Mill Computing, Inc. Forums The Mill Architecture Ivan do you have any insight why rust is popular? Reply To: Ivan do you have any insight why rust is popular?

Ivan Godard
Post count: 689

Presumably the language translations aspects are already handled by LLVM Rust, and the LLVL/IR-to-genAsm step handles all IR already, so the task can assume valid genAsm input and never look inside the compiler. The specializer handles all generic IR already, so that leaves on the intrinsics and whatever runtime is directly called.

That is where the work is: figuring out how a particular intrinsic/runtime behavior should be implemented in a Mill, probably initially by writing a function for it that does not itself use the intrinsics. There’s already specializer logic to replace an arbitrary intrinsic with a native function call, but the function body still has to be written; that needs an understanding of the machine but not of compilers. Some existing intrinsics are replaced by in-line code rather than by function calls, and that requires a greater understanding of how things are represented in the specializer, but there are plenty of examples and that optimization can be deferred anyway.

So the task is not really a compiler task; it’s a runtime system task. And it may be an OS kernel task – remember that the tool chain drops code on the bare machine, not on a Linux loader with an OS behind it. Done right, the kernel itself could be written in Rust.

But only if there’s someone willing to take it on 🙂