Book Image

Learning D

By : Michael Parker
Book Image

Learning D

By: Michael Parker

Overview of this book

D is a modern programming language that is both powerful and efficient. It combines multiple paradigms in a way that opens up a whole new world of software design. It is used to develop both desktop and web applications, with future targets including mobile, and is available on multiple platforms. It is familiar to anyone with some experience in one or more of the C-family languages. However, hidden in the similarities are several differences that can be surprising when trying to apply common idioms from other languages. When learning D on your own, this can make it more time-consuming to master. In order to make the most of the language and become an idiomatic D programmer, it’s necessary to learn how to think in D. This book familiarizes you with D from the ground up, with a heavy focus on helping you to avoid surprises so that you can take your D knowledge to the next level more quickly and painlessly. Your journey begins with a taste of the language and the basics of compiling D programs with DMD, the reference D compiler developed by Digital Mars, and DUB, a community-developed build utility and package manager. You then set out on an exploration of major language features. This begins with the fundamentals of D, including built-in types, conditionals, loops and all of the basic building-blocks of a D program, followed by an examination of D’s object-oriented programming support. You’ll learn how these features differ from languages you may already be familiar with. Next up are D’s compile-time features, such as Compile-Time Function Evaluation and conditional compilation, then generic programming with templates. After that, you’ll learn the more advanced features of ranges and functional pipeline programming. To enhance your D experience, you are next taken on a tour of the D ecosystem and learn how to make D interact with C. Finally, you get a look at D web development using the vibe.d project and the book closes with some handy advice on where to go next.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Learning D
About the Author
About the Reviewers

Chapter 2. Building a Foundation with D Fundamentals

In this chapter and the next, we're going to look at the fundamental building blocks of D programming. There's a lot of information to cover, so our focus in both chapters will primarily be on the syntax, differences from other C-family languages, and how to avoid common beginner mistakes.

If you enter the code snippets into a text editor and try to compile them as you work through this chapter and the rest of the book, please keep the following in mind. Many of the snippets make use of one or more functions from std.stdio. In order to be successfully compiled, they all require a main function. However, both declarations are often missing from the snippets listed in the book in the interest of saving space. Use the following as a template to implement any such snippets yourself:

import std.stdio;
void main() {
    // Insert snippet here

Here's how this chapter is going to play out:

  • The very basics: Identifiers, scope, modules, comments,...