Tag Archives: golang

Beautiful Scotland

2023 Reading list (updated as we go)

Interesting https://medium.com/@jsoverson/was-rust-worth-it-f43d171fb1b3

Reforming Unix : https://github.com/Ericson2314/baccumulation/blob/main/reforming-unix.adoc

Managing big C language codebases can be challenging but is definitely possible : this very interesting post talks about curl https://daniel.haxx.se/blog/2023/12/13/making-it-harder-to-do-wrong/

Agile has failed ? I don’t think so : https://medium.com/developer-rants/agile-has-failed-officially-8136b0522c49 Anything applied as a religion is doomed to fail and the same is for Agile. You can’t take any methodology and apply it “as is” to a company or project or dev-team; you need to adapt it and not make the company/team adapt to it.
What I hope is that we don’t trow away the good ideas of Agile (iterations/continuous delivery, attention to technical excellence, simplicity (avoiding over engineering) just to mention a few).

State of the developer ecosystem : https://www.jetbrains.com/lp/devecosystem-2023/

Margareth Hamilton, the first software engineer story : https://levelup.gitconnected.com/the-untold-story-of-the-errorless-code-written-by-a-woman-that-took-man-to-the-moon

Avoid Try/Catch https://betterprogramming.pub/try-catch-considered-harmful and remember what google recommends about exceptions (and c++ in general)

Thanks Mafe : Maniac by Benajmin Labatut, see the Alpha-Go documentary

Agile roadmaps : Now, Next, Later approach https://developingskills.substack.com/p/now-next-later

Reasons why you burnout swe : https://engineercodex.substack.com/p/how-to-burnout-a-software-engineer My list in order of priority : 1. don’t ship code (there is nothing worse than working months on something that is not going to prod or is lingering in the deploy queue) 2. Not trusting your engineers by telling them in fine detail how to do things. 3. Lack of Recognition (not reward, about the difference).

So google uses design documents to describe design of new components : https://www.industrialempathy.com/posts/design-docs-at-google/

From a friend of mine substack, Chris Hedges talking about war :
“But these words give me a balm to my grief, a momentary solace, a little understanding, as I stumble forward into the void.”

Readability (and thus Maintainability) is the most important attribute of a code base and Google knows it : https://engineercodex.substack.com/p/how-google-writes-clean-maintainable

An open source 3D universe simulator with support for more than a billion objects : https://zah.uni-heidelberg.de/gaia/outreach/gaiasky/ based on data from Gaia mission

Resources on Microservices https://blog.quastor.org/p/scaling-microservices-doordash-6c35

How Diffusion Models work i.e. how does an AI generate images : https://developer.nvidia.com/blog/improving-diffusion-models-as-an-alternative-to-gans-part-1/

Watch out for Thundering herds

Engineering Metrics : https://hybridhacker.email/p/diving-into-engineering-metrics

My next read : http://lawsofsimplicity.com/ John Maeda

System design and the cost of architectural complexity : https://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/79551

Simplicity was the key for Instagram backend (in 2011) : https://engineercodex.substack.com/p/how-instagram-scaled-to-14-million

Simplicity mindset : https://betterprogramming.pub/3-tips-to-adopt-a-simplicity-mindset-when-designing-software-711b95328062

Fastly supports go on Edge : https://www.fastly.com/blog/announcing-standard-go-support-for-fastly-compute

Go WASI support : https://go.dev/blog/wasi

Any company providing support for a product would want to have something like this https://www.fixie.ai/

Meta Launches AI Code Writing tool https://www.theverge.com/2023/8/24/23843487/meta-llama-code-generation-generative-ai-llm : you can test it here : https://labs.perplexity.ai/

Whats App : https://newsletter.systemdesign.one/p/whatsapp-engineering

Photographs that are like films https://www.rencontres-arles.com/en/expositions/view/1447/gregory-crewdson

I find it so true : https://intenseminimalism.com/2013/conways-law/

Jerome Lanier on music and what Reality is in the end : https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-weekend-essay/what-my-musical-instruments-have-taught-me

We lost Kevin (The Condor) Mitnick ( https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/las-vegas-nv/kevin-mitnick-11371668 ) : TCP is a much more secure protocol also thanks to him.

Yoshua Bengio (CA) and John Bunzl (UK), moderated by Nico A. Heller on strengths and limitations of current artificial intelligence, why it may become a dangerous instrument of disinformation, why superintelligent AI may be closer (years) than most previously expected (decades) and how this could yield to catastrophic outcomes – from AI-driven wars to the extreme risk of extinction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07c1ZRUQOeY. Notes, general concepts from Bengio talk :

AI currently perceive the world and make sense of it with images, sound and text, generating content in all 3 areas.
Current systems are not at the level of human intelligence, they master what psychologist call system 1 intelligence (intuition) : react to any question/context, no reasoning (or little reasoning) – arithmetic : simple operations with numbers ok, more complex (of the type we will need paper and pencil) they make mistakes.
System 2 intelligence : explicit reasoning, you can plan, imagine. Ex:
driving left hand roads after having driven right hand all life. We take 1 hour to adapt because we don’t use intuition but reasoning. AI will get there : how much time will take to bridge the gap between s1 and s2 ? nobody knows, could be close or take 10 years.
Training data currently needs to be filtered to remove data that appears to be insulting, homophobic or racists, dangerous, inadequate. AI will get there too to avoid the need of preparing training material.
Machines that are as intelligent as we are will be inevitably more intelligent than us because they are machines : immortal, don’t sleep, can exchange info at high speeds like if they were a huge brain. Humans have culture to try to simulate this.

  • pure intelectual power, completely detached from the goal. The goal will make the difference between a “good” AI and an “evil” one.
  • humans cannot turn off compassion (or just most people can’t) as it has been hardwired into us by evolution; machines can

Stating a goal in a precise way is probably impossible so even AI with good goals might behave evil.

Goals are not expressable, we can only give partial specifications

We’ll get to the point where the game will be : who’s AI is bigger/better/faster ?

Most important thing to reduce the probability of bad behavior connected to AI is to reduce the actors, materials, information, proliferation (like we did for atomic bombs)
Regulatory frameworks are necessary.

Go : inside map implementation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl7mi9QmLns and https://phati-sawant.medium.com/internals-of-map-in-golang-33db6e25b3f8

Go 10 years after : https://blog.carlmjohnson.net/post/2023/ten-years-of-go-good-bad-meh/ and why we can live without subclassing https://hynek.me/articles/python-subclassing-redux/

Extreme readability https://www.moderndescartes.com/essays/readability/

AI can’t create software, only code : https://stackoverflow.blog/2023/06/26/the-hardest-part-of-building-software-is-not-coding-its-requirements

Some WASM Stuff :
– cloudflare wasm runtime https://github.com/cloudflare/workerd
– wasmtime runtime : https://github.com/bytecodealliance/wasmtime
– wasi-libc : still no thread support (june 2023) https://github.com/WebAssembly/wasi-libc

Ping Pong Programming : TDD + Pair Programming : https://www.agileconnection.com/article/ping-pong-programming-enhance-your-tdd-and-pair-programming-practices

Using AI in Ping Pong programming : https://www.mechanical-orchard.com/post/can-ai-play-the-tdd-pairing-game

AI Technology map : https://a16z.com/2023/06/20/emerging-architectures-for-llm-applications/

You build it, you own it : https://blog.alexewerlof.com/p/you-build-it-you-own-it

AI generated sort algorithms make it into LLVM/C++ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06004-9

Superfast hash https://github.com/wangyi-fudan/wyhash

Google leaked internal document on AI : https://www.semianalysis.com/p/google-we-have-no-moat-and-neitherkkjhnmmmm

Compression algorithms benchmarks : https://github.com/inikep/lzbench

What’s inside training data for LLM https://arxiv.org/pdf/2101.00027.pdf

Cache Optimization Models and Algorithms : https://arxiv.org/pdf/1912.12339.pdf

ChatGPT Is a Blurry JPEG of the Web https://twitter.com/paulborile/status/1647640363555758083

Ordinals https://docs.ordinals.com/overview.html

NO Pause on AI development : https://medium.com/enrique-dans/a-pause-on-the-development-of-ai-its-not-going-to-happen-d4f894816e82

Cheatsheet for golang test, benchmarks, profiling https://github.com/samonzeweb/profilinggo

Yet another browser https://mullvad.net/it/browser promising to minimize tracking and fingerprinting.

everything cli https://www.commandlinefu.com/commands/browse

Amazon Is Making a New Web Browser ? https://gizmodo.com/amazon-prime-new-web-browser-survey-1850224922?utm_source=tldrnewsletter

Interview with OpenAI’s Greg Brockman: GPT-4 isn’t perfect, but neither are you https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/15/interview-with-openais-greg-brockman-gpt-4-isnt-perfect-but-neither-are-you/?utm_source=tldrnewsletter&guccounter=1

On jpeg-XL https://cloudfour.com/thinks/on-container-queries-responsive-images-and-jpeg-xl/#jpeg-xl-the-holy-grail-image-format

On crypto and thieves :
“In February 2022, a hacker stole 120,000 wrapped Ethereum from Wormhole, a cross-blockchain bridge” https://newsletter.mollywhite.net/p/oasis-defi-centralization – subscribe to Molly White newsletter for unbiased crypto news.

B Corporation Certification : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_Corporation_(certification) “As of September 2022, there are 5,697 certified B Corporations across 158 industries in 85 countries.” https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us/

https://lumalabs.ai/ : acquire 3d assets anywhere with a phone

https://roaringbitmap.org/ compressed bitmaps

Code RED in google : https://medium.com/@ignacio.de.gregorio.noblejas/can-chatgpt-kill-google-6d59742ee635

Node.js is aging like milk https://javascript.plainenglish.io/node-js-is-aging-like-milk-now-whats-next-a4e726ae668f :

Ryan Dahl, creator of Node.js moved to Go.

TJ Holowaychuk, creator of Express.js framework moved to Go.

Boston dynamics showing off https://youtu.be/-e1_QhJ1EhQ

Chat GPT4 talk https://www.theverge.com/23560328/openai-gpt-4-rumor-release-date-sam-altman-interview

Fyne IDE, currently work in progress https://github.com/fyne-io/defyne

1995 paper by the Niklaus Wirth “A Plea for Lean Software” https://cr.yp.to/bib/1995/wirth.pdf

Benchmarking golang code

Let’s say that you want to know if EncodeToString is faster than fmt.Sprintf : you will need to compare the speed of this method

func Md5Encode(str string) string {
	md5HashInBytes := md5.Sum([]byte(str))
	md5HashInString := hex.EncodeToString(md5HashInBytes[:])
	return md5HashInString

with this other one

func Md5EncodeFmt(str string) string {
	md5HashInBytes := md5.Sum([]byte(str))
	md5HashInString := fmt.Sprintf("%x", md5HashInBytes)
	return md5HashInString

Go provides benchmarking features in the testing package which is pretty usefull :

func BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt(b *testing.B) {
	// run the md5Encode function b.N times
	for n := 0; n < b.N; n++ {
		Md5EncodeFmt("aldfhasdl la fasdfeo8ekldjh asdkj fh lksdjfhwoieuxnroiAUN;laiDJ;ANIfub;OEIRBUF;OEfuN;ALFJ;AL")

func BenchmarkMd5Encode(b *testing.B) {
	// run the md5Encode function b.N times
	for n := 0; n < b.N; n++ {
		Md5Encode("aldfhasdl la fasdfeo8ekldjh asdkj fh lksdjfhwoieuxnroiAUN;laiDJ;ANIfub;OEIRBUF;OEfuN;ALFJ;AL")


$ go test -bench=.
goos: linux
goarch: amd64
BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt-8   	 1894791	       625 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5Encode-8      	 3068509	       363 ns/op
ok  	_/home/paul/LazyInit/bench	3.342s

Run 3 times the benchmarks :

$ go test -count 3 -bench=. 
goos: linux
goarch: amd64
BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt-8   	 1882105	       627 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt-8   	 1918942	       624 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt-8   	 1902894	       625 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5Encode-8      	 3139585	       386 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5Encode-8      	 2937154	       397 ns/op
BenchmarkMd5Encode-8      	 3009801	       380 ns/op
ok  	_/home/paul/LazyInit/bench	10.217s

EncodeToString() makes your method almost twice faster !

In the case you need to isolate the code that will be measured from some init/fixture code you can use ResetTimer() and StopTimer() to accurately isolate what you want to measure :

func BenchmarkMd5EncodeFmt(b *testing.B) {
	// Some init code
	for n := 0; n < b.N; n++ {
	// some final code

If the function you’re measuring is very slow you might want to increase to maximum time of excecution of the benchmark (default is 1 s) with -benchtime=20s


  • without any benchmarks : go test .
  • with benchmarks (time) : go test -bench .
  • with benchmarks (time and memory) : go test -bench . -benchmem

The argument following -bench is a regular expression. All benchmark functions whose names match are executed. The . in the previous examples isn’t the current directory but a pattern matching all tests. To run a specific benchmark, use the regexp : -bench Suite (means everything containing Suite).

(thanks to https://github.com/samonzeweb/profilinggo )

Thanks year 2000 : less is (immensely) more (the 90s produced a lot of crap)

Thanks to god after year 2000 information technology has started moving towards more pragmatic, simple and effective tools and languages. Some examples that in my opinion make this evident : 

Languages and language tools

  • go, rust, swift are all born with the goal of simplifying their direct parents (c++, objectiveC) and removing their pitfalls.
  • UML abandoned : this is a relief for all coders which had to deal with it. I don’t know anyone using it nowadays.
  • git : finally some one (thanks Linux Torvalds) simplified svn/sourcesafe by putting features that are needed by developers in a clear, pretty intuitive command line interface
  • atom/sublime : reaction to the complexity of Visual Studio, IBM Rational, Eclipse ? I think yes


  • Key-value stores/noSQL are just taking ER/SQL model and making it simpler, providing only the features needed in 99% of the applications. Boyce-Codd normal form is pretty nice and interesting but in real world applications you’ll never use it. 
  • Object Databases completely disappeared and in some way also the idea that OO methodology/hierarchy could be applied everywhere (just because you are where using OO languages)


  • docker/rkt are slim alternatives to virtualization and virtual machines


  • plain old REST API aren’t just a simple way for doing things without having to Corba/Soap ?
  • gRPC : provides corba like features while being 1 order of magnitude more efficent and portable on any platform.

What I’m saying is that the 90s produced a lot of unnecessarily complicated tools and technology which developer just did not need/like which is being progressively substituted with simpler stuff.

Interesting to note that the phrase “Less is more” is originally attributed to Mies Van Der Rohe for his minimalism in architecture design . Looks at his buildings : nothing more than necessary and functional elements are present.

But before him Leonardo da Vinci : “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”


Profiling a golang REST API server

Profiling :

is a form of dynamic program analysis that measures, for example, the space (memory) or time complexity of a program, the usage of particular instructions, or the frequency and duration of function calls. Most commonly, profiling information serves to aid program optimization.

How can you profile your golang REST API server in a super simple way :

First : add some lines to your server code

import _ "net/http/pprof"

And then add a listener (I normally use a command line flag to trigger this) :

go func() {
http.ListenAndServe("localhost:6000", nil)

Start your server and generate some load. While your code is running under the load you generated extract the profiler data :

go tool pprof http://localhost:6000/debug/pprof/profile
Fetching profile over HTTP from http://localhost:6000/debug/pprof/profile
Saved profile in /home/paul/pprof/pprof.wm-server.samples.cpu.008.pb.gz
File: wm-server
Build ID: c806572b51954da99ceb779f6d7eee3600eae0fb
Type: cpu
Time: Dec 19, 2018 at 1:41pm (CET)
Duration: 30.13s, Total samples = 17.35s (57.58%)
Entering interactive mode (type "help" for commands, "o" for options)

You have many commands at this point but what I prefer to do, having used kcachegrind for years, is to fire it up using the kcachegrind command :

(pprof) kcachegrind

This will generate a callgrind formatted file and run kcachegrind on it to let you do all the usual analysis that you’re probably already used to do (call graph, callers, callees ..)

Yes, I like go programming language

Yes, I like Go programming language. I’m liking it so much that I have to resist from being a fan boy. I’m trying to understand where all this enthusiasm is coming from (I’m a seasoned coder)  so here’s an attempt to find why :

  1. Code readability — and maintainability — first, language features second
  2. Integrated test environment : go test <package> executes all tests for the package. Unit testing features are builtin.
  3. Code Coverage is builtin (with some limitations, for example if you use cgo it will not work).
  4. Integrated tool chain : no need to have makefile at the cost of rigid hierarchy of data.
  5. Exhaustive standard library containing everything you need to do server-side/network programming
  6. Good Multi-threading features/model included in language (sync package, goroutines, channels), fast goroutines thanks to segmented stack implementation.
  7. Basic set of OOP features, centered on composition, not inheritance : you won’t be able to mess up your code at the cost of not being perceived as an OO language by OO fanboys. For more details on whether go is oo or not go here.
  8. Go is backed by some Famous Names in computing, and this inspires confidence.
  9. CamelCase 🙂 ? Naaah, I hate camel case but I like the choice of having standard style, comments, indent; all supported by the language via go fmt package so that all code will look coherent.

So basically I like the fact that Go is a very opinionated language. You might like the single decisions or not but what I like most is that someone took care of taking them for you (so you don’t have to enforce them team wide or company wide)
Interesting read also on how and why go was born : quoting from Rob Pike speech at go conference SF 2012 :

“To put it another way, oversimplifying of course:

Python and Ruby programmers come to Go because they don’t have to surrender much expressiveness, but gain performance and get to play with concurrency.

C++ programmers don’t come to Go because they have fought hard to gain exquisite control of their programming domain, and don’t want to surrender any of it. To them, software isn’t just about getting the job done, it’s about doing it a certain way.

The issue, then, is that Go’s success would contradict their world view.

And we should have realized that from the beginning. People who are excited about C++11’s new features are not going to care about a language that has so much less.  Even if, in the end, it offers so much more.”