Background logging

In this scenario, the start_writing_logs function takes an async iterable and spawns out a new task. This task will pull items from the iterator and send them to some server:


#![allow(unused)]
fn main() {
trait AsyncIterator {
    type Item;
    async fn next(&mut self) -> Self::Item;
}

// Starts a task that will write out the logs in the background
async fn start_writing_logs(
    logs: impl AsyncIterator<Item = String> + 'static
) {
    spawn(async move || {
        while let Some(log) = logs.next().await {
            send_to_serve(log).await;
        }
    });
}
}

The precise signature and requirements for the spawn function here will depend on what kind of executor you are using, so let's consider each case but let's consider each case separately.

One note: in [tokio] and other existing executors, the spawn function takes a future, not an async closure. We are using a closure here because that is more analogous to the synchronous signature, but also because it enables a distinction between the initial state and the future that runs.

Thread-local executor

This is the easy case. Nothing has to be Send.

Work-stealing executor

In this case, the spawn function will require both that the initial closure itself is Send and that the future it returns is Send (so that it can be moved from place to place as code executes).

We don't have a good way to express this today! The problem is that there is a future that results from calling logs.next(), let's call it F. The future to be spawned has to be sure that F: Send. There isn't a good way to do this today, and even explaining the problem is surprisingly hard. Here is a "desugared version" of the program that shows what is needed:


#![allow(unused)]
fn main() {
trait AsyncIterator {
    type Item;
    type NextFuture: Future<Output = Self::Item>;

    fn next(&mut self) -> impl Self::NextFuture;
}

// Starts a task that will write out the logs in the background
async fn start_writing_logs<I>(
    logs: I
) 
where
    I: AsyncIterator<Item = String> + 'static + Send,
    I::NextFuture: Send,
{
    spawn(async move || {
        while let Some(log) = logs.next().await {
            send_to_serve(log).await;
        }
    });
}
}

(With RFC 2289, you could write logs: impl AsyncIterator<Item = String, NextFuture: Send> + Send, which is more compact, but still awkward.)