Standard Types

There several pervasive types in Rust.

They leverage the powerful type system to accomplish fundamental tasks.


  • Option<T> - Removes the need for a null primitive.

  • Result<T,E> - Removes the need for exceptions.

  • Vec<T> - Growable arrays.

  • HashMap<K,V> - Key value storage.


enum Option<T> {

Options are wrapper types, and need to be unwrapped to be used.


Any function which does not always return a value returns an Option<T>.

fn main() {
    let values = vec![1, 2, 3];
    println!("{:?}", values.get(0)); // Some(1)
    println!("{:?}", values.get(4)); // None

Option<T>: Benefit

The programmer always knows where a None may appear, and is able to decide how the situation should be handled.

This characteristic helps remove mystery from the coding process, and aids in confidence.

Option<T>: Unwrapping

unwrap() will panic the application if the value is None.

This is only recommended in testing and prototyping.

fn main() {
    let nothing: Option<usize> = None;

Option<T>: Safety

match is one of several ways to safety work with `Option`s.

fn main() {
    let maybe_a_value = Some(1);
    match maybe_a_value {
        Some(v) => println!("{}", v),
        None    => println!("None"),

No matter what the value of maybe_a_value, the program will never crash.

Option<T>: Questions

Does this type completely remove the need for a null primitive?

What are the benefits?


enum Result<T,E> {

Results are wrapper types which either contain the successful value, or the error value.

Result<T,E>: Using

Results can be handled via unwrap() just like Option types, and can be handled in the same ways.

fn main() {
    if let Err(e) = File::open("nein") {
        println!("{:?}", e);

Handling complex error scenarios will be addressed in a later chapter.

Result<T,E>: Questions

Does this type completely remove the need for exceptions?

What are the benefits?


Owned, mutable, growable arrays. Located on the heap.

struct Vec<T> {
    items: T,
    length: usize,
    capacity: usize,

Vec<T>: Creation

Create with Vec::new() or the vec![] macro.

fn main() {
    let explicit_type = Vec::<usize>::new();
    let mut implicit_type = Vec::new();
    let macro_created = vec![1, 2, 3];

Vec<T>: As a Slice

Vec<T> implements Deref<Target=[T]>, so it can be easily used as a slice.

fn main() {
    let items = vec![1, 2, 3];
    let ref_to_items: &[usize] = &items;


HashMaps are key value stores. Keys must implement Hash.

use std::collections::HashMap;

fn main() {
    let mut kv_store = HashMap::new();
    kv_store.insert("key", true);
    println!("{}", kv_store.get("key"));

HashMap<K,V>: entry()

Manipulate a key’s cooresponding entry in place.

use std::collections::HashMap;

fn main() {
    let mut kv_store = HashMap::new();
    let mut value = kv_store.entry("key").or_insert(true);
    *value = false;