Fun with Fixed Points

Today we’re going to have fun with fixed points. A fixed point of a function f is the value x such that f(x) = x. Not everyone function has a fixed point. For example, f(x) = x + 1 has no fixed point. But many functions do. Cosine is one such function. Today we’re going to write code that finds the fixed point of the cosine function. Continue reading “Fun with Fixed Points”

Broken Pipe

I’m writing a simple utility called wires. It’s a clone of the GNU utility strings, but it’s written in Rust so I wanted the name to be more metallic. I had a working build now (though it doesn’t quite have all the flags and features of the original), and I thought everything was fine, but then I piped the output to head -10. And I immediately got this:

thread 'main' panicked at 'Failed to write to supplied stream: 
    Error { repr: Os { code: 32,message: "Broken pipe" } }', src/libcore/
note: Run with `RUST_BACKTRACE=1` for a backtrace.

Hmm, that’s not very friendly. Unix-y command line tools should be able to redirect output to each other without crashing. Continue reading “Broken Pipe”


I like retro games, so I’m trying to write a Zork machine in Rust. That said, I’m brand new to Rust, so I’ve decided to take smaller bites of the language until I’m a little bit more comfortable with how it works. This post is the story of one of these smaller projects.

Enter wires, a (much simplified) tool in Rust similar to the GNU utility Strings. Wires consumes a file, one byte at a time. If it finds a series of bytes at least 3 bytes long, where every byte is a printable ASCII character, it writes the series to stdout. If it can’t find or open the file, it exits 1, and if writing to stdout fails, it panics. Not super complicated, but it’s finished and does just that. Continue reading “Wires”

Counting Fruit in Rust, Part 2

This is the third part of a series on beginning rust. You may wish to read part 1 and part 2 first.

I want to be able to visit all the nodes of a tree in Rust. Last time, I showed the implementation of the tree itself, and code that would generate a random tree. This time, I’m going to show and describe code for walking around a tree and counting which nodes have a flag set. The code we’ll talk about this episode is here: Continue reading “Counting Fruit in Rust, Part 2”

Counting Fruit in Rust

Last time, I mentioned that I was starting up Rust again, and mentioned some helpful videos and thoughts that will help me as I take another swing at learning this language. The complete source for the examples I’ll use today is on GitHub, and you should be able to download it and cargo run without much trouble. If you don’t have Rust and Cargo, you want to install rustup first.

Today, we’re going to generate a random tree, then we’re going to walk the tree recursively and count which nodes have a flag set. Here’s the code for representing the nodes and generating the tree: Continue reading “Counting Fruit in Rust”

Starting Rust (again)

Last time I messed with Rust, I made the classic beginner mistake of trying to learn too many things at once. I was trying to learn Rust, learn Lisp, and write a Lisp interpreter in Rust at the same time.

I started messing with Rust again. First, I want to mention a couple of videos that have really helped me understand Rust a little bit better.

Continue reading “Starting Rust (again)”