Android Go vs. Rust: Features, Similarities & Differences

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Let’s have a myopic view over Google’s two new programming languages Go vs. Rust that have emerged as major options for enterprise application development!

Both Golang vs. Rust come forth with incredible features like integrated tool-chain, memory safety, open-source development model and strong community for modern software development. But they are designed to touch different niches, replenish different demands, and the coding structure and application architecture are different. This selection is not for crowning a particular language to be objectively better, instead, we intend to justify the aptness of a programming language for a certain task.

Understanding Rust Application Development

RUST programming language attempted to be amongst the top 20 world’s most popular programming languages since the last few months (updated through June 2020). A popular reason for this is the arrant simplicity that RUST comes with. Being strongly typed, RUST application development is not as tedious as other languages. The architectural design of a RUST application varies drastically from one application to the next in the context of its purpose. ‘Rustaceans’ – (the name is chosen for a pun on RUST Developers) do adopt a methodical process in laying out the architectural design of the application before a single line of code gets written as a part of:

  • Designing multiple consumer threads and any shared data resources that they require.
  • The various ways in which various peripheral i/o (e.g.: serial devices, PCI and other specialized interfaces) should be handled.
  • To reduce unwanted efforts by fighting the compiler on various pieces of your application that may have the potential to cause this.

Additionally, the presence of type system prevents run-time null pointer exceptions. The memory is calculated during compilation. This makes the application escape the garbage collection.

RUST can be used especially in time/space-constrained scenarios like microcontrollers. RUST also comes with web assembly. It can be used to build tools that compile to web assembly and run in a browser. It is a near counterpart to C++, solving problems with similar ease.

How Can Rust Programming Language Help?

  • High Performance: RUST is preferred for its high-performance and memory management with no runtime or garbage collector.
  • Integration into Embedded Devices: It can power some critical services, can run on embedded devices and easily integrate with other languages.
  • Native: It is a native-level language like C++.
  • Cross-Platform Development: Android RUST can turn out to be a viable medium of sharing business logic between Android and iOS.
  • Safe Memory Usage: RUST features a rich type system and ownership model to guarantee memory-safety and thread-safety to enable the elimination of many bug-classes during compilation.
  • No Memory Mistakes: It comes with a robust compiler to safeguard the application from common memory mistakes.

Understanding Go Application Development

Golang (GO) Programming Language was designed and is used by ‘Golangians’ – (the name is chosen to add a pun on the catchword i.e. Golang developers) to get rid of computation clusters, web programming models, to handle garbage collection and to adapt across advance systems for software architectures on server-side. Golang programming language is pragmatic, effective, concise and flexible. It streamlines the coding process and makes the overall programming more productive and agile. Go can be perceived as a successor of Java since it can be used to build distributed systems. E.g: Kubernetes, Docker – were written in Go.

How can Go Programming Language help?

  • Powers Entry-Level Devices: Android (Go edition) is a lightning speed OS built for smart-phones with less than 2GB of RAM.
  • Faster Launch Times: Create GO Apps that are 15% faster than any other application on an entry-level smart-phone.
  • Do More: Go apps use less space, save data and stay loaded with power. It keeps everything faster and is easier to use.
  • High-Speed Web: Go empowers smart-phone users by suggesting them while they type, set searches to private on shared devices, make use of the camera to hear new words on signs and forms.
  • Edit and Search Photos Offline: Go provides one offline tap editing + users need to spend less time looking for photos as built-in machine learning (AI-ML) keeps things organized. This saves data for other essential purposes.
  • In-built security: Google Go has built-in security features backed by expert resources from Google to keep devices safe.

Differences: Rust vs. Go

ParameterRUSTGOLANG (GO)
OriginDeveloper: Mozilla ResearchDeveloper: The Go Authors
Latest Version1.43.1 (Updated June 2020)1.14.3 (Updated June 2020)
PerformanceHighly performant; is slightly faster than Swift programming languageGO and JAVA is less performant than RUST programming language.
Ease of UseVery easy and safe to use with zero-cost runtime abstractions for memory handling and processingEasy to use and manage.
Ease of LearningDevelopers do need to apply some effort to learn and master the language’s abstractions for memory management.It comes with complete documentation and has a large community of users.
Memory ManagementRUST makes use of compile-time ownership strategies with zero-cost abstractions for managing memory in the apps. A RUST program compiles only when it is 100% memory safe. This resolves a lot of issues before the program goes live.Golang has ‘Go-runtime’ to handle runtime-associated overhead. This makes is faster than its counterparts like Python.
Speed of DevelopmentRUST programs take longer to compile in comparison to Go programsGO is simple and fast
Concurrency and ParallelismRUST does not have concrete concurrency or asynchronous operations.Go has go-routines (lightweight threads) and channels (communication mechanism for go-routines) to ease the process of app creation. It has native test mechanisms to warn about Race conditions at runtime.
Interoperability with legacy codeRUST can interface code at higher levels like interacting with the C libraries directly with extern keywords and via calling libc “crate” libraries.

RUST cannot guarantee memory or thread safety,

Calling into c++ code isn’t supported.

Interoperability comes with a speed overhead – Go provides the cgo package for working with C.

As Go is memory-managed and garbage-collected, it needs to be ensured that any pointers that are passed to C are handled correctly.

Advantages
  • RUST never compiled code with bugs
  • Top-tier execution speed
  • Hardware-level code
  • Memory safety with garbage collection
  • It integrates multiple languages easily
  • It is backed by a strong community
  • It features a low-cost abstraction
  • Has amazing run time speed, debugging and testing.
  • Go has a quick development cycle
  • It comes with incredible speed.
  • Golang can work faster than many other programming languages such as Python, JavaScript, Java C #, C, RUST etc.
  • High-tier execution speed
  • Memory safety with garbage collection
  • Simple code with convenience
  • API documentation is rich in content; easy to memorize
  • The go compiler compiles binaries instantly.
  • Built-in unit testing
  • Simplified code
  • Good for DevOps and micro-services
  • Go supports IDE
  • Possess strong interoperability with C Programming Language
DisadvantagesRUST comes with an extremely high speed

It takes care of normal C++ memory issues, has simple API’s makes it easy to learn and use. But RUST is still more complicated than Swift or Kotlin.

The challenge is to build a proper bridge between RUST and client frameworks.

  • It sacrifices a few performance aspects to emphasize its aim of simplicity
  • It allows for some interoperability through cgo, which is an unexpected way to write Golang programs
  • Golang largely lacks generics
  • This programming language doesn’t have ample immutability
  • Go collects waste which affects its overall performance
Similarities
  • They’re both positioned somewhere between a lower-level systems language (like C or C++) and a runtime-based language (like JavaScript or Python).
  • Both languages lean towards the systems programming realm.
  • Ease of deployment
  • Ease of cross-compilation
  • Applicable where the high-level performance or high-level concurrency are required
Improvements
  • RUST comes with better developer tools – Along-with the support for IDE, RLS also enables ‘goto definition’, symbol search, reformatting and code completion.
  • RUST features faster code compilation
  • Async/await language feature
  • RUST’s Cargo build system and the package manager will receive many new features, including better support for cross-compilation.
  • Better Security – To deliver security updates, improve code authentication, reduce the use of unsafe code, better verification of the standard library.
  • Android (Go edition) OS  is a platform tailored for smart-phones with 1.5GB of memory or less.
  • Android 10 (Go edition) includes Adiantum which is a new type of encryption, built by Google for entry-level smart-phones.
  • No specialized hardware is required to run.

Let’s Crack It: Which programming language to prefer for developing enterprise applications –Google Rust vs. Golang?

Both Rust and Go share some similarities

  • Both RUST and GO intend for handling lower-level systems languages (like C or C++) and a runtime based language (like JavaScript or Python)
  • Both languages are inclined towards the systems programming realm.
  • They are easily deployable.
  • Both GO and RUST is easy to compile.
  • RUST vs. GO is applicable where high-level performance or high-concurrency are required.

How to Select: Go vs. Rust

While selecting the best amongst the given two programming languages, it depends more upon the programming background rather than the specific problem that we resolve. A startup or a small scale organization may choose Go especially when they need speed and growth. RUST can be taken up my mid-to-large scale enterprises, who are experienced programmers as it can be relatively difficult to pick. Come to us with your queries on RUST App Development vs. Go App Development, we’re happy help!


Frequently Asked Questions


What is Golang Programming Language Used For?

Golang is an open-source programming language created by Google. Go is still a great choice for real-time application development, networking apps, cloud-based interfaces, and micro-services.


Why Use Golang Programming Language?

Golang is fast, has a quick development cycle, incredible speed, memory safety, good for DevOps and micro-services.


What is Rust Programming Language Used For?

Rust is an open-source programming language that focuses on safety and speed, using to create various reliable and efficient software applications, such as operating systems and simulation engines for virtual reality.


Why Use Rust Programming Language?

Rust programming language used for better performance, more reliability and more productivity.

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About Author
Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain

Vipin Jain is the Co-Founder and CEO at Konstant Infosolutions and is in charge of marketing, project management, administration and R&D at the company. With his marketing background, Vipin Jain has developed and honed the company’s vision, corporate structure & initiatives and its goals, and brought the company into the current era of success.

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