User provided numeric constant in a library

I have a library crate with a constant. I would like dependent crates be able to optionally provide a different value for the constant during compilation.

Is a build script the only way to achieve this, or is there another way?

A build script cannot do this — it runs before dependents get to choose anything. You would have to make extensive use of const generics (struct MyLibraryType<const N: usize> {}).

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I was afraid that might be the case. I considered this possibility and discarded it. I'm not thrilled with the changes it would require. This constant belongs to a struct that is nested several levels down within other structs, meaning I'd have to make them generic as well. That seems a bridge too far for something that is really a private implementation detail of this one struct.

You can use option_env in std - Rust if passing env var at comptime is acceptable.

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I think I'll probably do this.


Ah, an extra wrinkle - this crate is no_std. This is a compile time constant, so std should really only be a dev dependency. Is that do-able?

That macro is also in core: option_env in core - Rust


Does it need to be a const? You could make it a static variable that downstream crates can set on startup.

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Looking at option_env made me realize that it produces a &'static str, but parse is not a const function so producing a const integer from it does not seem possible. I guess I could write my own parsing function which is const.

I'd like my value to be const. It's used as the size of arrays, so I'd have to switch to a Vec if it wasn't const. Vec doesn't really fit the usage in the library - i.e. a fixed-size mutable buffer which is always fully populated. While a Vec can work, it just seems weird to switch to it solely to allow a compile time size to be chosen when the natural data structure here is obviously an array.