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Exploring AI CLI Tool Development with Rust: GIGO

/ 2 min read

Introduction

In the dynamic world of software engineering, the integration of efficient tools can significantly streamline the workflow. With the advent of AI-powered solutions like ChatGPT, there’s a growing need for accessible interfaces to interact with these systems. My recent project, a command-line interface (CLI) tool named GIGO, is a testament to this requirement and my personal journey into Rust programming.

The Genesis of GIGO

  • Identifying the Need: As a software engineer, I often found myself in situations where I needed quick, dummy inputs for testing or various tasks. A direct, terminal-based tool to interact with ChatGPT seemed like an ideal solution.
  • Why Rust?: Despite having no prior experience with Rust, my curiosity to explore this language was the driving force behind this project. Rust, known for its safety and performance, seemed like a fitting choice for a tool that would interact with AI models.

Building GIGO

  • The Project: I embarked on creating GIGO, a minimalist CLI tool, which you can find on GitHub at ainoya/gigo.

  • Functionality: While GIGO’s features are currently limited, it efficiently serves its primary function. Inspired by the phrase “garbage in, garbage out,” I chose this name to add a touch of humor. The tool allows users to input prompts via CLI, which then return responses from ChatGPT.

  • Usage Example:

    echo 'Please write a short story about a robot who is trying to learn how to be a human.' | gigo
    
    Once upon a time, ...

Reflections and Future Prospects

  • Rust Experience: Although I’ve only scratched the surface of Rust’s capabilities, I found its pattern matching and type-safe error handling to be particularly appealing. An example can be seen in the project’s code (here).
  • GIGO’s Potential: Currently, GIGO interfaces solely with OpenAI’s API. However, I believe enhancing its compatibility with various large language models could make it more versatile and interesting.

Conclusion

My foray into developing GIGO has been both a learning curve and a step towards addressing a niche requirement in the software engineering domain. While it’s a small-scale project, the potential for GIGO to evolve and integrate more features is something I look forward to exploring. This journey has not only provided me with a practical tool but also a valuable introduction to Rust programming.