smartstring 0.2.10

Compact inlined strings


Travis CI

Compact inlined strings.


String type that's source compatible with std::string::String, uses exactly the same amount of space, doesn't heap allocate for short strings (up to 23 bytes on 64-bit archs) by storing them in the space a String would have taken up on the stack, making strings go faster overall.


This crate provides a wrapper for Rust's standard String which uses the space a String occupies on the stack to store inline string data, automatically promoting it to a String when it grows beyond the inline capacity. This has the advantage of avoiding heap allocations for short strings as well as improving performance thanks to keeping the strings on the stack.

This is all accomplished without the need for an external discriminant, so a SmartString is exactly the same size as a String on the stack, regardless of whether it's inlined or not, and when not inlined it's pointer compatible with String, meaning that you can safely coerce a SmartString to a String using std::mem::replace() or pointer::cast() and go on using it as if it had never been a SmartString. (But please don't do that, there's an Into<String> implementation that's much safer.)

Supported architectures

smartstring currently doesn't run on 32-bit big endian architectures like powerpc, so its use in any crates that intend to run on those architectures should ideally be gated behind a platform specific dependency in your Cargo.toml, like so:

[target.'cfg(not(all(target_endian = "big", target_pointer_width = "32")))'.dependencies]
smartstring = "0.2"

This will ensure that cargo does not try to build smartstring on these unsupported architectures, which will otherwise always fail.


The way smartstring gets by without a discriminant is dependent on the memory layout of the std::string::String struct, which isn't something the Rust compiler and standard library make any guarantees about. smartstring makes an assumption about how it's been laid out, which has held basically since rustc came into existence, but is nonetheless not a safe assumption to make, and if the layout ever changes, smartstring will stop working properly (at least on little-endian architectures, the assumptions made on big-endian archs will hold regardless of the actual memory layout). Its test suite does comprehensive validation of these assumptions, and as long as the CI build is passing for any given rustc version, you can be sure it will do its job properly on all tested architectures. You can also check out the smartstring source tree yourself and run cargo test to validate it for your particular configuration.

As an extra precaution, some runtime checks are made as well, so that if the memory layout assumption no longer holds, smartstring will not work correctly, but there should be no security implications and it should crash early.



Copyright 2020 Bodil Stokke

This software is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can obtain one at

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