rust::Slice<const T>, rust::Slice<T>

  • Rust &[T] is written rust::Slice<const T> in C++
  • Rust &mut [T] is written rust::Slice<T> in C++

Public API:

// rust/cxx.h

#include <iterator>
#include <type_traits>

namespace rust {

template <typename T>
class Slice final {
  using value_type = T;

  Slice() noexcept;
  Slice(const Slice<T> &) noexcept;
  Slice(T *, size_t count) noexcept;

  Slice &operator=(Slice<T> &&) noexcept;
  Slice &operator=(const Slice<T> &) noexcept
    requires std::is_const_v<T>;

  T *data() const noexcept;
  size_t size() const noexcept;
  size_t length() const noexcept;
  bool empty() const noexcept;

  T &operator[](size_t n) const noexcept;
  T &at(size_t n) const;
  T &front() const noexcept;
  T &back() const noexcept;

  class iterator;
  iterator begin() const noexcept;
  iterator end() const noexcept;

  void swap(Slice &) noexcept;

template <typename T>
class Slice<T>::iterator final {
  using iterator_category = std::random_access_iterator_tag;
  using value_type = T;
  using pointer = T *;
  using reference = T &;

  T &operator*() const noexcept;
  T *operator->() const noexcept;
  T &operator[](ptrdiff_t) const noexcept;

  iterator &operator++() noexcept;
  iterator operator++(int) noexcept;
  iterator &operator--() noexcept;
  iterator operator--(int) noexcept;

  iterator &operator+=(ptrdiff_t) noexcept;
  iterator &operator-=(ptrdiff_t) noexcept;
  iterator operator+(ptrdiff_t) const noexcept;
  iterator operator-(ptrdiff_t) const noexcept;
  ptrdiff_t operator-(const iterator &) const noexcept;

  bool operator==(const iterator &) const noexcept;
  bool operator!=(const iterator &) const noexcept;
  bool operator<(const iterator &) const noexcept;
  bool operator>(const iterator &) const noexcept;
  bool operator<=(const iterator &) const noexcept;
  bool operator>=(const iterator &) const noexcept;

} // namespace rust


T must not be an opaque Rust type or opaque C++ type. Support for opaque Rust types in slices is coming.

Allowed as function argument or return value. Not supported in shared structs.

Only rust::Slice<const T> is copy-assignable, not rust::Slice<T>. (Both are move-assignable.) You'll need to write std::move occasionally as a reminder that accidentally exposing overlapping &mut [T] to Rust is UB.


This example is a C++ program that constructs a slice containing JSON data (by reading from stdin, but it could be from anywhere), then calls into Rust to pretty-print that JSON data into a std::string via the serde_json and serde_transcode crates.

// src/

#![no_main] // main defined in C++ by

use cxx::CxxString;
use std::io::{self, Write};
use std::pin::Pin;

mod ffi {
    extern "Rust" {
        fn prettify_json(input: &[u8], output: Pin<&mut CxxString>) -> Result<()>;

struct WriteToCxxString<'a>(Pin<&'a mut CxxString>);

impl<'a> Write for WriteToCxxString<'a> {
    fn write(&mut self, buf: &[u8]) -> io::Result<usize> {
    fn flush(&mut self) -> io::Result<()> {

fn prettify_json(input: &[u8], output: Pin<&mut CxxString>) -> serde_json::Result<()> {
    let writer = WriteToCxxString(output);
    let mut deserializer = serde_json::Deserializer::from_slice(input);
    let mut serializer = serde_json::Serializer::pretty(writer);
    serde_transcode::transcode(&mut deserializer, &mut serializer)
// src/

#include "example/src/"
#include <iostream>
#include <iterator>
#include <string>
#include <vector>

int main() {
  // Read json from stdin.
  std::istreambuf_iterator<char> begin{std::cin}, end;
  std::vector<unsigned char> input{begin, end};
  rust::Slice<const uint8_t> slice{, input.size()};

  // Prettify using serde_json and serde_transcode.
  std::string output;
  prettify_json(slice, output);

  // Write to stdout.
  std::cout << output << std::endl;

Testing the example:

$  echo '{"fearless":"concurrency"}' | cargo run
    Finished dev [unoptimized + debuginfo] target(s) in 0.02s
     Running `target/debug/example`
  "fearless": "concurrency"