Development

This Week in Programming: Rust Remains the Most Beloved Language

30 May 2020 6:00am, by

It looks like Rust has come out yet again on top of the list of “most beloved” languages, according to the 2020 Stack Overflow developer survey. In its blog post summarizing the results, the company writes that Rust kept its place atop the list despite the fact that the majority of respondents weren’t even familiar with the language.

The survey, in its 10th year (“depending on how you count it,” they write somewhat cryptically) offers answers from 65,000 developers, although with one big caveat — they all came in before the beginning of the pandemic. Thus, “it’s important to be humble and realistic: a lot of the answers developers gave might look very different if the same survey were conducted today,” they write — although we assume the most difference might come in answers to employment and habits, and not whether or not someone enjoys coding in a particular language.

It’s an interesting spot for Rust to occupy, as the language has struggled with a steep learning curve alongside a lack of learning resources, a need for better IDE integration, and a lag in the documentation. Admittedly, these are pain points that the Rust team has been hard at work addressing in recent times. Addressing the allure of Rust, StackOverflow summarizes that “Rust promises performance, control, memory safety, and fearless concurrency — an enticing combination, especially for systems programming.”

Whenever you hear Rust, you might also think of Go, and StackOverflow notes that the Google-backed Rust competitor also made a big leap this year, moving from a spot at number ten to number five on the list of most beloved languages. And in terms of where you’ll make the most money, Go edges out Rust in the United States, but both sit behind Scala.

Meanwhile, the list of dreaded languages is led by some usual suspects, such as VBA, Objective-C, and Perl, while Rust, despite any of its struggles, sits at the very bottom, with its closest competitor enjoying double the percentage of dread. It is, indeed, beloved.

StackOverflow separates out these “languages” from other “programming, scripting and markup languages,” which sees JavaScript comfortably sitting in the number one spot for the past eight years now. And on a related note, TypeScript, a compiled superset of JavaScript, took the number two spot behind Rust, edging out Python by a fraction of a percent.

 

That’s where we sit in terms of the never-ending horse race of programming language popularity, according to one metric. Here are some other happenings in the world of programming this week.

This Week in Programming

  • Quarkus Gets Full Red Hat Backing: As if you were worried, you Java developers interested in Quarkus, the framework for running Java on Kubernetes, can rest assured — Red Hat has said that Quarkus is now a fully-supported runtime as part of its portfolio of Red Hat Runtimes. This means that it can be deployed in production workloads running on Red Hat OpenShift, will have the support of Red Hat, and is now a part of IBM Cloud Pak for Applications.
  • Android 11 Gets Its Own Show: For you Android developers, the Android 11 release has been spaced out a bit, due to the pandemic, but the good news is that the Android11: The Beta Launch Show is set to kick off next week on June 3 at 11 a.m. ET. The event will be streaming on YouTube and Twitter, and alongside that, Google says it will be sharing a dozen talks “on a range of topics from Jetpack to Android Studio and Google Play — talks that we had originally planned for Google I/O — to help you take advantage of the latest in Android development.” Get all the details on the event page. And while we’re talking about Android, Android Studio 4 just dropped and here’s a quick look at the new features.

  • Rust Looks Back at 2018 Redesign: The Rust community continues to showcase its openness and introspection, this time with a retrospective on the 2018 rust-lang.org redesign, in which the team offers “an attempt to record the lessons learned from the project, and to put the project into context for those interested but not directly involved.” The blog post looks at the 2018 revamp of the Rust website and the controversy around that work, offering a retrospective that it says “aims to be blameless and forward-looking” and interested in “the planning, project management, and community aspects, rather than critiquing the design or implementation.” For my money, these blog posts seem like a good read for anyone involved in open source projects looking to better understand the dynamics of working in open source and wanting to keep things moving and working well. Some “lessons learned” include focusing on people over schedules, keeping communication open, making sure project ownership is clearly defined, and not scheduling everything to deliver at the same exact time. Read on for more, and while you’re at it, if you happen to be a Rust contributor, or even hope to be in the future, take a stroll over to the 2020 Rust Contributor Survey, which will be open for submissions until June 10.

  • GitHub Goes Open Source Support: That is, the GitHub Support Community has undergone “a major update to the look and feel” with the transition to Discourse’s open source community platform, and includes support for CommonMark Markdown “with the same GitHub-flavored Markdown- extensions, making your editing experience between the Support Community and GitHub seamless.” Beyond that, the site will offer a responsive design, and easy code snippet sharing, as well as a customizable personal reading experience.
  • GitLab 13 Brings ECS Deploys and More: DevClass has taken a look at the GitLab 13.0 release, offering the site’s new dark side (dark mode, that is) as a highlight, alongside “automatic deployments to ECS, better Terraform support, improved handling of large files, and high availability Git storage without NFS.” Looking ahead at GitLab’s roadmap, features such as visual helpers to identify bottlenecks, A/B testing capabilities, policy management, and API fuzzing support are also on the way in near future releases.
  • Google Cloud Functions Gets Java 11: SDTimes brings us the story of how Google has added support for Java 11 to its serverless computing platform, Google Cloud Functions, which will allow developers to “write code in JVM languages like Java, Kotlin, Groovy, and Scala through the Functions Framework for Java, which is a functions-as-a-service framework for writing Java functions.” Beyond this, they note that Google will also support the Micronaut framework and Spring Cloud Function project, with Java 11 support in beta for the time being.
  • Microsoft Offers Microservice Support with Project Tye: Finally, Microsoft is looking to “developing, testing, and deploying microservices and distributed applications easier” with its new tool, Project Tye, which it introduced last week during its virtual Microsoft Build developer conference. The project, they write, has two goals — making microservice development easier by running many services with one command and using containerized dependencies, and automating the deployment of .NET applications to Kubernetes.

GitLab is a sponsor of The New Stack.

A newsletter digest of the week’s most important stories & analyses.