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Permalink 06:05:52 pm, by fumanchu Email , 608 words   English (US)
Categories: CherryPy

CherryPy 3 has fastest WSGI server yet

A couple of months ago, in response to someone else's speed claims, I posted a comment that CherryPy's built in WSGI server could serve 1200 simple requests per second. The demo used Apache's "ab" tool to test ("-k -n 3000 -c %s"). In the last few days before the release of CherryPy 3.0 final, I've done some further optimization of cherrypy.wsgiserver, and now get 2000+ req/sec on my modest laptop.

threads | Completed | Failed | req/sec | msec/req | KB/sec |
     10 |      3000 |      0 | 2170.79 |    0.461 | 358.18 |
     20 |      3000 |      0 | 2080.34 |    0.481 | 343.26 |
     30 |      3000 |      0 | 1920.31 |    0.521 | 316.85 |
     40 |      3000 |      0 | 2051.84 |    0.487 | 338.55 |
     50 |      3000 |      0 | 2051.84 |    0.487 | 338.55 |

The improvements are due to a variety of optimizations, including:

  • Replacing mimetools/rfc822.Message with custom code for reading headers.
  • Using socket.sendall instead of a socket fileobject for writes.
  • Generic hand-tuning of code loops.

I want to make it clear that the benchmark does not exercise any part of CherryPy other than the WSGI server. I used a very simple WSGI application (not the full CherryPy stack):

def simple_app(environ, start_response):
    """Simplest possible application object"""
    status = '200 OK'
    response_headers = [('Content-type','text/plain'),
    start_response(status, response_headers)
    return ['My Own Hello World!']

The full stack of CherryPy includes the WSGI application side as well, and consequently takes more time. But that has risen from about 380 requests per second in October to:

Client Thread Report (1000 requests, 14 byte response body, 10 server threads):

threads | Completed | Failed | req/sec | msec/req | KB/sec |
     10 |      1000 |      0 |  536.86 |    1.863 |  85.36 |
     20 |      1000 |      0 |  509.47 |    1.963 |  81.01 |
     30 |      1000 |      0 |  499.28 |    2.003 |  79.39 |
     40 |      1000 |      0 |  491.90 |    2.033 |  78.21 |
     50 |      1000 |      0 |  504.32 |    1.983 |  80.19 |
Average |    1000.0 |    0.0 | 508.366 |    1.969 | 80.832 |

If you want to benchmark the full CherryPy stack on your own, just install CherryPy and run the script at cherrypy/test/

Here's the other script for the "bare server" benchmarks:

import re
import sys
import threading
import time
from cherrypy import _cpmodpy

AB_PATH = ""
APACHE_PATH = "apache"
PORT = 8080

class ABSession:
    """A session of 'ab', the Apache HTTP server  benchmarking tool."""
    parse_patterns = [('complete_requests', 'Completed',
                       r'^Complete requests:\s*(\d+)'),
                      ('failed_requests', 'Failed',
                       r'^Failed requests:\s*(\d+)'),
                      ('requests_per_second', 'req/sec',
                       r'^Requests per second:\s*([0-9.]+)'),
                      ('time_per_request_concurrent', 'msec/req',
                       r'^Time per request:\s*([0-9.]+).*concurrent requests\)$'),
                      ('transfer_rate', 'KB/sec',
                       r'^Transfer rate:\s*([0-9.]+)'),

    def __init__(self, path=SCRIPT_NAME + "/", requests=3000, concurrency=10):
        self.path = path
        self.requests = requests
        self.concurrency = concurrency

    def args(self):
        assert self.concurrency > 0
        assert self.requests > 0
        return ("-k -n %s -c %s <a href="http://localhost:%s%s"">http://localhost:%s%s"</a> %
                (self.requests, self.concurrency, PORT, self.path))

    def run(self):
        # Parse output of ab, setting attributes on self
        args = self.args()
        self.output = _cpmodpy.read_process(AB_PATH or "ab", args)
        for attr, name, pattern in self.parse_patterns:
            val =, self.output, re.MULTILINE)
            if val:
                val =
                setattr(self, attr, val)
                setattr(self, attr, None)

safe_threads = (25, 50, 100, 200, 400)
if sys.platform in ("win32",):
    # For some reason, ab crashes with > 50 threads on my Win2k laptop.
    safe_threads = (10, 20, 30, 40, 50)

def thread_report(path=SCRIPT_NAME + "/", concurrency=safe_threads):
    sess = ABSession(path)
    attrs, names, patterns = zip(*sess.parse_patterns)
    rows = [('threads',) + names]
    for c in concurrency:
        sess.concurrency = c
        rows.append([c] + [getattr(sess, attr) for attr in attrs])
    return rows

def print_report(rows):
    widths = []
    for i in range(len(rows[0])):
        lengths = [len(str(row[i])) for row in rows]
    for row in rows:
        for i, val in enumerate(row):
            print str(val).rjust(widths[i]), "|",

if __name__ == '__main__':

    def simple_app(environ, start_response):
        """Simplest possible application object"""
        status = '200 OK'
        response_headers = [('Content-type','text/plain'),
        start_response(status, response_headers)
        return ['My Own Hello World!']

    from cherrypy import wsgiserver as w
    s = w.CherryPyWSGIServer(("localhost", PORT), simple_app)


Permalink 10:57:51 pm, by fumanchu Email , 745 words   English (US)
Categories: Python, CherryPy, WSGI

Internal Redirect WSGI middleware

I played around with this as a potential hack for CherryPy 3. It's WSGI middleware for adding almost-transparent "internal redirect" capabilities to any WSGI application.

My operating theory was that anyone writing a WSGI app that does not already have an internal-redirect feature was probably using HTTP redirects (302, 303, or 307) to do nearly the same thing. This middleware simply waits for a 307 response status and performs the redirection itself within the same request, without informing the user-agent.

This should be OK because 307 isn't normally cacheable anyway, and some versions of IE don't bother to ask the user as the spec requires already, so it just duplicates an existing browser bug. I could have used a custom HTTP code like 399, but if that ever leaked out to the UA (because someone forgot to enable the middleware) then the UA should fall back to "300 Multiple Choices", which didn't seem like a good fit. At least by using 307, the fallback should be appropriate, if not graceful.

Here's the code, which could probably use some improvements:

"""WSGI middleware which performs "internal" redirection."""

import StringIO

class _Redirector(object):

    def __init__(self, nextapp, recursive=False):
        self.nextapp = nextapp
        self.recursive = recursive

        self.location = None
        self.write_proxy = None
        self.status = None
        self.headers = None
        self.exc_info = None

        self.seen_paths = []

    def start_response(self, status, headers, exc_info):
        if status[:3] == "307":
            for name, value in headers:
                if name.lower() == "location":
                    self.location = value
        self.status = status
        self.headers = headers
        self.exc_info = exc_info
        return self.write

    def write(self, data):
        # This is only here for silly apps which call write.
        if self.write_proxy is None:
            self.write_proxy =, self.headers, self.exc_info)

    def __call__(self, environ, start_response): = start_response

        nextenv = environ.copy()
        curpath = nextenv['PATH_INFO']
        if nextenv.get('QUERY_STRING'):
            curpath = curpath + "?" + nextenv['QUERY_STRING']

        while True:
            # Consume the response (in case it's a generator).
            response = [x for x in self.nextapp(nextenv, self.start_response)]

            if self.location is None:
                # No redirection required; complete the response normally.
      , self.headers, self.exc_info)
                return response

            # Start with a fresh copy of the environ and start altering it.
            nextenv = environ.copy()
            nextenv['REQUEST_METHOD'] = 'GET'
            nextenv['CONTENT_LENGTH'] = '0'
            nextenv['wsgi.input'] = StringIO.StringIO()
            nextenv['redirector.history'] = self.seen_paths[:]

            # "The [Location response-header] field value
            # consists of a single absolute URI."
             path, params,
             nextenv["QUERY_STRING"], frag) = urlparse(self.location)

            if frag:
                raise ValueError("Illegal #fragment in Location response "
                                 "header %r" % self.location)

            if params:
                path = path + ";" + params

            # Assume 'path' is already unquoted according to
            # <a href=""></a>
            if path.lower().startswith(environ['SCRIPT_NAME'].lower()):
                nextenv["PATH_INFO"] = path[len(environ['SCRIPT_NAME']):]
                raise ValueError("Location response header %r does not "
                                 "match current SCRIPT_NAME %r"
                                 % (self.location, environ['SCRIPT_NAME']))

            # Update self.seen_paths and check for recursive calls.
            curpath = nextenv['PATH_INFO']
            if nextenv.get('QUERY_STRING'):
                curpath = curpath + "?" + nextenv['QUERY_STRING']
            if curpath in self.seen_paths:
                raise RuntimeError("redirector visited the same URL twice: %r"
                                   % curpath)

            # Reset self for the next iteration
            self.location = None
            self.write_proxy = None
            self.status = None
            self.headers = None
            self.exc_info = None

def redirector(nextapp, recursive=False):
    """WSGI middleware which performs "internal" redirection.

    Whenever the next application sets a response status of 307 and
    provides a Location response header, this component will not pass
    that response on to the user-agent; instead, it parses the URI
    provided in the Location response header and calls the same
    application again using that URI. The following entries in the
    WSGI environ dict may be modified when redirecting: wsgi.url_scheme,
    set to 'GET', so any desired parameters must be supplied as
    query string arguments in the Location response header.
    The wsgi.input entry will always be reset to an empty StringIO,
    and CONTENT_LENGTH will be set to 0.

    If 'recursive' is False (the default), each new target URI will be
    checked to see if it has already been visited in the same request;
    if so, a RuntimeError is raised. If 'recursive' is True, no check
    is made and therefore no such errors are raised.
    def redirect_wrapper(environ, start_response):
        ir = _Redirector(nextapp, recursive)
        return ir(environ, start_response)
    return redirect_wrapper


Permalink 02:46:43 pm, by fumanchu Email , 373 words   English (US)
Categories: CherryPy

If you like CherryPy except for the dispatching... should know that CherryPy 3 (soon to be released) includes a Routes dispatcher:

class City:

    def __init__(self, name): = name
        self.population = 10000

    def index(self, **kwargs):
        return "Welcome to %s, pop. %s" % (, self.population)

    def update(self, **kwargs):
        self.population = kwargs['pop']
        return "OK"

d = cherrypy._cprequest.RoutesDispatcher()
d.connect(name='hounslow', route='hounslow', controller=City('Hounslow'))
d.connect(name='surbiton', route='surbiton', controller=City('Surbiton'),
          action='index', conditions=dict(method=['GET']))
d.mapper.connect('surbiton', controller='surbiton',
                 action='update', conditions=dict(method=['POST']))

conf = {'/': {'request.dispatch': d}}
cherrypy.tree.mount(root=None, config=conf)
cherrypy.config.update({'environment': 'test_suite'})

You tell CherryPy you want to use Routes dispatching in your app config with "request.dispatch = <obj>". The astute reader will note this means:

  1. You can make your own dispatchers for Django-style, regex style, Quixote-style, etc. You can even modify the builtin Routes dispatcher to add HTTP method dispatch or what-have-you.
  2. You can use the default CherryPy tree-style dispatcher for most paths, and Routes (or any other style) for select subpaths.

To make your own dispatcher:

  1. Make it callable. If it's a class, give it a __call__ method that takes a path_info argument.
  2. When called, it should set cherrypy.request.handler to a callable that takes no arguments. This "handler" should be (or should call) the user's application code. The default CherryPy handler, for example, sends virtual path atoms as *args and GET/POST parameters as **kwargs, but if that's not what your dispatch style requires, do something else. It's completely customizable. You can even set request.handler to None if you don't want anything called at that point. Note also that HTTPRedirect and HTTPError (including NotFound) can be used as handlers; when called, they raise self.
  3. Set cherrypy.request.config. This should be a flat dictionary of all config entries (from both global and application config) which apply to the current request, based on the path_info argument above. The default CherryPy dispatcher does a lot of work to correctly allow config file entries to override _cp_config entries on the CherryPy object tree. But if your dispatch style doesn't use a tree, you don't need to do all that.

Grab the latest trunk and start playing!


Permalink 12:05:29 am, by fumanchu Email , 320 words   English (US)
Categories: Python, Dejavu, CherryPy

Upgrades to Python 2.5

I probably waited too long, but today I upgraded both CherryPy (3.0alpha/trunk) and Dejavu (1.5alpha/trunk) to Python 2.5. The moves were surprisingly easy:


There were three changes in all:

  1. When the WSGI server socket is closed, socket.accept now fails with a socket.error "Socket operation on non-socket". I "fixed" this by just ignoring the error.
  2. The output of Response.SimpleCookie now has no trailing semicolon as it did in Python 2.4. Just had to fix the test suite to be aware of that.
  3. Some attributes of unittest.TestCase moved from double-underscore names to single; webtest had a custom subclass of it. This was easy enough to fix: define a different method for 2.5 than 2.4 or less.

[P.S. I've noticed CP 3 is about 3% slower in 2.5 than 2.4, even with the zombie frames and other optimizations. Hmmm.]


Amazingly, even though Dejavu makes extensive use of bytecode hacks, there was only one real change! The "logic" module needed an upgrade to the "comparison" function, which produces an Expression via the types.CodeType() constructor. Apparently, function args are no longer included in co_names, and co_consts no longer includes a leading 'None' value (except when there are cell references?). Finally, co_flags for "normal" functions now includes CO_NESTED by default. These changes also forced some parallel upgrades to the test suite.

While fixing the above, however, I noticed a long-standing bug in Dejavu's LambdaDecompiler. Python 2.4 used ROT_THREE before a STORE_SUBSCR, and this worked in Dejavu; but Python 2.5 uses ROT_TWO before STORE_SUBSCR, which showed me I had the stack-popping backwards in both functions. Bah. Fixed now.

Absolute imports

Both packages needed a good bit of work changing some relative import statements into absolute ones. Not really hard, just boring. ;)

Thanks to the Python core devs for a very smooth transition!


Permalink 08:59:58 am, by fumanchu Email , 120 words   English (US)
Categories: IT, General

Faces are not Proof, but they are Trust

cote (whose blog title is "People Over Process"!?) wrote:

There's a certain point, to be a cynical coder, where people just show up at meetings for face-time: to show that their involved. I'm not saying that these people don't have valuable work that could be done. Instead, their perceptions is that showing up at a meeting is the prime channel to prove that they're doing that valuable work and to do that work.

The perception is there for a reason. Face to face time, whether in meetings or the hallway or lunch, builds trust among humans. Lack of face time breaks down trust. Employ workarounds for this truth at your peril.


Permalink 11:07:40 am, by fumanchu Email , 361 words   English (US)
Categories: CherryPy

CherryPy 3 optimization

Currently (rev 1193), a typical CherryPy request has a standard execution path, and a standard time to complete it:

        0.001 cherrypy\
            0.001 logging\
                0.001 logging\

0.001 cherrypy\
0.001 :0(getattr)

That is, _cpwsgi._wsgi_callable() takes about 8 msec (on my box using the builtin timer). That number breaks down into 1 msec for translate_headers(), 1 msec for _cpengine.request(), and 6 msec for Etcetera. These are all of the calls which take 1 msec or more to complete.

It looks like moving to Python's builtin logging for the access log has added 1 msec to I think that's reasonable; we lose a millisecond but gain syslog and rotating log options.

Somebody please explain to me why _cpwsgi.translate_headers takes a millisecond to change 20 strings from "HTTP_HEADER_NAME" to "Header-Name". I've tried lots of rewritings of that to no avail; moving from "yield" to returning a list did nothing, nor did inlining it into _wsgi_callable.

I tried making the default Dispatcher cache the results from find_handler. That is, cache[(app, path_info)] = func, vpath, request.config. I couldn't see any speedup on cache hits.

The next-to-last line above is interesting. 0.001 cherrypy\ shows 1 msec being used for cherrypy.request and cherrypy.response. I've already done a lot of work to minimize this by looking them up once and binding to a local, for example, request = cherrypy.request, and then looking up further attributes using the local name. But perhaps there's more to be done.

The last line above shows 1 msec being used to call the builtin getattr() function. Seems we have a very object-oriented style. ;)

I'll keep looking for ways to get any of those 0.001's to read 0.000. Perhaps now that I've moved profiling to WSGI middleware, I can aggregate times and work with numbers that have a little more precision. ;)


Permalink 09:25:43 am, by admin Email , 365 words   English (US)
Categories: IT, Python, Dejavu

The Fourth Way

Ted Neward has written a good discussion of Object-Relational Mapper concerns. I'd like to react to, and associate, a couple of points he makes, seemingly unrelatedly:

...we typically end up with one of Query-By-Example (QBE), Query-By-API (QBA), or Query-By-Language (QBL) approaches.

A QBE approach states that you fill out an object template of the type of object you're looking for...
a "Query-By-API" approach, in which queries are constructed by Query objects...
a "Query-By-Language" approach, in which a new language, similar to SQL but "better" somehow, is written...


Several possible solutions present themselves...

5. Integration of relational concepts into the languages. Developers simply accept that this is a problem that should be solved by the language, not by a library or framework...bring relational concepts (which, at heart, are set-based) into mainstream programming languages, making it easier to bridge the gap between "sets" and "objects"...[such as] direct integration into traditional O-O languages, such as the LINQ project from Microsoft...

I propose (and implemented in Dejavu) a fourth approach from QBE, QBA, and QBL. Rather than build a DSL on top of a programming language (as QBL does), use the language instead. Rather than change the programming language by introducing relational syntax (as LINQ does), use the language instead. In Dejavu, you write plain old Python functions which take an object and return True or False. Iterate over a collection of objects and it works as a filter. Pass it to the storage backend and it is translated into SQL for you. Most commonly, you pass it to the library and it does both for you: iterates over its in-memory cache of objects and merges in new objects, queried from storage. Let's call it... "query". It's not "by" anything. It has an infinitesimal learning curve. LINQ is, in essence, shoehorning higher-order functions into its various target languages in a very limited domain. Why not use a programming language that has real HOF's?


Permalink 01:47:16 pm, by fumanchu Email , 15 words   English (US)
Categories: General

Apologies to you blogspot users

I've decided it's easier to just ban comments. Sorry if that includes you.


Permalink 01:23:24 am, by admin Email , 753 words   English (US)
Categories: Python, CherryPy

How CherryPy processes a request

Inspired by James Bennett, here's a little treatise on how CherryPy processes a request. A couple of differences, though. First, Django is a "full-stack" web framework, with an ORM, built-in templating, etcetera, whereas CherryPy focuses on HTTP. Second, I'll be showing the process for CherryPy 2.2 (the current stable branch), but I'll try to point out along the way where CherryPy 3 (now in alpha) differs.

HTTP Server

Something must actually sit on a listening socket and receive requests from HTTP clients. CherryPy provides an HTTP server (, or you can use Apache, lighttpd, or others.

Bridge from HTTP Server to CherryPy

The Web Server Gateway Interface spec came into being to connect various HTTP servers to various web frameworks (and gateways and middleware and...). If you want to use it to connect an HTTP server with CherryPy, feel free. CherryPy provides a "WSGI application callable" in Otherwise, you need a specific adapter at this stage to connect the two.

The CherryPy Engine

Whether you use WSGI or not for the Bridge, it calls Engine.request(), which creates the all-important objects cherrypy.request and cherrypy.response, returning the former. The Bridge then calls, passing it the incoming message stream.

The CherryPy Request

Several steps occur here to convert the incoming stream to more usable data structures, pass the request to the appropriate user code, and then convert outbound data. In-between the standard processing steps, users can define extra code to be run via filters (CP 2.2) or hooks (CP 3). Here's how CherryPy 2 does it:

  1. Request.processRequestLine() analyzes the first line of the request, turning "GET /path/to/resource?key=val HTTP/1.1" into a request method, path, query string, and version.
  2. Any on_start_resource filters are run.
  3. Request.processHeaders() turns the incoming HTTP request headers into a dictionary, and separates Cookie information.
  4. Any before_request_body filters are run.
  5. Request.processBody() turns the incoming HTTP request body into a dictionary if possible, otherwise, it's passed onward as a file-like object.
  6. Any before_main filters are run.
  7. The user-supplied page handler is looked up (see below).
  8. The user-supplied page handler is invoked. Its return value, which can be a string, a list, a file, or a generator object, will be used for the response body.
  9. Any before_finalize filters will be run.
  10. Response.finalize() checks for HTTP correctness of the response, and transforms user-friendly data structures into HTTP-server-friendly structures.
  11. Any on_end_resource filters are run.

CherryPy 3 performs the same steps as above, but in the order: 1, 3, 7, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. That is, it determines which bit of user code will respond to the request much earlier in the process. This also means that internal redirects can "start over" much earlier. In addition, CP 3 can collect configuration data once (at the same time that it looks up the page handler); CP 2 recollected config data every time it was used.

Page handlers

As mentioned (steps 7 and 8, above), CherryPy users write "page handlers", functions which receive the request parameters as arguments, and return the response body. CherryPy makes clever use of threadlocals, so all other data a developer needs is available in the global cherrypy.request and cherrypy.response objects (the parameters are as well, but it's awfully convenient to receive them as arguments to the page handler, and to return the body rather than setting it).

The URL is mapped to a page handler by traversing a tree of such handlers, so that the handler for "/a/b/c" is most likely root.a.b.c(). I say "most likely", because you can also define index() handlers and default() handlers.

The CherryPy Response

When the call to returns, the Bridge uses the Response attributes status, header_list, and body to construct the outbound stream, and pass it to the HTTP server that made the request. CherryPy works hard to support both buffered and streaming output, so the body may be a generator object that is only iterated over at this point.

Exceptional circumstances

The page handler, or any of the filters/hooks, can decide that the response is complete, and that processing should be stopped. Most often, this is accomplished by raising an HTTPRedirect (3xx) exception, or an HTTPError (4xx or 5xx; NotFound (404) is so common it has its own subclass). Unanticipated errors are automatically converted into HTTPError(500). Users have some facility for modifying the actual error output with additional error filters/hooks.

That's it!

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