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InfoQ Homepage News Rust Core Team Announces the Formation of the Rust Foundation

Rust Core Team Announces the Formation of the Rust Foundation

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The Rust Core Team today announced the formation of the Rust Foundation and more than a million dollars in annual commitments to support the language and community.

Late last year, Mozilla and the Rust Core Team announced their intention to create a new foundation to steward the Rust programming language and growth of the ecosystem. Today, Ashley Williams--a member of the Rust Core Team and interim executive director for the Rust Foundation--formally announced the foundation's creation via the new Rust Foundation Team blog.

The Rust Foundation is a new independent non-profit organization whose purpose is to steward the Rust language and ecosystem, with a unique focus on supporting the set of maintainers that govern and develop the project.

AWS, Huawei, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla will serve as the foundation's founding member companies, and each--as well as five directors from project leadership, two representing the Core Team, as well as the three project areas: Reliability, Quality, and Collaboration--will hold a seat on the foundation's board. The first meeting of the new board will be held on Tuesday, February 9th.

While the board will help ensure the language and ecosystem's success, Rust's community-driven self-governance model continues. Williams wrote in the announcement, "...Rust is so much more than a programming language and a community--Rust also represents a new, radical way to collaborate on open source projects."

Rust counts more than 100 team members as leaders in the project's design and maintenance, shepherding nearly 6000 contributors to the rust-lang/rust repo alone since the project's first release. Through Rust's RFC process, more than 1,000 people have made nearly 500 decisions that represent the most critical and strategic product and design decisions for the project.

While community guiding principles like the "no new rationale" ensure that language conversations happen entirely in the open, Rust's popularity among developers is driven by its memory-safety guarantees, speed on par with C, and modern language efficiencies that enable developers to simply write performant code faster.

William Morgan--CEO of Buoyant, the company backing the popular service mesh Linkerd--recently explained their decision to write the performance-critical service mesh sidecar in Rust on The InfoQ Podcast. "I think that the most modern kind of asynchronous network programming engineering is all happening in Rust right now." He went on to say that Rust allowed Buoyant to "compile these things down to basically about as fast as the computer can execute them."

Morgan’s comments are echoed by systems developers across the software industry. In the 2020 Stack Overflow Developer Survey, Rust took the top spot as the most loved programming language (a feat the language has achieved for five years in a row). 86% of survey respondents using Rust today, say they want to continue using it in the future. While the actual number of developers responding to the survey actively writing in Rust remains low at around 5%, measures like the TIOBE Index show the language is 30th in popularity Worldwide as of February 2021 (previously reaching a high of 20 in September of 2020).

Concerns around the August 11th announcement by Mozilla, the original home of the Rust project, restructuring and laying off 250 people, including members of the Rust community, have likely led to concern about the future of the language and the recent drop in popularity.

Williams says with the creation of the board, the founding members represent "... a 2 year commitment to a more than million dollar yearly budget to develop services, programs, and events that will support the Rust project maintainers in building the best possible Rust, and we've only just begun."

To learn more about Rust and the Rust Foundation, visit foundation.rust-lang.org.

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