Ruby on Rails to Rust

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How to convert from Ruby on Rails to Rust

Introduction

Converting a Ruby on Rails application to Rust is no small feat, but the benefits of leveraging the performance and safety features of Rust make it a worthwhile endeavor. This guide provides a step-by-step process to transform your Ruby on Rails web application into a Rust-based application, with a focus on maintaining and enhancing functionality.

Setting Up the Development Environment

To get started, you'll need a proper development environment for Rust. Ensure you have Rust installed by following the instructions on the official Rust website. You might also find the Rust package manager Cargo useful.

$ curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh

Translating Your MVC Structure

Ruby on Rails (RoR) and Rust have differing concepts around the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture. Here's a breakdown of how you can convert each component:

Models

Models in RoR are typically ActiveRecord classes. In Rust, you'll use the Diesel library for ORM functionality.

Example:

Ruby on Rails:

class User < ApplicationRecord
  validates :email, presence: true
end

Rust with Diesel:

#[derive(Queryable)]
struct User {
    id: i32,
    email: String,
}

use diesel::prelude::*;

fn find_user(conn: &PgConnection, email: &str) -> Result<User, diesel::result::Error> {
    use crate::schema::users::dsl::*;
    users.filter(email.eq(email))
        .first::<User>(conn)
}

Controllers

Controllers in RoR manage the application flow. In Rust, the Actix-web framework can be used to handle HTTP requests.

Example:

Ruby on Rails:

class UsersController < ApplicationController
  def show
    @user = User.find(params[:id])
  end
end

Rust with Actix-web:

use actix_web::{web, App, HttpServer, Responder, HttpResponse};

async fn get_user(user_id: web::Path<i32>) -> impl Responder {
    // Logic to find user by ID
    HttpResponse::Ok().body(format!("User ID: {}", user_id))
}

#[actix_web::main]
async fn main() -> std::io::Result<()> {
    HttpServer::new(|| {
        App::new()
            .route("/users/{id}", web::get().to(get_user))
    })
    .bind("127.0.0.1:8080")?
    .run()
    .await
}

Views

RoR uses ERB templates for views. Rust doesn't have a default templating engine, but Tera or Askama are great choices for Actix-web.

Example:

Ruby on Rails (ERB):

<h1><%= @user.email %></h1>

Rust with Tera:

<h1>{{ user.email }}</h1>

Converting Routes

Routes in Rails are defined in the config/routes.rb file. In Actix-web, routes are defined in the application setup.

Example:

Ruby on Rails:

Rails.application.routes.draw do
  resources :users, only: [:show]
end

Rust with Actix-web:

App::new()
    .route("/users/{id}", web::get().to(get_user));

Database Migrations

Rails uses Active Record migrations to handle schema changes. Diesel provides a similar system for Rust.

Example:

Ruby on Rails (Migration):

class CreateUsers < ActiveRecord::Migration[6.1]
  def change
    create_table :users do |t|
      t.string :email

      t.timestamps
    end
  end
end

Rust with Diesel:

table! {
    users (id) {
        id -> Integer,
        email -> Varchar,
    }
}

Conclusion

Transitioning from Ruby on Rails to Rust requires adapting to a new language ecosystem and paradigms, but the benefits in performance and safety can be substantial. This guide aims to provide you with the foundational knowledge and examples to start your free Ruby on Rails to Rust code conversion.

Whether you are motivated by performance gains, system safety, or the modern ecosystem Rust offers, taking the time to understand and implement these conversions will be a valuable investment in the scalability and robustness of your applications.

Good luck with your conversion, and remember, a strong understanding of the Rust ecosystem will significantly ease the process.

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