Cool Stuff With Go’s AST Package

Cool Stuff With Go’s AST Package

This is the second part of the walkthrough “Cool Stuff with Go’s AST Package.” If you have not yet had the opportunity to review the first article, I recommend starting there to become acquainted with abstract syntax trees, the Go package itself, and the facilities provided by the package for traversing Go’s AST.

This is the second part of the walkthrough “Cool Stuff with Go’s AST Package.” If you have not yet had the opportunity to review the first article, I recommend starting there to become acquainted with abstract syntax trees, the Go package itself, and the facilities provided by the package for traversing Go’s AST.

What we Will be Covering

In the first article we introduced NATS and how it can be used to create a microservice that publishes regular heartbeats on a message topic. One side-effect of implementing a microservices architecture based on NATS is that all of the various topics, subscribers, publishers, and message types can become blurred, and it is easy to lose track of them.

We discussed the idea of creating a self-documenting microservice using the source code itself. The program will operate similar to other tools that produce OpenAPI specification documents from APIs (Swagger) and will be driven by the source code, without having to document anything externally to the system.

In the first article we covered extracting out the topic name from the publish method, as well as some basic traversal techniques and type switching based on the different nodes found in the abstract syntax tree. Now that we have a topic, we can move onto providing some additional context around the topic, as well as signaling the type of message the topic is producing. By the end of this article we will have additional functionality that will allow us to extract value from the following structured comment:

//Description: The heartbeat topic will publish a message at regular
//    intervals to signal system uptime
// Publishes: HeartBeatMsg
ec.Publish("heartbeat", msg)

In the comment preceding the function call, we specify a description as well as the message type that will be published on the “heartbeat” topic. Let’s dive into how this will work.

golang coding programming software-engineering development

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