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== Flow diagram
Cowboy is a lightweight HTTP server with support for HTTP/1.1,
HTTP/2 and Websocket.
It is built on top of Ranch. Please see the Ranch guide for more
information about how the network connections are handled.
// @todo Make the diagram.
=== Number of processes per connection
By default, Cowboy will use one process per connection,
plus one process per set of request/response (called a
The reason it creates a new process for every request is due
to the requirements of HTTP/2 where requests are executed
concurrently and independently from the connection. The
frames from the different requests end up interleaved on
the single TCP connection.
The request processes are never reused. There is therefore
no need to perform any cleanup after the response has been
sent. The process will terminate and Erlang/OTP will reclaim
all memory at once.
Cowboy ultimately does not require more than one process
per connection. It is possible to interact with the connection
directly from a stream handler, a low level interface to Cowboy.
They are executed from within the connection process, and can
handle the incoming requests and send responses. This is however
not recommended in normal circumstances, as a stream handler
taking too long to execute could have a negative impact on
concurrent requests or the state of the connection itself.
=== Date header
Because querying for the current date and time can be expensive,
Cowboy generates one 'Date' header value every second, shares it
to all other processes, which then simply copy it in the response.
This allows compliance with HTTP/1.1 with no actual performance loss.
Cowboy makes extensive use of binaries.
Binaries are more efficient than lists for representing
strings because they take less memory space. Processing
performance can vary depending on the operation. Binaries
are known for generally getting a great boost if the code
is compiled natively. Please see the HiPE documentation
for more details.
Binaries may end up being shared between processes. This
can lead to some large memory usage when one process keeps
the binary data around forever without freeing it. If you
see some weird memory usage in your application, this might
be the cause.