rust_mixin

Yo dawg, use Rust to generate Rust, right in your Rust. (See `external_mixin` to use scripting languages.)


Keywords
plugin, rust, code-generation
Licenses
MIT/Apache-2.0

Contributors

Huon Wilson Skyler autohuonw


See all contributors


Documentation

macro_rules! with realer programming languages

Build Status

Generate Rust code right into your crate, with an arbitrary programming language.

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(external_mixin)]
#![plugin(rust_mixin)]

// creates a `get_x` function
python_mixin! {"
x = 1 + 2
print('fn get_x() -> u64 { %d }' % x)
"}

fn main() {
    let value = get_x();

    // should evaluate to 7.
    let other_value = rust_mixin! {r#"
fn main() {
    println!("{}", 3 + 4);
}
    "#};

    assert_eq!(value, 3);
    assert_eq!(other_value, 7);
}

It can even be used to build other macros:

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(external_mixin)]

// converts the whole input code to lowercase, if you think Rust is
// missing that vital SQL/COBOL feel
macro_rules! downcase {
    ($($args: tt)*) => {
        python_mixin! {
            concat!("input = \"",
                    stringify!($($args)*),
                    r#""
print(input.lower())
                "#)
        }
    }
}

fn main() {
    downcase!(FN FOO() -> I32 { 1 });
    println!("{}", foo()); // 1
}

This comes in three libraries:

Don't miss the Q&A session at the bottom.

Installation

Both plugin crates are available on crates.io: rust_mixin, external_mixin. Hence, you can add any subset of

[dependencies]
rust_mixin = "*"
external_mixin = "*"

to your Cargo.toml.

rust_mixin

Write Rust to generate your Rust, right in your Rust (yo dawg). The plugin compiles and runs its argument as a Rust program at compile time, and then inserts the output into the main crate, similar to a macro_rules! macro.

The rust_mixin plugin takes a single string, containing a Rust program to be compiled with rustc. This program should print valid Rust to stdout. Each rust_mixin invocation is independent of all others (no stored state). The string argument is macro-expanded before being used, so constructing an invocation with concat!() is legitimate.

The macro supports an optional { ... } block before the string literal, to specify options. The only option supported currently is arg: it can be specified multiple times, and the arguments are passed to rustc in the order given.

This doesn't currently support using any dependencies via cargo.

Examples

Compute Fibonacci numbers in the best way possible, by making Rust print a function to compute each number:

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(rust_mixin)]

rust_mixin! {r#"
fn main() {
    println!("fn fib_0() -> i32 {{ 0 }}");
    println!("fn fib_1() -> i32 {{ 1 }}");

    for i in 2..(40 + 1) {
        println!("fn fib_{}() -> i32 {{ fib_{}() + fib_{}() }}",
                 i, i - 1, i - 2);
    }
}
"#}

fn main() {
    println!("the 30th fibonacci number is {}", fib_30());
}

Do the Fibonacci computation at compile time, naively, so we want some optimisations:

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(rust_mixin)]

fn main() {
    let fib_30 = rust_mixin! {
        { arg = "-C", arg = "opt-level=3" }
        r#"
fn fib(n: u64) -> u64 {
    if n <= 1 { n } else { fib(n - 1) + fib(n - 2) }
}
fn main() {
    println!("{}", fib(30))
}
    "#};


    println!("the 30th fibonacci number is {}", fib_30);
}

external_mixin

Use a variety of scripting languages to generate Rust code at compile time. This has an external_mixin! macro that supports arbitrary interpreters, as well as specialised support for several languages: python_mixin!, ruby_mixin!, sh_mixin!, perl_mixin!.

As with rust_mixin! these macros take their program as a string (that gets macro expanded). The program should print valid Rust to stdout, and each invocation is independent, there's no stored state. Options can be specified with an optional { ... } block, before the string literal.

The external_mixin! macro is the most flexible form, it takes a compulsory interpreter argument: this program is called with the path to a file containing the code snippet as the last argument.

Both external_mixin! and the language specific macros support the arg option, which can be specified multiple times and are passed to the interpreter (in front of the file argument), in the order given.

Portability?

These macros rely on shelling out to interpreters, relying on there being an appropriately named executable in the user's path (hopefully it is the right version, too...). Hence, this is not portable or reliable. At least a user of rust_mixin! is guarantee to have a rustc available, no such guarantee exists here.

Examples

Count how many files/folders lie at the top of the (Unix) file system.

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(external_mixin)]

fn main() {
    let file_count = sh_mixin!("ls / | wc -l");
    println!("there are {} files in /", file_count);
}

Compute the Unix time that the program was built at, via Ruby.

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(external_mixin)]

fn main() {
    let build_time = ruby_mixin!("puts Time.now.to_i");
    println!("this was built {} seconds after 1970-01-01 00:00:00", build_time);
}

Use Python 2's naked print statement and Python 3's division semantics (and guess the version of the python binary, used by python_mixin!):

#![feature(plugin)]
#![plugin(external_mixin)]

fn main() {
    let value2 = external_mixin! {
        { interpreter = "python2" }
        "print 1 / 2"
    };
    let value3 = external_mixin! {
        { interpreter = "python3" }
        "print(1 / 2)"
    };
    let value_unknown = python_mixin!("print(1 / 2)");

    if value_unknown as f64 == value3 {
        println!("`python_mixin!` is Python 3");
    } else {
        println!("`python_mixin!` is Python 2");
    }
}

external_mixin_umbrella

The top level item of this repository is a library designed to maximise the sharing of code between external_mixin and rust_mixin, so that their implementations are only 100 and 50 lines respectively.

All your questions... answered:

Should I actually use these?

Probably not, this is me experimenting with more language plugins. A more portable/usable way to do this sort of code-generation is via a Cargo build script plus the include! macro.

Some downsides (not exhaustive):

  • the mixins like python_mixin! rely on having correctly-named binaries in the user's path, and, e.g. "python" is sometimes Python 2 and sometimes Python 3. Also, it's mean to require users to have installed Python on Windows. (Build scripts only need a Cargo and a Rust compiler, which the user is guaranteed to have if they're trying to build your Rust code.)

  • errors in the generated code are hard to debug, although the macros do try to give as useful error messages as possible e.g. file/line numbers for errors in the code point as closely as possible to the relevant part of the original string containing the source (including working with editors' jump-to-error facilities). However, the parsed Rust doesn't actually appear anywhere on disk or otherwise, so you cannot easily see the full context when the compiler complains (in contrast, a build script just generates a normal file right in your file-system).

Why not use token trees, rather than strings?

It doesn't work so well for the white-space sensitive languages, and the arbitrary other languages usable with external_mixin can have wildly different syntax to Rust, syntax that doesn't even tokenise as Rust, e.g. 'foo' is a valid string in many scripting languages, but is an invalid character literal in Rust. Rust's #-delimited raw strings means that there is no escaping required (just add enough #s, usually one is all that is needed).

For rust_mixin!, I thought consistency was nice, and it provides a distinction between the real program and the subprogram via syntax highlighting (having two mains in one file is confusing).

Wouldn't rust_mixin be better as compile-time function evaluation?

Yeah, probably... but that's, like, type-safe and sensible, not nearly as much fun as munging strings around. (It also doesn't exist yet, in Rust.)