Traits For Sharing

Deref, DerefMut

  • Used to transfer a * dereference of a type to some type in the inner structure

  • Canonical cases are Box and similar containers

AsRef, AsMut

  • Annoying Rust shorthand: "refmut" is usually just spelled "mut"

  • Traits for borrowing a reference to your type from a variety of values

  • Usually used for generic parameters. Book says

      fn open<P: AsRef<Path>>(path: P) -> ... {
         let path: &Path = path.as_ref()

Borrow, BorrowMut

  • Identical to AsRef, AsMut ?!?

  • By convention, implement for a type only when references are semi-interchangeable with values

  • Mostly for collection type convenience

  • This is where the types start to get truly ugly: see the book example

From, Into

  • Type conversion traits

  • Not really needed, but convenient convention

  • Into is just From with the types reversed

  • Normally just implement From to get a default implementation of Into

  • from() and into() consume their arguments

  • from() and into() can only fail by panic()

TryFrom, TryInto

  • Recent Rust addition

  • Like From and Into but return a Result instead of panicking

  • Makes it possible to safely convert types when some of the values may not safely convert


  • Trait for "cloning" a thing that implements the Borrow trait

  • One standard way to create a String from an &str:

  • Also works for slice to Vec


  • "Copy On Write": keeps a reference until owned

  • Glory in the beauty of this: book says

      enum Cow<'a, B: ?Sized + 'a>
           where B: ToOwned
          Borrowed(&'a B),
          Owned(<B as ToOwned>::Owned),


  • There's a lot of stuff here

  • Read this chapter carefully, then…

  • Return to it as you advance in Rust. The details are best appreciated in the context of a problem you are trying to solve

  • The result of this mess is a pretty expressive language: much is "hidden under the hood"

Last modified: Monday, 26 April 2021, 11:45 PM