[swift-server-dev] HTTP Parser

Logan Wright logan at qutheory.io
Sun Nov 6 11:09:48 CST 2016

Here are some of the most basic reasons why I would prefer to use swift

- Easier for Swift contributors to enter and participate
- More readable code
- Faster in long run
- More concise code
- Fully embraces Swift language
- Easier to maintain with control over the library

Again, I am not saying this all needs to happen immediately, but I think
assuming that we'll only ever use c libraries in perpetuity is an extremely
short sighted vision of how the server apis can grow. We should also keep
in mind that when talking about HTTP, this isn't a from scratch rewrite as
seems to be suggested several times. There are a few (likely more) parsers
written in pure swift that we could mix and match to get something solid
into the library. The fact that these libraries exist makes wrapping c seem
like a step backwards in the progression of Swift which I am against. A
perfectly reasonable compromise (as suggested before) seems to be initially
wrapping some c code while leaving room in the design for Swift
implementations long term if necessary.

I'd still like to get more voices, we seem to have heard from about 7
people or so, and from what I can tell, the count is about 4/3. Anyone
following along care to weigh in a little bit so the same few people aren't
rehashing the same talking points.

- Logan

On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 7:37 AM Paulo Faria via swift-server-dev <
swift-server-dev at swift.org> wrote:

> Hey Joannis! Nice to see you here. 😊
> I agree with you 100℅ we shouldn't rush the design of the APIs. I didn't
> mean that at all. I meant exactly the opposite. We should spend as much
> time as possible on the API design, and wrapping a C library would allows
> to distribute our total time of development focusing a lot more on the API
> design than on the development and maintenance of the internals. We should
> definitely design the API with the best of Swift using protocols and
> everything else you mentioned, and wraping C doesn't restrain us in any way
> to do that. There's nothing we can't do on the API level because we're
> wrapping C. What Chris Bailey mentioned about my mentality before is
> totally right. I believe we should spend as much time as possible designing
> the APIs without any constraint from, for example, Foundation or any C
> library, and in the Foundation case if really needed we should compromise.
> I just know from experience that wrapping C libs doesn't constraint at all
> the "Swiftyness" of the user-facing API. This is pure conjecture as I
> didn't really dig in, but I believe Swift's standard library itself uses
> libicu for String's internal on Linux. If this is wrong someone please
> correct me. I also believe Foundation wraps libcurl for the HTTP stuff.
> ---- On Sun, 06 Nov 2016 07:54:15 -0200 * joannis at orlandos.nl
> <joannis at orlandos.nl> * wrote ----
> I think that if you wrap C libraries you'll get stuck in the wrong
> mentality. Working with C libraries encourages thinking without protocols.
> Protocols like `ExpressibleByDictionaryLiteral` and `Sequence` are really
> easy to implement and make usage of conforming types really beautiful. I
> think that a lot of APIs will be designed with the wrong mentality, at
> least initially, because they're alien to Swift. And that'll create APIs
> for these libraries that are not at the level where they could be in a
> language like Swift.
> I don't think we need to rush ourselves with trying to create the
> libraries rapidly. If you want to have a common set of libraries in which
> the entire community will cooperate I think Swift is the only way to go.
> Many people have already written big libraries and frameworks in Swift. And
> I myself would never remove my own Swift code in favour of C-reliant code.
> And I doubt it's just me. I think that people whom prefer pure Swift will
> stick with (their own) existing functionality and rather build on top of a
> C reliant codebase.
> Besides that all I feel like there's no need to rush it. A good set of
> libraries needs time. If you have a million people working on something for
> a week it will never be as good as a hundred people for a year or two. A
> good API/library needs time to be thought out and will need more than a few
> nights of rest before I think the idea alone should be considered complete.
> I think this counts for C-based and pure Swift libraries.
> And if we'd just take the time to develop something great it will have a
> much greater impact on the Server Side Swift world than it would otherwise.
> Joannis
> On 6 Nov 2016, at 10:44, Chris Bailey via swift-server-dev <
> swift-server-dev at swift.org> wrote:
> Whilst it might not feel like it, it seems to be that we're all pulling in
> the same direction.
> Tony said:
> >> I think if the API design feels “alien” to Foundation, then we either
> need to update the Foundation API to feel like it fits in with Swift or
> design the server API to fit in with Foundation.
> >> I’ll keep pushing for this throughout the process. It’s really
> important that we have a coherent stack of software from top to bottom.
> Ending up with different model objects for URLRequest used in the same app
> via two frameworks would be really unfortunate.
> I think this completely aligns with what everyone is saying - we want/need
> a coherent API stack with seamless interop between any new APIs and the
> existing ones. The only thing we need to work on is the approach to
> achieving that.
> For me, and I think that this is the approach that Paulo is pushing for,
> is that we should first look at "what do we think is the right approach",
> without any constraints. Once we understand that, and any gap there is
> between that and the Foundation approach, we can determine how we close
> that gap - whether we can do that by evolving APIs, or whether it requires
> compromises for the sake of developer experience and application code
> portability, etc.
> Chris
> From:        Paulo Faria via swift-server-dev <swift-server-dev at swift.org>
> To:        Tony Parker <anthony.parker at apple.com>
> Cc:        Swift Server Dev <swift-server-dev at swift.org>
> Date:        04/11/2016 23:08
> Subject:        Re: [swift-server-dev] HTTP Parser
> Sent by:        swift-server-dev-bounces at swift.org
> ------------------------------
> > With respect to adopting other core Swift ideas like value types: we
> turned 20 classes into value types last year. This included a ton of work
> to adopt standard library protocols and improve type safety. It is an
> absolutely huge surface amount of Foundation’s total API surface area. It’s
> a large statement about how much we value making Foundation’s API
> consistent for Swift.
> Yeah! I really love the effort you’re putting into making Foundation more
> “Swifty”. That doesn’t go unnoticed.
> On Nov 4, 2016, at 8:49 PM, Tony Parker < <anthony.parker at apple.com>*anthony.parker at apple.com
> <anthony.parker at apple.com>*> wrote:
> However, I do not believe there is such a fundamental conceptual mismatch
> here that we cannot preserve one of the most useful aspects of developing
> with the iOS, macOS SDKs - consistent types and low impedance mismatch
> between API at all levels of the stack.
> I definitely value "consistent types and low impedance mismatch between
> API at all levels of the stack”. I just hope the APIs are designed with the
> best of Swift in mind. Then after we get a good design, we can see if it
> fits Foundation, and then make the adaptations there. I think this approach
> would make Foundation follow along and become even more “Swiftier” with
> time. Of course this is easier said than done, but I believe that’s what
> would make the ecosystem as a whole become better for Swift.
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