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0.3.0 Feb 20, 2021
0.2.0 Mar 10, 2021

#442 in Encoding

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A library to describe Rust types, geared towards providing info about the structure of SCALE encodable types.

The definitions provide third party tools (e.g. a UI client) with information about how they are able to decode types agnostic of language.

At its core is the TypeInfo trait:

pub trait TypeInfo {
    type Identity: ?Sized + 'static;
    fn type_info() -> Type;
}

Types implementing this trait build up and return a Type struct:

pub struct Type<T: Form = MetaForm> {
    /// The unique path to the type. Can be empty for built-in types
    path: Path<T>,
    /// The generic type parameters of the type in use. Empty for non generic types
    type_params: Vec<T::Type>,
    /// The actual type definition
    type_def: TypeDef<T>,
}

Types are defined as one of the following variants:

pub enum TypeDef<T: Form = MetaForm> {
    /// A composite type (e.g. a struct or a tuple)
    Composite(TypeDefComposite<T>),
    /// A variant type (e.g. an enum)
    Variant(TypeDefVariant<T>),
    /// A sequence type with runtime known length.
    Sequence(TypeDefSequence<T>),
    /// An array type with compile-time known length.
    Array(TypeDefArray<T>),
    /// A tuple type.
    Tuple(TypeDefTuple<T>),
    /// A Rust primitive type.
    Primitive(TypeDefPrimitive),
}

Built-in Type Definitions

The following "built-in" types have predefined TypeInfo definitions:

  • Primitives: bool, char, str, u8, u16, u32, u64, u128, i8, i16, i32, i64 , i128.

  • Sequence: Variable size sequence of elements of T, where T implements TypeInfo. e.g. [T], &[T], &mut [T], Vec<T>

  • Array: Fixed size [T: $n] for any T which implements TypeInfo, where $n is one of the predefined sizes.

  • Tuple: Tuples consisting of up to 10 fields with types implementing TypeInfo.

User-defined Types

There are two kinds of user-defined types: Composite and Variant.

Both make use of the Path and Field types in their definition:

Fields

A fundamental building block to represent user defined types is the Field struct which defines the Type of a field together with its optional name. Builders for the user defined types enforce the invariant that either all fields have a name (e.g. structs) or all fields are unnamed (e.g. tuples).

Path

The path of a type is a unique sequence of identifiers. Rust types typically construct a path from the namespace and the identifier e.g. foo::bar::Baz is converted to the path ["foo", "bar ", "Baz"].

Composite

Composite data types are composed of a set of Fields.

Structs are represented by a set of named fields, enforced during construction:

struct Foo<T> {
    bar: T,
    data: u64,
}

impl<T> TypeInfo for Foo<T>
where
    T: TypeInfo + 'static,
{
    type Identity = Self;

    fn type_info() -> Type {
        Type::builder()
            .path(Path::new("Foo", module_path!()))
            .type_params(vec![MetaType::new::<T>()])
            .composite(Fields::named()
                .field_of::<T>("bar", "T")
                .field_of::<u64>("data", "u64")
            )
    }
}

Tuples are represented by a set of unnamed fields, enforced during construction:

struct Foo(u32, bool);

impl TypeInfo for Foo {
    type Identity = Self;

    fn type_info() -> Type {
        Type::builder()
            .path(Path::new("Foo", module_path!()))
            .composite(Fields::unnamed()
                .field_of::<u32>("u32")
                .field_of::<bool>("bool")
            )
    }
}

Variant

Variant types aka enums or tagged unions are composed of a set of variants. Variants can have unnamed fields, named fields or no fields at all:

enum Foo<T>{
    A(T),
    B { f: u32 },
    C,
}

impl<T> TypeInfo for Foo<T>
where
    T: TypeInfo + 'static,
{
    type Identity = Self;

    fn type_info() -> Type {
        Type::builder()
            .path(Path::new("Foo", module_path!()))
            .type_params(vec![MetaType::new::<T>()])
            .variant(
                Variants::with_fields()
                    .variant("A", Fields::unnamed().field_of::<T>("T"))
                    .variant("B", Fields::named().field_of::<u32>("f", "u32"))
                    .variant("C", Fields::unit())
            )
    }
}

If no variants contain fields then the discriminant can be set explicitly, enforced by the builder during construction:

enum Foo {
    A,
    B,
    C = 33,
}

impl TypeInfo for Foo {
    type Identity = Self;

    fn type_info() -> Type {
        Type::builder()
            .path(Path::new("Foo", module_path!()))
            .variant(
                Variants::fieldless()
                    .variant("A", 1)
                    .variant("B", 2)
                    .variant("C", 33)
            )
    }
}

The Registry

Information about types is provided within the so-called type registry (Registry). Type definitions are registered there and are associated with unique IDs that the outside can refer to, providing a lightweight way to decrease overhead instead of using type identifiers.

All concrete TypeInfo structures have two forms:

  • One meta form (MetaType) that acts as a bridge to other forms
  • A portable form suitable for serialization.

The IntoPortable trait must also be implemented in order prepare a type definition for serialization using an instance of the type registry.

After transformation all type definitions are stored in the type registry. Note that the type registry should be serialized as part of the metadata structure where the registered types are utilized to allow consumers to resolve the types.

Encoding

The type registry can be encoded as:

  • JSON (with the "serde" feature enabled).
  • SCALE itself (using tetsy-scale-codec).

Features

The following optional cargo features are available:

  • serde includes support for json serialization/deserialization of the type registry. See example here.
  • derive reexports the tetsy-scale-info-derive crate.

Resources

Dependencies

~335–760KB
~19K SLoC