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Aye, and it lives up to that claim as well in my opinion, despite being still relatively young and pre-1.0. My favorite thing about Zig is that it has managed to stay simple and solve many of the problems of C without resorting to greatly increased complexity like Rust (which is much more of a C++ replacement than a C replacement in my opinion).





IMO the marketing as Rust as a C/C++ replacement is a bit misplaced. I think it's more accurate to consider it an alternative systems language. The tools/languages used in this space are a bit broader than C-family languages.

That's true, though systems programming is in practice dominated by the C ABI (great post on that here by the way https://drewdevault.com/2020/03/03/Abiopause.html). Zig does something quite special that puts it ahead of the crowd in this space; It can import and use C libraries as easily as C does (no bindings required), and it can itself be built into a C library, auto-generating the required C headers.

You are absolutely correct on the point of the C ABI. It's definitely the systems lingua franca.

Just finished reading the Zig cc article and I must say I'm also quite impressed. I'll be keeping an eye on the next Zig release--being able to eventually use it as a `cc` or `mvsc` replacement would be a big game changer. Having recently run the study of trying to cross compile a few C++ and GTK apps, I can really see the appeal.


I know it's not as complicated as C++ but it sure seems like they're in a rush to get there :) . Modern (post c++14) covers most of my criticisms of c++ for my daily driver. I still poke at Rust because I really love statically typed languages :)

I've been very surprised by Rust's complexity. Some of it seems to be being hidden over time (as well as adding new features) but its syntax at any given moment is generally more complex than C++.

Really? I would consider its syntax to be of similar complexity but of higher consistency. What parts of it do you find complex?

When you happen to have generics coupled with lifetime annotations for example.

I’m not being contrarian, but I have only been following Zig in passing. Can you give a few example of the increase in complexity, I am genuinely curious. Zig seems, to my eyes at least, to have done an admirable job of remaining simple when compared to the behemoth that is C++, of any vintage (but especially post C++03).

Rust is not a C++ replacement, nor a C replacement. It targets its own niche (embedded, realtime, correctness-oriented). It's a totally different development culture. Zig, OTOH, is absolutely a C replacement.

My day job is maintaining the toolchains for a popular safety-certified realtime embedded operating system. I have never once been asked to provide a Rust toolchain. Fortran, yes. Ada, yes. Python and Go, yes. By and large it's just C (and more and more C++).

Rust seems to be mostly something "full stack developers" and "back end developers" embrace for server-side toys and hobby projects.


Python, on a realtime embedded operating system? Rust isn't really there for embedded development yet. It's great for low-level code on full-blown processors/OSs though

Python: customers ask, I deliver.

Top-end embedded processors have GPUs and hypervisors these days and run AI algorithms to, say, detect lane changes and do parallel-parking maneuvers. These days AI means code written in Python and Fortran.


Rust does not target correctness-oriented code at all. Neither do standard C or C++, for that matter, but there are derivatives of C that can (and are) used for it.

> It targets its own niche (embedded, realtime, correctness-oriented).

I don't know of anyone who actually uses Rust in that niche.

Everyone who uses Rust is using it because of "C++ is hard, let's go shopping instead" syndrome.

I.e., at this point it's a language for beginners to ease themselves into programming without training wheels and eventually graduate to real big boy programming languages.


This is a strange sentiment. I think 99/100 people who know rust would not categorize it as "for beginners"

It's pretty much irrelevant what people feel emotionally about Rust.

The real-world fact is that Rust is, as of March 2020 at least, an entry-level systems programming language. It's used as a stepping stone by former PHP/Python/Go programmers, who are very intimidated by C++, to get into performance-oriented coding.

Nobody actually writing embedded or sensitive code (airplanes, nuclear power stations, etc.) is doing it in Rust.


This makes zero sense and it's not about emotion.

The language is young and you don't certify a software solution every two days or don't rewrite your nuclear power station code every day.

Very experienced programmers switched to Rust because it makes it possible to build large scale industrial programs both efficient and reliable. They won't switch to C++ just because they think they're good enough to live dangerously.

(btw I work on plant control and yes I write parts in Rust)


> Very experienced programmers switched to Rust because it makes it possible to build large scale industrial programs both efficient and reliable.

This never happens in the real world; not unless the 'very experienced' bit is experience only in languages like PHP or Python.


It's true that a lot of PHP/Python/Go programmers look to Rust rather than C++ when getting into performance-oriented code. But it's not really a stepping stone, because you never have to leave.

It's true that not a lot of people are using Rust for embedded software. That's a much harder nut to crack because so many of the toolchains are proprietary (and embedded support in Rust is still missing quite a few things).


> ...because you never have to leave.

You kind of do if you ever want to work on anything other than pet personal one-man projects.


Not for technical reasons though.

Also: I've used Rust at work. In fact, I learnt Rust because I was processing a lot of data at work, and needed a fast language to do so in a reasonable amount of time.




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