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


How far things have come! I started D in 1999. The odds of any new programming language endeavor succeeding were minimal.

But here we are with the latest book on D, Learning D by Michael Parker.

The arc of programming languages I've learned follows a consistent pattern – my first Fortran code looked a lot like Basic. My first C code looked similar to Fortran. C++ code looked similar to C, and my early D code looked similar to C++. It takes some time to get used to a language before learning its own idiomatic style, and this is what it takes before the source code starts to shine.

After all, if your D code looks similar to C++, what's the point?

Learning D fills the need to get up-to-speed quickly by explaining how to write code in a way that fits in perfectly with D's combination of characteristics. Far from being a dry technical specification, Michael writes about D from a more personal perspective, as you'd expect from someone tutoring you. He lists how to use the features, how they compare with other languages, and offers best practices. He offers background anecdotes and explanations for why some things are the way they are, and how D has evolved, which can be surprisingly helpful in using the language more effectively.

D has been characterized in many ways, but my favorite is that it is designed to be fun to program in. After all, programming being our profession, isn't it better when we enjoy our tools?

I know this book is a labor of love from Michael, as the language itself is a labor of love from myself and the rest of the D community. I hope this joy is successfully imparted to you, the reader and programmer. I'm sure that Michael and I would be well rewarded for our endeavors if this is the case.


Walter Bright

Creator of the D Language and Engineer