Rust is a newcomer in the programming world, and many developers hesitate to pick it up. Looking at these languages from a very technical perspective, they share a variety of similarities in their syntax and code-peculiarities.
However, while similar, Rust and C++ have significant differences that are very likely to help you make up your mind about which to learn. However, due to its complex syntax rules and overall challenging use, it is mainly dominant in applications that require high-speed, concurrency, and a closer inspection of the way hardware works.
However, both of their speeds depend on the program developed, the compiler, and the quality of code. When it comes to Rust vs C++, C++ is the programming language that can create operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.
Despite sounding convenient (in a way that all the garbage will be collected automatically), this feature frequently slows down programming languages such as C#. Notably, they aimed to beat C++ by offering safer memory management while keeping their speed advantage.
After all, programming languages only give you the tools to produce fast software: you need to hammer nails yourself. Rust catches errors in code before developers even begin testing their software.
To learn Rust means to become familiar with the frameworks offering functional, secure, and robust code. Rocket is a web framework for Rust developers that value security, speed, and flexibility.
Act ix is a powerful actor framework proclaiming to offer many features, responsiveness, extensibility, type-safety, and other lightweight components. Due to its clever design, the framework does not sacrifice speed, nor does not it adds unnecessary elements to jeopardize high-performance.
Nickel is a Rust framework for producing and managing information flow control systems with clear validation rules and user-friendly interfaces. While backend would be the obvious choice, some enthusiasts have conducted experiments when they attempt to use Rust for frontend.
Azul is an immediate-mode GUI framework for developing desktop applications with Rust. For instance, Rust compilers check every variable and memory address referenced.
As a brief reminder, data races refer to situations when multiple threads of a single process access the same memory allocations, and there is no synchronization. It is standard for system-level languages not to have automatic memory management since features such as garbage collectors can jeopardize performances.
Almost anyone who uses Rust can state that programming in this language is easier due to well-defined semantics and the prevention of unwanted behavior. Furthermore, C++ is a deep ocean when compared to Rust since C++ has so many features and opportunities for implementation that it can become challenging to keep track.
Just as C++, it is a complicated system-level language that helps you figure out the way machines work under the hood. As we have mentioned, the Unreal Engine is the main framework for helping you produce games.
In other cases, you might want your code to be extremely safe, avoid memory leaks and other undefined behavior. Additionally, even skilled C++ developers take months or even years producing bug-free functional software.
Even though the ecosystem of Rust is still pretty young, specialists are seeing its potential and labeling it as the programming language of the future. While developers are mainly creating, for instance, games with C++, Rust has the potential to take over this sphere once it gets settled.
Thus, the final ruling of Rust vs C++ depends on the way you see the future and which features are more appealing to you. My history in programming began when I was six years old, when my uncle pulled me aside one day and asked me, very seriously, if I wanted to learn to do what he did.
Earnestly, I replied yes and immediately, he began setting me up with lessons on the C language. The syntax of Python feels completely foreign when compared to something like C++ and to this day, I still do not know what possessed me to learn it, but that is something I live with.
Rust has a robust set of libraries and frameworks available, but C++ has a lot more to pick from and has more active developers in the community behind it. To save time, we’ll look at three categories: web, game, and UI development.
Crates like Rocket, Act ix, or Nickel allow for the rapid development of web applications on a small and even large scale in the Rust language. Crates like that are the gold standard for the community behind Rust, although there are quite a few other options like Warp and Gotham.
Rust isn’t all that popular in game development, mostly because it’s a newer language with fewer options for frameworks and the like. Godot is a game engine not unlike Unity or Unreal, albeit a lot less polished.
C++ isn’t typically the first option for UI development, given the inherent low-level aspects of the language, and the same applies to Rust. There are, however, quite a few options available for user interfaces for those so inclined to take the extra time for the additional low-level control that these languages provide.
When comparing two programming languages, one of the things that people tend to look at most is the technical details behind them, like performance benchmarks and such-like. For example, to prevent data races, Rust ’s ownership system ensures that no two threads can reference the same data without borrowing or taking ownership of it, which makes it unavailable to any other thread.
It is standard for system-level languages not to have automatic memory management since features such as garbage collectors can jeopardize performances. As previously mentioned, Rust has a system of ownership that enforces a lot of memory safety guarantees.
This ownership system removes the need for manual memory management procedures that you’ll find as a base requirement for C or C++. Recently, C++ has had some Rail (a programming idiom: Resource Acquisition is Initialization) features implemented to remove some need for manual memory management.
These features, however, don’t really cover all the issues with memory safety that C++ has under the hood. Almost anyone who uses Rust can state that programming in this language is easier due to well-defined semantics and the prevention of unwanted behavior.
Expanding on the above, C++ is a deep ocean when compared to Rust since C++ has so many features and opportunities for implementation that it can become challenging to keep track. Just as C++, it is a complicated system-level language that helps you figure out the way machines work under the hood.
In C++ or Rust, it is often preferred to utilize code duplication over virtual method calls because of their hard-hitting performance costs. However, zero-cost abstraction features, provided by each of the languages, sort of nullify this issue, mostly.
They provide the developer with the features they’ve come to expect over the years, and they are extremely useful in most endeavors. To achieve the same kind of safety Rust has, we have to do so explicitly and set down standards and force patterns that increase the development effort.
When Mozilla talks about how much more performance they could get out of Servo’s rendering engine, compared to every other browser on the planet, it’s not because Rust is doing something that is impossible with C++, but because Rust makes it more securely achievable with less explicit programming effort. Please keep in mind that these numbers are arbitrary and are also dependent on a host of different variables.
Whether Rust is better than C++ or vice versa is a difficult one to answer without bias. Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking.
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Taking the effort to achieve the same kind of parallelism and memory security is not that easy, no matter how skilled developers we are, we are going to make safety-destroying mistakes here and there. Obviously, we are not going to solve the problem of logic errors (which is not even possible), but effectively eliminating one class of software flaws is a pretty significant helper.