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You're reading too much hostility in it. The article does not claim to be better than Varnish. Performance is achieved by not implementing many features. For example, Varnish is a full-blown programming language and has an infinite size. The Passenger turbocache has almost no configuration options, does not support any sort of custom programming and only supports 8 entries at most. The fact that the max size is so small allows it to be implemented in very compact data structures, but its usefulness is also severely limited. It's merely designed with a different set of tradeoffs than Varnish.

It isn't that difficult to make a web server that's faster all the production servers out there. For example H2O is faster than Nginx... because it has infinitely less features. Ditto for Passenger's turbocache.

The rest of the article describes some ideas, some of which cannot be implemented using pure Varnish and require cooperation from the app. In my opinion you're missing out on a lot of interesting ideas if you stop reading only because you think Varnish is being slammed.




I think the complaint is just that the approach is in no way as novel as you make it seem.

It can and has been implemented with Varnish and a few lines of VCL (with support of the app as well, of course).

What is "pure varnish" anyways? Proper varnish use always needs a tuned VCL, that's the whole core of the product.

Also, if I might say, I find your edits very handwavey. Please prove why that is impossible in VCL.


Fair enough. But even claiming that it's truly novel is not the point of the article. The point of the article is to research HTTP caching and to converse with the community about possibilities. It is not to present a new product.

In hindsight I see that the title may have been badly chosen. Before publication, none of the test readers have made any fuss about this.

> Please prove why that is impossible in VCL.

Where do you get impression that I claimed it's impossible in the VCL? It's pretty clear that the single page app approach can be replaced by edge side include, while the cookie parsing can be done with the cookie vmod.

The article claims that despite being the cache being able to do these things, application support is still required. The app has to be modified to output certain cookies in a certain format, e.g. the vary-on-user-permission-level thing. It's the combination that is important.

Have these things been done before? I'm sure they have. Most ideas in computer science are 30+ years old, and it's rare to truly find something new. But again, the point of the article is research. What we're after is not to present a new thing, but to present an idea, and if it's a new thing then we want people to help us to test; if it's not a new thing then we want to hear experiences.


Fair enough! I can definitely see how I might have taken it too hard (or it came off in my writing of the comment)

I was just more or less intrigued by the actual claim and would have loved to just see some numbers on "higher performance than varnish" and the scenarios where it could reach those performance pieces. It just piqued my interest for future architecture considerations.

Thanks for enlightening me more on turbocache. It's on my list of things to go through tonight.

Edit: I did want to point out my bad choice of words. "They had me until here.", did not mean I didn't read the article in it's entirety. Just that I continued with a bit more skepticism.




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