Learning rust: an experience report


Installing the latest version of rust via brew worked correctly first time.

Finding a tutorial

Searched for “getting started with rust”.

Google found the first edition of the tutorial. DuckDuckGo found the tutorial landing page, which suggested I used the second edition but anyone on google would’ve been unaware it existed.

I used the second edition.

Using the tutorial

The tutorial suggested using rustup to install, using curl | sh. I decide it’s probably safe to ignore that advice and use the version from my package manager (rustc 1.21.0).

The first example (hello world) works fine. The second example (guessing game) doesn’t compile. The error linked me to issue #27703.

I manage to figure out that rust issues are tracked on github (the error just has an issue number), and find that issue. It’s clearly related, but tells me nothing I can use to get my code compiling.

A bit of searching turns up a stackoverflow question on the topic; the top answer is outdated, but a comment tells me to check a different answer, which tells me to use extern crate rand; and add dependencies to cargo.toml.

After reading up how to add dependencies to cargo.toml, I update the file and try again. Cargo spends twenty-four minutes ‘updating registry’ (I want one small dependency and have specified the exact version!). My connection is slow, but it’s not that slow. Activity monitor confirms it’s downloading at 20kb/s - everything else is fine). Perhaps it would help if the default registry were installed at the same time as cargo?

Now the guessing game example runs - great! I test out the example and it works. In doing so, I (incidentally) notice that backtraces don’t have line numbers (!). Close enough for now - I’ll have another look next week or something.