String vs str

We can now understand the two string types in Rust:

fn main() {
    let s1: &str = "World";
    println!("s1: {s1}");

    let mut s2: String = String::from("Hello ");
    println!("s2: {s2}");
    println!("s2: {s2}");
    let s3: &str = &s2[6..];
    println!("s3: {s3}");

Rust terminology:

  • &str an immutable reference to a string slice.
  • String a mutable string buffer.
  • &str introduces a string slice, which is an immutable reference to UTF-8 encoded string data stored in a block of memory. String literals (”Hello”), are stored in the program’s binary.

  • Rust’s String type is a wrapper around a vector of bytes. As with a Vec<T>, it is owned.

  • As with many other types String::from() creates a string from a string literal; String::new() creates a new empty string, to which string data can be added using the push() and push_str() methods.

  • The format!() macro is a convenient way to generate an owned string from dynamic values. It accepts the same format specification as println!().

  • You can borrow &str slices from String via & and optionally range selection.

  • For C++ programmers: think of &str as const char* from C++, but the one that always points to a valid string in memory. Rust String is a rough equivalent of std::string from C++ (main difference: it can only contain UTF-8 encoded bytes and will never use a small-string optimization).