The Detroit Post
Friday, 15 October, 2021

Is Rust Used For

Carole Stephens
• Wednesday, 06 January, 2021
• 18 min read

The short answer is that Rust solves pain points present in many other languages, providing a solid step forward with a limited number of downsides. I’ll show a sample of what Rust offers to users of other programming languages and what the current ecosystem looks like.

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Statically-typed languages allow for compiler-checked constraints on the data and its behavior, alleviating cognitive overhead and misunderstandings. Like Haskell and some other modern programming languages, Rust encodes this possibility using an optional type, and the compiler requires you to handle the None case.

Some statically-typed languages place a large burden on the programmer, requiring them to repeat the type of variable multiple times, which hinders readability and refactoring. While convenient during initial development, this reduces the ability of the compiler to provide useful error information when types no longer match.

Rust gives you the choice of storing data on the stack or on the heap and determines at compile time when memory is no longer needed and can be cleaned up. Savings like this quickly add up when cloud providers charge premium prices for increased memory or additional nodes.

Without the need to have a garbage collector continuously running, Rust projects are well-suited to be used as libraries by other programming languages via foreign-function interfaces. This allows existing projects to replace performance-critical pieces with speedy Rust code without the memory safety risks inherent with other systems programming languages.

With direct access to hardware and memory, Rust is an ideal language for embedded and bare-metal development. Rust ’s core types and functions as well as reusable library code shine in these especially challenging environments.

rust collection

Unlike many existing systems programming languages, Rust doesn’t require that you spend all of your time mired in nitty-gritty details. In this example, we show how iterators, a primary Rust abstraction, can be used to succinctly create a vector containing the first ten square numbers.

Using unsafe code should be a calculated decision, as using it correctly requires as much thought and care as any other language where you are responsible for avoiding undefined behavior. While some modern development doesn’t require that amount of longevity, many businesses want to know that their fundamental code base will be usable for the foreseeable future.

The Rust experience is larger than a language specification and a compiler; many aspects of creating and maintaining production-quality software are treated as first-class citizens. Rust installations come with Cargo, a command line tool to manage dependencies, run tests, generate documentation, and more.

Extra compiler lints are available from Clippy and automatic idiomatic formatting is provided by custom. There are several official and unofficial avenues for people to get help, such as the chat, the user’s forum, the Rust Subreddit, and, of course, Stack Overflow questions and answers and chatroom.

Helpfully, the error message incorporates our code and tries its hardest to explain the problem, pointing out exact locations. During early development, these edge cases can often be addressed by causing the program to crash, and then rigorous error handling can be added at a later point.

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This is a different workflow than in languages such as Ruby, where developers often try out code in a Real and then move that to a prototype without considering error cases at all. While Rust has a strong commitment to stability and backwards compatibility, that doesn’t imply the language is finalized.

As an example, Rust has had asynchronous futures for over three years, but stable asynchronous / await support in the language itself is only a few months old. The Rust compiler is built on top of LLVM, which means that the number of target platforms will be smaller than C or C++.

Code-for-a-living August 24, 2021 To offer a seamless developer experience, we wanted to create a specialized programming language, called Motor, that is designed to directly support the programming model of the Internet Computer, making it easier to efficiently build applications and take advantage of some of the more unusual features of this platform. The 2019 Stack Overflow survey has confirmed that Rust is the most loved programming language (preferred by a whopping 83.5% of programmers) for over four years now.

This indicates that Rust programming remains a largely unexplored territory full of unused potential. Given its popularity, more and more users are flocking to Rust, meaning it will soon reach that top five status and establish itself as a staple for programmers everywhere.

While C is a powerful object-oriented language with unlimited capabilities, it is quite difficult for programmers to manage memory manually in C. Rust allows you to write fast code with an insanely low memory footprint, giving you an immensely powerful programming tool. Rust was launched by Mozilla in 2012, but the idea originated in the mind of a passionate language engineer, Gray don Hear.


Hear began working on the language in 2006 and, soon enough, Rust ’s potential caught the attention of folks at Mozilla. They joined with Hear to set up a dedicated development team to experiment with the language and build it in the best possible way.

You have full freedom to replace pieces of code without taking memory safety risks. Constrained resources are the norm, with embedded systems normally found on machines and home appliances.

This is the reason that the embedded systems need a modern programming language like Rust, which has a very low overhead. It allows programmers to identify bugs early, preventing any future mishaps with the device.

If you are accustomed to developing web applications in high-level languages like Java or Python, then you will love working with Rust. Rust also does not require you to repeat the type of variable multiple times, encouraging long-term maintainability.

In a nutshell, Rust allows nesting and closures, which in turn improve the maintainability of the code. Unlike many other languages, Rust does not have runtime checking and the compiler nips the wrong code right in the bud.

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Clippy, a tool that helps in maintaining an idiomatic code style, takes care of the rest. Software production quality requires many more aspects, and the Rust ecosystem considers all of them to be very significant.

First, Cargo is a command-line tool used by Rust programmers that helps in managing dependencies, running tests, and generating documentation. Property-based testing, benchmarking, and fuzzing are easily accessible to budding Rust developers as well.

Rust can prove to be a great choice when you are developing an application where performance is crucial. Go for Rust when your solution needs to process humongous amounts of data in a short time.

Use Rust to rewrite sensitive parts of applications where the speed of the program is of the essence. Rust is the top language for programmers writing code for IoT applications.

The maker movement is in full vogue with the advent of devices like Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Because of this, Rust proves to be an excellent language to write code for microcontroller hardware like Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or Vessel.

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Rust will also enable your application to scale better on a high number of cores, which is critical in HPC. The major benefit of using Rust programming is its efficient memory management abilities.

Typing disciplineAffine, inferred, nominal, static, strong Implementation language Rust Platform ARM, IA-32, x86-64, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, RISC-V OS Linux, macOS, Windows, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Redox, Android, iOS License MIT or Apache 2.0 Filename extensions .rs, .rib (metadata file)Website WWW. Rust Influenced by Alex, C#, C++, Cyclone, Erlang, Haskell, Limbo, New squeak, Ocaml, Ruby, Scheme, Standard ML, Swift Influenced Crystal, Elm, Idris, Spark, Swift, Project Verona, Big Rust was originally designed by Gray don Hear at Mozilla Research, with contributions from Dave Herman, Brendan Each, and others.

The designers refined the language while writing the Servo layout or browser engine, and the Rust compiler. It has gained increasing use in industry, and Microsoft has been experimenting with the language for secure and safety-critical software components.

Rust has been voted the “most loved programming language” in the Stack Overflow Developer Survey every year since 2016. Some Rust users refer to themselves as Crustaceans (a pun on crustacean “) and use Ferris as their unofficial mascot.

The first numbered pre-alpha release of the Rust compiler occurred in January 2012. Following 1.0, stable point releases are delivered every six weeks, while features are developed in nightly Rust and then tested with beta releases that last six weeks.


Along with conventional static typing, before version 0.4, Rust also supported type states. The type state system modeled assertions before and after program statements, through use of a special check statement.

Discrepancies could be discovered at compile time, rather than when a program was running, as might be the case with assertions in C or C++ code. The type state concept was not unique to Rust, as it was first introduced in the language NIL.

Type states were removed because in practice they were little used, though the same function can still be achieved with a branding pattern. The style of the object system changed considerably within versions 0.2, 0.3 and 0.4 of Rust.

Version 0.2 introduced classes for the first time, with version 0.3 adding several features, including instructors and polymorphism through the use of interfaces. In Rust 0.4, traits were added as a means to provide inheritance; interfaces were unified with traits and removed as a separate feature.

Classes were also removed, replaced by a combination of implementations and structured types. It reimplemented those pointer types in the standard library as Box and (the now removed) GC.


In January 2014, before the first stable release, Rust 1.0, the editor-in-chief of Dr Cobb's, Andrew Bin stock, commented on Rust's chances to become a competitor to C++ and to the other upcoming languages D, Go, and Him (then Nimrod). According to Bin stock, while Rust was “widely viewed as a remarkably elegant language”, adoption slowed because it repeatedly changed between versions.

Rust has a foreign function interface (FFI) that can be called from e.g. C language, and can call C, while calling C++ has historically been problematic (from any language). In August 2020, Mozilla laid off 250 employees worldwide as part of a corporate restructure caused by the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event raised concerns about the future of Rust. In the following week, the Rust Core Team acknowledged the severe impact of the layoffs and announced that plans for a Rust foundation were undergoing.

The first goal of the foundation would be taking ownership of all trademarks and domain names, and also take financial responsibility for their costs. In November 2020, Amazon Web Services announced its commitment to the Rust continuity by hiring some people who had a close relationship with the Rust language development.

AWS said to be expanding the use of Rust in the development of its own products. The concrete syntax of Rust is similar to C and C++, with blocks of code delimited by curly brackets, and control flow keywords such as if, else, while, and for, although the specific syntax for defining functions is more similar to Pascal.


Not all C or C++ keywords are implemented, however, and some Rust functions (such as the use of the keyword match for pattern matching) will be less familiar to those versed in these languages. Despite the superficial resemblance to C and C++, the syntax of Rust in a deeper sense is closer to that of the ML family of languages and the Haskell language.

Nearly every part of a function body is an expression, even control flow operators. For example, the ordinary if expression also takes the place of C's ternary conditional, an idiom used by ALGOL-60.

A presentation on Rust by Emily Dunham from Mozilla's Rust team (Linux.cone.Au conference, Hobart, 2017) Rust is designed to be memory safe, and it does not permit null pointers, dangling pointers, or data races in safe code. Data values can be initialized only through a fixed set of forms, all of which require their inputs to be already initialized.

To replicate the function in other languages of pointers being either valid or NULL, such as in linked list or binary tree data structures, the Rust core library provides an option type, which can be used to test whether a pointer has Some value or None. Rust also introduces added syntax to manage lifetimes, and the compiler reasons about these through its borrow checker.

Unsafe code which can subvert some of these restrictions may be written using the language's unsafe keyword. The safety of using such pointers is verified at compile time by the borrow checker, preventing dangling pointers and other forms of undefined behavior.

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Additionally, Rust's type system separates shared, immutable pointers of the form at from unique, mutable pointers of the form smut T. Rust has an ownership system where all values have a unique owner, and the scope of the value is the same as the scope of the owner.

Values can be passed by immutable reference, using at, by mutable reference, using smut T, or by value, using T. At all times, there can either be multiple immutable references or one mutable reference (an implicit readers-writer lock).

The Rust compiler enforces these rules at compile time and also checks that all references are valid. Rust features type inference for variables declared with the keyword let.

Such variables do not require a value to be initially assigned to determine their type. A compile-time error results if any branch of code fails to assign a value to the variable.

Variables assigned multiple times must be marked with the keyword but. Functions can be given generic parameters, which usually require the generic type to implement a certain trait or traits.

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Within such a function, the generic value can only be used through those traits. This means that a generic function can be type-checked as soon as it is defined.

This is in contrast to C++ templates, which are fundamentally duck typed and cannot be checked until instantiated with concrete types. C++ concepts address the same issue and are part of C++20, though they still don't allow the C++ compiler to type check a template without concrete instantiation.

However, the implementation of Rust generics is similar to the typical implementation of C++ templates: a separate copy of the code is generated for each instantiation. This is called monomorphization and contrasts with the type erasure scheme typically used in Java and Haskell.

Type erasure is also available in Rust by using the keyword Dan. The benefit of monomorphization is optimized code for each specific use case; the drawback is increased compile time and size of the resulting binaries.

The object system within Rust is based around implementations, traits and structured types. Implementations fulfill a role similar to that of classes within other languages and are defined with the keyword imply.

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Inheritance and polymorphism are provided by traits; they allow methods to be defined and mixed in to implementations. Structured types are used to define fields.

Among other benefits, this prevents the diamond problem of multiple inheritance, as in C++. Rust was the third-most-loved programming language in the 2015 Stack Overflow annual survey and took first place for 2016–2020.

A web browser and several related components are being written in Rust, including: ^ “Building and Deploying a Rust library on iOS”.

“Note Research: Type System”. ^ “Microsoft opens up Rust -inspired Project Verona programming language on GitHub”.

^ “RC, the Reference Counted Smart Pointer”. “Samsung teams up with Mozilla to build browser engine for multicore machines”.

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^ “Why Rust for safe systems programming”. “Mozilla and the Rust community release Rust 0.1 (a strongly-typed systems programming language with a focus on memory safety and concurrency)”.

^ Storm, Robert E.; Gemini, Shaula (1986). “Type state: A Programming Language Concept for Enhancing Software Reliability” (PDF).

“Mozilla lays off 250 employees while it refocuses on commercial products”. “Mozilla lays off 250 employees due to the pandemic”.

“Much of the team I used to manage was part of the Mozilla layoffs on Tuesday. It's heartbreaking, incomprehensible, and staggering in its impact” (Tweet).

“Interview on Rust, a Systems Programming Language Developed by Mozilla”. ^ “Debian package description: rust”.

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“Mozilla's Rust -based Servo browser engine inches forward”. “Mozilla And Samsung Team Up To Develop Servo, Mozilla's Next-Gen Browser Engine For Multicore Processors”.

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