Notes on a smaller Rust

Many people who use Rust for a bit - especially those who like the language but do not fall in love with it - feel a sense that there must be a smaller, simpler variation on the same theme which would maybe be a little less powerful, but would also be much easier to use. I agree with them, but I think they are almost always wrong about what would need to change. [Read More]

Update on await syntax

In my previous post I said that the lang team would be making our final decision about the syntax of the await operator in the May 23 meeting. That was last Thursday, and we did reach a decision. In brief, we decided to go forward with the preliminary proposal I outlined earlier: a postfix dot syntax, future.await. For more background, in addition the previous post on my blog, you can read this write up about some of the trade offs from April. [Read More]

Zero Cost Abstractions

The idea of a zero cost abstraction is very important to certain programming languages, like Rust and C++, which intend to enable users to write programs with excellent performance profiles with relatively little effort. Since this idea is fundamental to the design of Rust and my work, I want to investigate, for a moment, what exactly a zero cost abstraction even is. The idea is summarized in its original by Bjarne Stroustrup, the original developer of C++: [Read More]

A final proposal for await syntax

This is an announcement regarding the resolution of the syntax for the await operator in Rust. This is one of the last major unresolved questions blocking the stabilization of the async/await feature, a feature which will enable many more people to write non-blocking network services in Rust. This post contains information about the timeline for the final decision, a proposal from the language team which is the most likely syntax to be adopted, and the justification for this decision. [Read More]

for await loops (Part I)

The biggest unresolved question regarding the async/await syntax is the final syntax for the await operator. There’s been an enormous amount of discussion on this question so far; a summary of the present status of that discussion and the positions within the language team is coming soon. Right now I want to separately focus on one question which impacts that decision but hasn’t been considered very much yet: for loops which process streams. [Read More]

Generators II: The Question Mark Problem

This is my second post on the design of generators. In the first post, I outlined what an MVP of the feature would look like. In this post, I want to take a look at the first design issue for the feature: how it integrates with the ? operator. To explain exactly what I mean, let’s start with a specific motivating example: // This generator yields the number of alphanumeric characters in every line // in some io::Read'able data // exact sign function declaration syntax left unspecified on purpose |data| { let mut buffered_data = BufReader::new(data); let mut string = String::new(); while buffered_data. [Read More]

Generators I: Toward a minimum viable product

We’re still not finished with the design of async/await, but it’s already become clear that it’s time to get the next phases of the feature into the pipeline. There are two extensions to the minimal async/await feature we’ve currently got that seem like the clear high priority: Async methods: allowing async fn to be used in traits. Generators: allowing imperative control flow to create Iterators and Streams the same way async fn allows imperative control flow to create a Future. [Read More]

The Waker API II: waking across threads

In the previous post, I provided a lot of background on what the waker API is trying to solve. Toward the end, I touched on one of the tricky problems the waker API has: how do we handle thread safety for the dynamic Waker type? In this post, I want to look at that in greater detail: what we’ve been doing so far, and what I think we should do. [Read More]

The Waker API I: what does a waker do?

Work on supporting async/await in Rust continues to progress rapidly. I’m hoping to write a retrospective on everything that happened in 2018 in a few weeks. Right now we’re closing in on an important milestone: stabilizing the futures API that will be used to interact programmatically with asynchronous computations. The biggest remaining area of work is the design of the waker API, an essential but somewhat opaque part of how our asynchronous programming system works. [Read More]

Organizational Debt

We all know that classic aphorism: Year comes to an end, Rust blog post press send. This is mine. There are lots of cool technical improvements to Rust that I want the project to achieve this year, and a few in particular that I’m definitely going to be putting a lot of time into. But this blog post is going to talk about none of them. Instead, I want to talk about organizational debt, and how badly the Rust project needs to deal with it in 2019. [Read More]