The Mercury Parser API, made by Postlight, is shutting down.

Mercury Parser is the service that powers a number of popular features on Feedbin. These include: extracting the full content from partial content feeds, viewing the content of links in Feedbin, and displaying articles that are linked to from tweets.

However, this is actually good news, because Postlight open-sourced Mercury Parser, and it has already improved significantly. Bugs have been fixed, results have become more accurate, and in the case of Feedbin, it is now much faster.

Feedbin has been using the open-source Mercury project since mid-February, but running on different infrastructure. Postlight also open-sourced the AWS lambda API as a separate project, but I had different requirements for authentication, so I created a small web service to handle authentication and run Mercury Parser.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that running the same service on different hardware boosted performance. This isn’t even dedicated hardware like what Feedbin uses for its primary servers. Just a cluster of Digital Ocean virtual private servers.

Performance of extracting full content. Before and after moving off Lambda.

Lambda’s infinite scalability sounds very impressive, but infinite scalability is not a requirement for this use-case. Lambda would probably be cheaper (maybe free?), but I’ll always prefer performance at any cost.

 Read more on Feedbon’s blog >>

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