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✓ Uses Rust 2018 edition

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0.2.9 Feb 25, 2019
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#15 in WebAssembly

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MIT license

176KB
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Seed

A Rust framework for creating web apps

Build Status API Documentation on docs.rs

The best place to learn is the guide - this readme is an excerpt from it.

Quickstart

Setup

This framework requires you to install Rust.

You'll need a recent version of Rust: rustup update

The wasm32-unknown-unknown target: rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown

And wasm-bindgen: cargo install wasm-bindgen-cli

If you run into errors while installing wasm-bindgen-cli, you may need to install C++ build tools. On linux, run sudo apt install build-essential. On Windows, download and install Visual Studio 2017; when asked in the installer, include the C++ workload.

The theoretical minimum

To start, clone The quickstart repo, run build.sh or build.ps1 in a terminal, then start a dev server that supports WASM. For example, with Python installed, run python serve.py. (Linux users may need to run python3 serve.py.) Once you change your package name, you'll need to tweak the build script, as described below.

A little deeper

Alternatively, create a new lib with Cargo: cargo new --lib appname. Here and everywhere it appears in this guide, appname should be replaced with the name of your app.

If not using the quickstart repo, create an Html file with a body that contains this:

<section id="app"></section>

<script src='/pkg/package.js'></script>

<script>
    const { render } = wasm_bindgen;
    function run() {
        render();
    }
    wasm_bindgen('/pkg/package_bg.wasm')
        .then(run)
        .catch(console.error);
</script>

The first line above is an empty element with id: It's where your app will render. The subsequent ones load your app's wasm modules.

The quickstart repo includes this file. You will eventually need to modify it to change the page's title, add a description, favicon, stylesheet etc.

Cargo.toml, which is a file created by Cargo that describes your app, needs wasm-bindgen, web-sys, and seed as depdendencies, and crate-type of "cdylib". The version in the quickstart repo has these set up already. Example:

[package]
name = "appname"
version = "0.1.0"
authors = ["Your Name <email@address.com>"]
edition = "2018"

[lib]
crate-type = ["cdylib"]

[dependencies]
seed = "^0.2.4"
wasm-bindgen = "^0.2.38"
web-sys = "^0.3.6"

A short example

Here's an example demonstrating structure and syntax; it can be found in working form in the counter example Descriptions of its parts are in the Guide section below. Its structure follows The Elm Architecture.

lib.rs:

#[macro_use]
extern crate seed;
use seed::prelude::*;


// Model

struct Model {
    count: i32,
    what_we_count: String
}

// Setup a default here, for initialization later.
impl Default for Model {
    fn default() -> Self {
        Self {
            count: 0,
            what_we_count: "click".into()
        }
    }
}


// Update

#[derive(Clone)]
enum Msg {
    Increment,
    Decrement,
    ChangeWWC(String),
}

/// The sole source of updating the model
fn update(msg: Msg, model: &mut Model) -> Update<Msg> {
    match msg {
        Msg::Increment => model.count += 1,
        Msg::Decrement => model.count -= 1,
        Msg::ChangeWWC(what_we_count) => model.what_we_count = what_we_count,
    }
    Render.into()
}


// View

/// A simple component.
fn success_level(clicks: i32) -> El<Msg> {
    let descrip = match clicks {
        0 ... 5 => "Not very many 🙁",
        6 ... 9 => "I got my first real six-string 😐",
        10 ... 11 => "Spinal Tap 🙂",
        _ => "Double pendulum 🙃"
    };
    p![ descrip ]
}

/// The top-level component we pass to the virtual dom.
fn view(model: &Model) -> Vec<El<Msg>> {
    let plural = if model.count == 1 {""} else {"s"};

    // Attrs, Style, Events, and children may be defined separately.
    let outer_style = style!{
            "display" => "flex";
            "flex-direction" => "column";
            "text-align" => "center"
    };

    vec![
        div![ outer_style,
            h1![ "The Grand Total" ],
            div![
                style!{
                    // Example of conditional logic in a style.
                    "color" => if model.count > 4 {"purple"} else {"gray"};
                    // When passing numerical values to style!, "px" is implied.
                    "border" => "2px solid #004422"; "padding" => 20
                },
                // We can use normal Rust code and comments in the view.
                h3![ format!("{} {}{} so far", model.count, model.what_we_count, plural) ],
                button![ simple_ev(Ev::Click, Msg::Increment), "+" ],
                button![ simple_ev(Ev::Click, Msg::Decrement), "-" ],
    
                // Optionally-displaying an element
                if model.count >= 10 { h2![ style!{"padding" => 50}, "Nice!" ] } else { seed::empty() }
            ],
            success_level(model.count),  // Incorporating a separate component
    
            h3![ "What precisely is it we're counting?" ],
            input![ attrs!{At::Value => model.what_we_count}, input_ev(Ev::Input, Msg::ChangeWWC) ]
        ]
    ]
}


#[wasm_bindgen]
pub fn render() {
    seed::App::build(Model::default(), update, view)
        .finish()
        .run();
}

For a truly minimimal example, see lib.rs in the quickstart repo

Building and running

To build your app, create a pkg subdirectory, and run the following two commands:

cargo build --target wasm32-unknown-unknown

and

wasm-bindgen target/wasm32-unknown-unknown/debug/appname.wasm --no modules --out-dir ./pkg --out-name package

where appname is replaced with your app's name. This compiles your code in the target folder, and populates the pkg folder with your WASM module, a Typescript definitions file, and a JS file used to link your module from HTML.

You may wish to create a build script with these two lines. (build.sh for Linux; build.ps1 for Windows). The quickstart repo includes these, but you'll still need to do the rename. You can then use ./build.sh or .\build.ps1 If you run into permission errors on build.sh, try this command to allow executing the file:chmod +x build.sh. If you run into persmission errors on build.ps1, open Powershell as an administrator, and enter this command: Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned.

For development, you can view your app using a shimmed Python dev server, as described above. (Set up this mime-type shim from the quickstart repo, and run python serve.py).

In the future, the build script and commands above may be replaced by wasm-pack. You may use it now if you wish, but may run into issues running the examples, enabling no-modules mode, and syntax-highlighting in the compile logs.

Running included examples

To run an example located in the examples folder, navigate to that folder in a terminal, run the build script for your system (build.sh or build.ps1), then start a dev server as described above. Note that if you copy an example to a separate folder, you'll need to edit its Cargo.toml to point to the package on crates.io instead of locally: Ie replace seed = { path = "../../" with seed = "^0.3.0", and in the build script, remove the leading ../../ on the second line.

About

Goals

  • Learning the syntax, creating a project, and building it should be easy - regardless of your familiarity with Rust.

  • Complete documentation that always matches the current version. Getting examples working, and starting a project should be painless, and require nothing beyond this guide.

  • Expressive, flexible view syntax that's easy to read and write.

A note on view syntax

This project uses an unconventional approach to describe how to display DOM elements. It neither uses completely natural (ie macro-free) Rust code, nor an HTML-like abstraction (eg JSX or templates). My intent is to make the code close to natural Rust, while streamlining the syntax in a way suited for creating a visual layout with minimal repetition. The macros used are thin wrappers for constructors, and don't conceal much. Specifically, the element-creation macros allow for accepting a variable number of parameters, and the attrs/style marcros are essentially HashMap literals, with wrappers that let element macros know how to distinguish them.

The lack of resemblance to HTML be offputting, but the learning curve is shallow, and I think the macro syntax is close-enough to normal Rust that it's easy to reason about how to build views, without compartmentalizing it into logic code and display code. This lack of separation in particular is a controversial decision, but I think the benefits are worth it.

Where to start if you're familiar with existing frontend frameworks

The todomvc example is an implementation of the TodoMVC project, which has example code in other frameworks that produce identitcal apps. Compare the example in this project to one on that page that uses a framework you're familiar with.

Influences

This project is strongly influenced by Elm, React, and Redux. The overall structure of Seed apps mimicks that of The Elm Architecture.

There are already several Rust/WASM frameworks; why add another?

I'm distinguishing Seed through clear examples and documentation, and using wasm-bindgen/web-sys internally. I started this project after being unable to get existing frameworks working due to lack of documented examples, and inconsistency between documentation and published versions. My intent is for anyone who's proficient in a frontend framework to get a standalone app working in the browser within a few minutes, using just the quickstart guide.

Seed's different approach to view syntax also distinguishes it: rather than use an HTML-like markup similar to JSX, it uses Rust builtin types, thinly-wrapped by macros that allow flexible composition. This decision will not appeal to everyone, but I think it integrates more naturally with the language.

Why build a frontend in Rust over Elm, or Javascript-based frameworks?

You may prefer writing in Rust, and using packages from Cargo vice npm. Getting started with this framework will in most cases be easier, and require less config and setup overhead than with JS frameworks. You may appreciate Rust's compile-time error-checking, and built-in testing.

You may choose this approach over `Elm if you're already comfortable with Rust, or don't want to code business logic in a purely-functional langauge.

Compared with React, you may appreciate the consistency of how to write apps: There's no distinction between logic and display code; no restrictions on comments; no distinction between components and normal functions. The API is flexible, and avoids OOP boilerplate. Its integrated routing and message system avoids the dependency glue-code associated with Redux and React-Router.

Seed has a batteries-included approach, which you may appreciate.

Why not to use this, and stick with JS

Seed's under rapid development, and breaking changes are likely. Finding Rust/WASM-help, both in person, and in online communities will be difficult, and finding help for Seed even more so. Seed doesn't have the wealth of existing reusable components that other frameworks have, so you will need to implement solved problems (eg date-pickers) yourself, or adapt them from existing solutions. There are no existing tutorials or guides outside the official one, and few examples.

Seed doesn't have a track-record of production apps. Finding developers experienced with Rust/wasm-bindgen, or Seed specifically will be much more difficult than popular JS/compile-to-JS frameworks. Seed's feature-set is incomplete compared to JS frameworks. Seed hasn't been benchmarked, and its performance may be lower than JS frameworks.

Seed's view syntax is non-standard compared to HTML-templates, or HTML-mockup languages like JSX.

What about Gloo ?

We're working closely with the rustwasm team on Gloo, and intend to incorporate Gloo crates into Seed as appropriate, as well as contribute Seed code into Gloo crates. Seed's a cohesive, high-level framework, while Gloo will be a versatile, standardized toolkit.

Shoutouts

  • The WASM-Bindgen team, for building the tools this project relies on
  • Alex Chrichton, for being extraodinarily helpful in the Rust / WASM community
  • The Elm team, for creating and standardizing the Elm architecture
  • Mozilla, for excellent DOM documentation
  • Denis Kolodin, for creating the inspirational Yew framework
  • Utkarsh Kukreti, for through his Draco repo, helping me understand how wasm-bindgen's closure system can be used to update state.
  • Tim Robinson, for being very helpful on the Rust Gitter.

Reference

Dependencies

~4.5MB
~70K SLoC

  • console_error_panic_hook 0.1.5
  • futures 0.1.20
  • js-sys 0.3.6
  • pulldown-cmark 0.2
  • serde 1.0+derive
  • serde_json 1.0
  • wasm-bindgen 0.2.40+serde-serialize
  • wasm-bindgen-futures 0.3.6
  • web-sys 0.3.10+AbortController+AbortSignal+Document+Element+Event+EventTarget+Headers+History+HtmlElement+HtmlCollection+HtmlInputElement+HtmlTextAreaElement+HtmlSelectElement+HtmlButtonElement+Location+MouseEvent+Node+NodeList+Performance+PointerEvent+PopStateEvent+ReferrerPolicy+Request+RequestCache+RequestCredentials+RequestInit+RequestMode+RequestRedirect+Response+Storage+Text+console+Window+KeyboardEvent+InputEvent