Go package containing implementations of encoders and decoders for various data formats.
At Segment, we do a lot of marshaling and unmarshaling of data when sending, queuing, or storing messages. The resources we need to provision on the infrastructure are directly related to the type and amount of data that we are processing. At the scale we operate at, the tools we choose to build programs can have a large impact on the efficiency of our systems. It is important to explore alternative approaches when we reach the limits of the code we use.
This repository includes experiments for Go packages for marshaling and unmarshaling data in various formats. While the focus is on providing a high performance library, we also aim for very low development and maintenance overhead by implementing APIs that can be used as drop-in replacements for the default solutions.
Requirements and Maintenance Schedule
This package has no dependencies outside of the core runtime of Go. It requires a recent version of Go.
This package follows the same maintenance schedule as the Go project, meaning that issues relating to versions of Go which aren't supported by the Go team, or versions of this package which are older than 1 year, are unlikely to be considered.
Additionally, we have fuzz tests which aren't a runtime required dependency but
will be pulled in when running
go mod tidy. Please don't include these go.mod
updates in change requests.
More details about how this package achieves a lower CPU and memory footprint can be found in the package README.
json sub-package provides a re-implementation of the functionalities
offered by the standard library's
package, with a focus on lowering the CPU and memory footprint of the code.
The exported API of this package mirrors the standard library's
encoding/json package, the only
change needed to take advantage of the performance improvements is the import
path of the
json package, from:
import ( "encoding/json" )
import ( "github.com/segmentio/encoding/json" )
The improvement can be significant for code that heavily relies on serializing and deserializing JSON payloads. The CI pipeline runs benchmarks to compare the performance of the package with the standard library and other popular alternatives; here's an overview of the results:
Comparing to encoding/json (
name old time/op new time/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 6.40ms ± 2% 3.82ms ± 1% -40.29% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 28.1ms ± 3% 5.6ms ± 3% -80.21% (p=0.008 n=5+5) name old speed new speed delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 303MB/s ± 2% 507MB/s ± 1% +67.47% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 69.2MB/s ± 3% 349.6MB/s ± 3% +405.42% (p=0.008 n=5+5) name old alloc/op new alloc/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 0.00B 0.00B ~ (all equal) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 1.80MB ± 1% 0.02MB ± 0% -99.14% (p=0.016 n=5+4) name old allocs/op new allocs/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 0.00 0.00 ~ (all equal) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 76.6k ± 0% 0.1k ± 3% -99.92% (p=0.008 n=5+5)
Benchmarks were run on a Core i9-8950HK CPU @ 2.90GHz.
Comparing to github.com/json-iterator/go (
name old time/op new time/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 6.19ms ± 3% 3.82ms ± 1% -38.26% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 8.52ms ± 3% 5.55ms ± 3% -34.84% (p=0.008 n=5+5) name old speed new speed delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 313MB/s ± 3% 507MB/s ± 1% +61.91% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 228MB/s ± 3% 350MB/s ± 3% +53.50% (p=0.008 n=5+5) name old alloc/op new alloc/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 8.00B ± 0% 0.00B -100.00% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 1.05MB ± 0% 0.02MB ± 0% -98.53% (p=0.000 n=5+4) name old allocs/op new allocs/op delta Marshal/*json.codeResponse2 1.00 ± 0% 0.00 -100.00% (p=0.008 n=5+5) Unmarshal/*json.codeResponse2 37.2k ± 0% 0.1k ± 3% -99.83% (p=0.008 n=5+5)
Although this package aims to be a drop-in replacement of
it does not guarantee the same error messages. It will error in the same cases
as the standard library, but the exact error message may be different.
iso8601 sub-package exposes APIs to efficiently deal with with string
representations of iso8601 dates.
Data formats like JSON have no syntaxes to represent dates, they are usually
serialized and represented as a string value. In our experience, we often have
to check whether a string value looks like a date, and either construct a
time.Time by parsing it or simply treat it as a
string. This check can be
done by attempting to parse the value, and if it fails fallback to using the
raw string. Unfortunately, while the happy path for
time.Parse is fairly
efficient, constructing errors is much slower and has a much bigger memory
We've developed fast iso8601 validation functions that cause no heap allocations
to remediate this problem. We added a validation step to determine whether
the value is a date representation or a simple string. This reduced CPU and
memory usage by 5% in some programs that were doing
time.Parse calls on very
hot code paths.