I’m making a note to explore this code while it’s still got a naive implementation, so that I can understand it. Thank you for writing it.
Learning Rust has opened up the world of systems programming that has always been opaque to me, and projects like this are part of the reason why.
I started my career as a web application programmer, working mostly on the frontend. Like a salmon swimming upstream to spawn, I have been gradually migrating down the stack towards metal for 10 or 11 years now. But I’d been stuck, for a while.
The problem I’ve always had with reading the code under the hood is that most libraries and languages typically have a FFI to core lib written in arcane C or C++. I don’t use C and C++ on a daily basis, and although I know those languages at an intermediate level, the preprocessor and template shenanigans that are used in production libraries have always evaded me. I can read through C++ application code, but as soon as I try to read Boost source code to demystify the magic, my head starts continually exploding until I have to look away.
Not so with Rust! I frequently and without undue hardship can read the implementation source for major, production-quality subsystems, like tokio, std, rayon, and crossbeam.
When I started learning Rust, I was expecting to get certain benefits. Beyond the headline “memory safety without GC”, there’s the rest of the superb type system, algebraic data types + destructuring, and emphasis on cost-free abstraction. All those promised benefits completely panned out. But these cost-free abstractions synergized to provide an unexpected benefit: production-quality crates are written in the same dialect of the same language that I’m writing. The result was a demystification of the programs that I write. The demystification revealed the beautiful hidden world of systems programming.
Thanks for all of your code, and, by the way, all of your fantastic posts, which have been a supreme education for me on CS fundamentals. Whenever I see a new blog post, RFC, or even github comment from you, I know I’m in for an education. It’s difficult to overstate my gratitude in words.