Rust is regularly named one of the most favorite languages among developers. One of the leading Rust developers on Stack Overflow, Jake Goulding (aka Shepmaster), was asked to explain what makes Rust so adorable among the coders who use it. Here’s an excerpt from his answer: “The short answer is that Rust solves pain points present in many other languages, providing a robust step forward with a limited number of drawbacks.”
Rust is one of the several advanced languages that has gained a place in the industry, where specialists can produce code that will benefit businesses. The target audience of the Rust language consists of specialists who need to write programs that process hundreds or millions of events simultaneously. It’s quite difficult to create such systems without eradicating all the errors that inevitably occur in them.
In this article, we will talk about the Rust programming language in detail and will cover why this language is becoming so popular. Also, we will explore 5 particular reasons why programmers love Rust.
What is the Rust language?
The developer survey on Stack Overflow platform has been showing a rising trend in interest in the Rust language for seven years nonstop. And this is not surprising! Rust is a systems language with three core principles in its focus: safety, speed, and concurrency. It provides mechanisms for memory management, trait-based sharing and ownership, generic resource handling, and all forms of error handling.
One more strength of the Rust language is the availability of accessible documentation and a thriving community. As such, you can find very well-reviewed resources to help anyone learn (and love!) Rust!
What else is worth knowing about this language as a basis?
Is Rust similar to C++ and Java?
Answering the question of the similarity of the Rust languages with C++ and Java, it’s worth giving a little explanation. It’s pretty common to consider Rust as a cross between C++ and Java.
On one hand, Rust is strongly typed, fast, and fully statically checked, and provides value types that provide ownership semantics similar to Java’s primitive wrapper types. On the other hand, it’s a real complete package, like a new version of C and C++, because it’s designed to be easy to learn and use. Thanks to the effective combination of static typing, it avoids compile-time errors, which provides greater dynamism and flexibility.
As you understand, there is no simple answer “Yes, languages are similar” or “No, they are not,” it is important to consider the specifics of each language. Speaking of which, you can explore more about Rust peculiarities in the Yalantis’ expert material.
Now, let’s take a look at what points make this language so favored. Follow us analyzing it in detail.
Why is the Rust language becoming so popular?
The main advantages for programmers, for which Rust is so beloved, are memory error resolution and parallel programming. Thus, Rust encourages programmers and allows them to develop secure and highly efficient software. A few important points that make this language exceptional, thus popular:
- Focus on safety, concurrency, and productivity
- Support for asynchronous work that has a positive impact on development speed.
- Not using garbage collectors or a virtual machine, which leads to better runtimes in the solution.
It is also necessary to note the RAII (Resource Acquisition Is Initialization) code idiom when talking about what Rust is used for. The RAII code idiom sounds like: whenever an object goes out of scope, its destructor is called and the resources that belong to it are freed. Thus, you are protected from resource leakage errors and can use memory more effectively.
Tilde, for example, used the Rust language in their Skylight product. This enabled them to decrease memory usage from 5 GB to 50 MB which helped not only to implement additional functionality but also to reduce the number of segmentation faults (segfaults) from Skylight’s customers!
With all of the abovementioned in mind, it’s not surprising that the list of things Rust is used for is so compelling:
- Web services
- IoT solutions
- Game development
- Advanced, cross-platform command-line tools
- High-performance computing (HPC)
- Distributed systems
- Embedded devices
Now let’s dive into why programmers love Rust programming language so much.
Five reasons to love the Rust language
Here’s why developers usually love Rust programming:
- Rust is a modern language. It’s no news to programmers today that much of programming language development is moving toward creating functional languages that help you write software that is easier to analyze. Rust’s functional and logical syntax motivates programmers to structure their code as a sequence of enclosed function calls. This, in turn, makes the language amenable to the low-level, bit-level code that the Internet of Things (IoT) requires.
- Interoperability. This is a “killer” feature of Rust. One of the main principles of Rust is to provide the kind of interoperability that enables systems to be more secure and reliable.
Rust can be integrated into existing C or C++ codebases. Such integration is possible because the memory layout between C/C++ and Rust is rather similar.
- No abstractions in programming. Rust is suitable for programmers working with low-level details and bytes. This means that the language provides system-level programmers with raw data with the expectation that this data will be used later. The language is intended to compete with a large amount of legacy code or assembly language code that resides in the underlying operating system and network stacks. This process allows developers to create the most reliable and fastest stack.
- The best compiler of its kind. The increased attention to detail and the large number of templates that Rust requires are considered by many programmers as a bonus. This way, programmers can insert hints that help the compiler understand the context and find errors. By providing contextual hints about how the compiler should work, Rust encourages programmers to produce even more efficient code.
- High-performance efficiency and low memory consumption are the main advantages of Rust. Rust is a general-purpose programming language inspired by other programming languages, including functional programming languages, and was designed for writing high-load solutions, embedded applications, etc. As such, it is fast and allows for a higher level of abstraction without cost.
A few words as a conclusion
Rust was created by developers, for developers and makes every effort to be a consistent, useful system language. And Rust also offers a development ecosystem that solves the pain points of modern development.
The Rust ecosystem in general, and Rust coding in particular, makes it easy for programmers to handle dependencies and build projects consistently across platforms. The language protects programmers from the most common types of memory errors and makes it easy to unleash the full power of a multi-core processor. Isn’t that worth the pure love of Rust?