When I'm trying to convince my friends in the low-level, high-performance software community to learn Rust, I frequently find people bouncing off the high-level nature of the tutorials. I think part of the problem is that Rust introductions tend to present
unsafe like an afterthought, or an embarrassment. This is probably the right move for teaching someone coming from Java or Python, for example, but for C programmers,
unsafe is what they're used to. C programmers have been watching languages present themselves as "C replacements" for decades, but each one falls short, so they're rightfully skeptical.
I thought I'd try something different.
Learn Rust the Dangerous Way takes an
unsafe-first approach to the language, by converting a heavily optimized, pointer-casting, SSE-using C program into equivalent Rust, and then incrementally introducing Rust's powers on top of that.
The program gets faster as it gets safer, mostly by giving the compiler more elbow room. This may not surprise y'all, but I think it's surprising to a lot of C programmers, who associate "safe" with the performance hit you sometimes take when moving to languages like Java.
- Part 6 will cover using auto-vectorization to get a faster program with less work / no
- I intend for part 7 to cover
packed_simd, though I'm currently fighting with it a bit.