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[Tooling] Modules naming

From: Corentin <corentin.jabot_at_[hidden]>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 15:53:19 +0100
I would like to suggest two modules related proposals that I think SG15
should look at.

-* Compiler enforced mapping between module names and module interface file
(resource) name. *

Currently, modules interfaces can be declared in any file - which makes
dependency scanning more tedious than it needs to be and have performance
(The build system needs to open all files to gather a list of modules) -
notably when the build system tries to start building while the dependency
graph isn't yet complete.

Tools ( ide, code servers, indexers, refactoring) may also greatly benefit
from an easier way to locate the source file which declares a module.

The specifics of the mapping are open to bikeshedding. However, I think we
would have better luck sticking to something simple like <module
identifier> <=> <file name>.<extension>
(The standardese would mention *resource identifier* rather than filename)

- *A standing document giving guidelines for modules naming.*

The goal is to take everything the community had to learn the hard way
about header naming over the past 30 years and apply it to modules by
providing a set of guidelines
that could be partially enforced by build system vendors.
Encouraging consistency and uniqueness of module identifiers across the
industry is I think a necessary step towards sane package management.
Note that the standard requires uniqueness of modules identifiers within
(the standard definition of) a program but says little about a way to
ensure this uniqueness.

Here is a rough draft of what I think would be good guidelines, partially
inspired by what is done by other languages facing similar issues.

   - Prefix module names with an entity and/or a project name to prevent
   modules from different companies, entities and projects of declaring the
   same module names.
   - Exported top-level namespaces should have a name identic to the
   project name used as part of the name of the module(s) from which it is
   - Do not export multiple top-level namespaces
   - Do not export entities in the global namespace outside of the global
   module fragment.
   - Organize modules hierarchically. For example, if both modules
   example.foo and example.foo.bar exist as part of the public API of
   example, example.foo should reexport example.foo.bar
   - Avoid common names such as util and core for module name prefix and
   top-level namespace names.
   - Use lower-case module names
   - Do not use characters outside of the basic source character set in
   module name identifiers.

My hope is that these 2 proposals (whose impact on the standard is minimal)
would make it easier for current tooling to deal with modules
while making possible for example to design dependency managers and build
systems able to work at the module level.

I'd love to gather feedback and opinions before going further in that
Thanks a lot!


PS: For a bit of background, I talked about these issues there


Received on 2019-01-10 15:53:32