This course will teach you the fundamentals of Rust, a modern programming language that has the both the power of native code as well as the safety of some managed languages. In this course you will learn the following:
This course, like all my other courses, will be supplemented with additional lectures based on participants' requests.
Let's get started by installing Rust.
Learn about Cargo, Rust's own project and dependency management system.
Note that Cargo configures your folder to be a Git repository and creates a .gitignore file.
Learn about boolean, integral, floating-point types and the char type.
A description of some of the Rust operators such as +, <=, && and so on.
A discussion of scopes and how variables in inner scopes can shadow outer variables.
Global values that are unlikely to change.
Learn about the distinction between the stack and the heap,
Learn about the if statement, including some unusual syntax. (And no, Rust does not have a ternary ?: operator.)
A look at conditional and unconditional loops.
for loops... also very unusual.
A look at match which lets you pick the right option based on matching input plus additional conditions. Very powerful!
A very important topic! Structs let us keep related data together in a single object.
(Note: there is no concept of constructor in Rust.)
A traffic light can be red, green or blue. How to best represent this information in a program?
With the release of Rust 1.19, we've got a new data type called a union. A union can define several fields of different type, but they all occupy the same memory. Unions are very useful for C interop, among other things.
Here we talk about a very useful type called Option<T>, the None/Some(x) duality, and also discuss the if let and while let declarations.
Learn how to store multiple values of any type in a single data structure as well as how to go over those values.
A vector is like an array, but resizeable. Also behaves like a stack.
A slice is a read-only view into an array or a vector.
Strings are used to store text (i.e., sequences of characters). Learn about both str and String. Both are valid UTF-8 sequences of bytes.
Why does str exist? Because an ordinary slice of a String is effectively a slice of Vec<u8>, which is not very useful.
Learn about tuples, their destructuring and indexing. (Yes, destructuring is a word.)
Now that we know more about various data structures, let's revisit the match keyword and discuss pattern matching, an extremely powerful technique.
Learn about generic structures.
We've already met the function main, but now we discuss functions at large.
A struct can have not just fields but also its own functions!
How do you store a function in a variable? How do you pass a function to some other function? These concerns are addressed with closures (a.k.a. lambda functions).
Functions that return functions. Don't worry, it's not as scary as it sounds.
Traits let you specify that a type must possess certain aspects.
Learn how to define the behavior of operators such as + for your own structs.
One of two possible forms of dispatch. Static dispatch is when the compiler knows exactly which realization of function to call.
What if the compiler doesn't know which trait implementation to call?
Learn about ownership, move semantics and move-able types.
We finally get to look at explicit use of lifetime specifiers. Woo-hoo!
In addition to ownership/borrowing, Rust also supports the notion of reference-counted variables. These are somewhat easier to share. The approach is similar to C++'s shared_ptr/unique_ptr.
A reference-counted variable (Rc) is safe to share around within a single thread. But what if we want to share it around in multiple threads? How can we ensure its pointer count is actually safe from concurrent modification? That's what the Arc class is for.
Arc protects the reference count, but it doesn't protect the variable itself, so concurrent modification of the variable will still be prohibited by the Rust compiler. How can we get concurrent code that mutates the variable to work? One option is to use a Mutex.
Let's try using a crate that's available on crates.io.
Let's build our own crate out of separate modules... and then consume it!
Now that we know about functions, we can write unit and integration tests.
Learn how to document your own code.
Dmitri Nesteruk is a developer, speaker and podcaster. His interests lie in software development and integration practices in the areas of computation, quantitative finance and algorithmic trading. His technological interests include C#, F# and C++ programming as well high-performance computing using technologies such as CUDA. He has been a C# MVP since 2009.
Dmitri is a graduate of University of Southampton (B.Sc. Computer Science) where he currently holds a position as a Visiting Researcher. He is also an instructor on an online intro-level Quantitative Finance course, and has also made online video courses on CUDA, MATLAB, D, the Boost libraries and other topics.