Showing posts from May, 2013

Improving the Pi Searcher's speed by moving from C++ to Go

From the title, I hope you expect that there's a trick here, and, of course, there is.  I'll get to that in a second.  None of this is new - it's the same observation about the overhead of fork/exec in CGI that things like FastCGI were designed to address.  The reason I'm scribbling about it was the way in which moving to a "slower" language actually made it easier to use the right system architecture for better overall performance.

I created the Pi Searcher as a joke in 1996 or thereabouts.  In those days, we were still finding out about new and cool websites by word-of-mouth, and a guy named Arthur Bebak ran an email list called Netsurfer Digest.  In it, he spread news about cool new things happening on this "web" thing.  In one of his issues, he noted a ridiculously useless website, and asked, "What's next?  A site where you can search for your birthday in Pi?".

It had to happen.

Over the years, the Pi searcher has grown, adopting …