Is Rust an Open Source language?


I am not asking about the compilers, I am asking if the language Rust is Open Source?


Sure, Rust is community-based.


What is the “source” of a language?


Everything is MIT/Apache2 licensed, including the Reference, which is about as close to a definition of the language as you can get.


Rust is written in Rust itself, so … :slight_smile:


So computer languages can’t be open source, right?


Are you referring to the compiler?


The compiler and the specification are both open source.


What about the language itself?


What does mean for a language to be “open source”?
If you can know the syntax and semantic in a “free” way (the reference), the language itself is free software, because you can write a free software compiler/interpreter that can understand that syntax and semantic and produce the right output.
I think almost all the computer languages known are “open source”


Yes. The specification is public, the reference compiler is open-source, and changes to the language come from an open community process.

(while the “open-source” definition doesn’t apply to languages per se, the opposite of the term — proprietary — does. Rust is not proprietary at all.)


Perhaps it’s clearer to ask in “Can I do —” form, whether or not you really want to do that.

  • “The compiler is open source” means that you can use, read, derive and redistribute the compiler.
  • “The reference manual is open source” means that you can read, derive and redistribute the reference manual.
  • “Rust is community-based” means that you can propose a change to the Rust language and there is a fair amount of possibility that your proposal is accepted if it is rational enough.