I’m very happy to publish my first crate on crates.io, pretend :tada:

As a play on word on Feign, my source of inspiration, it is a declarative HTTP and REST client.

My love for Feign …

I have written a few Java/Spring based micro-services before discovering feign. To communicate between micro-services, I used to write my HTTP requests by hand, using the Apache HTTP client. It was a bit tedious, as I had to write a lot of boilerplate code to build the URL, set the headers, serialize and deserialize bodies etc.

Moreover, the code didn’t reflect the REST API I call. Since the code to create and execute a request could be very big, it’s harder to find out at a quick glance which endpoint is being called by just looking at the code.

Then I discovered Feign, and my life changed a bit. Thanks to the annotations, it was easy to describe the REST API I want to use. All the boilerplate is also gone, as Feign was in charge of creating and executing the request.

interface GitHub {
  @RequestLine("GET /repos/{owner}/{repo}/contributors")
  List<Contributor> contributors(@Param("owner") String owner, @Param("repo") String repo);
  @RequestLine("POST /repos/{owner}/{repo}/issues")
  void createIssue(Issue issue, @Param("owner") String owner, @Param("repo") String repo);

GitHub github = Feign.builder().target(GitHub.class, "https://api.github.com");

Feign is also very modular, and allows changing nearly every component it uses, from the HTTP client to “retryers” or the serialization framework.

… and my love for Rust

While I’m mainly an application developer, and “simply” want to put Rust in some odd places 1, I really wanted to contribute to its ecosystem.

Today, I’m facing the same problems I faced when using the Apache HTTP client: boilerplate. While Rust HTTP clients are really well-designed and often offer a lot of possibilities, I am in search of expressiveness. Fortunately, Rust’s procedural macros is really powerful, and allows replicating what makes Feign great, the annotation system.

After tinkering with syn, quote and friends, as well as digging into various HTTP client documentations, I’m now happy to present pretend

Introducing pretend

pretend is an async-first HTTP client. By annotating traits with some attributes, it will automatically implement these traits so that they can be used.

pretend is not really an HTTP client as it doesn’t perform any request. Just like Feign, it tries to be modular and uses client implementations. The first release ships integration with reqwest and isahc.

Here is an example of how to use pretend. You can learn more by looking at the documentation (when it is ready …).

use pretend::{pretend, request, Pretend, Result, Url};
use pretend_reqwest::Client;

trait HttpBin {
    #[request(method = "POST", path = "/anything")]
    async fn post_anything(&self, body: &'static str) -> Result<String>;

async fn main() {
    let client = Client::default();
    let url = Url::parse("https://httpbin.org").unwrap();
    let pretend = Pretend::for_client(client).with_url(url);
    // pretend annotated traits are automatically implemented for Pretend
    let response = pretend.post_anything("hello").await.unwrap();

By reusing clients, I hope to not land in this situation :slightly_smiling_face:

XKCD: how standards proliferate

Feedbacks welcomed !

Feedbacks are warmly welcomed. If this crate is missing some features don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter or to leave an issue on Github.

PS: Other similar crates

feignhttp fills a similar role. It doesn’t use traits but automatically implement functions instead. It seems to even shares the same inspiration.

There is also mclient that also implement functions.

  1. Like in a phone running GNU/Linux