Facebook, it's cool to see you using Rust and joining the foundation, but please don't Zuck it up for all of us

Vows to make safe C++-alike 'a mainstream language of choice' as hundreds of devs wield it


Video Facebook is joining the Rust Foundation at its highest member level – and vowed to help make Rust "a mainstream language of choice for systems programming and beyond.”

Rust was conceived at Mozilla Research in 2010 by Graydon Hoare as a C/C++-like programming language with a focus on safety and speed. We like to say Google invented the programming language Go – and Mozilla created No. One thing about Rust is that it refuses to build software that the programmer may not be aware is potentially or straight-up unsafe. The overall result is that you should end up making more reliable software.

Lured by these advantages, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have publicly backed the language, and this year formed the Rust Foundation with Mozilla and Huawei. Now, Facebook is making its love official, too, and becoming a platinum member.

“We are joining the Rust Foundation to help contribute to, improve and grow this language that has become so valuable to us and developers around the world,” Joel Marcey, open-source ecosystem lead at Facebook, and now a board director at the foundation, said on Thursday.

“We look forward to participating with the other foundation members and the Rust community to make Rust a mainstream language of choice for systems programming and beyond.”

The antisocial network said it has been using Rust ever since 2016 after a source code management tool it used buckled under the company’s growing code base. In creating a replacement, Facebookers snubbed C++ and decided to turn to Rust for a more reliable experience.

Facebook thus uses Rust for Diem, its blockchain system to process payments, and we're assured there are hundreds of Rust coders at the Silicon Valley giant toiling away on projects. There is also a team of Rustaceans specifically tasked with creating tools and other materials to integrate Rust code with applications built using C++. Below is a video from RustConf 2019 of Facebooker Jeremy Fitzhardinge talking about how FB uses Rust.

Youtube Video

“When I joined Facebook, I was amazed at how much use Rust was getting throughout the stack,” added Patrick Walton, a Rust team lead at Facebook, this week. “I'm really excited to see us take our contributions to the language to the next level. Joining the Rust Foundation is a great step that signals a commitment to improve the language and ecosystem for years to come.” ®


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