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Holy war (was: libpager multi-client support)

From: Olaf Buddenhagen
Subject: Holy war (was: libpager multi-client support)
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 11:44:07 +0200
User-agent: NeoMutt/20160916 (1.7.0)


On Mon, Oct 17, 2016 at 09:51:41PM -1000, Brent W. Baccala wrote:

> I've been thinking more about the data structures involved with the new
> libpager code, and they're complex enough that I'd like to write them in
> C++11.

Yay, flamebait! ;-)

Two years ago, I would have said something along these lines: C++ does
certainly have some strong point; but at the same time it's a very ugly
language, which is not universally considered an improvement. Even *if*
we agreed it was slightly better all in all, it's probably not worth the

But that was two years ago. Today my reply is: why even consider C++,
when there is Rust?

Rust offers the same level of efficiency; about the same level of
expressiveness (I'd say higher, but I might be biased); much, *much*
better safety; and while the initial learning curve is a bit steep, it
doesn't have any of the hidden complexity and countless pitfalls.

Rust's slogan is, "fast, reliable, productive: pick three" -- and it
delivers. I honestly believe it is a game-changer; and in my opinion the
Hurd would do good to start using Rust sooner rather than later. It
would gain a major edge: not only from the inherent productivity boost;
but also from increased attractiveness to developers.

While the Hurd wouldn't be the first operating system employing Rust, it
would be (to the best of my knowledge) the first general-purpose system
to employ Rust as a tool to meet its own unique goals, rather than just
"it's written in Rust" as the *only* selling point.

There is just one little problem right now: Rust hasn't been ported to
the Hurd yet. Whoopsie... ;-)


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