Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-packaging (97 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-packaging] On how to improve Rust packaging experience for suse
  • From: Neal Gompa <ngompa13@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2019 19:09:49 -0500
  • Message-id: <>
On Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 6:58 PM William Brown <wbrown@xxxxxxx> wrote:


Recently I've been trying to package some utilities for SUSE and Fedora via
OBS that are written in Rust. I'm running into a bit of a problem though.

Rust as a language has a very aggressive release cycle compared to what we
expect on a platform like SUSE - 6 weeks
( In each cycle
Rust releases new features, and despite the core language being "stable" and
safe (which is great!) new features tend to be used very rapidly by library
authors. For example the release from Version 1.34.0 (2019-04-11) contains
convert::TryFrom, which is now in use by a large number of libraries.

Rust also has an (unfortunate) requirement that you are essentially forced to
use cargo which is a build and dependency management tool. Cargo is extremely
opinionated and inflexible which makes it difficult to use. However as it's
also a dependency management tool, this has encouraged an npm-style ecosystem
of dependencies to spring up on - and it's effectively the
only way to use libraries in Rust. But additionally, it's promoted a system
where a library may have a large number of small dependencies too.

Due to the fast release cycle, developers aggressively using new features,
and the npm style micro dependency system we have a recipe for problems - if
you are not using the latest stable compiler, it's extremely likely that your
libraries, or their dependents may not build on your project. Which is
exactly the issue I have run into where rust on fedora 30 and opensuse leap
15.1 are simply too old to support the features that have been used in the
last 6 months by library developers.

Which leads me to the question of "what to do".

* I don't believe it's feasible to ask Rust to "slow down". It's just not
going to happen, and they will keep adding features that people will "want"
to use.
* We can't expect people *not* to update their dependencies in projects as
that would prevent security updates being included. So we have to accept
projects that will use "latest and greatest" complier features somewhere in
their dependency graph.
* Which leaves distros (like us) speeding up our rust compiler cycle somehow.

For opensuse I can probably do something like adding devel:languages:rust as
a respository to my project. Would this strategy be viable on SLE? What about
for projects which we want to expose packages for fedora or other? Are we
able to have toolchains move faster than our base system?

I'm really looking for ideas on how we can sustainably use rust projects
within the governance and social constraints that exist in the space. Ideas?

Unfortunately, SUSE rust compiler packaging spec isn't the same as the
RH/Fedora/Mageia one, so essentially it takes double the work to keep
things up to date everywhere. If we integrated the SUSE support bits
into the RH/Fedora/Mageia rust packaging spec, that could make things
easier. It's not exactly the highest thing on my list to look into
right now, though...

That said, Fedora and Mageia update the Rust compiler within a week of
a new stable compiler release. As of right now, Fedora 29 and higher
all have Rust 1.39.0. CentOS/RHEL 7 will receive Rust 1.39.0 soon

Crate packaging and macros are completely in sync among Fedora,
Mageia, and openSUSE. These are provided by the rust-packaging and
rust-srpm-macros packages. This code is pretty much the same across
all three distributions.

I find the process of shipping updates to SUSE distributions
thoroughly annoying and unappealing, so I don't personally do anything
to target anything other than Tumbleweed. The process is too slow
because it's often bottlenecked on either legal-auto or the
all-too-tiny number of reviewers for SRs and MRs. This is also true
for Tumbleweed, but it seems to be somewhat faster there. I'd be more
interested in helping ship updates to Leap if we could make this
process less awful.


真実はいつも一つ!/ Always, there's only one truth!
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