Project Setup

Kevin| 4 min read| December 01, 2022| [Devlog] #Renderer

It makes sense that the first thing to do is actually setting up the project. I want to talk about my personal global settings first.

Personal Settings

Inside my project directory, but outside the actual workspaces and projects, I have a .cargo/config.toml for "global" configurations on my machine.

Things like the linker(I'm using mold), but also the current build target.

I found that mold helps with link times, but your mileage may vary. However, specifying the target is a one stone two birds kinda thing. It makes my editor less annoying when trying to write code for another platform, because it is marked as inactive otherwise. Not only is this more noise, but it also disables the inline errors.

Basically, turning this:


Into this: no_ra

I'm using Neovim and its LSP with RustAnalyzer, so no clue if other setups run into similar problems.

There might be other ways, but the other benefit is to work around a specific cargo issue, that would force a full rebuild of the dependencies when building for different platforms, when rust flags are involved(e.g., when using the mold linker above). Having this config outside the actual project workspaces makes sure that I don't pollute the actual repositories with personal settings. Cargo crawls through the current and parent directories(and its own home) and considers all configs for the build.

Another benefit is that it makes calls to run, check, test and build, use the specified target by default. It's still possible to pass the --target argument to cargo, but most of the time I tend to stick with a specific target for a while before moving on, so this switch is just more comfortable.

So my personal config file outside the actual projects looks like this:

#just comment in the "current" target
#target = "x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu"  #own machine, Arch btw
target = "wasm32-unknown-unknown"

linker = "clang"
rustflags = ["-C", "link-arg=-fuse-ld=/usr/bin/mold"]

Creating The Workspace

After coming up with a cool name, the next step is to actually create the workspace for all the graphics packages we are going to write. Splitting the renderer into multiple packages will help with the incremental build times later, because cargo just needs to rebuild what has changed.

#cac for cacatuidae, the family of the magnificent cockatiels, and cockatoos
cargo new --lib cac_graphics

There is no new --workspace in cargo yet, but --lib makes sure that the generated .gitignore adds the Cargo.lock file. Alternatively, we just use the one provided default one, when we create a new repository on GitHub, which works as well.

Then we remove the src directory, and replace the content of the Cargo.toml with a workspace definition.

One thing I also always do when dealing with heavy IO(like game assets), is to add an opt-level for debug builds(dev profile). It doesn't really affect build times, but without it, a large glTF-scene can take minutes instead of seconds to load. I found out about it when I played around with bevy, thanks to the incredible unofficial cheat book. I pretty much end up enabling optimizations in all game related projects at some point, where I am almost considering adding it to my personal .cargo/config. Because profile settings in a workspace are only taken from the root, we can do this now once, for all future binaries in this workspace.

So for now, my workspace only contains the directory .git, a .gitignore and the Cargo.toml with the content:

members = [] 

# To avoid unbearable long loading times for assets,
# it is required to at least have a minor opt-level
opt-level = 1

Link to the repository