TechCast #92 – Steve Klabnik on Rust

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This week, we talk to Rust Core Developer and upcoming Philly Emerging Tech Speaker Steve Klabnik. Steve wrote the Rust guide and contributes to the Rust documentation, and has been a core team member since December of 2014.

Steve will be a speaker at Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise. His talk is called Rust in Production. Learn more about this developer-friendly, Chariot-sponsored conference here.

We Talk to Steve About:

  • How three groups in particular – systems programmers, functional programmers, and dynamic language developers – benefit and are uniquely benefitted by the Rust language.
  • For the systems folks: how Rust is beating the C and C++ teams in terms of speed (it currently has the fastest Regular Expression program).
  • For the dynamic developers: how Rust allows teams to drop down to a low-level language for performance when necessary without the terror of shipping C or C++ code. You get the low-level benefits of C++ and the comfort of Rust checking your work. As Steve puts it, it’s like a good friend looking out for you.
  • For the functional programmers: You can program in a functional style while getting C performance instead of functional language performance. In return, functional folks have brought a deep understanding of type systems and static analysis to Rust that enables high speeds at a low cost.
  • The tooling involved such as Cargo, as well as Rust’s support for VIM, eMacs, and IDE integration.
  • Non-traditional uses of Rust, like compiler extensions. Compiler extensions allow you to invent new syntax in a scoped fashion, and include various features not yet inbuilt to the language itself.
  • Rust’s unique release process. Steve tells us about a mind-blowing tool called Crater, which runs across every open-source Rust package out there and tells the team which versions have failed to compile.
  • How strong conventions help stabilize Rust’s package manager.
  • The awesome names of Rust’s ecosystem: the Rustonomicon (the Dark Arts of Rust Programming), Rustaceans (people who develop on Rust), and Rust’s unofficial mascot, Ferris the Crab (think: Ferrous).

Links Mentioned:

  • An IRC room for Rust beginners, described by Steve as the “friendliest IRC room on the planet.” Get support and help immediately from Rust enthusiasts around the world at #rust-beginner on irc.mozilla.org.
  • Users.rustlang.org, another place to ask questions and get support.