Constant evaluation is the process of computing values at compile time. For a specific item (constant/static/array length) this happens after the MIR for the item is borrow-checked and optimized. In many cases trying to const evaluate an item will trigger the computation of its MIR for the first time.
Prominent examples are:
- The initializer of a
- Array length
- needs to be known to reserve stack or heap space
- Enum variant discriminants
- needs to be known to prevent two variants from having the same discriminant
- need to be known to check for overlapping patterns
Additionally constant evaluation can be used to reduce the workload or binary size at runtime by precomputing complex operations at compiletime and only storing the result.
All uses of constant evaluation can either be categorized as "influencing the type system" (array lengths, enum variant discriminants, const generic parameters), or as solely being done to precompute expressions to be used at runtime.
Constant evaluation can be done by calling the
const_eval_* functions of
They're the wrappers of the
const_eval_global_id_for_typeckevaluates a constant to a valtree, so the result value can be further inspected by the compiler.
const_eval_global_idevaluate a constant to an "opaque blob" containing its final value; this is only useful for codegen backends and the CTFE evaluator engine itself.
eval_static_initializerspecifically computes the initial values of a static. Statics are special; all other functions do not represent statics correctly and have thus assertions preventing their use on statics.
const_eval_* functions use a
ParamEnv of environment
in which the constant is evaluated (e.g. the function within which the constant is used)
GlobalId is made up of an
Instance referring to a constant
or static or of an
Instance of a function and an index into the function's
Constant evaluation returns an
EvalToValTreeResult for type system constants
EvalToConstValueResult with either the error, or a representation of the
evaluated constant: a valtree or a MIR constant