This project started out as a quick fix for a problem we were facing at Mozilla. I thought others might find it useful so I open sourced it. It’s the first time I’ve ever ran an open source project, and I’ve learned a lot.
To this day, I’m continually surprised to see people using this tool and going through the effort to improve it. To everyone who’s helped out, thank you!
There is one issue I’d like to write about though.
Rust is a great language for doing tasks normally done in C/C++. While it has a minimal runtime and zero-cost abstractions, it also has guaranteed memory safety and high level language features that make programming easier.
Another neat thing about Rust is its ability to have a C FFI. Rust can be used to rewrite parts of an existing C/C++ application without having to rewrite the whole thing.
This means that you can get some of the benefits of Rust, without having to rewrite the whole world (which is often infeasible and tends to introduce new bugs).
After a short break from coding for school, I finally got enough free time to finish a project. One of my favorite puzzle games is game called Wordament. It’s a bit old now, but it still has an active community. The game is like Boggle, you get points for building a word across tiles.
To be honest, I’m not very good at it. So I thought, why not write a program to give me some answers? So I did. I know that there are other solvers out there, but I just thought it’d be fun to hack together.
In my spare time this summer I set out to write a programming language from scratch. I’ve always been interested in learning about how programming languages worked, and sometimes the best way to learn something is to get your hands dirty. So after quite a few nights of work, I created Dash, a very simple procedural language, virtual machine, and bytecode.
I’ve always been interested in how networking protocols work, and how they can be reliable and also efficient. After some reading, I decided the best way to learn about it would be for me to have to write one.
It turned out to be much more difficult than I anticipated, and I only really ‘got’ the idea on my third try.
If you do research on this topic, you’ll find guides that describe all the important ideas, such as ARQ’s and sliding window protocols, and they do a good job at describing the general idea of what they accomplish and how. But all the references I found used very opaque terminology and didn’t go into enough detail to actually implement the protocols.
This was especially true for Sliding Window Protocols. I wrote this to try and provide an end to end guide on how some reliable networking protocols operate. It goes into enough depth to cover most of the implementation details that arise, but code is not actually discussed.
If you are looking for code, the c++ library created along with this article can be found here. Hopefully this will provide some help for anyone else seeking to do this in the future!