Text Processing in Rust

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Create handy command-line utilities in Rust.

This article is about text processing in Rust, but it also contains a quick introduction to pattern matching, which can be very handy when working with text.

Strings are a huge subject in Rust, which can be easily realized by the fact that Rust has two data types for representing strings as well as support for macros for formatting strings. However, all of this also proves how powerful Rust is in string and text processing.

Apart from covering some theoretical topics, this article shows how to develop some handy yet easy-to-implement command-line utilities that let you work with plain-text files. If you have the time, it’d be great to experiment with the Rust code presented here, and maybe develop your own utilities.

Rust and Text

Rust supports two data types for working with strings: String and str. The String type is for working with mutable strings that belong to you, and it has length and a capacity property. On the other hand, the str type is for working with immutable strings that you want to pass around. You most likely will see an str variable be used as &str. Put simply, an str variable is accessed as a reference to some UTF-8 data. An str variable is usually called a “string slice” or, even simpler, a “slice”. Due to its nature, you can’t add and remove any data from an existing str variable.

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