Simon Willison’s Weblog

43 items tagged “rust”

2023

The technology behind GitHub’s new code search (via) I’ve been a beta user of the new GitHub code search for a while and I absolutely love it: you really can run a regular expression search across the entire of GitHub, which is absurdly useful for both finding code examples of under-documented APIs and for seeing how people are using open source code that you have released yourself. It turns out GitHub built their own search engine for this from scratch, called Blackbird. It’s implemented in Rust and makes clever use of sharded ngram indexes—not just trigrams, because it turns out those aren’t quite selective enough for a corpus that includes a lot of three letter keywords like “for”. I also really appreciated the insight into how they handle visibility permissions: they compile those into additional internal search clauses, resulting in things like “RepoIDs(...) or PublicRepo()” # 6th February 2023, 6:38 pm

sqlite-jsonschema. “A SQLite extension for validating JSON objects with JSON Schema”, building on the jsonschema Rust crate. SQLite and JSON are already a great combination—Alex suggests using this extension to implement check constraints to validate JSON columns before inserting into a table, or just to run queries finding existing data that doesn’t match a given schema. # 28th January 2023, 3:50 am

sqlite-ulid. Alex Garcia’s sqlite-ulid adds lightning-fast SQL functions for generating ULIDs—Universally Unique Lexicographically Sortable Identifiers. These work like UUIDs but are smaller and faster to generate, and can be canonically encoded as a URL-safe 26 character string (UUIDs are 36 characters). Again, this builds on a Rust crate—ulid-rs—and can generate 1 million byte-represented ULIDs with the ulid_bytes() function in just 88.4ms. # 28th January 2023, 3:45 am

sqlite-fastrand. Alex Garcia just dropped three new SQLite extensions, and I’m going to link to all of them. The first is sqlite-fastrand, which adds new functions for generating random numbers (and alphanumeric characters too). Impressively, these out-perform the default SQLite random() and randomblob() functions by about 1.6-2.6x, thanks to being built on the Rust fastrand crate which builds on wyhash, an extremely fast (though not cryptographically secure) hashing function. # 28th January 2023, 3:41 am

datasette-granian (via) Granian is a new Python web server—similar to Gunicorn—written in Rust. I built a small plugin that adds a “datasette granian” command starting a Granian server that serves Datasette’s ASGI application, using the same pattern as my existing datasette-gunicorn plugin. # 20th January 2023, 2:12 am

Servo to Advance in 2023 (via) This is excellent news: Serve, the browser-in-Rust project started by Mozilla in 2012 that produced the Rust programming language, is getting re-activated with four new full-time developers provided by Igalia. Igalia are a fascinating organization—I hadn’t realized quite how influential they’ve been until I read their Wikipedia page just now They’ve been around since 2001, and “in 2019 they were the #2 committers to both the WebKit and Chromium codebases and in the top 10 contributors to Gecko/Servo”—including implementing and maintaining CSS Grid Layout! # 16th January 2023, 5:08 pm

Introducing sqlite-xsv: The Fastest CSV Parser for SQLite. Alex Garcia continues to push the boundaries of SQLite extensions. This new extension in Rust wraps the lightning fast Rust csv crate and provides a new csv_reader() virtual table that can handle regular, gzipped and zstd compressed files. # 14th January 2023, 9:54 pm

2022

Data-driven performance optimization with Rust and Miri (via) Useful guide to some Rust performance optimization tools. Miri can be used to dump out a detailed JSON profile of a program which can then be opened and explored using the Chrome browser’s performance tool. # 9th December 2022, 5:19 pm

Introducing sqlite-loadable-rs: A framework for building SQLite Extensions in Rust. Alex Garcia has built a new Rust library for creating SQLite extensions—initially supporting custom scalar functions, virtual tables and table functions and with more types of extension coming soon. This looks very easy to use, partly because the documentation and examples are already delightfully thorough, especially for an initial release. # 7th December 2022, 11:08 pm

AI assisted learning: Learning Rust with ChatGPT, Copilot and Advent of Code

I’m using this year’s Advent of Code to learn Rust—with the assistance of GitHub Copilot and OpenAI’s new ChatGPT.

[... 2661 words]

Building a BFT JSON CRDT (via) Jacky Zhao describes their project to build a CRDT library for JSON data in Rust, and includes a thorough explanation of what CRDTs are and how they work. “I write this blog post mostly as a note to my past self, distilling a lot of what I’ve learned since into a blog post I wish I had read before going in”—the best kind of blog post! # 21st November 2022, 7:56 pm

Blessed.rs Crate List (via) Rust doesn’t have a very large standard library, so part of learning Rust is figuring out which of the third-party crates are the best for tackling common problems. This here is an opinionated guide to crates, which looks like it could be really useful. # 7th November 2022, 7:25 pm

mitsuhiko/insta (via) I asked for recommendations on Twitter for testing libraries in other languages that would give me the same level of delight that I get from pytest. Two people pointed me to insta by Armin Ronacher, a Rust testing framework for “snapshot testing” which automatically records reference values to your repository, so future tests can spot if they change. # 31st October 2022, 1:06 am

py2rs. Extremely useful document providing resources for learning Rust followed by an extensive collection of common Python tasks (building a list, opening a file, spawning a thread, running a simple web server) and their Rust equivalents. # 7th October 2022, 5:44 pm

libsql (via) A brand new Apache 2 licensed fork of SQLite. The README explains the rationale behind the project: SQLite itself is open source but not open contribution, and this fork aims to try out new ideas. The most interesting to me so far is a plan to support user defined functions implemented in WebAssembly. The project also intends to use Rust for new feature development. # 4th October 2022, 4:13 pm

Turning SQLite into a distributed database (via) Heyang Zhou introduces mvSQLite, his brand new open source “SQLite-compatible distributed database” built in Rust on top of Apple’s FoundationDB. This is a very promising looking new entry into the distributed/replicated SQLite space: FoundationDB was designed to provide low-level primitives that tools like this could build on top of. # 21st August 2022, 5:40 pm

sqlite-zstd: Transparent dictionary-based row-level compression for SQLite. Interesting SQLite extension from phiresky, the author of that amazing SQLite WASM hack from a while ago which could fetch subsets of a large SQLite database using the HTTP range header. This extension, written in Rust, implements row-level compression for a SQLite table by creating compression dictionaries for larger chunks of the table, providing better results than just running compression against each row value individually. # 9th August 2022, 9:23 pm

The State of WebAssembly 2022. Colin Eberhardt talks through the results of the State of WebAssembly 2022 survey. Rust continues to dominate as the most popular language for working to WebAssembly, but Python has a notable increase of interest. # 20th June 2022, 6:07 pm

Why Rust’s postfix await syntax is good (via) C J Silverio explains postfix await in Rust—where you can write a line like this, with the ? causing any errors to be caught and turned into an error return from your function: let count = fetch_all_animals().await?.filter_for_hedgehogs().len(); # 15th May 2022, 2:27 pm

jless (via) A really nice new command-line JSON viewer, written in Rust, created by Paul Julius Martinez. It provides a terminal interface for navigating through large JSON files, including expanding and contracting nested objects and searching for strings or a modified form of regular expressions. # 12th February 2022, 3:17 am

Writing a minimal Lua implementation with a virtual machine from scratch in Rust. Phil Eaton implements a subset of Lua in a Rust in this detailed tutorial. # 15th January 2022, 6:29 pm

Announcing Parcel CSS: A new CSS parser, compiler, and minifier written in Rust! An interesting thing about tools like this being written in Rust is that since the Rust-to-WASM pipeline is well trodden at this point, the live demo that this announcement links to runs entirely in the browser. # 13th January 2022, 8:40 pm

2021

Introducing stack graphs (via) GitHub launched “precise code navigation” for Python today—the first language to get support for this feature. Click on any Python symbol in GitHub’s code browsing views and a box will show you exactly where that symbol was defined—all based on static analysis by a custom parser written in Rust as opposed to executing any Python code directly. The underlying computer science uses a technique called stack graphs, based on scope graphs research from Eelco Visser’s research group at TU Delft. # 9th December 2021, 11:07 pm

Hurl (via) Hurl is “a command line tool that runs HTTP requests defined in a simple plain text format”—written in Rust on top of curl, it lets you run HTTP requests and then execute assertions against the response, defined using JSONPath or XPath for HTML. It can even assert that responses were returned within a specified duration. # 22nd November 2021, 3:32 am

A half-hour to learn Rust. I haven’t tried to write any Rust yet but I occasionally find myself wanting to read it, and I find some of the syntax really difficult to get my head around. This article helped a lot: it provides a quick but thorough introduction to most of Rust’s syntax, with clearly explained snippet examples for each one. # 5th November 2021, 5:21 am

aws-lambda-adapter. AWS Lambda added support for Docker containers last year, but with a very weird shape: you can run anything on Lambda that fits in a Docker container, but unlike Google Cloud Run your application doesn’t get to speak HTTP: it needs to run code that listens for proprietary AWS lambda events instead. The obvious way to fix this is to run some kind of custom proxy inside the container which turns AWS runtime events into HTTP calls to a regular web application. Serverlessish and re:Web are two open source projects that implemented this, and now AWS have their own implementation of that pattern, written in Rust. # 28th October 2021, 5:04 am

toyDB: references. toyDB is a “distributed SQL database in Rust, written as a learning project”, with its own implementations of SQL, raft, ACID transactions, B+trees and more. toyDB author Erik Grinaker has assembled a detailed set of references that he used to learn how to build a database—I’d love to see more projects do this, it’s really useful. # 19th July 2021, 12:18 am

Inserting One Billion Rows in SQLite Under a Minute (via) Avinash Sajjanshetty experiments with accelerating writes to a test table in SQLite, using various SQLite pragmas to accelerate inserts followed by a rewrite of Python code to Rust. Also of note: running the exact same code in PyPy saw a 3.5x speed-up! # 19th July 2021, 12:13 am

2020

Internet Archive Software Library: Flash (via) A fantastic new initiative from the Internet Archive: they’re now archiving Flash (.swf) files and serving them for modern browsers using Ruffle, a Flash Player emulator written in Rust and compiled to WebAssembly. They are fully interactive and audio works too. Considering the enormous quantity of creative material released in Flash over the decades this helps fill a big hole in the Internet’s cultural memory. # 19th November 2020, 9:19 pm

Get Started—Materialize. Materialize is a really interesting new database—“a streaming SQL materialized view engine”. It builds materialized views on top of streaming data sources (such as Kafka)—you define the view using a SQL query, then it figures out how to keep that view up-to-date automatically as new data streams in. It speaks the PostgreSQL protocol so you can talk to it using the psql tool or any PostgreSQL client library. The “get started” guide is particularly impressive: it uses a curl stream of the Wikipedia recent changes API, parsed using a regular expression. And it’s written in Rust, so installing it is as easy as downloading and executing a single binary (though I used Homebrew). # 1st June 2020, 10:11 pm