Jimmy Cuadra’s “The highs and lows of Rust”

Back in February 2016, Jimmy Cuadra wrote a post about “The highs and lows of Rust”. He too came to Rust from dynamic web-focused languages and he too “clicked” with it:

Rust has a reputation of having a much higher learning curve [than Go], which of course affects its popularity. I really haven’t been able to understand why, but somehow Rust just clicks with my mental model of programming […]

I’ve been wondering what helped make Rust click for me. The best answer I have come up with is that its basic function structure is relatively familiar to anyone who’s worked with Javascript. function becomes fn, and the parameter and return types are typed but other than that it’s more or less the same. I think that that familiarity with such a core and highly used part of the language helps a lot.

The low points he addresses are interesting to look back on a year and a bit down the line. Serde has matured a lot, having recently reached 1.0.0, passed the 2 million downloads mark, reached number 9 on the “most downloaded” list and become the favoured serialization crate of the core Rust team who have deprecated their own serialization crate.

As for cryptography, all of the popular crates still rely on C libraries. There are pure implementations for things like argon2 and rust-crypto is “mostly pure” but there’s still plenty of work to be done in that domain.

His thoughts once again echo my own when it comes to Rust’s usefulness:

While the language is described as a “systems language” and is generally intended for lower level applications, my domain is in higher level applications, and I’ve found Rust to be just as suitable and strong for my purposes. It really is a fantastic general purpose language.

Compiling to a binary, and thus taking away the need to setup a whole environment to run Ruby, Python, etc. programs, adds a level of portability and flexibility that (amongst other reasons) has made Rust my go-to even for for day-to-day scripts.

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