re: My first impressions of Rust VIEW POST


About the complex String data type, give it another look, is not unnecessary complexity but a result of the language focus, performance is important for Rust and the difference between str and String is not a trivial one, I'm a noob too and it also felt akward at first but now kinda make sense to me and is better understood when compared to an array and a vector. The array is stored in the stack, wich is much faster but you have to know their size (which mean type AND length) at compile time, making it more efficient but unable to grow or shrink at runtime; on the other hand a Vector is stored in the heap, slower but can be resized at runtime; the same goes to str, which is a reference or "pointer" to a memory space part of another str (stack) or a String (heap), that reference size is known at compile time (size of a memoty reference) hence it can be stored in the stack (faster). You could work just with Vecs and Strings and you would get the same "complexity" of more "high level" programming languages but you would lose a lot of potential performance. Is not an unnecessary complexity is just extra complexity because is a "lower level" language, it let you deal with memory management. Give it another read I came from Python and felt useless complexity but after some extra reading and thought it became clear, simple, elegant and awesome.


Of course I understand that difference and I think also coz of the fact there is no GC its important to make the distinction. So yes I agree that it is a required compromise but I still dislike it 😬


I'm not sure is about the absence of GC, AFAIK GC is about when to drop data, the distinction of arrays/vectors and str/Strings is more about where in memory the data is stored: fastest stack or runtime resizable heap. I'm not sure you can have the performance required for a systems PL without this extra complexity. You can't control something that you can't distinguish, I guess

I thought I read that somewhere. Need to double-check. It would be interesting to know how Go does it, which is also quite performant. Also to benchmark.

I don't see how could you avoid putting everything on the heap or having some runtime check; in both cases performance would be hit, we have to remmember that Golang and Rust have 2 different targets; Rust is a system PL first and general later while Golang is more a fast general PL first and maybe could be systems PL?, if your OS or browser is as little as 20% slower, you'll really notice. So for systems PL performance is not a luxury; I see Golang more like a power Python and Rust as a modern C; in realms like backend web dev they may overlap but the core target is very different

You are absolutely right. It is not really fair to compare them in the same scale. The problem is many people who learn one of these end up using it for everything that is thrown at them.


Maybe I'll start to like it more if I use it more 🙏

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