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authorDaniel Silverstone <>2019-03-06 21:38:37 +0000
committerDaniel Silverstone <>2019-03-06 21:38:37 +0000
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Rustup release
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+[[!meta title="Releasing Rustup 1.17.0"]]
+[[!meta author="Daniel Silverstone"]]
+[[!meta date="2019-03-06 21:38:00"]]
+[[!tag draft]]
+Today marks the release of [`rustup`]( version 1.17.0 which
+is both the first version of `rustup` which I have contributed code to, and
+also the first version which I was responsible for preparing the release of.
+I thought I ought to detail the experience, but first, a little background…
+At the end of last year, leading into this year, I made some
+[plans](../2019-01-plans/) which included an explicit statement to "give back"
+to the Rust community as I'd received a lot of help with, and enjoyment in,
+Rust from the community over the previous couple of years. I looked for ways I
+could contribute, including making a tiny wording PR against the compiler which
+I won't even bother linking here, but eventually I decided to try and help with
+the [rust-lang/]( repository
+and tried to tackle some of the issues therein.
+[Nick Cameron]( was, at the time, about to step down as a
+lead of the tools team and he ended up talking to me about maybe joining a
+working group to look after Rustup. I agreed and a little earlier this year, I
+became part of the Rustup working group, which is a sub-group of the Cargo
+team, part of the Rust developer tools teams.
+Over the past few weeks we've been preparing a new release of Rustup to include
+some useful bug fixes and a few little feature tweaks. Rustup is not as
+glamorous a part of the ecosystem as perhaps [Cargo][] or [Rustc][] itself, but
+it's just as important I think, since it's the primary gateway through which
+people acquire Rust, and interact with the Rust toolchain ecosystem.
+On Tuesday evening, as part of our weekly meeting, we discussed the 1.17.0
+release plans and process, and since I'm very bad at stepping back at the right
+moment, I ended up volunteering to run the release checklist through and push
+1.17.0 out of the door. Thankfully, between Nick and
+[Alex Crichton]( we had a good set of
+instructions and so I set about making the release. I prepared a nice series
+of commits updating the version numbers, ensuring the lock file was up to date,
+making the shell script installer frontend include the right version numbers,
+and pushed them off to be built by the CI. Unfortunately a break in a library
+we depend on, which only showed its face on our mingw builders (not normally
+part of the CI since there are so few available to the org) meant that I had to
+reissue the build and go to bed.
+Note that I said I *had* to go to bed - this was nearing midnight and I was
+due up before 7am the following day. This might give you some impression of
+the state of mind I was in trying to do this release and thus perhaps a hint
+of where I'm going to be going with this post…
+In the morning, I checked and the CI pipelines had gone green, so I waited
+until Alex showed up (since he was on UTC-6) and as soon as I spotted him
+online, around 14:45 UTC, I pinged him and he pushed the button to prep the
+release after we did a final check that things looked okay together. The
+release went live at 14:47 UTC.
+And by 15:00 UTC we'd found a previously unnoticed bug - in the shell installer
+frontend - that I had definitely tested the night before. A "that can't
+possibly have ever worked" kind of bug which was breaking any CI job which
+downloaded rustup from scratch. Alex deployed a hotfix straight to the dist
+server at 15:06 UTC to ensure that as few people as possible encountered the
+issue, though we did get one
+[bug report]( (filed a
+smidge later at 15:15 UTC) about it.
+By this point I was frantic - I *KNEW* that I'd tested this code, so how on
+earth was it broken? I went rummaging back through the shell history on the
+system where I'd done the testing, reconstructing the previous night's fevered
+testing process and eventually discovered what had gone wrong. I'd been
+diffing the 1.16.0 and 1.17.0 releases and had somehow managed to test the
+*OLD* shell frontend rather than the new one. So the change to it which broke
+the world hadn't been noticed by me at that point.
+I sorted a fix PR out and we now have some issues open regarding ensuring that
+this never happens again. But what can we do to ensure that the next release
+goes more smoothly? For one, we need as a team to work out how to run mingw
+tests more regularly, and ideally on the PRs. For two, we need to work out how
+we can better test, the shell frontend which is currently only manually
+verified, under CI when its sole purpose is to download rustup from the
+Internet, making it a bit of a pain to verify in a CI environment.
+But… we will learn, we will grow, and we won't make these mistakes again. I
+had been as careful as I thought I could be in preparing 1.17.0, and I still
+had two painful spikes, one from uncommonly run CI, and one from untested code.
+No matter how careful one is, one can still be bitten by things.
+On a lighter note, for those who use `rustup` and wonder what's in 1.17.0 over
+the previous (1.16.0) release, here's a simplified view onto a mere *subset* of
+the changes...
+* Better formatting of long download times. _Manish Goregaokar_
+* Various improvements to ``. _Lzu Tao_
+* A variety of error message improvements. _Hirokazu Hata_
+* Prevent panic on missing components. _Nick Cameron_
+* Support non-utf8 arguments in proxies. _Andy Russell_
+* More support for `homebrew`. _Markus Reiter_
+* Support for more documents in `rustup doc`. _Wang Kong_
+* Display progress during component unpack. _Daniel Silverstone_
+* Don't panic on bad `default-host`. _Daniel Silverstone_
+* A variety of code cleanups and fixes. So many of them. _Dale Wijnand_
+* Better error reporting for missing binaries. _Alik Aslanyan_
+* Documentation of, and testing for, powershell completions. _Matt Gucci_
+* Various improvements to display of information in things like `rustup
+ default` or `rustup status`. _Trevor Miranda_
+* Ignoring of `EPIPE` in certain circumstances to improve scripting use of
+ `rustup`. _Niklas Claesson_
+* Deprecating cURL in `rustup`'s `download` internal crate. _Trevor Miranda_
+* Error message improvements wrt. unavailable components. _Daniel Silverstone_
+* Improvements in component listing API for better automation. _Naftuli Kay_
+As you can see, we had a nice selection of contributors, from Rustup WG
+members, to drive-by typo fixes (unlisted for the most part) to some excellent
+new contributors who are being more and more involved as time passes.
+We have plenty of plans for 1.18.0, mostly centered around tidying up the
+codebase more, getting rid of legacies in the code where we can, and making
+it easier to see the wood for the trees as we bring `rustup` up-to-snuff as
+a modern part of the Rust ecosystem.
+If you'd like to participate in Rustup development, why not join us on our
+discord server? You can visit <> and once you've
+jumped through some of the anti-spam hoops (check your DMs on joining) you can
+come along to `#wg-rustup` and we'll be pleased to have you help. Failing
+that, you can always just open issues or PRs on
+<> if you have something useful to