Rust Rewrite

Why Rust

Recently I rebuilt this site to use Rust on the server side, because I'm really into Rust now. There are a lot of great things about Rust — safety, expressiveness, versatility, etc. — that others can explain better than me, but I started learning it in 2020, because I initially wanted to use WebAssembly, so Rust was a natural choice. I ended up not doing too much with Web Assembly, but by 2021 I was having a lot of fun with Rust. I loved programming in it.


To build this current iteration of the site, I compared as many web frameworks as I could find, and ultimately chose Actix. Apart from its middleware which is a little beyond my current understanding, Actix's API is discoverable and easy to learn. The best place to look for help has been their examples repo. They also have a Discord.

Cargo dependencies

Some of the more important Cargo dependencies that I'm using, besides Actix:

For Jinja-like templates. The only downside to Askama for me is that changing a template means recompiling the project, but it's a tradeoff. The advantage is that I never wonder whether I'm using something undefined in my templates.
For compiling JavaScript. It's basically a Rust Babel. It does aim to be many other things as well, but I'm just using it to compile some JavaScript. It's great.
Parcel CSS
For compiling CSS. It's basically like Postcss in Rust. It was actually released when I had most of the server written already. Originally I was using a Sass implementation in Rust, but I had forgotten how sometimes Sass syntax conflicts with vanilla CSS, so I welcomed Parcel's arrival. It allows me to do nesting and forget about prefixes. The only downside here is its alpha, so it sometimes breaks. Committing my lock file has been a life saver.

More to come

Any how there is more I could write about this rewrite, and I will certainly be writing more about Rust in the future.