[][src]Crate real_async_trait


travis cratesio docsrs

This crate provides a producedural macro that works around the current limitation of not being able to put async fns in a trait, without type erasure, by using experimental nightly-features, namely generic associated types (GATs) and existential types.


While this proc macro will allow you to write non-type-erased allocation-free async fns within traits, there are a few caveats to this (non-exhaustive):

  • at the moment, all references used in the async fn, must have their lifetimes be explicitly specified, either from the top-level of the trait, or in the function declaration;
  • there can only be a single lifetime in use simultaneously. I have no idea why, but it could be due to buggy interaction between existential types and generic associated types;
  • since GATs are an "incomplete" feature in rust, it may not be sound or just not compile correctly or at all. Don't use this in production code!


This example is not tested
/// An error code, similar to `errno` in C.
pub type Errno = usize;

/// A UNIX-like file descriptor.
pub type FileDescriptor = usize;

/// "No such file or directory"
pub const ENOENT: usize = 1;

/// "Bad file descriptor"
pub const EBADF: usize = 2;

/// A filesystem-like primitive, used in the Redox Operating System.
pub trait RedoxScheme {
    async fn open<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8], flags: usize) -> Result<FileDescriptor, Errno>;
    async fn read<'a>(&'a self, fd: FileDescriptor, buffer: &'a mut [u8]) -> Result<usize, Errno>;
    async fn write<'a>(&'a self, fd: FileDescriptor, buffer: &'a [u8]) -> Result<usize, Errno>;
    async fn close<'a>(&'a self, fd: FileDescriptor) -> Result<(), Errno>;

/// A scheme that does absolutely nothing.
struct MyNothingScheme;

impl RedoxScheme for MyNothingScheme {
    async fn open<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8], flags: usize) -> Result<FileDescriptor, Errno> {
        // I can write async code in here!
    async fn read<'a>(&'a self, buffer: &'a mut [u8]) -> Result<usize, Errno> {
    async fn write<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8]) -> Result<usize, Errno> {
    async fn close<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8]) -> Result<(), Errno> {

let my_nothing_scheme = MyNothingScheme;

assert_eq!(my_nothing_scheme.open(b"nothing exists here", 0).await, Err(ENOENT), "why would anything exist here?");
assert_eq!(my_nothing_scheme.read(1337, &mut []).await, Err(EBADF));
assert_eq!(my_nothing_scheme.write(1337, &[]).await, Err(EBADF));
assert_eq!(my_nothing_scheme.close(1337).await, Err(EBADF));

How it works

Under the hood, this proc macro will insert generic associated types (GATs) for the the futures that are the return types of the async fns in the trait definition. The macro will generate the following for the RedoxScheme trait (simplified generated names):

This example is not tested
pub trait RedoxScheme {
    // Downgraded functions, from async fn to fn. Their types have changed into a generic
    // associated type.
    fn open<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8], flags: usize) -> Self::OpenFuture<'a>;
    fn read<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize, buf: &'a mut [u8]) -> Self::ReadFuture<'a>;
    fn write<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize, buf: &'a [u8]) -> Self::WriteFuture<'a>;
    fn close<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize) -> Self::CloseFuture<'a>;

    // Generic associated types, the return values are moved to here.
    type OpenFuture<'a>: ::core::future::Future<Output = Result<FileDescriptor, Errno>> + 'a;
    type ReadFuture<'a>: ::core::future::Future<Output = Result<usize, Errno>> + 'a;
    type WriteFuture<'a>: ::core::future::Future<Output = Result<usize, Errno>> + 'a;
    type CloseFuture<'a>: ::core::future::Future<Output = Result<(), Errno>> + 'a;

Meanwhile, the impls will get the following generated code (simplified here as well):

This example is not tested

// Wrap everything in a private module to prevent the existential types from leaking.
mod __private {
    impl RedoxScheme for MyNothingScheme {
        // Async fns are downgraded here as well, and the same thing goes with the return
        // values.
        fn open<'a>(&'a self, path: &'a [u8], flags: usize) -> Self::OpenFuture<'a> {
            // All expressions in async fns are wrapped in async closures. The compiler will
            // automagically figure out the actual types of the existential type aliases, even
            // though they are anonymous.
            async move { Err(ENOENT) }
        fn read<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize, buf: &'a mut [u8]) -> Self::ReadFuture<'a> {
            async move { Err(EBADF) }
        fn write<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize, buf: &'a [u8]) -> Self::WriteFuture<'a> {
            async move { Err(EBADF) }
        fn close<'a>(&'a self, fd: usize) -> Self::CloseFuture<'a> {
            async move { Err(EBADF) }

        // This is the part where the existential types come in. Currently, there is no
        // possible way to use types within type aliases within traits, that aren't publicly
        // accessible. This we need async closures to avoid having to redefine our futures with
        // custom state machines, or use type erased pointers, we'll use existential types.
        type OpenFuture<'a> = OpenFutureExistentialType<'a>;
        type ReadFuture<'a> = ReadFutureExistentialType<'a>;
        type WriteFuture<'a> = WriteFutureExistentialType<'a>;
        type CloseFuture<'a> = CloseFutureExistentialType<'a>;
    // This is where the return values actually are defined. At the moment these type alises
    // with impl trait can only occur outside of the trait itself, unfortunately. There can
    // only be one type that this type alias refers to, which the compiler will keep track of.
    type OpenFutureExistentialType<'a> = impl Future<Output = Result<FileDescriptor, Errno>> +
    type ReadFutureExistentialType<'a> = impl Future<Output = Result<usize, Errno>> + 'a;
    type WriteFutureExistentialType<'a> = impl Future<Output = Result<usize, Errno>> + 'a;
    type CloseFutureExistentialType<'a> = impl Future<Output = Result<(), Errno>> + 'a;

Attribute Macros


A proc macro that supports using async fn in traits and trait impls. Refer to the top-level crate documentation for more information.