For any software development venture, it is crucial to select a suitable programming language. Currently, Rust and Go are two of the most widely utilised languages in the industry, each with their own benefits and limitations.
This post will focus on a comparative analysis of the two languages, highlighting their resemblances and divergences, as well as exploring their typical applications and frequently used software that is scripted in each language.
Rust is a quick and secure programming language that is statically typed and used for general purposes.
Rust prioritises safety by emphasising concurrency and memory management. The language’s creators aimed to resolve the security and performance problems experienced by developers when working with older languages like C and C++. These languages predominantly presented challenges in the areas of concurrent programming and memory incompatibility.
Rust began as a personal project of Graydon Hoare, who was working at Mozilla at the time. In 2006, he combined the efficiency of C and C++ with several tweaks to improve their complex syntax and inadequate memory management.
About the Destination
Google engineers Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson formed Go (or Golang) in 2009 as an open-source, statically typed language. Go was born as the developers faced memory management and limitations when using C++. The primary objective was to provide an alternative to Java.
Compared to languages like Java and C++, Go has a concise syntax, making coding significantly easier. Its potency lies in handling concurrent processes, rendering it an excellent selection for cloud services, on-demand platforms, and social networking platforms that receive a large number of requests quickly.
With these fundamentals established for both languages, we can now proceed to compare and contrast them.
Similarities Between Go and Rust
1. Multi-Purpose Languages
Rust and Go are multi-purpose programming languages that facilitate the creation of various applications such as network services and websites. These popular languages enjoy extensive community support, resulting in the creation of several third-party libraries and support services.
2. Efficiency and Speed
During the last decade, both Rust and Go have gathered significant momentum following endorsements for their effectiveness and reliability. These languages compile to machine code resulting in immediate program execution, eliminating the need for long-term libraries and dependencies.
Rust and Go exhibit similar performance levels, making both highly efficient languages. Although Rust’s runtime may be marginally higher than Go’s, the difference is usually too slight to be of significance. Therefore, either language can be optimal for those looking to increase productivity and performance.
3. Concurrent Processing Capabilities
Concurrent processing support is a standout feature of both languages, contributing to their popularity. Go’s architecture facilitates parallel operation for greater efficiency by running multiple processes simultaneously. This is accomplished using Goroutines, which spare the system from excessive workload.
Goroutines are light-weight functions that can be executed in abundance without a drop in performance. This is superior to the use of threads, which is the norm in most languages. Concurrency is a fundamental feature of Go that enhances its performance compared to Rust.
Owing to Rust’s continuous improvement to its concurrent processing abilities, significant development is expected to occur in the coming years. However, Go remains the leading choice for concurrency when compared to other languages at present.
Go and Rust both possess the ability to scale, which makes them well-suited for developing applications with the potential to rapidly expand and become more complex without excessive CPU usage.
Rust is optimal for applications that require rapid processing, such as games and browser add-ons. In contrast, Go is better suited to large-scale software development or applications that involve significant data processing in real-time and have complex codebases.
5. Safeguard Your Memories’ Security
Safety of memory is of utmost priority in modern programming, and two of the languages that take this seriously are Rust and Go. Contrastingly, older languages like C and C++ are susceptible to security vulnerabilities and defects resulting from unsafe and wrong memory access. Fortunately, Rust and Go prioritize secure memory management as a core principle, making them an ideal choice to safeguard against such issues.
Go and Rust may have distinct approaches to memory management, but they share the same end goal of improving upon the security and efficiency of previous programming languages. Thus, developing efficient and secure applications becomes much easier.
6. Pragmatic Programming Style
Rust and Go do not enforce a specific programming style, such as functional or object-oriented programming. They enable a combination of procedural and object-oriented programming, empowering developers to choose the approach that best suits the task at hand.
Rust trumps Go in its advanced functional programming capabilities, so it is the ideal language to opt for if your project necessitates a functional programming perspective. Hiring a Rust developer instead of a Go developer will make the development process smoother.
Distinguishing Features: Go vs Rust
Rust and Go prioritize secure programming, but do so in distinct ways that enhance the safety of programs written in their respective languages.
Upon detecting security vulnerabilities or issues, Go activates its automated memory management features, which involve garbage collection and dynamic memory allocation. These tools not only enhance the security of applications written in Go, but also improve their overall performance.
When it comes to borrowing checks and other rules, the Rust compiler is extremely strict. Though this may prove to be challenging for developers, it is also incredibly useful in identifying any potential vulnerabilities that might go unnoticed in other languages.
Rust and Go are particularly suitable for cloud computing as they offer significant benefits in terms of security and speed.
Installing Rust or Go is a simple process, but they differ slightly. A Go program’s executable file can be downloaded and executed on macOS, Windows, or Linux computers without any user input. In contrast, Rust requires Rustup, a management app for installing Rust.
To install Rustup on macOS, simply input the following command into your terminal: `curl -proto ‘=https’ -tlsv1.2 -sF https://sh.rustup.rs | sh`.
Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. These prompts are designed to assist programmers using diverse operating systems to set up Rust.
Rust is intended to minimize the level of abstraction between the language and the underlying hardware, which leads to heightened stability and precision. This approach is colloquially known as “closer to the metal”. Furthermore, the divergent design philosophies of Rust and Go prioritize different features.
Go is built with an intuitive design philosophy modelled after the “Tao of Go”. The language avoids imposing forced or unnatural solutions onto either the programming language or the situation it addresses. Both Rust and Go excel at implementing their unique principles efficiently.
Syntax and Programming Language
The development of C and C++ was influenced by the need to manage complexity. However, Go and Rust are different as they are not tied to any specific programming paradigm, but instead prioritize security and efficiency by adopting a functional programming approach to problem-solving.
Rust prioritizes efficiency over simplicity, resulting in more involved syntax compared to other contemporary programming languages. Its complexity results in a steeper learning curve when compared to Go and other languages. Although its intricate syntax may require more time to write, it enhances safety and performance.
In contrast, the syntax of Go is straightforward, rendering it easier to master than other current programming languages, including Rust. Its user-friendly nature has made it a popular choice among both experienced development teams and novice programmers.
Therefore, if you have a restricted budget or limited resources, Rust may be the preferred option over Go to maximize your output.
Given its clear and straightforward code, Go is an excellent choice for collaborative teams. However, it may be necessary to possess familiarity with both languages to effectively accomplish the objective at hand.
Characteristics of Functions
In regards to their features, Rust has more versatility in certain scenarios than Go thanks to its comprehensive capabilities. Although Go’s binary files and advanced package management system are notable features, Rust provides a broader array of additional functionalities, including error reporting and pattern matching, that cannot be found in other programming languages.
In summary, the primary aim behind the development of Go was to simplify programming. Consequently, only features that enhance performance and ease of use were added. Conversely, Rust was designed to be as practical as feasible, so additional features were introduced to elevate its functionality and utility.
When compared to other programming languages, Rust is exceptional in terms of its characteristics and capabilities.
The fact that both Go and Rust are freely accessible has led to the formation of a large and engaged user community. This presents new coders with the chance to learn these languages and exchange ideas regarding optimal approaches to common problems. Although Go has a larger user base, Rust’s professional community is more dependable, giving it an advantage as the preferred option.
If you’re uncertain about choosing between Go and Python, the extensive community support of the former should not be the sole decisive factor. The abundance of resources available online makes it abundantly clear that valuable information can be procured to learn any language.
Compared to Go, Rust provides developers with increased flexibility for managing memory, optimizing CPU usage, composing code and devising inventive solutions to problems. Despite the additional complexity that accompanies this degree of control, many programmers view this tradeoff as acceptable.
In contrast, Go prioritizes quick prototyping and iteration, providing a seamless experience for app creation, experimentation and deployment.
Rust was created by Mozilla in 2006, while Google launched Go in 2009. Go’s popularity has been on the rise, thanks to its accessible user interface and low entry barrier. According to users on StackOverflow, Go is expected to be among the top five most in-demand programming languages by the year 2023.
Go boasts a significantly larger developer community compared to Rust, with roughly 1.1 million programmers using the language versus just 65,000 for Rust. Google’s endorsement of Go as one of the foremost global technology corporations has contributed significantly to its rising popularity. As a result, many developers would opt to learn a language that they intend to use in the long term. It is widely acknowledged that Go is a language that has a bright and promising future ahead.
Undoubtedly, various programming languages possess their unique set of advantages and disadvantages. As such, it is crucial for developers to carefully scrutinize these features before determining which language best suits their needs. Rust, for instance, is renowned for its efficiency but also presents a challenging learning curve due to its emphasis on writing precise and concise code.
Go, with its emphasis on simplicity, may entail some compromises in terms of flexibility. However, its ease of use makes it well-suited for collaborative programming efforts.
Scenarios to consider using Rust vs. Go
It is prudent to evaluate the situations in which each language performs optimally. While it may be fun to compare different programming languages, they are most effective when used to tackle the specific problems they were intended for.
When to use Rust
Rust is a fitting language for creating applications that demand hardware control and optimized performance. Applications that handle significant volumes of data or require intensive CPU usage are well-suited for Rust.
Owing to its exceptional ability to troubleshoot errors, Rust is frequently preferred for safeguarding the security of intricate systems. However, as mentioned earlier, these added features do make the programming process more complicated. The strictness of the compiler can be advantageous in detecting any possible security concerns before the app is deployed.
In the event that you prioritise quality over speed, Rust may be a better pick than Go for you as a developer.
Below are some illustrations of favourable settings and situations for employing Rust:
- Computing applications that perform algorithms
- In cases where safeguarding the security of a program’s memory is crucial
- When there’s sufficient room for sophisticated coding
- There is ample time for development currently.
- When evaluating the fundamental components of a software project, such as cloud applications, security applications, or system components, Rust emerges as the most appropriate option.
- In scenarios where factors other than execution speed are less significant.
Advantages of Go
With goroutines that are optimised for handling multiple concurrent, independent requests, Go is perfectly suited for building server-side applications. This is why prominent companies like Uber, YouTube, and Twitch use it extensively as a server-side language.
For those who prioritize user-friendliness, Go is an outstanding choice. Because of its simple syntax, the language is comparatively easy to learn, making it well-suited for agile teams working together on a project. Furthermore, it is suitable for developing lightweight services like back-end APIs that interface with front-end applications.
Backed by the comprehensive Google Cloud infrastructure, Go is the ideal language for developing web applications that can be easily deployed on the cloud. Moreover, this programming language is highly effective in optimizing cloud-based programmes.
Here are a few scenarios where you might consider using Go:
- Go is a promising alternative when working in larger teams due to its streamlined syntax.
- Go is a suitable choice if you need to develop software that handles enormous amounts of synchronized data.
- If ease of use takes priority over functionality.
- Real-time communication is highly valued.
- If efficiency and adaptability take precedence over flashy features in your code, our recommendation is to go with this option.
- Go is a good fit for developing cloud-based applications, websites, data processing, and APIs.
Companies that choose Go over Rust
While it’s important to be cautious when relying on this information, knowing which major companies use a language and for which specific tasks can offer some insight into its reputation and potential.
Below are some of the companies that have implemented Go:
It’s widely acknowledged that Go, a language developed by Google’s own developers, is the primary language used to develop a majority of Google’s products and services, including Google Chrome, Google Earth, and YouTube. Despite the use of numerous languages for these applications, Go remains one of the most crucial and widely adopted.
Uber incorporated the Go programming language to develop its geofencing features, moving away from Node.js which was originally used. Go’s superior performance in managing hundreds of geofence lookup requests per second played a key role in the shift.
Badoo, one of the most widely used dating apps with over 400 million members, handles numerous requests per second, requiring an efficient programming language. That’s where Go comes in. Go is especially suitable for applications that rely heavily on search functionality, making it highly relevant to Badoo, where users spend a lot of time searching.
As one of the most popular music streaming platforms, Soundcloud attracts an estimated 175 million monthly listeners globally. In order to maintain a seamless user experience for such a vast audience, Soundcloud opted for the well-optimized Go language to handle requests. Go was chosen specifically for its built-in support for Static Analysis, a technique used to identify and fix errors in code.
The United States now boasts over 45 million Twitch users. Given its nature as a live streaming platform for video games, Twitch’s ability to manage multiple requests concurrently is crucial. By adopting Go, Twitch was able to enhance its garbage collection and memory management, leading to improved usability for players.
Below are some of the companies that have implemented Rust:
Dropbox is a top pick for cloud storage, largely due to its utilization of Rust in the code that handles file synchronization. Rust was preferred over other languages like Python due to its robust static types and extensive compile-time checks. Furthermore, Rust streamlines Dropbox’s complex, concurrent synchronization engine by offering a convenient development environment for writing, testing, and debugging code.
For some time now, Microsoft, a leading organization, has been exploring the possibility of integrating Rust into their vast C and C++ codebases. The decision to incorporate Rust was largely influenced by the language’s strong memory safety features.
Studies have revealed that over the past 12 years, more than 70% of the most prevalent vulnerabilities and exposures detected in Microsoft applications were associated with memory safety. This means that the adoption of Rust by Microsoft could potentially lower this percentage.
Facebook recently shifted their Python source control backend to Rust, primarily due to Rust’s superior security features over Python and other options. Rust is also capable of identifying several critical flaws during compilation, thereby reducing the expense of resolving them during production.
Rust was employed by Discord for both its client and server components. The use of Rust was complemented by various other programming languages, including Elixir. Rust’s memory safety and efficiency were significant factors that led to its selection by Discord. The language’s Native Implementation Functions also allowed Rust to support up to eleven users at the same time.
Initially, Discord created its Read States Service using Go, but the platform experienced considerable latency problems due to Go’s garbage collector. Discord switched to Rust because Rust’s memory allocation technique is much more efficient than garbage collection.
Amazon is widely recognized for its active promotion and financial support of Rust and its community. Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) performance-critical components, such as Lambda, EC2, and S3, have been developed in Rust. Moreover, Amazon has made its Rust-developed Firecracker VMM available as open-source software. This virtual machine monitor was created specifically with AWS Fargate and AWS Lambda in consideration.
Who Emerges Victorious in the Battle of Rust versus Go?
When it comes to determining a superior programming language between Rust and Go, there is no definitive winner. The choice ultimately depends on the specific requirements of your project.
Go has a reputation for processing a large number of requests per second, making it an excellent option for web-based and serverless applications, while Rust stands out for tasks that require optimized performance, memory safety, as well as thorough bug and vulnerability detection.
It’s worth noting that Go is a less intricate language, which may restrict its functionalities and potential. In contrast, Rust prioritizes efficiency and offers a broader range of features and possibilities compared to Go. Prior to hiring a developer versed in Go or Rust, it’s crucial to thoroughly evaluate the project’s objectives and necessities.