basic equivalences between traditional OOP languages like C++ and the syntax and functionality that Golang provides.

In it's own simple way, Golang provides ways to implement encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism. In my humble opinion, these mechanisms are enough for most object-oriented projects.