Basics

We already know a lot of the basics of Rust now, so we can do a lot of the simple stuff again.

For the constructor, we can again just copy-paste:

impl<T> List<T> {
    pub fn new() -> Self {
        List { head: None }
    }
}

push and pop don't really make sense anymore. Instead we can provide append and tail, which provide approximately the same thing.

Let's start with appending. It takes a list and an element, and returns a List. Like the mutable list case, we want to make a new node, that has the old list as its next value. The only novel thing is how to get that next value, because we're not allowed to mutate anything.

The answer to our prayers is the Clone trait. Clone is implemented by almost every type, and provides a generic way to get "another one like this one" that is logically disjoint given only a shared reference. It's like a copy constructor in C++, but it's never implicitly invoked.

Rc in particular uses Clone as the way to increment the reference count. So rather than moving a Box to be in the sublist, we just clone the head of the old list. We don't even need to match on the head, because Option exposes a Clone implementation that does exactly the thing we want.

Alright, let's give it a shot:

pub fn append(&self, elem: T) -> List<T> {
    List { head: Some(Rc::new(Node {
        elem: elem,
        next: self.head.clone(),
    }))}
}
> cargo build

warning: field is never used: `elem`
  --> src/third.rs:10:5
   |
10 |     elem: T,
   |     ^^^^^^^
   |
   = note: #[warn(dead_code)] on by default

warning: field is never used: `next`
  --> src/third.rs:11:5
   |
11 |     next: Link<T>,
   |     ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Wow, Rust is really hard-nosed about actually using fields. It can tell no consumer can ever actually observe the use of these fields! Still, we seem good so far.

tail is the logical inverse of this operation. It takes a list and returns the whole list with the first element removed. All that is is cloning the second element in the list (if it exists). Let's try this:

pub fn tail(&self) -> List<T> {
    List { head: self.head.as_ref().map(|node| node.next.clone()) }
}
cargo build

error[E0308]: mismatched types
  --> src/third.rs:27:22
   |
27 |         List { head: self.head.as_ref().map(|node| node.next.clone()) }
   |                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ expected struct `std::rc::Rc`, found enum `std::option::Option`
   |
   = note: expected type `std::option::Option<std::rc::Rc<_>>`
              found type `std::option::Option<std::option::Option<std::rc::Rc<_>>>`

Hrm, we messed up. map expects us to return a Y, but here we're returning an Option<Y>. Thankfully, this is another common Option pattern, and we can just use and_then to let us return an Option.

pub fn tail(&self) -> List<T> {
    List { head: self.head.as_ref().and_then(|node| node.next.clone()) }
}
> cargo build

Great.

Now that we have tail, we should probably provide head, which returns a reference to the first element. That's just peek from the mutable list:

pub fn head(&self) -> Option<&T> {
    self.head.as_ref().map(|node| &node.elem )
}
> cargo build

Nice.

That's enough functionality that we can test it:

#[cfg(test)]
mod test {
    use super::List;

    #[test]
    fn basics() {
        let list = List::new();
        assert_eq!(list.head(), None);

        let list = list.append(1).append(2).append(3);
        assert_eq!(list.head(), Some(&3));

        let list = list.tail();
        assert_eq!(list.head(), Some(&2));

        let list = list.tail();
        assert_eq!(list.head(), Some(&1));

        let list = list.tail();
        assert_eq!(list.head(), None);

        // Make sure empty tail works
        let list = list.tail();
        assert_eq!(list.head(), None);

    }
}
> cargo test

     Running target/debug/lists-5c71138492ad4b4a

running 5 tests
test first::test::basics ... ok
test second::test::into_iter ... ok
test second::test::basics ... ok
test second::test::iter ... ok
test third::test::basics ... ok

test result: ok. 5 passed; 0 failed; 0 ignored; 0 measured

Perfect!

Iter is also identical to how it was for our mutable list:

pub struct Iter<'a, T> {
    next: Option<&'a Node<T>>,
}

impl<T> List<T> {
    pub fn iter(&self) -> Iter<'_, T> {
        Iter { next: self.head.as_ref().map(|node| &**node) }
    }
}

impl<'a, T> Iterator for Iter<'a, T> {
    type Item = &'a T;

    fn next(&mut self) -> Option<Self::Item> {
        self.next.map(|node| {
            self.next = node.next.as_ref().map(|node| &**node);
            &node.elem
        })
    }
}
#[test]
fn iter() {
    let list = List::new().append(1).append(2).append(3);

    let mut iter = list.iter();
    assert_eq!(iter.next(), Some(&3));
    assert_eq!(iter.next(), Some(&2));
    assert_eq!(iter.next(), Some(&1));
}
cargo test

     Running target/debug/lists-5c71138492ad4b4a

running 7 tests
test first::test::basics ... ok
test second::test::basics ... ok
test second::test::iter ... ok
test second::test::into_iter ... ok
test second::test::peek ... ok
test third::test::basics ... ok
test third::test::iter ... ok

test result: ok. 6 passed; 0 failed; 0 ignored; 0 measured

Who ever said dynamic typing was easier?

(chumps did)

Note that we can't implement IntoIter or IterMut for this type. We only have shared access to elements.