The Detroit Post
Tuesday, 19 October, 2021

Is It Worth Learning Rust

author
Carole Stephens
• Tuesday, 15 December, 2020
• 8 min read

Rust is a modern programming language focused around memory safety and performance. Rust primarily aims to solve a lot of the issues which C/C++ programmers face frequently.

rust learning medium
(Source: medium.com)

Contents

Working with Cargo is an absolute pleasure compared to some other package managers. Cargo automatically handles compiling and linking binaries for your libraries and program.

There is no configuration required for production or development builds and no need to worry about targeting specific platforms. It will then run all the methods inside the testing module and catch all the assertions made.

This is a far cry from other languages, where most of them have many testing suites available which can be confusing for newer programmers. Firstly, it features great color coding which makes the output very easy to read.

A debug output of the Rust complete compiler is very detailed and provides a lot of context to the source of your error. Not only does the compiler tell you what the error is and where to find it, but it also gives the code directly in the terminal.

Older languages like C/C++ have become quite complex because they’ve had to add modern features while still maintaining support for legacy code. Rust doesn’t suffer from this burden, and thus the language feels very modern.

rust worth
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Rust also features many functional methods such as map(), filter(), find(). Rust ’s closures are also quite easy to work with and mirrors more the callback workflow of JavaScript or Ruby rather than C++.

It’s quite impressive that Rust packs in all of these additional features considering that it is basically as performant as C/C++. It will catch a lot of mistakes which otherwise would make a programmer have to follow a piece of memory throughout its life cycle in a debugger.

It treats syntax differently and it can be quite frustrating having to deal with the compiler continuously nagging you about memory. Whilst there is a decent number of libraries supported in the Rust ecosystem, a lot of them are unstable or abandoned.

Rust has seen tremendous growth over the years, and we are finally starting to see it infiltrate big companies and large-scale projects. This means we would have access to thinks such as the Win API directly in Rust without any helper library.

Rust is a programming language that offers the performance of C and C++ but with safeguards to stop developers shooting themselves in the foot. Born out of a personal project by then Mozilla developer Gray don Hear in 2006, the language, like the Rust fungus it is named after, is starting to spread, and today is used to build software for the web, embedded computers, distributed services, and the command line.

rust
(Source: www.youtube.com)

However, using those languages in production code requires you to manage memory manually and know all the ways you might cause undefined behavior.” Nichols points out that the ever-expanding CVE database of code vulnerabilities is evidence that “even the best programmers” can struggle with this level of freedom.

“The Rust compiler is stricter and makes sure you're using memory safely so that you can concentrate on the problem you're really trying to solve,” she says. “As far as the experience of writing Rust, I'd say it feels like a mix of Ruby, Haskell, and Scala.

It has functional influences such as closures and iterators, and a rich type system similar to Haskell. However, Raj Mukherjee, SVP Product at Indeed, said there were signs employers were starting to take an interest in Rust.

“Demand is outpacing supply here, as search outweighs the total available postings -- but again, this is by a very small margin right now.” Writing software to run on the very under powered embedded systems found in the likes of home appliances and industrial machines poses its own challenge.

Rust's very low overhead makes it well-suited to running on the extremely constrained resources of these weedy microcontrollers, says Nichols. “The lack of a runtime in Rust makes it one of the few modern programming languages appropriate for extremely low resource environments,” she says, adding there are plenty of options for compiling code to run on these devices.

rust memory
(Source: www.youtube.com)

“Web Assembly is a really promising new domain to bring native application performance to the web,” says Nichols. There are a lot of pieces of frameworks and exciting experimentation happening in the ecosystem right now, but there isn't something comparable to, say, Rails, in Rust just yet.

Nichols says the time it takes to compile Rust code to software is still “slower than we'd like it to be”. In the longer term she says there are plans to work on more beginner learning resources and new intermediate-level books and tutorials.

Discover the secrets to IT leadership success with these tips on project management, budgets, and dealing with day-to-day challenges. Since the addition of features such as blueprints and upkeep, my friends and I often compare Rust to a full-time job.

Rust is definitely the best game in this genre, and it has a massive community of loyal fans. The beauty of Rust is that it caters to many audiences, and that unofficial servers can completely change the gameplay.

There’s no grinding or tedious upkeep, just simply enjoying the PVP experience without putting in the work. Rust even caters to people who hate PVP, as they can play Eve servers.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

They didn’t spend time out killing people, but instead, they enjoyed the thrill of being a Rust entrepreneur. You can always play the modded servers like many other people do, but you won’t get the full Rust experience.

When you start vanilla Rust or even a low-upkeep server, there still is the constant threat that you’ll get raided. Countless times I’ve had a friend text me at 2 AM saying “WE’RE BEING RAIDED!” Next thing I know, it’s 4 AM, and we’re still defending against an onslaught of attackers.

I’ve spent many long nights playing Rust, only to wake up and feel dead tired in the morning. Anyone that lacks these qualities will not be successful in Rust, and probably won’t enjoy playing it.

In April 2020, Rust hit it’s all-time peak of 125,415 concurrent players. I periodically return to the game with my friends, and we play it nonstop for a couple of weeks.

The experiences you have with friends can be amazing, but sometimes it gets so intense that you need to take a break for a couple of weeks/months. Some people never take a break from the game, but most players have periods where they're playing like crazy for a while and then have a little vacation from Rust.

stained glass york skyline painted 1930s wpa inside they ephemeral beams steel muralist charlot jean bit ephemeralnewyork re
(Source: ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com)

The community servers are dominated by large clans, and it’s almost impossible to survive without having a couple friends helping you out. These are unofficial servers that prohibit groups of 3 or more and ensure that solo players can have the best experience possible.

I had the privilege to buy Rust when it was still in early access, and I’m pretty sure I got in on sale for $15, but now its regular price is $40. That can be a lot of money for a non-AAA game, and many people debate whether it’s worth that price.

Rust is the type of game where you either spend dozens, if not hundreds, of hours playing it, or you hate it. For some people, they try the game and immediately hate the toxic community, so they never play it again.

You’re always able to try the game and then refund it if you hate it, just as long as you’ve played it for under an hour. Even though they might be similar in concept, non of them can compare to the insane amount of freedom that Rust gives you.

And last year I had to work on C, mostly for two reasons- 1) We had an old C based mealtime server and 2) We had some PHP and MySQL extensions written in C. As I had some very basic experience on C (from university contests mostly), pretty soon I was pulling my hair due to memory leaks.

belt rust rustbelt travelweek america
(Source: www.travelweek.ca)

And that mealtime server had multiple threads working together with a global state. Recently I am experimenting with Rust and it surprised me in a couple of different areas.

Rust successfully identified issues with memory management and why This exists at all. If you never code in languages like C, it would be hard to imagine what memory leaks feels like.

On the other end of the spectrum is high level languages like Python, which gives you pretty safe platform to write code without worrying about memory at all. It gives you option to take control with some simple rules, so that possible leak gets identified in compile time.

Adding a dependency, multiple release flavors are easy to manage with a single tool and in a cross-platform fashion. But for me Rust is kind of in a sweet spot of different programming paradigms.

And it does not force to choose one strictly, it gently recommends what seems good. Even though its fairly new, in terms of programming languages, its being loved and used by lots of talented programmers.

repair wheel arch paint pots dirty
(Source: dirtypaintpots.blogspot.com)

Even though it says it's a System Programming Language, projects like Rocket, Yew shows potentials of targeting other areas with it. To conclude, learnings is not only fun but you can work on your next big thing with the safety of Rust.

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