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Program your next server in Go

Program your next server in Go

Sameer Ajmani

Manager, Go team

Google

Video

This talk was presented at the ACM Applicative conference in New York City on June 1, 2016.

(We’ll link the video here when it’s ready.)

Outline

1. What is Go, and who uses it?

2. Comparing Go and other languages

3. Code examples

4. Concurrency

5. Getting started

What is Go?

"Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software."

golang.org

History

Design began in late 2007.

  • Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson.
  • Ian Lance Taylor and Russ Cox.

Open source since 2009 with a very active community.

Language stable as of Go 1, early 2012.

Go 1.7 is coming this August.

Why Go?

Go is an answer to problems of scale at Google.

Program your next server in Go

System Scale

  • designed to scale to 10⁶⁺ machines
  • everyday jobs run on 1000s of machines
  • jobs coordinate, interact with others in the system
  • lots going on at once

Solution: great support for concurrency

Program your next server in Go

A Second Problem: Engineering Scale

In 2011:

  • 5000+ developers across 40+ offices
  • 20+ changes per minute
  • 50% of code base changes every month
  • 50 million test cases executed per day
  • single code tree

Solution: design the language for large code bases

Who uses Go at Google?

Hundreds of projects. Thousands of Go programmers. Millions of lines of Go code.

Public examples:

  • Flywheel: SPDY proxy for Chrome on mobile devices

Program your next server in Go

Who uses Go at Google?

Hundreds of projects. Thousands of Go programmers. Millions of lines of Go code.

Public examples:

  • Flywheel: SPDY proxy for Chrome on mobile devices
  • dl.google.com: Download server for Chrome, ChromeOS, Android SDK, Earth, etc.
  • Vitess: YouTube MySQL balancer
  • Seesaw: Linux Virtual Server (LVS) based load balancer
  • Lingo: Logs analysis in Go, migrated from Sawzall

The target is networked servers, but Go is a great general-purpose language.

Who uses Go besides Google?

golang.org/wiki/GoUsers

Aerospike, BBC Worldwide, Bitbucket, Booking.com, Core OS, Datadog, Digital Ocean, Docker, Dropbox, Facebook, Getty Images, GitHub, GOV.UK, Heroku, IBM, Intel, InfluxDB, Iron.io, Kubernetes, Medium, MongoDB, Mozilla services, Netflix, New York Times, pool.ntp.org, Rackspace, Shutterfly, SmugMug, SoundCloud, SpaceX, Square, Stack Exchange, Thomson Reuters Eikon, Tumblr, Twitch, Twitter, Uber, VMWare …

Program your next server in Go

Comparing Go and other languages

"Go: 90% Perfect, 100% of the time" -bradfitz, 2014

Program your next server in Go

Go has much in common with Java

  • C family (imperative, braces)
  • Statically typed
  • Garbage collected
  • Memory safe (nil references, runtime bounds checks)
  • Variables are always initialized (zero/nil/false)
  • Methods
  • Interfaces
  • Type assertions ( instanceof )
  • Reflection

Go differs from Java in several ways

Fast, efficient for computers:

  • Programs compile to machine code. There’s no VM.
  • Control over memory layout, fewer indirections

Fun, fast for humans:

  • Simple, concise syntax
  • Statically linked binaries
  • Function values and lexical closures
  • Built-in strings (UTF-8)
  • Built-in generic maps and arrays/slices
  • Built-in concurrency

Go intentionally leaves out many features

  • No classes
  • No inheritance
  • No constructors
  • No final
  • No exceptions
  • No annotations
  • No user-defined generics

Why does Go leave out those features?

Clarity is critical.

When reading code, it should be clear what the program will do.

When writing code, it should be clear how to make the program do what you want.

Sometimes this means writing out a loop instead of invoking an obscure function.

(Don’t DRY out.)

For more background on design:

Code examples

Go looks familiar

Hello, world!

package main  import "fmt"  func main() {     fmt.Println("Hello, 世界!") }

Hello, web server

package main  import (     "fmt"     "log"     "net/http" )  func main() {     http.HandleFunc("/hello", handleHello)     fmt.Println("serving on http://localhost:7777/hello")     log.Fatal(http.ListenAndServe("localhost:7777", nil)) }  func handleHello(w http.ResponseWriter, req *http.Request) {     log.Println("serving", req.URL)     fmt.Fprintln(w, "Hello, 世界!") }

Types follow names in declarations.Exported names are Capitalized. Unexported names are not.

Example: Google Search frontend

func main() {     http.HandleFunc("/search", handleSearch)     fmt.Println("serving on http://localhost:8080/search")     log.Fatal(http.ListenAndServe("localhost:8080", nil)) }  // handleSearch handles URLs like "/search?q=golang" by running a // Google search for "golang" and writing the results as HTML to w. // The query parameter "output" selects alternate output formats: // "json" for JSON, "prettyjson" for human-readable JSON. func handleSearch(w http.ResponseWriter, req *http.Request) {

localhost:8080/search

localhost:8080/search?q=golang

localhost:8080/search?q=golang&output=json

localhost:8080/search?q=golang&output=prettyjson

Validate the query

func handleSearch(w http.ResponseWriter, req *http.Request) {     log.Println("serving", req.URL)      // Check the search query.     query := req.FormValue("q")     if query == "" {         http.Error(w, `missing "q" URL parameter`, http.StatusBadRequest)         return     }

FormValue is a method on the type *http.Request :

package http type Request struct {...} func (r *Request) FormValue(key string) string {...}

query := req.FormValue("q") initializes a new variable query with

the type of the expression on the right hand side, string .

Fetch the search results

import "golang.org/x/talks/2016/applicative/google"
    // Run the Google search.     start := time.Now()     results, err := google.Search(query)     elapsed := time.Since(start)     if err != nil {         http.Error(w, err.Error(), http.StatusInternalServerError)         return     }

Search returns two values, a slice of results and an error.

The results are valid only if the error is nil.

type error interface {     Error() string // a useful human-readable error message }

Errors may contain additional information, accessed via type assertions.

Structure the search results

    // Create the structured response.     type response struct {         Results []google.Result         Elapsed time.Duration     }     resp := response{results, elapsed}

The response type is defined locally within handleSearch .

The google.Result type is exported from package google :

package google  type Result struct { Title, URL string }

The resp variable is initialized to a response value using a composite struct literal.

Render the search results

    // Render the response.     switch req.FormValue("output") {     case "json":         err = json.NewEncoder(w).Encode(resp)     case "prettyjson":         var b []byte         b, err = json.MarshalIndent(resp, "", "  ")         if err == nil {             _, err = w.Write(b)         }     default: // HTML         err = responseTemplate.Execute(w, resp)     }

Each case writes bytes to an io.Writer :

type Writer interface {         Write(p []byte) (n int, err error) }

http.ResponseWriter implements the io.Writer interface.

HTML templates operate on Go values

var responseTemplate = template.Must(template.New("results").Parse(` <html> <head/> <body>   <ol>   {{range .Results}}     <li>{{.Title}} - <a href="{{.URL}}">{{.URL}}</a></li>   {{end}}   </ol>   <p>{{len .Results}} results in {{.Elapsed}}</p> </body> </html> `))

Program your next server in Go

That’s it for the search handler

All the packages are from the standard library:

import (     "encoding/json"     "fmt"     "html/template"     "log"     "net/http"     "time" )

Go servers scale well: each request runs in its own goroutine .

Let’s talk about concurrency.

Communicating Sequential Processes (Hoare, 1978)

Concurrent programs are structured as independent processes thatexecute sequentially and communicate by passing messages.

Sequential execution is easy to understand. Async callbacks are not.

Go primitives: goroutines, channels, and the select statement.

Goroutines

Goroutines are like lightweight threads.

They start with tiny stacks and resize as needed.

Go programs can have hundreds of thousands of them.

Start a goroutine using the go statement:

go f(args)

The Go runtime schedules goroutines onto OS threads.

Blocked goroutines don’t use a thread.

Channels

Channels provide communication between goroutines.

c := make(chan string)  // goroutine 1 c <- "hello!"  // goroutine 2 s := <-c fmt.Println(s) // "hello!"

Select

A select statement blocks until communication can proceed.

select { case x := <-in:   fmt.Println("received", x) case out <- v:   fmt.Println("sent", v) }

Only the selected case runs.

Example: Google Search (backend)

Q: What does Google search do?

A: Given a query, return a page of search results (and some ads).

Q: How do we get the search results?

A: Send the query to Web search, Image search, YouTube, Maps, News, etc., then mix the results.

How do we implement this?

Google Search: A fake framework

We can simulate a back end search with a random timeout up to 100ms.

var (     Web   = FakeSearch("web", "The Go Programming Language", "http://golang.org")     Image = FakeSearch("image", "The Go gopher", "https://blog.golang.org/gopher/gopher.png")     Video = FakeSearch("video", "Concurrency is not Parallelism", "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cN_DpYBzKso") )  type SearchFunc func(query string) Result  func FakeSearch(kind, title, url string) SearchFunc {     return func(query string) Result {         time.Sleep(time.Duration(rand.Intn(100)) * time.Millisecond)         return Result{             Title: fmt.Sprintf("%s(%q): %s", kind, query, title),             URL:   url,         }     } }

Google Search: Test the framework

func main() {     start := time.Now()     results, err := google.Search("golang")     elapsed := time.Since(start)     fmt.Println(results)     fmt.Println(elapsed, err) }

Google Search (serial)

The Search function takes a query and returns a slice of Results .

Search invokes the Web, Image, and Video searches serially, then constructs the results slice.

func Search(query string) ([]Result, error) {     results := []Result{         Web(query),         Image(query),         Video(query),     }     return results, nil }
    results, err := google.Search("golang")

Google Search (parallel)

Run the Web, Image, and Video searches concurrently, and wait for all results.

The func literals are closures over query and c .

func SearchParallel(query string) ([]Result, error) {     c := make(chan Result)     go func() { c <- Web(query) }()     go func() { c <- Image(query) }()     go func() { c <- Video(query) }()      return []Result{<-c, <-c, <-c}, nil }
    results, err := google.SearchParallel("golang")

Google Search (timeout)

Don’t wait for slow servers.

func SearchTimeout(query string, timeout time.Duration) ([]Result, error) {     timer := time.After(timeout)     c := make(chan Result, 3)     go func() { c <- Web(query) }()     go func() { c <- Image(query) }()     go func() { c <- Video(query) }()      var results []Result     for i := 0; i < 3; i++ {         select {         case result := <-c:             results = append(results, result)         case <-timer:             return results, errors.New("timed out")         }     }     return results, nil
    results, err := google.SearchTimeout("golang", 80*time.Millisecond)

Avoid timeout

Q: How do we avoid discarding results from slow servers?

A: Replicate the servers. Send requests to multiple replicas, and use the first response.

func First(replicas ...SearchFunc) SearchFunc {     return func(query string) Result {         c := make(chan Result, len(replicas))         searchReplica := func(i int) {             c <- replicas[i](query)         }         for i := range replicas {             go searchReplica(i)         }         return <-c     } }

Using the First function

func main() {     start := time.Now()     search := google.First(         google.FakeSearch("replica 1", "I'm #1!", ""),         google.FakeSearch("replica 2", "#2 wins!", ""))     result := search("golang")     elapsed := time.Since(start)     fmt.Println(result)     fmt.Println(elapsed) }

Google Search (replicated)

Reduce tail latency using replicated back ends.

var (     replicatedWeb   = First(Web1, Web2)     replicatedImage = First(Image1, Image2)     replicatedVideo = First(Video1, Video2) )  func SearchReplicated(query string, timeout time.Duration) ([]Result, error) {     timer := time.After(timeout)     c := make(chan Result, 3)     go func() { c <- replicatedWeb(query) }()     go func() { c <- replicatedImage(query) }()     go func() { c <- replicatedVideo(query) }()
    results, err := google.SearchReplicated("golang", 80*time.Millisecond)

Go functions have simple, synchronous signatures.The use of concurrency is encapsulated.

What just happened?

In just a few simple transformations we used Go’s concurrency primitives to convert a

  • slow
  • sequential
  • failure-sensitive

program into one that is

  • fast
  • concurrent
  • replicated
  • robust.

No locks. No condition variables. No futures. No callbacks.

Getting started

You’re interested in Go. What next?

Take the Go Tour online.

tour.golang.org

Then go deeper …

golang.org/wiki/Learn

Still interested?

Run a pilot project.

Run a pilot project

Reduces the cost & risks of switching to a new technology,while helping your organization discover the benefits.

1. Choose something small to write in Go (e.g., a microservice)2. Build a prototype with a friend

  • Find the libraries you need
  • Integrate with editors & IDEs
  • Integrate with build & test & deploy
  • Learn how to debug & profile your program

3. Compare Go to what you use today

  • Isolate the language change; try not to change anything else.

4. Present results to the team

Go is designed for tooling

Go tools meet you where you are. There’s no one "Go IDE".

  • IDE & editor integration: Eclipse, IntelliJ, VisualStudio, SublimeText, emacs, vim, …
  • play.golang.org: online playground
  • gofmt : automatic formatting
  • goimports : automatic updates of package imports
  • gocode : automatic completion
  • the go tool: automatic fetch & build
  • guru : static analysis, bug finding, code navigation
  • godoc.org : open source package index and docs

Where to Go next

Take the Go Tour online.

tour.golang.org

Lots more material.

golang.org/wiki/Learn

Great community.

golang.org/project

Thank you

Sameer Ajmani

Manager, Go team

Google

@Sajma

sameer@golang.org

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