Mozilla, Samsung Building Rust Programming Language, Servo Browser

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-04-03 Print this article Print

Although Eich is the creator of JavaScript, he is not the mind behind Rust. "Graydon Hoare, a Mozilla employee was the originator of Rust, but it is has changed quite a lot since he created it several years ago and is now very much driven by a core team at Mozilla and others from the open-source community, which now includes Samsung," a Mozilla spokesperson said. Hoare began working on Rust in 2006, and it first appeared to the world outside Mozilla in 2010.

"It is great to see experimentation with browser engines," said Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC. "This is also a good development for Mozilla, namely to take a varied approach to Google and work with Samsung on this. It is also Samsung flexing more platform muscles and wanting to see itself [as] something more than just a device maker."

Mozilla and Samsung are working to complete the first major version of Rust and to provide developer tools and improve the performance of the language, Eich said.

Adding "safety" to a programming language typically means some sort of performance penalty. "Safety has a cost, but Rust tries to do as much at compile time as it can," Eich told eWEEK in an email. "And runtime optimizations help: we have an nbody.c vs.  benchmark (n-body problem solver) that shows Rust faster than gcc currently. The important point is that C++ when written with manual safety on top is both harder to write and less efficient than when the language support enables greater productivity *and* better optimizations by the compiler and runtime. Safety is not free and can't be treated as free, but lack of safety is not an option for browsers and OSes."

"At the same time, we will be putting more resources into Servo, trying to prove that we can build a fast Web browser with pervasive parallelism, and in a safe, fun language," Eich said in his post. He also invited developers to help with the project and contribute to the effort by checking out the source for Rust and Servo on GitHub. "Then come participate in the development process on the Rust ( and Servo ( mailing lists," he said.



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