Rust is a programming language focusing on performance and safety. It emerged to tackle C/C++ problems, such as memory errors and difficulties with developing concurrent programs. Rust worked so well that leading software companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Discord, and many others nowadays use Rust for operation systems, browser engines, web services, and other system programming tasks.
StackOverflow surveys show that 87% of developers want to continue using Rust, which makes it the most bellowed programming language. Of course, it’s not all roses. Engineers need some time to get its principles. For example, its concept of memory organization is rather original, and dealing with a borrow-checker can be painful. So is Rust really worth implementing and studying?
Arounda has been developing digital products for more than five years. In every new project, we are looking for ways to eliminate security risks, increase speed, and shorten production time. Thus, we usually have several tech stack options in mind. In this article, we sort out the main features of Rust and discuss what is Rust programming language used for.
Rust started as a small side project in Mozilla. The company saw its potential as a C/C++ successor and began sponsoring the new programming language. Rust was revealed to the tech community in 2010 and then evolved as an open-source project. Since 2021 the Rust Foundation has overseen the development of the language.
To answer, ‘What is Rust coding language’, we’ll start with the full definition and explain it step by step.
Rust is a low-level statically-typed multi-paradigm programming language focusing on safety and performance.
Low-level programming languages allow precise manual control over machine code, which is valuable in coding hardware like microcontrollers or FPGAs. For instance, in high-level languages, instructions are compiled to the code automatically — you can’t modify low-level details.
As a statically typed language, Rust operates with specific data types. A programmer must define all variables for Rust to know how to work with that data. Otherwise, it can’t finish the compilation.
Rust incorporates many keywords and commands from both C and C++ languages. So it's easier for programmers familiar with the C programming paradigm. And yet, it has unique methods requiring a new thinking approach.
C has been the main language for writing kernels since 1979. Everybody has gotten used to its predictable performance and straightforward syntax. However, constant problems with memory management still needed to be solved.
On the contrary, Rust language helps developers create stable and secure applications, which makes it popular among enterprises and small companies. So what is Rust programming good for?
Memory safety bugs occur when a program accesses the system memory in a way that doesn't match the allocated size and memory addresses. Errors like
stack or heap exhaustion
page fault all witness memory safety vulnerability.
Unlike C/C++, Rust has already solved these problems.
Programming language developers could not forecast modern cyber-attacks decades ago when C and C++ were designed. As it’s rather challenging to transform the security concept of an existing language, the solution was to create a new one emphasizing modern demands. So if you ask what is Rust used for, the answer will be – for safety.
Although Rust is a relatively new language, its crates.io repository develops fast thanks to the strong community in Rust Foundation. Active business tasks also expand the number of libraries available, and some of the C/C++ sources are also compatible with the new programming favorite.
Rust has broad and useful documentation that covers
As a consequence of adequate memory addressing, Rust shows high performance in processing large amounts of data. This makes the prominent advantage in database programming and any other matter where you deal with big arrays containing sensitive data.
Rust strives to be abstractions-free and concrete. As a result, it requires less detail and makes development easier and more efficient.
When it comes to syntax, Rust is a lot like C and C++ with data types, instructions, and keywords from both languages. But some features differ and make Rust a stand-alone programing language.
An original memory organization is what makes Rust Rust.
Let's look closer at the core principles of data ownership and borrowing that sound like this:
data has one owner
borrowed data is exclusive mutable or shared immutable
These two rules exclude concurrency when two or more threads access the exact memory location, which causes a conflict and an error. Instead, a variable can 'borrow' memory space from other variables. This path to the borrow checker prevents data races at compile-time.
The idea has an exact analogy to daily life. For example, when you want to read a certain paper book, let's say, The Rust Programming Language first edition, and you borrow it from a friend who doesn't need it at the moment. It doesn't become yours, though, but you still use it temporarily. The same thing happens with memory space in Rust.
Unlike the C language, Rust proposes manual memory management. It means that the
programmer decides where and when to allocate the variable. It can be either a stack used for static memory allocation or a heap for dynamic memory allocation.
Because the memory space is allocated precisely, Rust does not use automatic garbage collection. Of course, automatic memory management protects you from forgetting to free the memory of the object, whereas Rust gives you full control and responsibility.
One of the Rust features is the 'move' operation. It’s different from the copy because when you apply 'move,' the original object doesn’t exist at the old location anymore. The compiler tracks the change of ownership and won’t allow using the old variable again.
Zero Cost Abstractions like generics or collections are high-level programming concepts implemented into the language's body. In Rust, they are compiled fast, as if you have written the functionality using lower-level programming pieces like loops, counters, ifs, etc.
This technique helps to compare the characteristics of the tested expression to the predefined Rust patterns and find a match. With the help of Matching Literals, Matching Named Variables, Multiple Patterns, and Matching Ranges of Values, the programmer can learn the valid syntax patterns and develop the code faster.
Compared to GNU Compiler Collection, rustc + LLVM compiler shows higher speed and secures the lightweight of the outcome software.
Rust displays error messages with formatting hints and colors and has misspelling autocorrect that supports clarity in your code debugging.
Leading software developers choose Rust because it brings measurable benefits to the business.
First of all, a software product on Rust is generally stable and robust.
The speed and memory safety of programs written in Rust overbeat competitors who stick to older programming languages.
Reach documentation, and active community reduce costs of employee upskilling
Open-source solutions and growing libraries decrease product development expenses.
Low-level programming allows the economy of hardware
Let's explore what companies use the programing language for.
When you think, “What is Rust best for?” operation systems come to mind in first turn. Many reliable operating systems are already written in Rust. The most well-known examples are Redox, QuiltOS, Rux, and Tock.
The Google security blog sees Rust as a practical language for implementing the kernel. They highlight that Rust helps reduce the number of potential bugs and provides higher security, making it a good choice for creating such a critical component.
Thanks to manual memory allocation and low-level commands, Rust is perfect for programming hardware devices with tiny processors and limited RAM, such as microcontrollers. It has a perspective to become a top language for the Internet of Things (IoT).
An efficient web service in Rust can save essential costs on hardware when it comes to thousands of server machines and millions of users. For example, Mozilla uses Rust in its browser engine, and Dropbox has a Rust code for the synchronization engine.
Rust can also become a good patch for performance-sensitive back-end services. For instance, Tilde used Rust to rewrite some Java HTTP endpoints. As a result, they have reduced memory usage by 100 times.
Meta suggests Rust for CLI tools and puts it as the recommendation for 2022.
Rust has solved the problems of memory safety errors which are the main drawbacks in C and C++. As a result, programmers and companies see Rust as a must-have supplementation to their toolbox.
So, what is Rust programming language for? To sum up, here is a comprehensive list. You can use the language for writing
cross-platform tools and more.
Arounda has a team of multidiscipline specialists with experience in front-end and back-end programming. We have completed more than 130 projects in developing web and mobile applications, DevOps automation, and code inspection.
If you need reliable, tech-savvy pros to look under the hood of your software, we are here for you!
You can use Rust for operation systems, kernels, engines, web services, еmbedded devices, gaming, databases, or anywhere else where systems programming is needed.
Syntax in Rust is very similar to C and C++. It includes data types, instructions, and keywords from both languages. And yet, it has unique memory organization and programming methods that define Rust as a stand-alone programing language.
Both languages include high-level programming instructions but Rust syntaх is closer to low-level languages, which makes it more demanding. Rust wins in speed while in Python, the development time is shorter, and the outlined product is easier to upgrade.
If you have experience in C or C++ programming, Rust will be easier to learn. However, some problematic new features like borrow-checker or move function might require a new thinking approach. There are better choices for the first language to learn than Rust.
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