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RK: Igor Sysoev

At first I thought Lighttpd was the cat's meow. After talking with Andrei (who maintains PHP-FPM) I thought - if he got PHP-FPM right, he must know his stuff. He recommended I try nginx - and boy am I glad I did.

Igor is an interesting character to me. He is very matter-of-fact, he has no problem issuing patches almost instantly to enhance his product, and he also has no problem being short with people when rejecting an idea or informing them they're wrong. To me it seems like sometimes people who maintain projects try to be more politically correct, but from what I've seen, Igor seems to be extremely technical by heart, and does not really stop to smell the flowers (at least on the mailing list...)

Igor gets mad props for creating nginx - quite possibly the most efficient web/proxy server on earth. For a bit I was using it to proxy 4+ million web requests a day (small php, html, graphics and even larger file and video downloads) through a single server, doing gzip as well - and it handled it all without using more than 14 megs of physical RAM. Nginx is such an engineering feat that I've actually started contemplating how to re-do my architecture since it is totally viable now to have a single frontend server proxying all the dynamic requests to dedicated FastCGI servers. No need really to be running multiple nginx instances anymore... one handles everything!

Anyway, back to Igor - my new goal in life is not only to help promote PHP-FPM but now nginx as well. There's only a couple minor things I wish nginx would do a bit better, but otherwise, it is my web solution and possibly even my proxy solution to replace LVS. Who would have thought a userland daemon could be so efficient? Even though Igor maintains nginx almost 100% by himself, releases come out often, he can produce patches to fix bugs or add features within a couple hours, and he usually replies to emails within the same day on the mailing list. I haven't seen that level of support from any other open source project, much less commercial products. "Want a patch? Wait for our next release in six months!"

Igor's website is at http://sysoev.ru/en/, however it doesn't really have much info on it - and you'll probably be looking for nginx at http://nginx.net/ anyway. Thanks Igor 🙂

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