7 Reasons Why You Should Use Rust Programming For Your Next Project
The 2019 Stack Overflow survey has confirmed that Rust is the most loved programming language (preferred by a whopping 83.5% of programmers) for over four years now. This means that those who have taken the plunge and actually used Rust programming are in awe of it.
However, Rust still isn’t among the top five most used programming languages. This indicates that Rust programming remains a largely unexplored territory full of unused potential. Given its popularity, more and more users are flocking to Rust, meaning it will soon reach that top five status and establish itself as a staple for programmers everywhere.
To keep you from falling behind the times, here’s a quick guide to what the Rust programming language is, as well as seven reasons why you should use Rust programming for your next project.
What Is the Rust Programming Language?
Like the fungus (yes, there is a fungus called rust!) after which it is named, Rust is a programming language that is spreading quickly in the programming world.
In essence, Rust is a programming language that is built to overcome the drawbacks of the C language. While C is a powerful object-oriented language with unlimited capabilities, it is quite difficult for programmers to manage memory manually in C. Rust allows you to write fast code with an insanely low memory footprint, giving you an immensely powerful programming tool.
Rust was launched by Mozilla in 2012, but the idea originated in the mind of a passionate language engineer, Graydon Hoare. Hoare began working on the language in 2006 and, soon enough, Rust’s potential caught the attention of folks at Mozilla. They joined with Hoare to set up a dedicated development team to experiment with the language and build it in the best possible way.
In Hoare’s words, “The language is targeted at frustrated C++ developers.” Let’s understand what makes Rust better than languages like C or C++.
Why Rust Is the Best Language For Your Next Project
Rust is packed with many features that web developers absolutely love to use. The following are the top reasons I choose to use Rust:
1. Rust Solves Memory Management Problems
System programming usually demands a low-level memory control, and with C’s manual memory management, this task can prove to be a real nightmare.
Rust has an incredible ability to offer convenience on low-level details. It has direct access to hardware and memory because it doesn’t require a garbage collector to run continuously in the background.
This means coding in Rust feels like using a microcontroller application for low-level codes. You have full freedom to replace pieces of code without taking memory safety risks.
2. Rust’s Low Overhead Makes It Ideal for Embedded Programming
Constrained resources are the norm, with embedded systems normally found on machines and home appliances. This is the reason that the embedded systems need a modern programming language like Rust, which has a very low overhead.
Rust is a resource-efficient and in-demand feature in an embedded system. It allows programmers to identify bugs early, preventing any future mishaps with the device.
The cherry on the cake is Rust’s power of zero-cost abstractions. Whatever abstraction of code you use, Rust is generous enough to accept it all. You could use loops, closure, or whatever flavor of code that you are in the mood for that day, and they all will compile down to the same assembly without affecting the performance of your code.
3. Rust Facilitates Powerful Web Application Development
An important consideration when choosing the right technology stack for web app development is the choice of programming language. There are good reasons to include Rust programming in your web application tech stack.
If you are accustomed to developing web applications in high-level languages like Java or Python, then you will love working with Rust. With Rust, you can be fairly more confident that the code will be error-free.
Rust is easy to learn for anyone already well-versed in C. Moreover, you can start tinkering with Rust immediately without spending years learning the ropes.
Major highlights of web development with Rust are:
- You can compile Rust to WebAssembly so it’s easier to get near-native performance on the web.
- Rust allows any language to compile into WebAssembly, thus allowing for portable, executable running code online.
In short, for web development, Rust is the language that has taken all the right vitamins!
4. Rust’s Static Typing Ensures Easy Maintainability
Rust is a statically typed language. While programming in Rust, all types are known at compile-time. Rust is also a strongly typed language, meaning that it is harder to write incorrect programs with Rust.
Managing complexity is the core of successful programming. As the code grows, so does the complexity. Statically typed languages allow a high-level of simplicity by allowing you to keep tabs on what's going on in the code.
Rust also does not require you to repeat the type of variable multiple times, encouraging long-term maintainability.
In a nutshell, Rust allows nesting and closures, which in turn improve the maintainability of the code.
5. Rust Has Fast and High Performance
Rust’s performance is on par with C++ and beats languages like Python hands down.
The absence of garbage collection contributes to Rust’s high speeds. Unlike many other languages, Rust does not have runtime checking and the compiler nips the wrong code right in the bud. This prevents erroneous code from proliferating and wreaking havoc on the system.
Lastly, as mentioned previously, Rust performs blazingly fast with the embedded systems, too.
6. Cross-Platform Development and Support
With Rust, you can easily build cross-platform solutions that work on a wide range of operating systems like Linux, macOS, Windows, and other platforms.
Notably, Rust allows you to code both the front-end as well as the back-end of the application. The availability of Rust web frameworks like Rocket, Nickel, and Actix make development easier with Rust.
It’s extremely easy to start developing with Rust—just open Rustup, a quick toolchain installer and version management tool, and follow the instructions. You have the option to format the code as you like. Rustfmt allows automation of the code formatting based on the default formatting styles. Clippy, a tool that helps in maintaining an idiomatic code style, takes care of the rest.
7. Rust Has an Expansive Ecosystem
With Rust’s rising popularity, the Rust ecosystem is expanding quickly. A major factor in the vast ecosystem is that it’s more than just a language or a compiler. Software production quality requires many more aspects, and the Rust ecosystem considers all of them to be very significant.
First of all, Cargo is a command-line tool used by Rust programmers that helps in managing dependencies, running tests, and generating documentation.
Secondly, Rust has a community site, crates.io, that takes care of your Rust library needs. You can find the documentation of any library published on crates.io on docs.rs.
Property-based testing, benchmarking, and fuzzing are easily accessible to budding Rust developers as well.
Rust Programming: Best Use Cases
With all that said and done, it’s easy to see how great Rust is to use on all future projects.
But exactly where and when do you use Rust programming?
We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to coding. That’s why it’s important to know the cases where Rust would be a better solution.
Here are a few examples where it is beneficial to use Rust for programming:
- Rust can prove to be a great choice when you are developing an application where performance is crucial.
- Go for Rust when your solution needs to process humongous amounts of data in a short time.
- Use Rust when you want better control over resource allocation in threads.
- Rust provides memory safety but comes with complexity, so choose it when memory safety is of prime importance.
- Use Rust to rewrite sensitive parts of applications where the speed of the program is of the essence.
The above-mentioned factors make Rust an ideal candidate for developing applications like game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components, and VR simulation engines.
Rust Is a Great Language for Writing Code for IoT
Rust is the top language for programmers writing code for IoT applications.
The maker movement is in full vogue with the advent of devices like Raspberry Pi and Arduino. If you are one of the programmers who see IoT as the next billion-dollar opportunity, then you can’t neglect learning Rust programming.
Rust is a close-to-the-metal language, meaning you can use it where the memory reserves are limited.
Because of this, Rust proves to be an excellent language to write code for microcontroller hardware like Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or Tessel.
Rust Programming Can Be Used for HPC (High-Performance Computing)
The problem with using Rust for HPC is that most of your code will be written in C. The beauty of it is that using its FFI (foreign function interface), you can execute Rust code without any overhead. In other words, Rust allows you to rewrite your application module after module.
The developer experience is also much better with Rust because it doesn’t affect the performance of the application. Rust will also enable your application to scale better on a high number of cores, which is critical in HPC.
Discover Rust’s Potential
The major benefit of using Rust programming is its efficient memory management abilities.
However, on top of that, it offers great speed and safety for various kinds of applications, especially web applications. Because it has a powerful command line interface tool, it’s a great tool for developing cross-platform applications, too. Highly suitable for low-resource environments, Rust also saves development time by enabling programmers to cross-compile new code with existing code.
In addition to being an ideal tool for developing game engines and operating systems, Rust programming has immense potential for IoT development.
A vibrant community welcomes you when you choose Rust, so trust the Rust programming language and take a plunge into this exciting world of possibilities!