Old Websites and Rust
18 May 2021

Through a series of articles I ended up on some very old websites dating around 15 years ago. I wish I could remember the path through the maze that lead me there but there I was.

It really was a step back in terms of design of the site but reading a blog like Biensoul was a trip into the past for content as well. I do not know that person, will probably never know or meet them. Reading this long forgotten blog mostly indicates that I should really get out more now that Covid is receding.

I found the trials of her life fascinating and just kept reading entries. There was a certain human honesty about it that acted like a palette cleanser to the more modern stream of thought. Obviously mixed in with nostalgia for a time when online blogs were more akin to actual diaries.

It was not the only blog that I encountered but they all had the same vibe. In a world where social media is full of influencers and pretence it was slightly saddening the beginnings were so different.

It reminds me of Rastport where a guy had a strange and fascinating story of hardship that eventually seemed to be on the up in his last entries.

I suspect unless you have nostalgia for that time it will just look like a dated websites so I will take off my rose tinted glasses now.

I have been working through a pixel art course on Udemy. I have just completed the beginner section and the intermediate part is just a bit too much of a jump at the moment. I need to practice a fair bit before returning to it. So I guess I will have to make a few 2D games!

My journey on blender is still on going but I think I am months away from reaching any level of competency. Art is hard. Simplistic pixel art lets me at least get creating with some small games/demo things.

I promised I would only use 3 programming languages for much of the year. That may be slightly altering to maybe focus on Rust for the next few months.

My biggest hurdle with Rust has been compile times. They have been working pretty hard to speed up the compiler plus I recently found out how to change the linker. Just follow these steps

• In your project root directory make a .cargo directory.
• Create the file config.toml
• Add [build] rustflags = [ "-C", "link-arg=-fuse-ld=lld", ] to the file.

This make rust use the lld linker (you will need to install it). On Linux I already has it installed as it is llvm linker.

The time it took to do a full rebuild dropped by a few percent but when building after altering one file the time dropped by over 50%. That's for Debub builds.

This makes iterations times in Rust fairly quick, Not quite C iteration times but within my tolerence levels.

A second complaint I had with Rust is many of the libraries feel a little over engineered. This is a personal thing and I appreciate most don't hold that view. Probably the old C programmer coming out in me and it is hard to describe in any accurate way. Recently I am seeing the seeds of this not being the case. Bevy and MacroQuad seem to view fast iteration times and simplicity as things to strive for.

I appreciate that when it comes to coding the definition of simplicity is very dependent on who you talk to and often what programming language you use. For my definition of simplicity it is good to see, I was slightly worried Rust might just not be a place for the style of code I like to write.

It is starting to feel like a good time to dive into Rust in a semi-serious way. Zig is still a few years off reaching version 1 and Jai is in closed beta so probably a few years off being ready. Proper contenders to C and C++ are fairly thin on the ground.

My thinking is 3 to 6 months of using Rust for all projects and then decide from there. Has it pulled me in or not is the question to answer. If not I suspect I will fall back to C for smaller projects, well C with lots of GCC extensions.

I will probably take a project based approach to learning Rust. That is actually creating things.

I guess my final note is I now have a reasonable idea of how much time I spend programming in the evening each month. While summer and training for a long run may alter this it has been fairly consistent over the past few months. This offers the possibility of attempting to set goals for each month in a realistic way. Short goals my help with productivity. I am not sure I want to make them public or not but know I probably should.