Explain it to me like I am a 5 year old. Why are everyone losing their mind over Rust? What makes Rust special?

@johannesg because losing one's mind over Rust is better than losing one's mind over memory management, package manager, legacy cruft, and platform inconsistencies.

Mozilla did great job in understanding challenges of system programming and architecture over last couple of decades building Firefox and other tools, and created Rust that makes it easier to do all this.

Or, straight on for 5 year old: COZ ITZ KOOL

@johannesg The compiler is strict and forces you to write safe code. Rust is extremely fast, performance wise. People have said Rust is becoming an emerging competitor (though not entirely there) to C++, which is used in millions of projects. Should you learn it? Yes, if you're interested in learning a new systems programming language. Is it a good first language? No.

@johannesg rust does approach some system programming problems in an interesting way. if they would have stopped evolving the language 5 years ago, i might have liked it. at this point, the language is much too complex and its clear that their macros are insufficient to mutate the language in useful ways without having to modify core as well.

memory-safe systems programming has been possible with common lisp and scheme since the 70s so i figure the hype/excitement is due to tech amnesia.

@xj9 @johannesg isn't Rust somewhat most accessible to less qualified developers compared to Lisp and Scheme though ?

@morgan @johannesg

because rust kind of looks like C? i guess?

scheme is a very tiny language. i don't think lisp syntax is especially hard to grok, but i know that folks can have a hard time with non-C-like syntax sometimes.

@xj9 @johannesg I never learned C, just fiddled in Java a long time ago... I find Rust quite comfortable to write. This was a personal POV :)

I guess ill give a try to Racket one of these days, and I'll see :)

@morgan @johannesg

i've noticed that syntax is something that trips people up a lot. i don't think that its because the C-like syntax is easier, maybe more familiar if you've used any of the mainstream language that look like it.

even within C-like languages, i can usually tell what language a developer is coming from until they get completely fluent. its an odd phenomena.

@johannesg Trying to do something that can result in memory safety errors results in compiler errors not undefined behaviour in shipping code. But this isn't some obscure or high overhead (garbage collected) language, it's pretty C-like syntax that feels like any other modern language (once you understand the borrow checker) and usually compiles to something as fast as other system programming languages.

@johannesg But at the deep level, lots of people are intensely unhappy with C++ but think it (or a "C with classes + ..." subset) is the only thing you can really use if you have to also go fast (and want anyone else to be able to read your code). Rust is an outlet for that energy + just happens to make it much harder to make memory safety errors.

@johannesg It feels like a breath of fresh air into a space that previously hasn't contained anything but C and C++. Those who are used to programming in C and/or C++ love it because once they grok the language they no longer feel like they're losing their sanity navigating the pitfalls and footguns surrounding manual memory management and basically everything that the C++ language contains.

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