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  1. Thrift
  2. THRIFT-5209

WIP: Support TinyGo

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    Details

    • Type: New Feature
    • Status: Open
    • Priority: Minor
    • Resolution: Unresolved
    • Affects Version/s: None
    • Fix Version/s: None
    • Component/s: Go - Compiler, Go - Library
    • Labels:
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      Description

      TinyGo (https://tinygo.org/) provides a compiler for the Go programming language that is an alternative to the standard Go compiler and is based on LLVM.  It uses the standard Go toolchain to compile programs to Go's SSA format, and then translates the SSA to LLVM IR that can subsequently be compiled for various microcontrollers, wasm, or Linux.  The important takeaway from that explanation is that since TinyGo programs use the standard Go compiler for the compiler frontend, is not is a subset of the Go language - it is the same language, with some small caveats.

      The main caveat as far as Thrift support is concerned is that not all packages in the standard library are supported yet, including the net and encoding/json packages.  This presents an obvious problem for using Thrift, since these packages are imported by the Thrift Go library.  Additionally, some small tweaks to the code from the compiler are necessary to work around limited support for the reflect and database/sql packages.

      In general, Thrift can work with TinyGo, but until TinyGo gains more complete support for the standard library it does require a compiler flag and excluding a number of features of the Thrift Go library.

      Initial support for TinyGo is found here: https://github.com/bgould/thrift/tree/fc2f380a2a390860160df851e9a9698f8e3c66f4

      However I have the following questions about the best way to proceed:

      1. Should TinyGo support be implemented in the compiler via a flag on the Go generator that eliminates references to packages unsupported by TinyGo such as reflect and database/sql from the generated code?  This would be similar in concept I think to the -android option to the Java generator. Alternatively, should a separate generator altogether be added, in the same way that Java and JavaME are separate generators in Thrift?  For reference, the scope of the changes to the Go generator for supporting TinyGo are roughly this - https://github.com/bgould/thrift/commit/f1a57bf94731a262b68d5a519bcbbb4c8c303a23#diff-36ef31e670e3df20e286373dfb7ecc23
      2. Similarly, the changes in the Thrift library can mostly be implemented by adding build tags to exclude unsupported transports etc when compiling for TinyGo (the TinyGo compiler sets a tinygo build tag automatically for all TinyGo builds).  It would also be feasible to maintain a separate library that is explicitly compatible with TinyGo.  Again, the analogy of the distinction between Java/Android and Java/JavaME applies here I think.  The sorts of changes necessary are like this: https://github.com/bgould/thrift/commit/f1a57bf94731a262b68d5a519bcbbb4c8c303a23#diff-90f0f50bdfa55c6a4a1d53580c103ae0

      The main reason I am asking these questions is that I would really like to land this feature, and the same time want to make sure it does not create undue burden on Thrift maintainers working on supporting the standard Go implementation.  Personally I think I would lean toward using the "Android" model I described above with a single generator/library using a compiler option and build flags, respectively.  You opinion and feedback are of course greatly appreciated.

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            • Assignee:
              Unassigned
              Reporter:
              bcg Benjamin Gould
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              • Created:
                Updated: