Getting started with D Language

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Remarks

D is a systems programming language with C-like syntax and static typing. It combines efficiency, control and modeling power with safety and programmer productivity.

Versions

VersionChangelogRelease Date
Dhttp://www.digitalmars.com/d/1.0/changelog.html2007-01-23
D2https://dlang.org/changelog/2.000.html2007-06-17

Hello World

import std.stdio;

// Let's get going!
void main()
{
    writeln("Hello World!");
}
 

To compile and run, save this text as a file called main.d . From the command line run dmd main.d to compile the program. Finally, run ./main to execute the program in a bash shell or you can click on the executable on windows.

Hello, World!

To create the classic "Hello, world" printing program, create a file called hello.d with a text editor containing the following code :

import std.stdio;

void main() {
    writeln("Hello, World!");    //writeln() automatically adds a newline (\n) to the output
}
 

Explanation :

import std.stdio
 

This line tells the compiler that functions defined in the Standard Library module std.stdio will be used. Any module may be imported, as long as the compiler knows where to look for them. Many functions are provided as part of D's massive Standard Library.

void main() {
 

This line declares the function main , returning void . Note that unlike C and C++, D allows main to be of type void . The function main is special as it is the entry point of the program, i.e., this is where the execution of the program begins. A few notes about functions in general :

  • A function's name can be anything that starts with a letter and is composed of letters, digits and underscores.

  • Expected parameters will be a comma-separated list of variable names and their data types.

  • The value that the function is expected to return can be any existing data type, and it must match the type of expression used in the return statement within the function.

The curly braces { … } are used in pairs to indicate where a block of code begins and ends. They can be used in a lot of ways, but in this case they indicate where the function begins and ends.

writeln("Hello, World!");
 

writeln is a function declared in std.stdio that writes its agruments to stdout . In this case, its argument is "Hello, World" , which will be written to the console. Various format characters, similar to the ones used by C's printf may be used, like \n , \r , etc.

Every statement needs to be terminated by a semi-colon.

Comments are used to indicate something to the person reading the code and are treated like a blank by the compiler. In the code above, this is a comment:

//writeln() automatically adds a newline (\n) to the output
 

These are pieces of code that are ignored by the compiler. There are three different ways to comment in D :

  1. // - Comment all text in the same line, after the //
  2. /* comment text */ - These are useful for multiline comments
  3. /+ comment text + - These are also multiline comments

They are very useful to convey what a function / piece of code is doing to a fellow developer.

Compiling and Running the Program

To run this program, the code must fist be compiled into an executable. This can be done with the help of the compiler.

To compile using DMD, the reference D compiler, open a terminal, navigate to the the location of the file hello.d that you created and then run :

dmd hello.d

If no errors are found, the compiler will output an executable named after your source file. This can now be run by typing

./hello

Upon execution, the program will print out Hello, World! , followed by a newline.

Installation or Setup

The D programming language's standard compiler DMD can run on all major platforms. To install DMD see here. To install by command line you may run the command (found on the D website):

curl -fsS https://dlang.org/install.sh | bash -s dmd
 

Package Managers

Arch Linux

pacman -S dlang
 

Chocolatey

choco install dmd
 

Gentoo

layman -f -a dlang
 

OSX Homebrew

brew install dmd
 

Debian/Ubuntu

Installation on Debian/Ubuntu distributions needs that the APT repository be added to the sources list.

wget http://master.dl.sourceforge.net/project/d-apt/files/d-apt.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/d-apt.list
wget -qO - https://dlang.org/d-keyring.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt-get install dmd-bin
 

Other compilers

LDC is a D compiler thats uses the oficial DMD compiler frontend and LLVM as its backend.

GDC is a D compiler that uses the GCC backend to generate code.

IDEs

In order to make life easier you may also want to install an IDE (Integrated Development Environment). The D-Language Wiki has a list of available IDEs and Plugins for all Platforms here.

Read values from a string

import std.format;

void main() {
    string s = "Name Surname 18";
    string name, surname;
    int age;
    formattedRead(s, "%s %s %s", &name, &surname, &age);
    // %s selects a format based on the corresponding argument's type
}
 

Official documentation for the format strings can be found at: https://dlang.org/phobos/std_format.html#std.format

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Thursday, July 27, 2017
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