What is the Rust Programming Language Used For?

Shannon Jackson-Barnes

Shannon Jackson-Barnes

What is the Rust Programming Language Used For?

Rust is a programming language started in 2006 by Mozilla employee Graydon Hoare and released in 2015.

A statically typed, open-source programming language, Rust is a popular alternative to similar programming languages like C++. But it improves on the shortcomings of that language by emphasizing code safety and security without compromising performance, faster debugging, and improved memory management.

In this post, you will learn what the Rust language is, who uses it, what it is used for, and the benefits of incorporating it into your business or organization.

What is the Rust Programming Language?

Rust is a statically typed, open-source programming language that aims to overcome the shortcomings of C++. The two programming languages have similar syntax, as they both have no runtime, no garbage collection, can compile to native code, have direct access to memory, and are both low-level programming languages.

As a statically typed programming language, Rust programmers must confirm what their variable types are at compile time. This helps Rust know what kind of data is being specified and how to work with that data.

Also, Rust does not have a garbage collector continuously running. Instead of periodically scanning the memory for unused objects, it waits until compile time to determine when variables get out of scope. It then inserts the necessary assembly instructions to free memory, which significantly improves performance.

To promote code safety and security, Rust has two code-writing modes: Safe Rust and Unsafe Rust.

Safe Rust mode imposes additional restrictions on the programmers, notifying them when their code is at risk of not functioning properly and providing tips on how to resolve issues. Unsafe Rust mode removes these restrictions and gives programmers the freedom to make riskier coding decisions, encouraging out-of-the-box thinking at the expense of potentially reduced code reliability.

Who Uses the Rust Programming Language?

Since the official launch of Rust in 2015, an increasing number of businesses and organizations have begun to adopt Rust in their products and services. As a result, Rusk has become one of the most preferred programming languages, according to PYPL.

In 2021 Meta (formerly Facebook) joined the Rust Foundation, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to stewarding the Rust programming language, to ramp up their adoption of the language. Other organizations in the Rust Foundation include Google, Microsoft, Huawei, Amazon Web Services, and of course, Mozilla. Meta has been embracing Rust since 2016, using it to develop the source control server Mononoke and the Libra cryptocurrency and blockchain system.

Microsoft has started using Rust to rewrite core Windows libraries by converting internal C++ data types into Rust equivalents in order to reduce memory safety bugs and make it harder for hackers to exploit weaknesses in the operating systems. The chat platform Discord also switched from Golang to Rust code in early 2020, citing a significant performance boost with its Read States service.

Aside from being adopted by the largest tech organizations in the world, the Rust language is incredibly popular with programmers. For seven consecutive years, Rust has been voted the most popular programming language in the annual Stack Overflow Developer Survey.

What is Rust Code Used For?

Rust code is primarily used in programming situations where speed, safety, and concurrency are essential to creating a fast and reliable application or service.

Rust makes it easy to perform concurrent programming by preventing data races from occurring during compilation. Often, a data race occurs when at least two or more instructions from different threads or tasks try to access the same memory location at the same time, resulting in undefined or unpredictable behavior.

Concurrent programming is essential when creating high-scale, complex applications and services, as they require multiple processes to be executed at any one time. This is similar to parallel computing, which involves using multiple processing elements to solve complex problems. But it differs in the sense that multiple processes are executed simultaneously on multiple processors during overlapping time periods instead of sequentially.

Rust code is also used to enhance the performance of services by eliminating the need for a garbage collector and instead using a borrow checker to optimize memory usage.

A garbage collector routinely looks for and removes memory that is no longer used, while a borrow checker manages memory through a system of ownership and a set of rules that the compiler checks.

If the Rust compiler detects rule violations, the program won’t run. This helps prevent bugs caused by memory unsafety, giving programmers the convenience of a garbage collector and the speed and efficiency of manual memory allocation.

Benefits of the Rust Programming Language for Businesses

There are many benefits to incorporating the Rust programming language into your business or organization’s services. These benefits include:

  • Flexibility – C Binding allows programmers to integrate the Rust programming language into the C language, thus leveraging the capabilities of C while improving code ownership and guaranteeing memory safety.
  • Performance – The borrow checker gives programmers the speed and efficiency of manual memory allocation and the convenience of a garbage collector. These combined benefits help produce faster and safer applications and services without sacrificing programmer productivity.
  • Safety – The Safe Rust mode alerts programmers to potential code safety issues and provides useful tips on how to resolve such issues. This ensures that published code works properly and behaves as intended by the programmer, resulting in higher-quality software products and services.
  • Scalable – Rust has various tools and libraries, including Rustup, Cargo, Rustfmt, and Clippy. These tools help enforce strict coding standards, resolve spacing issues, and improve the user experience for faster, more efficient coding.

Final Thoughts on the Rust Programming Language

Final Thoughts on the Rust Programming Language

Rust is a great programming language that offers high performance, guaranteed memory safety, interoperability with other programming languages, a vast array of libraries and tools, and strong documentation and Rust community support.

Suppose you are a business or organization wanting to build a new web, mobile, or desktop application that is fast, stable, reliable, and secure; then a dedicated Rust development team can help you create a Rust project to help you achieve your goals.

To find out how Orient Software’s Rust development services can assist with your software development needs, contact us.