The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Rust Where Trait

author
Christina Perez
• Sunday, 29 November, 2020
• 7 min read

A trait is a collection of methods defined for an unknown type: Self. When learning Rust, it’s likely that you’ll run into the concept of traits sooner rather than later.

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Contents

Traits allow us to share behavior across types and facilitates code reuse. A trait is a way to define shared behavior in Rust.

A trait is a collection of methods defined for an unknown type: Self. When we want to define a function that can be applied to any type with some required behavior, we use traits.

Marker traits don’t have any behavior but are used to give the compiler certain guarantees. In a trait definition (including the one above), we have access to a special type: Self.

In other words, if we were to declare a struct A and implement the Nickname trait for it, then the Self type that is returned by the new method would be A. This means that the first argument to a method is an instance of the implementing type.

At first glance, these two ways to use traits may sound like they achieve the same thing, but there is a subtle difference. In cases where there are multiple parameters, we can make sure they are the same type by using trait bounds.

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Ignoring the fact that they don’t do anything, the function f will accept any two arguments that implement the Debug trait, even if they are two different types. The Dan_ trait function can return any number of types that implement the Debug trait and can even return a different type depending on the input argument.

“The Rust Programming Language” book has a section on if you want to delve further. While this difference may make imply Trait appear less useful than trait objects, it has a very important feature (in addition to being easier to type and to work with): you can use it to return iterators and closures.

When working with traits, associated types is a term that shows up pretty often. One of the most prominent examples is in the Iterator trait, where it is used to indicate what the return type of the next function should be.

Deriving traits is a great way to get additional functionality for your types without having to do the work yourself. Traits are an important part of Rust, so there’s a lot of ground to cover.

Hopefully, this tutorial has given you an understanding of what traits are, how they work, and how to approach advanced use cases. I urge you to take a look at the references littered throughout the text if you want to learn more about any of these topics on your own.

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If you’re interested in monitoring and tracking performance of your Rust apps, automatically surfacing errors, and tracking slow network requests and load time, try Rocket. Instead of guessing why problems happen, you can aggregate and report on what state your application was in when an issue occurred.

As per the discussion on Tulip, here's the action that schedules and releases chalk every Sunday. I used cargo-workspaces for this which means if there are no changes in a week, a version will not be released.

Move Solution to a Unique/Ambiguous model, with the ambiguous case encompassing multiple forms of guidance for type inference (including “suggestions” intended to be applied as fallback). Remove the notion of goal refinement, and instead use substitutions for communicating solutions.

Draw a more clear line between the generic Chalk engine (which “only knows PROLOG”, i.e. doesn't know anything special about Rust) and lowering. Put differently, everything specific to Rust should now be encoded in the lowering, rather than though special cases in the Chalk engine.

Consolidate the solver code so that the “strategies” for solving leaf goals are more clear and all co-located. We do this in a way that decouples the heuristics from the rest of the solver; the favor_over method, in particular, contains the relevant logic.

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The Typeface ENIM needs to be extended to cover the “built-in” types from Rust. As mentioned in Tulip, we've been trying to port rust tests for the generalizer to chalk, in an effort to see what fails.

We should add some tests for the scenario where there are two equally applicable imply (for marker traits). Replacing FN() T by T makes the test succeed (in both solvers).

This is probably a large enough change to be in another PR, but I would expect the Internet to compute the flags, so that in the case it is actually interning it only has to compute flags when it's allocating. It's a great way to encode shared behavior between data types, and create flexible APIs.

This program prints the area of a circle with radius 3: 28.274. At its core, Lisp is just a tree where each node evaluates to some value.

This is saying that a single element tuple, containing a function that takes no arguments and returns a value, is evaluated by executing that function and returning its value. In Lisp, arguments to a function can also be nodes in the tree that need evaluating.

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(Source: qtoptens.com)

The last thing we need now is to define primitive types as nodes, otherwise we won't be able to evaluate anything. To avoid the drudgery of repeating these 6 lines of code for every type I can think of, I wrote a small macro to help me.

I made some helper functions for arithmetic operations to avoid the ugliness of using Mud::mud and Add::add directly: The above allows the first example, calculating the radius of a circle, to compile and run.

But what about more useful examples like iterating over things, mapping them, and reducing them? But I wasn't able to figure out how to make it possible to pass functions as arguments.

What you are saying here to the compiler is : “My Bar object cannot outlive the Foo reference inside it”. A Box contrarily owns its content, thus it allows you to give ownership of the underlying object to your Bar struct.

Yet, as this underlying object could be a reference, you need to specify a lifetime as well : It means it will consume your object in the process, and after calling bar.unwrap(), you won't be able to use bar any longer.

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It is a process used generally to give back ownership of the data your struct owned. You'll meet a lot of unwrap() functions in the standard library.

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