Issue #18481 has been updated by maximecb (Maxime Chevalier-Boisvert).


I'd like to get input from people who are packaging Ruby, and those maintaining Ruby installation scripts.

I don't think CRuby should download anything during build. IMO `rustc` should be treated like `gcc`, it's something you should install before running the `./configure` script.

It seems like `rustc` is easy to install on supported platforms, and so should not be difficult to use to prebuild Ruby binary for packages, which covers most Ruby users. We would of course prefer to use more recent versions of Rust if possible, but we are flexible. If using an older version of Rust is necessary to make packaging easier, we can accomodate that requirement.

> believe that this is trivially supportable with the use of Rust editions, and if they are able to target the 2018 edition, it would ensure maximum compatibility. A schedule could be figured out for when it would be appropriate to switch to the 2021 edition (which might be the better target of such a migration).

2018 was quite a while back and there's been a decent amount of change to the language since then. The question I'd like to ask here is "is this necessary?" Would standardizing on the latest stable version or rust installable through the `rustup` tool not be enough? Would 6 or 12 months back be enough?

In terms of scripts that automatically download and build CRuby from source, maybe those scripts could auto-download the rust toolchain, or ask the user if they want to download the toolchain to build YJIT?


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Feature #18481: Porting YJIT to Rust (request for feedback)
https://bugs.ruby-lang.org/issues/18481#change-95926

* Author: maximecb (Maxime Chevalier-Boisvert)
* Status: Open
* Priority: Normal
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TL;DR: The YJIT team wants to explore using Rust to help develop YJIT. The rest of CRuby will continue to build without Rust tools and building YJIT will remain optional.

We°«re currently exploring the possibility of porting YJIT to Rust and working on a small proof of concept that should be ready next month. The motivation behind this is that we are facing challenges in terms of code maintainability. As you know, JIT compilers can get very complex, and C99 doesn't offer many tools to manage this complexity. There are no classes and methods, limited type checking, and it's hard to fully separate code into modules, for instance.

We believe that having access to object oriented programming and a more expressive type system would help us manage growing complexity better and also improve the safety/robustness of YJIT. For instance we would like to add Windows support and a new backend to YJIT. That means we°«ll have two separate backends (x86, arm64) and we°«ll need to support two different calling conventions (Microsoft, SystemV), but currently, we have limited tools to build the abstractions needed, such as preprocessor macros and if-statements.

We°«ve discussed the idea of porting YJIT to Rust with some of the Ruby core developers (@ko1, @k0kubun, @mame), and it seems they would be open to merging something like this if it works well. I°«m opening this ticket so that everyone can have a chance to provide feedback and participate in the discussion. We realize that adding Rust code to the CRuby codebase could be challenging and that there are open questions.

We are planning to make it so that YJIT will only need the Rust compiler and `cargo` to build. Building YJIT would then require the Rust compiler to be installed, but CRuby could build without YJIT and without the Rust compiler. There would be no new dependencies for the compiled binary. Rust is supported on Mac, Windows, BSDs, and Linux, which covers all the platforms on which we plan to support YJIT. Since Rust is based on LLVM, it has good support for cross-compilation.

We would like to solicit input from Ruby distributors who create `.deb` and `.rpm` packages. We will likely remain conservative when updating Rust versions to make OS packaging easier. We believe that in the general, the resulting code should be easier to maintain because it will be better organized, but the YJIT team will help out with YJIT-related backports and will be available to help if needed.

Value proposition:
- Rust type systems will catch more bugs early, help prevent new bugs
- Easier to manage growing complexity of YJIT
- Easier to maintain codebase, fewer °»footguns°…
- Easier for newcomers because the compiler catches more bugs
- Better performance because we can implement more sophisticated optimizations
- Easier to add support for new platforms (which adds complexity)
- Rust has mature and easy-to-install tools such as source code formatter and editor plugins
- Rust as a programming language community has a great deal of enthusiasm behind it. This could translate to more enthusiasm for YJIT and for Ruby as well.

Integration:
- YJIT will only depend on the Rust language and the standard library, no other dependencies
- YJIT will be able to build without an internet connection
- Rust has good support for cross-compilation
- Rust is supported on all platforms on which we plan to support with YJIT (Mac, Linux, Windows)
- The compiled CRuby binary won°«t have any new dependencies on shared libraries
- CRuby will still be able to build without `rustc`, with YJIT disabled






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