[rust-dev] compiling Rust to C?

Josh Haberman jhaberman at gmail.com
Fri Jul 18 09:52:25 PDT 2014

On Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:35 AM, Cameron Zwarich <zwarich at mozilla.com> wrote:
> The biggest problem would be probably be handling stack
> unwinding (IIRC the LLVM C backend never tried to handle
> this either).

Interesting, I can see what that would be a challenge.

> The only option when targeting C is to use
> setjmp / longjmp, but that is going to be pretty inefficient.

Why do you think of setjmp/longjmp as inefficient? If you use the
_setjmp/_longjmp variants that don't fiddle with the signal mask, they
seem pretty efficient to me.

The bigger problem with setjmp/longjmp to me is that they don't let
you clean up variables sitting on the stack, as Rust language
semantics do I believe?

I can think of a way to do this portably, but it costs two extra
pointers every time you declare any stack variables. Basically you
could, every time you declare local variables, make them part of a
struct that has a pointer to the enclosing local var struct, and a
pointer to an unwind function. Then when a task fails, traverse this
list of frames and run the unwind function for each one before calling

It's wasteful of stack space (since this is basically duplicating
unwind info that exists at the system level, like in .eh_frame), but
it is portable.

In any case, it sounds like no one is working on this, so it's
probably unlikely to happen unless someone takes it up. Thanks for the


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