17 January 2013

Simple blog platform backed by lua, redis, nginx and git

Previously I wrote about my simple blog software that used git as database. But after a while I found myself wanting not to ruin LuaJIT's fantastic speed by spawning git commands for every visitor. And since I was using Redis for a silly visitor counter already it seemed like a waste not to leverage it in some way. @Graaten had this brilliant idea to have a git hook that generates the data needed by the blog upon commit.

So I set out to write a simple bash Git post hook that turns the list of Markdown-files into a JSON list of commit logs and then feed that into Redis with the redis-cli command.

The Git Hook

The shell script is fairly well commented so it should be self explanatory :)


# Author: Tor Hveem

# Loop through each markdown file
for FILE in $(ls *md) ; do
    # strip file extension
    # get json log output with unix timestamp date
    OUTPUT=$(exec git log --pretty=format:"'%h': {'commit': '%H','author': '%an <%ae>',  'timestamp': %ct,  'message': '%s'}" -- $FILE)
    # Switch linesbreaks to , with goal to eventually make a list
    OUTPUT=$(echo $OUTPUT | tr "\n" ",")
    # Strip last ,
    # Json list
    # Feed the output into redis
    echo "SET $REDIS_KEY \"$OUTPUT\"" | redis-cli > /dev/null
    # Find first timestamp of post
    TIMESTAMP=$(exec git log --pretty=format:"%ct" --reverse -- $FILE | head -1)
    # Add the post to the sorted set of posts
    echo "ZADD posts $TIMESTAMP $TITLE" | redis-cli > /dev/null

The Lua blog code

I'm using the Redis datatype of Sorted Set for the post list. With the title as the member variable and the date as the score it's very easy to poke the Redis db for a list of posts sorted by date.

The function to get list of blog posts with date is as simple as this:


Return a table with post date as key and title as val
local function posts_with_dates(limit)
    local posts, err = red:zrevrange('posts', 0, limit, 'withscores')
    if err then return {} end
    posts = red:array_to_hash(posts)
    return swap(posts)

The single post view is also much more simple and faster now. I run the redis zscore function to get the date of the title sent in using query path. If the redis command fails I simply return 404. Or if it gets a date back, it opens the file and compiles the markdown.


local page = match[1] 
local date, err = red:zscore('posts', page)
-- No match, return 404
if err or date == ngx.null then
    return ngx.HTTP_NOT_FOUND
local mdfile =  BLAGDIR .. page .. '.md'
local mdfilefp = assert(io.open(mdfile, 'r'))
local mdcontent = mdfilefp:read('*a')
local mdhtml = markdown(mdcontent) 

The next steps for increasing performance now will be to either have markdown generated on git commit too, or have it generated on first visit and then saved to redis for all the next visit. That method would need check in the commit log json data for any updates and thus needing regeneration.


You can find the source at my github repository for this project.

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