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Is AWS sponsoring Rust? Only a bit – and so is Microsoft Azure

A confusing announcement from the cloud giant

AWS has announced its "Sponsorship of the Rust project", causing some initial excitement in the community. However, in reality it only amounts to a year of AWS "promotional credits."

"We're really excited to announce that AWS is sponsoring the Rust programming language," reads a statement by David Barsky (engineer on Rust runtime for Lambda), Arun Gupta (open source technical evangelist), and Jacob Peddicord (open-source engineer).

The memo describes all the cool things about Rust, but does not give detail about the nature of the sponsorship. It turns out to be part of an AWS offer to open-source projects in general. Any software projects with an OSI-approved (Open Source Initiative) licence can apply, and success is determined "on the basis of their relevance to AWS and its customers."

Alex Crichton, who works for Mozilla and is a member of the Rust team, was quoted as saying that "this sponsorship enables Rust to sustainably host infrastructure on AWS," also noting that "diversifying the sponsorship of the Rust project is also critical to its long-term success."

Someone riding a make believe rocket

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Mozilla is the main sponsor of Rust, and uses the language in parts of Firefox and in the Servo experimental browser engine.

AWS isn't alone in giving the Rust project free stuff. A discussion on Hacker News threw up this comment from Pietro Albini, another Rust team member: "By the way, we don't actually run our CI on AWS. We use S3 to store caches and build artifacts, but all the builds run on Azure Pipelines at the moment." In this post, Albini noted that Azure Pipelines was chosen after an evaluation process and that there is a "generous sponsorship offer from the Azure Pipelines team."

Microsoft is considering increasing its internal use of Rust because it enables safer coding. ®

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