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Writing a shell script in rust would be obnoxiously difficult for no real benefit.



Yeah, and tools like Chef are 99% blocked on disk operations anyways, so I have no idea why GP thinks Rust would help


CM systems spend a lot of time on bootstrapping, creating their workspace, downloading the scripts, parsing them, etc.

Then they simply execute other programs to then parse their output. And/or fiddle with files (parse them, alter them, write them).

Sure fundamentally the syscalls and apt/dnf/yum will be the slow parts, but I found that development of CM scripts/plays/recipes are usually bottlenecked on the turnaround time of the CM system's own workflow. And execution time is a significant part. (The bootstrap, the transfer of whatever files, and so on.)

Rust would help with writing things that are relatively well error handled at compile time, and gives you single binaries.


Why do we care about speed here? Surely reliability and readability are paramount features...


Development speed is important. You can use the most reliable thing in the world if it takes a day to test/build/deploy.

And simple imperative script is a lot more readable than a custom DSL with who knows what ruby hooks.

Currently the CM system that makes sense on the long run is a git repo for Terraform. (Because everything else runs in containers anyway, and to set up the immutable images you don't need "state management". And where you need it you need active state management such as k8s and its specific operators.)


It's about functionality and maintainability, not performance. If you have complicated scripts then they start to resemble actual programs, at which point you might be better off using a real programming language to code.

I wouldn't pick Rust for this but there are lots of examples of using Node/JS, or C# or Python. It's a much nicer environment and benefits from full IDE support.

For a good example, look at what Pulumi is doing for modern infrastructure: https://www.pulumi.com/


Rust would help due to the type system and lack of library dependencies (it does static linking AFAIK), I suppose.


I feel like my comment went in one eyeball and out the other.

Chef and friends are blocked on disk I/O. How does a typesystem and/or thinner abstraction layer to disk I/O speed up the underlying expensive operation: blocking disk I/O?


I - on the other hand, feel like your comment somehow forgot that the op said “safety, speed and convenience”, so you attacked the least important point made in the first place.

It’s much easier to see the failure conditions in a Rust program rather than in bash. Also rust seems like easier to maintain, too.


How does having a borrow checker and snazzy memory safety benefit you when nearly all the operations you're performing are disk I/O?

How is a 100 lines of rust easier to maintain than 10 lines of shell script?

It's exactly what the other commnet said: "Writing a shell script in rust would be obnoxiously difficult for no real benefit."


Well, for once Rust's type system can enforce the usage of objects (e.g. temporary file must be used or deleted).

>> How is a 100 lines of rust easier to maintain than 10 lines of shell script?

In 10 lines of _proper_ bash you won't be able to even check if the arguments supplied to the script even exist, let alone parse something more than simply subscripting argv[].


Rust would be a step up from writing bash scripts of yore—imagine, being able to tell the difference between a variable being empty vs unset—but really any non-stringly-typed language will get you that, and the GC-based ones are unlikely to have memory errors and are generally fast enough for this purpose.

I don’t think there would be anything wrong with a rust implementation of infrastructure management, but I also don’t think it’s the silver bullet to solve what plagues the space.




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