Mozilla’s Rust is one of the many programming languages that is available for development professionals in today’s modern technological environment. First bursting onto the digital scene in 2012, Rust is heavily influenced by languages like Napier, C++, Common Lisp, Erlang and more. Rust is the brainchild of a Mozilla employee by the name of Graydon Hoare. In the years since it has been described as one of the most safe and practical programming languages currently available. The question of whether Rust is right for your next project, however, remains to be seen.
There are a few important factors regarding Mozilla’s Rust programming language that you’ll definitely want to consider before making a decision regarding your next big project.
Design and Core Functionality
Since its original inception, the goal of the Rust programming language has been to expedite the creation of both server programs and large client programs that run over the Internet. As a result, the design and core functionality of Rust emphasize both safety and control above all else. The Rust programming language is also designed to be memory safe, which means that by design it aims to completely eliminate the types of bugs that traditional lead to security vulnerabilities where RAM is concerned. Buffer overflows, dangling pointers and other issues that regularly plague other programming languages are under careful supervision with regards to Rust.
One of the major considerations of any programming language has to do with the syntax being used. Syntax is a term that refers to the way that words, symbols and other characters must be arranged to create the sentences that make up the backbone of the language itself. By its very design, the syntax of Rust is incredibly similar to that of both C++ and C, meaning that anyone proficient in those languages should have no trouble adapting to the syntax of Rust. More specifically, blocks of code are delimited through the use of braces. Keywords like “if,” “while” and “for” also make appearances in Rust. Not all keywords that you might be familiar with from C++ are accounted for, however, like the “match” command.
The Type System
One of the biggest attributes of Rust is its type system, which it refers to as “traits.” The Rust developers have made no secret of the fact that these traits were directly inspired by the Haskell programming language. Variables that are used with Rust don’t necessarily have to be assigned a value to determine their type, though a compile-time error will occur if code fails to assign a value to the variable in question when it is in use.
Update Frequency and Type
Because Rust is still a relatively new programming language, it is still readily supported by its original developers. If you’re planning on using Rust for your next big project, however, you’ll soon find out that this means both “good news” and “bad news.” The good news is that new versions of Rust have been released several times a year since 2012. 2014 alone saw the release of versions 0.10, 0.11 and 0.12 in April, July and October, respectively. The “bad news” as some will no doubt interpret it is that Rust is still evolving in a pretty dramatic way, which can mean significant changes every time a new version rolls around.
The style of the object system that Rust uses changed significantly between versions 0.2 to 0.4, for example. Classes were first introduced in version 0.2, though by the time 0.4 was released traits were now added to provide inheritance and classes were removed completely.