C++ developer sees Rustlang for the first time
But then I made a Twitter survey and I got the recommendations to try Rustlang.
Quick look at examples… it looks weird enough. I take it! :)
I liked it at the first sight. Rust may be the language that the world was waiting for! (Yes, I know - it is too early for me for such enthusiasm).
The documentation says:
Rust is a systems programming language focused on three goals: safety, speed, and concurrency. It maintains these goals without having a garbage collector.
Looks great. It doesn’t have a garbage collector and it gives it a big advantage over the languages which do have GC. It introduces the new level of safety. It has a lot of other assets that I don’t know about yet.
I don’t think it will replace C++ because I don’t think that any language is able to do it within 10-20 years (don’t blame me if I’m wrong). But it may be a proud neighbour of C++ on the shelf with the most beautiful programming languages.
First look on Rust
These are the things that caught my attention when I started to learn about Rust.
Variables are immutable
In Rust, every “variable” - which is called binding in fact - is immutable by default. The binding declaration is presented in the example below. You can’t reassign the value of
x is const!
To have a binding mutable, add
let mut x = 5.
It’s unlike in C++, where you need to add the additional word to have the variable immutable. And I think Rust solution is better. It’s easy to forget or to skip the “unnecessary” keyword out of laziness. Here, forgetting makes no risk.
I have even heard a gossip that Bjarne said that he would like to have such “inversed const logic” in C++. But did he really said that? I don’t know.
You can’t use uninitialized binding
Another safety improvement is the compilation error when you try to use uninitialized binding. I also appreciate this feature. Why would anybody want to use uninitialized variables? It’s an obvious error so why not stop compilation when it happens.
Formatting correctness checked at compile time
Next protection for the careless developer. If you ever had a crash in your application because you used the wrong number of arguments in your
And so it is in Rust. It won’t allow you to compile incorrect formatting.
The functions declaration order doesn’t matter
You can call the functions before you declare them. This code is correct:
It’s against C++ developer expectations, but it doesn’t seem to be important.
Returning a value from function
This one is weird.
Returning a value from function is presented in example below:
No semicolon, no
return keyword… And some strange arrow. It doesn’t look very friendly at the first sight.
If you want to ask what’s with the early returns… Good question. Here you should use
Further, from the Rust book, you learn that:
Using a return as the last line of function works, but is considered poor style.
Hmm. For me the syntax is odd, but it won’t make me discouraged.
My impression on Rust
I am very positive about Rust and I consider the additional safety as the great feature.
I think the more checks are done during the compilation time the better, as long as the compilation time doesn’t exceed the limits. Remember that the time you spend on waiting for your compilation may save you long hours of debugging.
I feel very curious of possibilities of this language and I’m excited about further learning!