Thursday, April 12, 2007

GMime is damn fast

Came across this in the zsh archives:

I've been using the stand-alone:

I never realised I already had it in openssl.
Thanks for the tip.

This led me to see what else I might already have or could get in a ready made package rather than having to use a source. (I do need this util in some form on every box and previously all my boxes were SCO OpenServer and I had been using the fourmilab source for years.)

Then I decided to run a few simple time tests, since this gets used a lot in various system() commands in application code and cgi scripts etc...

I expected the simple plain base64 util to be the fastest but I was wrong:

In each case I repeated the same command many times and always got almost exactly the same results, that is, +- 0m0.004 of the numbers shown so these are representative not just a fluke or caching effects or effects of the os being busy elsewhere.

the fourmilab source:
nj4:~ # time base64 </boot/vmlinuz >/dev/null

real    0m0.074s
user    0m0.072s
sys     0m0.000s

nj4:~ # time opsnssl base64 </boot/vmlinuz >/dev/null
-bash: opsnssl: command not found

real    0m0.001s
user    0m0.000s
sys     0m0.000s

mimencode comes in the metamail package:
nj4:~ # time mimencode </boot/vmlinuz >/dev/null

real    0m0.078s
user    0m0.076s
sys     0m0.004s


It actually does base64 not uuencode if you give it the -m or --base64 option.

It comes in the gmime package.

It prepends and appends some junk to the actual base64 output so it's inconvenient for me to actually use:

   nj4:~ # echo this is a test |gmime-uuencode -m -
   begin-base64 600 -
   nj4:~ #
As for the speed:
nj4:~ # time gmime-uuencode -m - </boot/vmlinuz >/dev/null

real    0m0.009s
user    0m0.008s
sys     0m0.000s

Ooenssl destroys the rest.

So even though I have the dedicated util it's actually better to use openssl.

As a side benefit, thats one less special thing to maintain on all my boxes.

The funny thing here is that `opsnssl` doesn't even exist, so his performance comparison is kinda... well, non-existent. It's still interesting, though, because `gmime-uuencode -m` can encode the file almost as fast as it takes the system to realize that opsnssl doesn't exist!

I find it amusing that at the end of his comparison section, he spells OpenSSL wrong yet again ("Ooenssl").

Good stuff ;-)

Anyways... we've probably all made goofs like this. I mostly found it amusing because of how awesome GMime is :p

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