Nevermind, rust is fine for experimenting

So I decided on Rust over Common Lisp for Advent of Code. I read up on inline testing and decided it would be fun to see what I could do. Testing instead of repl has the amazing side-effect of leaving tests behind as artifacts. What’s not to like?

First off, the tooling is fantastic. VsCode with rust-analyzer is great. It took me basically no time to get up and running. I had to read up on workspaces, but it’s been pretty straightforward once I got that sorted. As it turns out, the repl is a lot less necessary when you write your tests in your source files. Maybe it sucks on larger projects, but I am finding it to be pleasant. My concerns about being unable to experiment have been unfounded.

The language itself is a lot easier to figure out than I had been lead to believe. This is wrong. The second I started not using unwrap and started trying to properly handle errors, it got harder The docs are great too. I am sure I am doing everything wrong, but so far, it’s been a lot of fun. This is also less true after trying to handle errors correctly. I have no time to solve actual problems because all my time is spent battling the borrow checker. I do find myself going with a more imperative style. Functional programming with maps and filters is fine, but the folds I was doing got pretty gnarly looking. If the imperative style is safe, it seems like I can go with whatever is the easiest to read. I suspect it all compiles down to the same thing either way.

Anyway, I am falling behind because I keep refactoring as I discover new things and an not smart enough to use this language. I keep experimenting when something catches my attention. You can check it out here if you want to see how far I have gotten. When AOC is over, I’m going to build something real in it.


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Jason Legler is a software developer living in Denver, CO with his wife, daughter, and lots of creatures. He enjoys building things on AWS. He likes learning programming languages, even though he rarely gets to use them. He misses Joe Armstrong. He builds amazing things for Stedi.