Rust programming language – An Overview

After being developed by Graydon Hoare at Mozilla Research, with contributions from Dave Herman and other contributors, Rust has come a long way.

For the past four years, it has been the most loved programming language on Stack Overflow Surveys, which clearly indicates that those who have used this new, yet powerful language have fallen in love with it.

There are certain things that make Rust programming language stand apart from most of the commonly used languages like Java, C++, C, Python, or even Go in some cases.

In this guide, I’ll explain what makes it so special.

I’ll cover two points about it, these are −

  • What is Rust?
  • What makes it Special?

What is Rust?

Rust is a low-level language that is statically-typed and also considered a multi-paradigm programming language. Its main focus is performance and safety.

Rust helps in enabling a safe concurrent code. Though being syntactically similar to C++, it does much better than C++ in certain areas like handling memory errors and building concurrent programs.

What Makes Rust Special?

There are plenty of reasons why Rust is gaining so much popularity lately, we’ll talk about those features that make it stand apart from the commonly used languages.

  • Simplified Concurrency − Concurrency in simpler terms means the ability to deal with multiple things at the same time, but no two things are dealt with at the same instant. When we run programs concurrently, we encounter a condition called Race Condition, which in turn result in unexpected outputs and simply errors in other cases.

    In Rust, we have a concept of borrow checker which can prevent the data races at compile-time, hence no more unexpected outputs and unpredictable behaviour. This borrow checker is a part of the Rust compiler that enforcesthe ownership rules.

  • Memory Safety − Rust handles memory safety very well, as it does not permit null pointers and dangling pointers. In Rust, the data values are initialized only through a fixed set of forms, all of which mainly require their inputs to be already initialized, hence making sure that there are fewer errors when accessing the memory.

  • Memory Management − Rust, also being a system programming language handles the memory management scenario very well, as the ownership model does a complete analysis of the program’s memory management at compile-time, making sure that unnecessary bugs don’t occur.

    Also, Rust doesn’t use an automated garbage collection, instead it manages the memory and other resources through Resource Acquisition Is Initialization (RAII) with very low overhead.

Updated on: 20-Feb-2021


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