Skip to main content

Program Instruction Macro

Problem#

Currently, inspecting an on-chain transaction requires depending on a client-side, language-specific decoding library to parse the instruction. If rpc methods could return decoded instruction details, these custom solutions would be unnecessary.

We can deserialize instruction data using a program's Instruction enum, but decoding the account-key list into human-readable identifiers requires manual parsing. Our current Instruction enums have that account information, but only in variant docs.

Similarly, we have instruction constructor functions that duplicate nearly all the information in the enum, but we can't generate that constructor from the enum definition because the list of account references is in code comments.

Also, Instruction docs can vary between implementations, as there is no mechanism to ensure consistency.

Proposed Solution#

Move the data from code comments to attributes, such that the constructors can be generated, and include all the documentation from the enum definition.

Here is an example of an Instruction enum using the new accounts format:

#[instructions(test_program::id())]
pub enum TestInstruction {
/// Transfer lamports
#[accounts(
from_account(SIGNER, WRITABLE, desc = "Funding account"),
to_account(WRITABLE, desc = "Recipient account"),
)]
Transfer {
lamports: u64,
},
/// Provide M of N required signatures
#[accounts(
data_account(WRITABLE, desc = "Data account"),
signers(SIGNER, multiple, desc = "Signer"),
)]
Multisig,
/// Consumes a stored nonce, replacing it with a successor
#[accounts(
nonce_account(SIGNER, WRITABLE, desc = "Nonce account"),
recent_blockhashes_sysvar(desc = "RecentBlockhashes sysvar"),
nonce_authority(SIGNER, optional, desc = "Nonce authority"),
)]
AdvanceNonceAccount,
}

An example of the generated TestInstruction with docs:

pub enum TestInstruction {
/// Transfer lamports
///
/// * Accounts expected by this instruction:
/// 0. `[WRITABLE, SIGNER]` Funding account
/// 1. `[WRITABLE]` Recipient account
Transfer {
lamports: u64,
},
/// Provide M of N required signatures
///
/// * Accounts expected by this instruction:
/// 0. `[WRITABLE]` Data account
/// * (Multiple) `[SIGNER]` Signers
Multisig,
/// Consumes a stored nonce, replacing it with a successor
///
/// * Accounts expected by this instruction:
/// 0. `[WRITABLE, SIGNER]` Nonce account
/// 1. `[]` RecentBlockhashes sysvar
/// 2. (Optional) `[SIGNER]` Nonce authority
AdvanceNonceAccount,
}

Generated constructors:

/// Transfer lamports
///
/// * `from_account` - `[WRITABLE, SIGNER]` Funding account
/// * `to_account` - `[WRITABLE]` Recipient account
pub fn transfer(from_account: Pubkey, to_account: Pubkey, lamports: u64) -> Instruction {
let account_metas = vec![
AccountMeta::new(from_pubkey, true),
AccountMeta::new(to_pubkey, false),
];
Instruction::new_with_bincode(
test_program::id(),
&SystemInstruction::Transfer { lamports },
account_metas,
)
}
/// Provide M of N required signatures
///
/// * `data_account` - `[WRITABLE]` Data account
/// * `signers` - (Multiple) `[SIGNER]` Signers
pub fn multisig(data_account: Pubkey, signers: &[Pubkey]) -> Instruction {
let mut account_metas = vec![
AccountMeta::new(nonce_pubkey, false),
];
for pubkey in signers.iter() {
account_metas.push(AccountMeta::new_readonly(pubkey, true));
}
Instruction::new_with_bincode(
test_program::id(),
&TestInstruction::Multisig,
account_metas,
)
}
/// Consumes a stored nonce, replacing it with a successor
///
/// * nonce_account - `[WRITABLE, SIGNER]` Nonce account
/// * recent_blockhashes_sysvar - `[]` RecentBlockhashes sysvar
/// * nonce_authority - (Optional) `[SIGNER]` Nonce authority
pub fn advance_nonce_account(
nonce_account: Pubkey,
recent_blockhashes_sysvar: Pubkey,
nonce_authority: Option<Pubkey>,
) -> Instruction {
let mut account_metas = vec![
AccountMeta::new(nonce_account, false),
AccountMeta::new_readonly(recent_blockhashes_sysvar, false),
];
if let Some(pubkey) = authorized_pubkey {
account_metas.push(AccountMeta::new_readonly*nonce_authority, true));
}
Instruction::new_with_bincode(
test_program::id(),
&TestInstruction::AdvanceNonceAccount,
account_metas,
)
}

Generated TestInstructionVerbose enum:

#[derive(Serialize, Deserialize, Debug, Clone, PartialEq)]
pub enum TestInstruction {
/// Transfer lamports
Transfer {
/// Funding account
funding_account: u8
/// Recipient account
recipient_account: u8
lamports: u64,
},
/// Provide M of N required signatures
Multisig {
data_account: u8,
signers: Vec<u8>,
},
/// Consumes a stored nonce, replacing it with a successor
AdvanceNonceAccount {
nonce_account: u8,
recent_blockhashes_sysvar: u8,
nonce_authority: Option<u8>,
}
}
impl TestInstructionVerbose {
pub fn from_instruction(instruction: TestInstruction, account_keys: Vec<u8>) -> Self {
match instruction {
TestInstruction::Transfer { lamports } => TestInstructionVerbose::Transfer {
funding_account: account_keys[0],
recipient_account: account_keys[1],
lamports,
}
TestInstruction::Multisig => TestInstructionVerbose::Multisig {
data_account: account_keys[0],
signers: account_keys[1..],
}
TestInstruction::AdvanceNonceAccount => TestInstructionVerbose::AdvanceNonceAccount {
nonce_account: account_keys[0],
recent_blockhashes_sysvar: account_keys[1],
nonce_authority: &account_keys.get(2),
}
}
}
}

Considerations#

  1. Named fields - Since the resulting Verbose enum constructs variants with named fields, any unnamed fields in the original Instruction variant will need to have names generated. As such, it would be considerably more straightforward if all Instruction enum fields are converted to named types, instead of unnamed tuples. This seems worth doing anyway, adding more precision to the variants and enabling real documentation (so developers don't have to do this This will cause a little churn in our current code base, but not a lot.
  2. Variable account lists - This approach offers a couple options for variable account lists. First, optional accounts may be added and tagged with the optional keyword. However, currently only one optional account is supported per instruction. Additional data will need to be added to the instruction to support multiples, enabling identification of which accounts are present when some but not all are included. Second, accounts that share the same features may be added as a set, tagged with the multiple keyword. Like optional accounts, only one multiple account set is supported per instruction (and optional and multiple may not coexist). More complex instructions that cannot be accommodated by optional or multiple, requiring logic to figure out account order/representation, should probably be made into separate instructions.