Stack Overflow Investigates Why Developers Love Rust So Much


    This year Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey of 65,000 programmers found that Rust was their most-loved programming language — for the fifth year in a row. To understand why, they interviewed the top contributor to the site’s Rust topic. (“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…”) But Stack Overflow also reached out to the Rust core team, including Berlin-based developer Erin Power, asking about any barriers to entry, and why they think Rust was the survey’s most-loved language. (“I think it’s because Rust makes big promises, and delivers on them…”) And finally, they got responses from Stack Overflow users in their Rust chatroom and forums, noting “Rust users are a passionate bunch, and I got some fascinating insights along with some friendly debates…” Many current programming discussions revolve around whether to use a fast, low-level language that lets you handle memory management or a higher-level language with greater safety precautions. For fans of Rust, they like that it does both…. While some languages just add polish and ease to existing concepts, several users feel that Rust is actually doing new things with a programming language. And it’s not doing new things just to be showy; they feel these design choices solve hard problems with modern programming… Stack Overflow user janriemer: “A quote from Chris Dickinson, engineer at npm, sums it up perfectly for me, because I have thought the same, without knowing the quote at that time: ‘My biggest compliment to Rust is that it’s boring, and this is an amazing compliment.’ Rust is a programming language that looks like it has been developed by user experience designers. They have a clear vision (a why) of the language and carefully choose what to add to the language and what to rework, while listening to what the community really wants. There are no loose ends, it’s all a coherent whole that perfectly supports a developer’s workflow.” Stack Overflow’s post also quotes Jay Oster, a software architect at the infrastructure-as-a-service company PubNub, who argues Rust “ticks all the boxes”: Memory safe Type safe Data race-free Ahead-of-time compiled Built on and encourages zero-cost abstractions Minimal runtime (no stop-the-world garbage collection, no JIT compiler, no VM) Low memory footprint (programs run in resource constrained-environments like small microcontrollers) Targets bare-metal (e.g. write an OS kernel or device driver; use Rust as a ‘high level assembler’)” He also describes Rust as “akin to wandering around in complete darkness for an entire career, and suddenly being enlightened to two facts: You are not perfect. You will make mistakes. Those mistakes will cause you a lot of problems. It doesn’t have to be this way. Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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