Get­ting Started with Rust, the Friendly Sys­tems Pro­gram­ming Lan­guage

OpenSource For You - - Contents - By: Dhruvil Trivedi The au­thor is FOSS en­thu­si­ast and can be con­tacted at dhruvil­trivedi2610@gmail.com.

From Mozilla Re­search comes this safe, con­cur­rent, prac­ti­cal sys­tems pro­gram­ming lan­guage called Rust. It has been ranked the ‘Most loved pro­gram­ming lan­guage’ in the Stack Over­flow De­vel­oper Sur­vey for the past three years in suc­ces­sion.

Rust is the new, up­com­ing sys­tems pro­gram­ming lan­guage that is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing tremen­dous pop­u­lar­ity be­cause of its fea­tures, ef­fi­ciency and user-friend­li­ness. It is quite sim­i­lar in syn­tax to sim­ple pro­gram­ming lan­guages. The com­pi­la­tions are also in the form of bash Linux com­mands, so Rust can be used by most Linux users with ease.

In­stal­la­tion

Rust is a pretty easy to in­stall. It can work on al­most all plat­forms such as Linux, Mac and Win­dows, in­clud­ing on x86 bit sys­tems and x64 bit sys­tems.

For in­stalling it in Linux, a sim­ple shell script com­mand (which in­cludes the web­site lo­ca­tion for down­load­ing) us­ing the ‘curl’ com­mand does the trick. For Win­dows and Mac, we can down­load the setup file di­rectly from the of­fi­cial web­site and run it eas­ily on the re­spec­tive plat­forms. Rust is open source and, hence, there are no spec­i­fi­ca­tions or rules for us­ing this lan­guage.

Spe­cial fea­tures of Rust

Rust has a num­ber of im­por­tant fea­tures that help to overcome the is­sues with many other pro­gram­ming lan­guages and, there­fore, in­crease both the safety and per­for­mance of a pro­gram. It of­fers fea­tures such as mov­ing se­man­tics, which means that we can mod­ify the se­man­tics as per our needs. It is a neu­tral form of lan­guage and can be moulded in any form, un­like other lan­guages. Rust has gener­ics that are based on traits; there­fore, it can for­ward the hi­er­ar­chy with the help of in­her­i­tance. It can also bind with other lan­guages such as C with great ef­fi­ciency and ease. Rust also pro­vides the fea­ture of pat­tern match­ing, which helps us to se­quence-check al­go­rith­mic pro­cesses. Its other fea­tures in­clude threads with­out data race con­di­tions, zero-cost ab­strac­tion, min­i­mal run­time and type in­fer­ence.

The se­man­tics and syn­taxes for Rust

Rust sup­ports all types of se­man­tics with a very easy and flex­i­ble syn­tax. It pro­vides many dif­fer­ent types of syn­taxes for ba­sic cod­ing, vari­able bind­ing, con­di­tional state­ments, vec­tors and much more.

Rust of­fers sys­tems of own­er­ship and easy mem­ory man­age­ment, mak­ing it quite safe from mem­ory loss. As it sup­ports the own­er­ship fea­tures of se­man­tics, it can also ref­er­ence, bor­row and pass on the own­er­ship and rights of ac­cess of any data mem­ber or func­tion in the pro­gram­ming lan­guage. With the fea­ture of type cast­ing, we can also make a type alias in the code with just the sim­ple key­word ‘type’.

Apart from this, all the ba­sic fea­tures are per­fectly sta­ble. These in­clude ac­cess au­tho­ri­sa­tion, raw point­ers, crates and mod­ules, con­stants, univer­sal func­tion-call­ing, pat­terns, gener­ics, mu­ta­bil­ity and many oth­ers.

Writ­ing ef­fec­tive Rust code

Rust is a ba­sic, low-level pro­gram­ming lan­guage and hence can bind eas­ily with the sys­tems of any type of ar­chi­tec­ture. This is why it is known as a sys­tems level pro­gram­ming lan­guage. Rust has the se­man­tics, easy syn­tax and cod­ing for­mat that help to pro­vide it­er­a­tors and con­cur­rency for­mats with a sim­ple syn­tax, and hence it in­creases the ef­fi­ciency of the pro­gram as well as its run­time ac­cu­racy and pre­ci­sion. It has a built-

in er­ror-han­dling fea­ture, which makes it easy for even a lay per­son to eas­ily use this lan­guage. Rust has no stan­dard form of li­brary; there­fore, there are no hard and fast rules that need to be fol­lowed in or­der to write ef­fi­cient pro­gram code.

The best part about Rust is that it does not re­quire users to know any other type of cod­ing lan­guage, and can be learned and used ef­fec­tively within a short pe­riod of time. Rust is an ob­ject-ori­ented pro­gram­ming (OOP) lan­guage and is data ori­ented. It sup­ports all the fea­tures of OOP such as poly­mor­phism, in­her­i­tance, en­cap­su­la­tion and ab­strac­tion.

Ref­er­ences

[1] https://doc.rust-lang.org/book/first-edi­tion/ get­ting-started.html

[2] https://medium.com/learn­ing-rust/rust-ba­sicse73304ab35c7

[3] https://the­new­stack.io/safer-fu­ture-rust/

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