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Intern more kinds of things #6207

Eh2406 opened this Issue Oct 22, 2018 · 2 comments


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Eh2406 commented Oct 22, 2018

Cargo sometimes makes a lot of copies of data structures. For example the string "serde", was copied for the name of each dependency on that crate, as the name of each version of that package, and for each feature that enables that package. This got fixed by adding a InternedString data tipe that deduplicates the data and leeks it into a &'static reference. We have other data structures which use Arc/Rc to make cloning cheaper.

We should experiment with Interning them to see if it is a Speed or Memory or Ergonomic win.

Off the top of my head:

  • PackageId is already using Arc, is copied and hashed and compared all over the place in hot code.
  • SourceId is already using Arc, has a manual cache for and will probably be leaked anyway by caching PackageId.
  • semver::Version/semver::VersionReq are used a lot, probably often with the same value, and are bigger structures then they seem.

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alexcrichton commented Oct 23, 2018

Note that {Package,Source}Id internally using Arc already was a "poor man's" form of interning early on. I definitely agree we should switch to an InternedString style approach, and in doing so it should be fine to remove the internal Arc


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derekdreery commented Oct 31, 2018

There is interning infrastructure used in the html5ever crate. Might be useful here - you can pre-intern anything you want at compile-time

EDIT the crates are string_cache and string_cache_codegen

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