Looking in on Rust in 2018

With the call for #Rust2018 blog posts on how this year’s roadmap should look, I figured I’d chime in with a few items. Now, I’m not using Rust in any shape or form in my day-to-day life (though I’d like to!), but I follow along with the community because so many exciting things happen, and I find Rust itself to be a breath of fresh air. In other words, my view is shaped mostly by my role as observer (rather than active participant), and the primary need I want to address is to make it easier to convince coworkers and higher-ups to give Rust a shot.

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Nobody Expects the Rust Evangelism Strike Force

At some point it became a meme to ask people to rewrite their code in Rust. To the Rust community though, this is a grave insult, as this is a task that is reserved for only our most committed members. Hence the Rust Evangelism Strike Force was formed, to help preach the good word and combat this wicked meme. To try and do my part (I’m not yet accepted into the Force, but I work hard on it!

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Ownership Controls Mutability

Some of the first things you learn about in Rust are its ownership and mutability systems. For ownership, you learn about the difference between owned values and borrowed references, where for mutability you learn about immutability by default and how to make a binding mutable. When I learned about this, I took them to be two different permutations that can be applied to data independently of eachother, creating distinct combinations.

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Rust is About Better Citizenship

Steve Klabnik recently invited the Rust community to talk about how we can best sell Rust to others; not by focusing on Rust’s safety wins (which can be an abstract benefit), but on the benefits of using Rust in a wider sense. So I’ve decided to chime in with what has sold (and keeps me sold!) on Rust. I want to start with a small tour through time to help you understand where I’m coming from though, before I start talking about Rust itself.

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