# Basics

# Bindings

Variables, or more propery, bindings:

let a = "abc";

An assignment like a = 10 produces a blank type () called unit. Whenever there is no other meaningful response type, () is returned.

Immutability

Bindings are immutable by default.

We can explicitly specify type of a binding:

let a: i32 = 10;
let b = 10i32;
let c = 10_i32; // Underscore has no meaning, it can be used as a delimiter

Bindings may be shadowed, which means that a binding may be defined twice with the same name. This way, we don't have to artificially define things like data_string and data. First we could define data as String, and then define data as i32 with a value coming from parsed data.

# Type Inference

Rust compiler is pretty smart about type inference. For example, this works:

let v: Vec<i32> = Vec::new();

The new() method of Vec is called without any generic type. Compiler sees that on the left side of the assignment we specified the type to be i32.

This also works:

let mut vec = Vec::new();
vec.push(2);

The compiler "scans" the code and it sees that the vector insance should be created for the i32 type, because that's what we're adding to it later on.

# Strings

There is a String type, which is stored on a heap. There is also a string literal, which is actually a string slice.

If a function expects a string parameter, it's a good practice to use string slice (&str) instead of a String, because:

  • a string literal can be passed as is;
  • a string slice can be easily taken out of a String with &some_string

A format! macro is useful for creating strings composed of other values:

let greeting = format!("My name is {} {}", first_name, last_name);

str is a dynamically sized type (DST) in Rust. It means that the contents of that type are not static and during runtime the str value may be of various length (depending on the length of the string). Rust prefers types that have known sizes. That's why we use &str instead, which is a slice - its size is known - it's a pointer to str and a length of the value there (stores as usize).

# Scope

Variables that go out of scope are automatically removed by Rust. We don't need to free memory explicitly. There is no runtime overhead for that.

# Deep Copying

Heap data may be copied by value using the clone() method.

let s1 = String::from("hello");
let s2 = s1.clone();

s1 and s2 are two different variables pointing at different data in memory (but the values happen to be the same). clone() is much more expensive than a simple pointer copy.

Values that are stored on the stack (ints, floats, tuples (when they hold scalar values), arrays, chars, etc.) do not need that.

# Functions

fn add(a: i32, b: i32) -> i32 {
  i + j
}

The i + j has no semicolon. With semicolon, the return type would be () instead of i32.

Functions return the last expression's result by default, so return is not required.

# Macros

Macro example:

println!("Hello");

Macros are similar to functions, but instead of returning data, they return code. They are often used to simplify common patterns.

In case of printing, there are many ways of doing that depending on the provided data type. The println! macro takes care of figuring out the exact method to call.

# Types

There is a large choice of number types. Conversions between types are always explicit. We use as for that.

Rust does not have constructors. Every type has a literal form (e.g. let a = Complex { re: 2.1, im: -1.4 };). Many types also have a new method (it's not a Rust keyword though, these are just normal methods).

# Loops

for item in collection {

}

After such an interation, accessing collection is invalid! Rust assumes the collection is no longer needed, its lifetime is finished.

To circumvent it, include the & symbol to use a reference:

for item in &collection {

}

To be able to modify item during the iteration, a mutable reference should be used:

for item in &mut collection {

}

All three loops shown above are a syntactic sugar for different method calls:

  • for item in collection = for item in itoIterator::into_iter(collection)
  • for item in &collection = for item in collection.iter()
  • for item in &mut collection = for item in collecion.iter_mut()

# Index variable

for i in 0..collection.len() {
  let item = collection[i];
}

Such pattern is discouraged in Rust.

# Anonymous loops

for _ in 0..10 {

}

Since a local variable is not needed, _ is used.

# while(true) alternative

Rust has loop loop type:

loop {
  //break eventually if needed
  break;
}

It acts as while true, but is preferred.

# Breaking out of nested loops

Loops can be labeled, and nested loops can be exited using the outer loop label.

'outer: for x in 0.. {
  for y in 0.. {
    for z in 0.. {
      if x + y + z > 1000 {
        break 'outer;
      }
    }
  }
}

# Conditions

There is no concept of truthy/falsey values. Conditions relay on true and false - that's it.

There is match, which is analogous to switch in other languages. Compilation fails if match did not cover some relevant alternative.

match item {
  0 => {},
  10..=20 => {},
  40 | 80 => {},
  _ => {}, // matches all others
}

match does not fall through through other cases. As soon as a case is matched, it's executed, and match is exited.

match is very useful with enums.

Dropping temporary values

Some statements with let will not behave the same as statements without let.

Here's an exmple with Mutex:

// OPTION I
loop {
  let job = receiver.lock().unwrap().recv().unwrap();
   //some long operation
}

// OPTION II
while let Ok(job) = receiver.lock().unwrap().recv() {
  // some long operation
}

Mutex gets released when the result of lock() (an instance of MutexGuard) goes out of scope. In OPTION I, the lock will be removed right after the line where it's acquired. The temporary value of the lock is not stored anywhere, and it is dropped right after the line. Another thread may acquire the lock while the current thread executes some other operations in that loop block.

In OPTION II, even though the lock result is not stored anywhere, it is still kept until the end of the while let block.

That behavior can be observed with while let, if let, and match.

# Expressions

Almost everything is an expression. The following are possible:

let n = 123;
let desc = if is_even(n) {
  "even"
} else {
  "odd"
};

let desc2 = match is_even(n) {
  true => "even",
  false => "odd",
};

Even break returns a value:

let n = loop {
  break 123;
}

The following are not expressions, thus do not return values:

  • expressions delimited by ;
  • binding a name to a value with = (isn't that already covered by the first rule anyway?)
  • type declarations (fn, struct, enum keywords)

# References

References are created with &. They are dereferenced with *.

# OOP

Rust can be considered object-oriented or not, depending on the definition that we use. Some facts:

  • Rust has structs and enums that can include some data and methods - like objects in OOP
  • Parts of a struct may be public or private - encapsulation
  • There is no inheritance, but traits may have default implementations of methods
  • Some form of polymorphism can be achieved with generics
Last Updated: 11/28/2022, 9:27:43 AM