Modules

[FIXME] What general guidelines should we provide for module design?

We should discuss visibility, nesting, mod.rs, and any interesting patterns around modules.

Headers [FIXME: needs RFC]

Organize module headers as follows: 1. Imports. 1. mod declarations. 1. pub mod declarations.

Avoid path directives. [FIXME: needs RFC]

Avoid using #[path="..."] directives; make the file system and module hierarchy match, instead.

Use the module hirearchy to organize APIs into coherent sections. [FIXME]

[FIXME] Flesh this out with examples; explain what a "coherent section" is with examples.

The module hirearchy defines both the public and internal API of your module. Breaking related functionality into submodules makes it understandable to both users and contributors to the module.

Place modules in their own file. [FIXME: needs RFC]

[FIXME] - "<100 lines" is arbitrary, but it's a clearer recommendation than "~1 page" or similar suggestions that vary by screen size, etc.

For all except very short modules (<100 lines) and tests, place the module foo in a separate file, as in:

pub mod foo;

// in foo.rs or foo/mod.rs
pub fn bar() { println!("..."); }
/* ... */

rather than declaring it inline:

pub mod foo {
    pub fn bar() { println!("..."); }
    /* ... */
}

Use subdirectories for modules with children. [FIXME: needs RFC]

For modules that themselves have submodules, place the module in a separate directory (e.g., bar/mod.rs for a module bar) rather than the same directory.

Note the structure of std::io. Many of the submodules lack children, like io::fs and io::stdio. On the other hand, io::net contains submodules, so it lives in a separate directory:

io/mod.rs
   io/extensions.rs
   io/fs.rs
   io/net/mod.rs
          io/net/addrinfo.rs
          io/net/ip.rs
          io/net/tcp.rs
          io/net/udp.rs
          io/net/unix.rs
   io/pipe.rs
   ...

While it is possible to define all of io within a single directory, mirroring the module hirearchy in the directory structure makes submodules of io::net easier to find.

Consider top-level definitions or reexports. [FIXME: needs RFC]

For modules with submodules, define or reexport commonly used definitions at the top level:

For example, IoError is defined in io/mod.rs, since it pertains to the entirety of io, while TcpStream is defined in io/net/tcp.rs and reexported in the io module.

Use internal module hirearchies for organization. [FIXME: needs RFC]

[FIXME] - Referencing internal modules from the standard library is subject to becoming outdated.

Internal module hirearchies (i.e., private submodules) may be used to hide implementation details that are not part of the module's API.

For example, in std::io, mod mem provides implementations for BufReader and BufWriter, but these are re-exported in io/mod.rs at the top level of the module:

// libstd/io/mod.rs

pub use self::mem::{MemReader, BufReader, MemWriter, BufWriter};
/* ... */
mod mem;

This hides the detail that there even exists a mod mem in io, and helps keep code organized while offering freedom to change the implementation.