Thursday, September 19, 2019

A bit research on String type in Rust


How did the String Type in Rust define?

There are two type of string types in Rust. Once is &str and other one is “String”.

String is heap allocated, grow able and not null termiated type.
&str is a slice(&[u8] ) that always points to a UTF8 valid sequence.
learn more about type usage here String types

But we are trying to focus on “String” type and how do we search Rust source code to see how this type is implemented.

String type - Heap allocation

Heap allocated memory implies that there will be pointer behind the definition of this type.

Let’s see,

We can get the rust source from below link.

click on the src button, as highlighted in the link.

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it will directly take you to the surprising fact that String is simply a vector ( vec ).
String is a Vec<u8>

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We know that Vec is also a heap allocated memory. In order to find how “vec” is defined in the source ,we need to search keyword “Vec” in the source code.

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click on “src”
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Interestingly, you will see the code.

pub struct Vec<T> {
    buf: RawVec<T>,
    len: usize,

I haven’t heard about RawVec earlier, but this is coming from : crate::raw_vec::RawVec;

raw-vec is implemeted for handling contiguous heap allocations.

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Rawvec is implemented as below using a Unique pointer.

As guessed , we come to know that String type is actually using a pointer.

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But what is unique pointer?
It comes from use core::ptr::Unique;

Unique is wapper around a raw non nullable ‘*mut T’.
interesting …

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NonZero is wrapper type for raw pointers and integers that never becomes zero or null .

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

FFI tricks in Rust programming Language

Welcome file

How to do a trick on your Rust compiler to allow external (Foreign Language - FFI) functions

Rust is cool programming language which you can easily plugin to other languages ( Foreign Languages) .

Some of the FFI (Foreign language Interface) methods to call rust programs from C programming and Python programming languages are explained here.

Rust - Two things you should know for allowing Foreign language to call

You might see lot of libraries using #[no_mangle] procedural macro.
The #[no_mangle] inform the Rust compiler that this is foreign language function and not to do anything weird with the symbols of this function when compiled because this will called from from other languages. This is needed if you plan on doing any FFI. Not doing so means you won’t be able to reference it in other languages.


The extern keyword is used in two places in Rust. One is in conjunction with the crate keyword to make your Rust code aware of other Rust crates in your project, i.e. extern crate lazy static. The other use is in foreign function interfaces (FFI).

read more extern

how to create a shared object ie .so file from your Rust program ?

We can create a library in Rust using command below command

We are required to update the Cargo.toml

name = "callc"
crate-type = ["staticlib", "cdylib"]

cdylib is important crate type to specifiy in the Cargo.toml.
--crate-type=cdylib, #[crate_type = "cdylib"] - A dynamic system library will be produced. This is used when compiling a dynamic library to be loaded from another language. This output type will create *.so files on Linux, *.dylib files on macOS, and *.dll files on Windows.

Read more on this here linkage

Cargo new callc

pub extern fn hello(){
  println!("hello world inside rust ");

as we discussed earlier , since we use #[no_mangle], we can directly go ahead and compile it.
cargo build --release

How to check the generate .so file ?

A file with extension “.so” will generated in you target->release library.
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run the below command to verify the function in the shared object.
$nm -D ‘’ | grep ‘function_name’
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Our external function name is available in the shared object file created.

Create a C program for calling the shared object ( .so file)

create C program to call the hello function in your ‘src’ folder.


#include "hello.h" /*header file to be included

/* the main C program to call the hello function
/* hello function is resides in the .so ( shared object) file

int main(void){

Below header file needs to be created in your ‘src’ folder


/*the header include file should have the function declaration.

void hello();

We should link the .so file while compiling the c program. The below command will link and compile the program.

While compiling the C program, link the .so file the ‘release’ folder.

gcc -o hello hello.c -L. -Isrc /home/naveen/rustprojects/callc/target/release/

Your C program should get compiled and 'hello’e executable should be generated.

How do you call a Rust program from Python.

We are going to use the crate pyo3 for creating python modules.

create the projectfolder using cargo
cargo projectname --lib

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Your Cargo.toml file should be updated as below in library and dependency sections.

name = "string_sum"
crate_type = ["cdylib"]

 version = "0.7.0"
 features = ["extension-module"]

update the with the below code:

use pyo3::prelude::*;
use pyo3::wrap_pyfunction;

///format the 2 numbers as string
fn sum_as_string(x:usize,y:usize) -> PyResult<String>{

fn string_sum(py:Python,m:&PyModule) -> PyResult<()>{

You can build the Rust program using Cargo build --release

This will create .so object in your cargo release folder. You might need to rename the file to

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Now you can start import the module to the python interpreter and starting using the function string_sum

You might need to use python3 or 3+ interpreters for pyo3 to work.
As screenshot shows below , you can import the functions defined in the Rust module and use them in python.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

One of powerful usage of Enum in Rust - Part1

Welcome file

Rust programming - Enum inside Struct

You might have come across this scenario in programming where you want to restrict a field type to restricted custom types.

Especially when you are working with APIs, the some of the field types can be one of the multiple custom types. You don’t want to accept the types other than defined custom types. enum can help you in these scenarios.
,eg event types can be ‘pullevent’, 'pushevent", ‘keypress’,‘mouseevvent’ etc

Example progarm

///enum defined for vechicle type field
enum Oneoftwo{
///struct defined for vehicle.
///Here we are using the defined enum as a type for a field in the struct
struct Vehicle{
///implementation for the vechile to create new instances
impl Vehicle {
    fn new(type1:Oneoftwo,price:i32) -> Vehicle{

///main program to demostrate how to use enum inside a struct
fn main() {
    ///creating instances of the struct object
    let honda = Vehicle::new(Oneoftwo::Car("honda".to_string()),4000);
    let tata = Vehicle::new(Oneoftwo::Bus("Tata".to_string()),10000);


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Learn Python ,RUST and C - blog post 2

Data Types in Python,Rust and C - PART 1

Understanding Data Types in Python,Rust and C progamming languages.

I am not sure whether I can cover all data types comparison in one blog post. So I might be doing it in multiple blog posts.
Standard Data Types:*
  • Numbers.
  • String.
  • List.
  • Tuple.
  • Dictionary.
Numbers Datatypes
**Python programming **
Type format description
int a = 10 signed integer
long 356L Long integers
float a = 12.34 floating point values
complex a = 3.14J (J) Contains integer in the range 0 to 255
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The variable types are dynamically typed in python.So when you assign a value to a variable, python compiler determines the type of the variable.
But once the type is defined , the defined operations can only be performed for that particular type.
but you can change the type of the variable by assigning a different value. So in python it is the developer responsibility to maintain and make sure type of the variable intact through out the program.
For example,
>a = 10;
>a = "naveen" //allowed
>a = a + 1 // not allowed
>a = 11  //allowed
>a = a +1 // now this is allowed
**Rust programming **:
Length signed unsigned
8bit i8 u8
16bit i16 u16
32bit i32 u32
64bit i64 u64
128 bit i128 u128
arch isize usize
signed and unsigned means whether a number can be -ve or +ve.
Each signed variant can store numbers from -(2n -1) to 2n-1
unsigned variants can vary from 0 to 2n-1
eg: u8 means 0 to 28-1 = 128
signed means -28-1 to 28-1
Rust’s floating-point types are f32 and f64, which are 32 bits and 64 bits in size, respectively.
In the below example we assigned a value 129 to varialble ‘b’ which is of ‘i8’ ,so the program won’t get compiled.
fn main(){
   let a:i8 = 127;
   let b:i8= 129;  //this will cause overflow.
   let c:f32=123.32;
   let d:i8 = -127;
   let e:u8 = 127;


when you compile the program,

error: literal out of range for `i8`
3 |   let b:i8= 129;
  |             ^^^
  = note: #[deny(overflowing_literals)] on by default

Strings in python can be denoted by single quotes(’), double quotes("), triple quotes(""").
name1    = 'naveen'
name2    = "davis"
fullname = """naveen davis
It possible to access the characters in a string using their index in python.
nam1[0] prints the character 'n'