Facebook wants to take Rust programming language mainstream

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Facebook has become part of the Rust Foundation, an organization promoting the use of the Rust programming language. Facebook joins companies like Huawei, Mozilla, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services. Facebook is the latest tech giant to push for the use of Rust.

The language was initially developed by Mozilla and has become more popular for systems programming, due to its memory safety guarantees compared to fast languages like C++ and C. Rust is great for writing components like compilers and drivers. The Rust Foundation was established in February with the aforementioned backers.

Foundation members

Microsoft is exploring the language for some components of windows and Azure. Google wants to use it to build new parts of the Android mobile operating system and support a project to bring the language to Linux Kernel.

Facebook’s engineering team has now opened up about its use of Rust, beginning in 2016, a year after the language reached its 1.0 milestone.

For developers, Rust comes with the performance qualities of older languages like C++ with advanced code safety features. Facebook’s software engineering team said that there are hundreds of developers at Facebook, writing millions of lines of Rust code.

Mainstream goals

Facebook’s open-source ecosystem lead and now board director at the Rust Foundation says that Facebook has embraced Rust since 2016 and uses it in all aspects of development, ranging from control to compilers.

The company has used it in several projects, including its blockchain effort, now governed by the Diem Association and its Libra cryptocurrency.

Now, Facebook is just a core member of the association, via its Novi digital wallet. It notes that the Diem blockchain is primarily written in Rust. There are many other places where the language has been used but now that Facebook is on board, it should hit the stratosphere.