Interactive Rust Examples in Static Pages

Rust by Example has a little box where readers can interact with some example Rust code, run it using the playground, and see the results in the page. As a sysadmin I’m loath to recommend that anybody trust the playground for anything, but as a nerd and coder I recognize that it’s super cool and people want to use it.

There are 2 ways to stuff a Playground into your website: The easy way, and the “right” way. Here’s how to do it the easy way, and where to look for examples of the hard way.

The Easy Way

There are these cool things called iframes that basically let you put websites in your websites...


All you have to do is stick this one line in your page’s source, and modern browsers will go load and inject the specified page – in this case, the playpen. The exact technique for injecting raw HTML will differ based on your blogging platform. With Tinkerer, the source will look like this:

.. raw:: html

    <iframe src="" style="width:100%; height:400px;"></iframe>

That’ll render with the default contents of the playpen. Note that it’ll someties try to be clever and load the code that the viewer most recently opened in it when loaded with no arguments:

Custom Code in the Playpen

When you load the Playpen, you can specify the ID of a gist whose contents should appear in the text area. Let’s say we’re doing a simple hello world:

// This code is editable and runnable!
fn main() {
    println!("Hello from edunham's blog!");

I uploaded it and noted the unique hash on the URL, df9d98db4c29089e93b8. That’s the magic number that I’ll stick on the end of the playpen link to see the gist, like Here’s the raw HTML for an iframe that loads the playpen with the contents of that gist:

<iframe src="" style="width:100%; height:400px;"></iframe>

It’ll render like this:

The Hard Way

I also tried pulling out the requisite HTML, Javascript, and CSS from the main Rust site. If I come back later and get it working, I’ll update this post with instructions, but till then the iframe technique is substantially easier. If you get it working the way the main site did using a Sphinx-based blogging platform, please let me know!


As usual in my web-related endeavors, I accidentally nerd-sniped Mythmon with this problem, and he spent quite a while helping me troubleshoot it and teaching me about Firefox’s developer tools.