As someone who never used Rust I want to ask: does the section about crates imply that all third-party libraries are recompiled every time you rebuild the project?
Good question! They are not; dependencies are only built on the first compilation, and they are cached in subsequent compilations unless you explicitly clean the cache.
I would assume dependencies are still parsed and type checked though? Or is anything cached there in a similar way to precompiled headers in C++?
A Rust library includes the actual compiled functions like you’d expect, but it also contains a serialized copy of the compiler’s metadata about that library, giving function prototypes and data structure layouts and generics and so forth. That way, Rust can provide all the benefits of precompiled headers without the hassle of having to write things twice.
Of course, the downside is that Rust’s ABI effectively depends on accidental details of the compiler’s internal data structures and serialization system, which is why Rust is not getting a stable ABI any time soon.
Rust has a proper module system, so as far as I know it doesn’t need hacks like that. The price for this awesomeness is that the module system is a bit awkward/different when you’re starting out.
Ok, then I can’t see why the article needs to mention it. Perhaps I should try it myself rather than just read about its type system.
It made me think it suffers from the same problem as MLton.
I should’ve been more clear. Rust will not recompile third-party crates most of the time. It will if you run cargo clean, if you change compile options (e.g., activate or deactivate LTO), or if you upgrade the compiler, but during regular development, it won’t happen too much. However, there is a build for cargo check, and a build for cargo test, and yet another build for cargo build, so you might end up still compiling your project three times.
I mentioned keeping crates under control, because it takes our C.I. system at work ~20 minutes to build one of my projects. About 5 minutes is spent building the project a first time to run the unit tests, then another 10 minutes to compile the release build; the other 5 minutes is spent fetching, building, and uploading a Docker image for the application. The C.I. always starts from a clean slate, so I always pay the compilation price, and it slows me down if I test a container in a staging environment, realize there’s a bug, fix the bug, and repeat.
One way to make sure that your build doesn’t take longer than is needed to is be selective in your choice of third party crates (I have found that the quality of crates varies a lot) and making sure that a crate pays for itself. serde and rayon are two great libraries that I’m happy to include in my project; on the other hand, env_logger brings a few transitive libraries for coloring the log it generates. However, neither journalctl nor docker container logs show colors, so I am paying a cost without getting any benefit.
docker container logs
Compiling all of the code including dependencies, can make some types of optimizations and inlining possible, though.
Definitely, this is why MLton is doing it, it’s a whole program optimizing compiler. The compilation speed tradeoff is so severe that its users usually resort to using another SML implementation for actual development and debugging and only use MLton for release builds.
If we can figure out how to make whole program optimization detect which already compiled bits can be reused between builds, that may make the idea more viable.
In last discussion, I argued for multi-staged process that improved developer productivity, esp keeping mind flowing. The final result is as optimized as possible. No wait times, though. You always have something to use.
Exactly. I think developing with something like smlnj, then compiling the final result with mlton is a relatively good workflow. Testing individual functions is faster with Common Lisp and SLIME, and testing entire programs is faster with Go, though.
Interesting you mentioned that; Chris Cannam has a build setup for this workflow: https://bitbucket.org/cannam/sml-buildscripts/