TWiR quote of the week

:slight_smile:

1 Like

Careful. My post with that statement in it was flagged and temporarily hidden. I suspect it was that statement that upset someone.

Perhaps it's a bit strongly worded. But I pitch it the same as suggesting that when using C and C++ one should have compiler warnings wound up to the max, tests in place, be making use of the various sanitisers and/or valgrind and so on.

In short professionals should be taking pride in their work and be keeping up with the latest in best practices in ensuring a quality product. I consider Rust is a significant development in that respect.

3 Likes

We feel that Rust is now ready to join C as a practical language for implementing the [Linux] kernel. It can help us reduce the number of potential bugs and security vulnerabilities in privileged code while playing nicely with the core kernel and preserving its performance characteristics.

I think that this may be one of the most impactful statements regarding Rust for a fair amount of time.

17 Likes

A very nice quote about Rust

If you only have experience with dynamically typed languages that will allow you to compile a ham sandwich, there's a good chance you'll be frustrated by Rust.

https://gregoryszorc.com/blog/2021/04/13/rust-is-for-professionals/

5 Likes

The multiple references to Gregory Szorc's article inspired me to give it a read. As a beginner, I am always skeptical that I am engaging in confirmation bias reading an article about the benefits of Rust's ownership model and the memory safety it provides, to the extent that the author is preaching to the choir. But the author's endorsement from the perspective of an industry veteran carries credibility, and it was interesting to read the constructive critiques as well. My favorite quote from the article was:

With Rust, the compiler errors tell you exactly what the language defects are. So by the time you appease the compiler, you are left with just your logical/intent defects. I greatly prefer the Rust workflow which separates these because I'm getting clearer feedback on my progress: I know that once I've addressed all the language defects the compiler complains about that is just a matter of fixing logical/intent defects. I know I'm a giant step closer to victory.

I like the wording, but I do think there is a limit to how often one should employ italics for emphasis.

5 Likes

Having also read Gregory Szorc's article I think he did a good job of highlighting what truly separates Rust from other languages. Any mention of Rust is bound to mention memory safety, but to me it's more than that.

Rust promotes correctness by making you handle edge cases and errors.

Rust moves a huge number of what would be runtime errors in other languages to the compile stage.

To me, those two things, although often tied very closely to memory safety, are what makes Rust truly special. It's not (just) about memory, it's about correctness.

3 Likes

First time contributing to the quote of the week but reading the (very!) long article of Gregory Szorc, I thought it was worth mentioning at least one quote (it seems I'm not the only one!). I enjoyed this one specifically.

Like an artist reaches for a preferred paintbrush or a chef for a preferred knife because their preferred tool enables them to better express their craft, I feel that Rust often enables me to better express the potential of my professional craft more than other programming languages.

From Gregory Szorc's Digital Home | Rust is for Professionals

9 Likes

this error message is UNREAL

Ash2X3 on twitter

15 Likes

I just found this to be quite fitting and no one proposed something in quite a while.

9 Likes

Indeed. And is so often the case with sports cars when one "turns the wheel, presses the pedals, and burns rubber" in many other languages the results may very well not be what one had in mind.

4 Likes

You won’t appreciate Rust unless you spend few weeks building something in it. The initial steep learning curve could be frustrating or challenging depending on how you see it, but once past that it’s hard not to love it. It’s a toddler with superpowers after all :heartpulse:

Deepu K Sasidharan on My second impression of Rust and why I think it's the best general-purpose language!

7 Likes

I often think about Rust as a process and community for developing a programming language, rather than as a programming language itself.

throwaway894345 commenting here (The Plan for the Rust 2021 Edition | Hacker News)

They were responding to

Rust isn’t only a great language, it’s a model of how technology can be built.

asimpletune

6 Likes

Because I can:

This time, there were two crates and one quote, which is not much, but ok. Keep it up, folks!

—llogiq

2 Likes

"Low level" is a lie created by Big Level to sell more levels. Anything you can do in C++, you can do in Rust.

reddit user K900_ giving the ultimate answer on "Is Rust as low level as C++ and C"

11 Likes

I recently graduated with my Ph.D., after having worked on 5 different versions of my simulator, written in 4 different languages. The last version, written in pure, safe rust, worked correctly in part because of rust's strong guarantees about what 'safety' means, which I was able to leverage to turn what would normally be runtime errors into compile time errors. That let me catch errors that would normally be days or weeks of debugging into relatively simple corrections. [...] So, once again, thank you to everyone!

ckaran on Internals

13 Likes

dpc in Polkadot postmortem (kind of caused by Rust nightly change)

4 Likes

As the tradeoffs in software engineering change over time, so does the ideal solution. Some 40 years ago when the first C standards were written down, by people no less competent than those that work on Rust today, the design of the language and the list of behaviours not defined likely made much more sense in context of back then than they do right now. It is not all that unlikely that some years down the line the choices made by Rust won't make all that much of sense as they do today, too.

@nagisa in Why deference MaybeUninit().unint().as_mut_ptr() is safe? - #19 by nagisa

4 Likes

If manually managing memory is like wielding a gun, the borrow checker is an automatic safety that prevents you from pulling the trigger when you're roughly pointing it at yourself. But it's coarse-grained and errs on the side of caution; it simulates your foot as as the rectangular box that would contain it, not as a detailed 3D mesh. If you really think you can aim it between your toes and avoid hitting yourself (for example, "the value returned by this function must remain alive for no more than 15 successive invocations of this function"), unsafe will let you try, but the borrow checker's built-in rules isn't granular enough to help you, though it will still stop you if you accidentally put your hand in front without declaring it.

infogulch on HackerNews comments for The memory models that underlie programming languages (2016)

9 Likes

TBH I find "coarse-grained" a bit of a stretch. Without further context, the quote sounds as if the borrow checker was usually not really useful and had to be worked around, except for the most trivial cases. Whereas in reality, it's the exact opposite – needing to unsafe one's way around a borrow checker usability "bug" is – and should be – extremely rare.

2 Likes

Maybe a better metaphor would be that the borrow checker won't let you fire at targets smaller than the cone of uncertainty without a backstop to catch the bullet.

2 Likes