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in ClojureScript by

When building cljs source that uses {{cljs.js}} namespace the final js file is quite huge: 6.4M. As described in wiki: https://github.com/clojure/clojurescript/wiki/Optional-Self-hosting it mostly consists of analysis cache of the {{cljs.core}} namespace. As a workaround, the wiki article suggests dumping cache to a separate file and load it at runtime instead of bundling in js binary. I think it is possible to have something in between that doesn't require additional efforts from a user and also optimizes the size of the js file. The idea that instead of dumping cache as raw clojure data-structure it is serialized to string. This way compiler won't compile cache into js (which adds a lot of code) and leave it a string. At runtime, this string will be parsed back to clojure using {{tools.reader}}.

Here is the proposal: https://gist.github.com/nbeloglazov/0bf163fb62fa4b61d446

Checking locally it reduces the size of js file from 6.4M to 2.7M which I think quite good. The downside is that now js has to do more work on runtime (parse huge string) when today it simply read js code and evaluates it. But I don't think if it's a big concern. If it is desired to keep all behavior a new option can be added for {{:dump-core}} compiler setting, something like {{:dump-core :string}} that enables string serialization of the cache.

Does it sound reasonable?

9 Answers

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Comment made by: nbeloglazov

Attaching suggested fix. Analysis cache is serialized to string and read back to clojure datastructure when cljs.js is initialized.

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Comment made by: dnolen

Please change the patch so this optional as you've suggested.

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Comment made by: dnolen

Also have you submitted your Clojure CA yet?

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Comment made by: nbeloglazov

Will do. Yes, I've submitted CA. I used my official name, Mikita Belahlazau there.

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Comment made by: nbeloglazov

Updated patch that adds option to serialize core analysis cache as string. Possible values of :dump-core are :raw, :string, :none. Old true/false values supported for backward compatibility.

As for default, current patch uses :raw, but I think it makes more sense to use :string. Saving extra few mb of final js is quite good. I think most devs won't go deep into figuring out why js is big and just leave it as it is. Additional one-time parsing performance hit :string introduces acceptable: when :string is used, page loads in 1s while with :raw the time is ~800ms.

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Comment made by: dnolen

I'm questioning whether this actual valuable? It seems to me if you're serious about code size you would just use Transit and them load the analysis asynchronously?

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Comment made by: nbeloglazov

Yes, if size is critical then there are better ways to hand-tune the way of loading analysis. At the same time having 3m vs 6m file for local/simple development is a nice win. The only downside is speed, but I feel like big reduction in size is better than small speed penalty.

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Comment made by: mfikes

Patch no longer applies.

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Reference: https://clojure.atlassian.net/browse/CLJS-1601 (reported by nbeloglazov)
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