Go vs. Rust: Which One to Pick for Web Development in 2022

Go, and Rust is two prevalent programming languages that are also divergent. Go was created as an alternative to other mainstream languages such as Java, PHP, and Python.

Go vs. Rust

However, it’s not just another language trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of functional languages. Instead, it’s built to be much faster than those languages, thanks to native compilers and static linking.

On the other hand, Rust was designed with performance in mind, memory safety & speed. Unlike many other languages that sacrifice safety and security for performance, Rust offers an optimum combination of safety and performance.

So, why the comparison – Go vs. Rust?

Well, for starters, both are commendable programming languages, and as per Google Trends, both have become a hot piece of cake in the programming world.

Have a look:

Go vs. Rust Comparison

Source: Google Trends

As part of a software development project, it’s critical to leverage the latest technology to ensure outstanding performance. Both Go and Rust are relatively new to the programming world and come with their unique set of benefits and drawbacks. So the query Go vs. Rust! It is, in fact, critical.

Go is four times as popular as Rust. However, popularity is the last thing to consider when choosing a project’s programming language.

Instead, there are tons of other things to focus on, like:

  • Performance
  • Features
  • Ease of use 
  • Maintenance 
  • Security Concern
  • Community
  • Benefits & Drawbacks of each of these two programming languages.

Let’s explore these aspects in detail, but before have a look at the infographic below, which gives you a quick summary of the entire article:

Go vs. Rust Comparison Infographic

I hope you must have a clear idea of these two programming languages by now. Let’s explore these comparison metrics in detail.

Go vs. Rust



1. Go vs. Rust – Analyzing the speed performance of the developed code

Speed Performance

If a developer is picking up a new language, they might have heard some buzz about how fast it is. But what does that mean for an end-user or developer building apps with that programming language? 

You can test the performance of different tools by checking out their respective benchmarks. For example, Go has its benchmark, and there are also plenty of comparative benchmarks across multiple languages that are worth browsing through when you’re comparing new platforms. 

Go: Go is blazingly fast compared to languages like Java or C++. Go is one of the fastest languages out there. Due to being compiled, Go naturally outperforms other languages like Python, Java, etc., which are interpreted or use a virtual runtime. In addition, Go programs compile instantly and produce a tiny file. 

Rust: It is a low-level programming language that runs blazingly fast and prevents software errors. When focussing specifically on the speed performance, Rust undoubtedly beats Go by a considerable margin. 

Rust gets translated to a machine language for various systems, independent of external resources outside the system’s runtime. It means that all generated binaries can function efficiently. All of it makes Rust code both consistent and fast, which results in high performance. 

So, the winner is Rust. 

2. Go vs. Rust – Which one brings more features to the projects?

It is essential to analyze the key features offered by the two programming languages as it will help you find the one consistent with your requirements. The best way to do that is through their official websites.

Go, and Rust are both open-source and free, so you don’t have to worry about paying license fees. They also offer various tools for development, including IDEs and compilers.

Go: Notable features offered by the programming language includes the following:

  • Open-Source
  • Static Typing
  • Concurrency Support
  • Powerful Standard Library and Tool Set
  • Advanced Testing Capabilities
  • Garbage Collection
  • Cross-Platform Development Opportunities

Rust: Similarly, Rust comes with the following set of features:

  • Zero cost abstraction
  • Error message
  • Move semantics
  • Threads without data races
  • Pattern matching
  • Guaranteed memory safety
  • Efficient C bindings 
  • Safe memory space allocation

As Rust offers more power-packed features, it outruns Go here also.

So, Rust is the winner.

3. Go vs. Rust – Which one is easier to use?

Go vs. Rust - Easy to use

Go: It has a simple learning curve which makes it easy to get started. Moreover, it is also an open-source language which means that you can find help quickly if you get stuck. The community around Go is very active, and there are a lot of libraries available in case you need them.

Rust: It requires some knowledge about concepts like ownership and borrowing before developers can start using it properly. It makes Rust a potent language but at the cost of its complexity.

If you are looking for a more high-level language, Go is probably a better choice than Rust. Still, if the developers already have experience in lower-level languages, then Rust may be easier to get into.

It is also worth mentioning that Go uses memory maps while Rust uses LLVM backends. It means an extra layer of abstraction between what’s happening in memory and what happens when a program runs on Rust.

Undoubtedly, Go is the virtual winner here.


Hire Golang developers


4. Go vs. Rust – Finding the one that offers smooth code maintenance

Go: Its tools, processes, and best practices make it easy to manage a large codebase over time. It supports internal documentation and automated testing that enable engineers across all disciplines—front-end, backend, operations, etc.—to develop new features in isolation and then deploy them effectively into production.

And because Go is open source—meaning that everyone can contribute bug fixes and improvements—thousands of contributors are continually improving Go as a language. Go is an excellent choice if you’re starting a new project or refactoring an existing codebase.

Rust: It fails to offer smooth code maintenance mainly because of its steep learning curve. The language has a lot of concepts that developers need to learn before they can even start writing applications in it. However, since its 1.0 release in 2015, there have been significant improvements in documentation and tooling that make Rust more approachable.

Go wins again.


Also Read: Vue.js vs. React: Which is The Best Option for Growing Enterprises?


5. Go vs. Rust – Analyzing the level of security offered by these two languages

Status of data security worldwide

Source: Statista – Status of Data Security Worldwide

Go: The Go language does not offer memory safety or data ownership features. It’s a garbage-collected language. It comes with multiple security-based features like bounds checking on arrays, type switches, etc. However, it will be an error to conclude that the language is insecure.

However, in comparison, Go lacks behind Rust. Even though it is a garbage-collected language, it doesn’t do any memory safety checks like Rust does, making it less secure than Rust.

Rust: The most impressive thing about Rust is its memory safety feature, which makes it impossible to crash due to bad pointers or other memory management issues. Due to its memory, safety features can be used in applications like operating systems or network routers where security and reliability are paramount. 

Rust also gives coders plenty of options when it comes to memory management. The ownership model lets you decide whether an object owns its data or not by marking each data type with either Copy or Move semantics. 

In addition, Rust prevents segmentation faults by checking if variables are initialized before they’re used (which is called lifetime checking). When programmers try to leverage uninitialized variables, the program will fail at compile time rather than runtime.

Thus, Rust language wins here.

6. Go vs. Rust – Which one has Mature Community Support?

programming languages used by software developers

Source: Statista – Programming Languages Used by Developers Worldwide 

Go’s popularity makes it a little easier to find engineers who know it, but given Rust’s growth rate in recent years and its lower learning curve, Rust might be gaining some steam.

As per Statista, both languages are gaining momentum in terms of popularity. Notably, Statista offers valuable insights into the following two languages.

Go: 11% of developers in the survey say they plan to migrate to the Go language, and another 13% already used it in 2021.

Rust: 7% of developers in the survey say they plan to migrate to the Rust language, and another 6% already used it in 2021.

We can easily conclude from the above data that the Go language has a higher reach. 

Go is always a good choice for beginners and experienced developers as well. You can hire Golang developers conveniently and ensure excellent project compatibility with this language.

That was all with the feature-centric comparison of Go vs. Rust. Let us now analyze these two languages based on their advantages & drawbacks.

Benefits & Drawbacks of the Go Programming Language

Go (Golang) is a renowned open-source programming language that makes building simple, reliable, and efficient software easy. It combines the development speed of working in a high-level language with the performance and safety of a low-level language. 

Benefits and drawbacks of Go

It’s fun to write, easy to read, and performs beautifully on servers and devices. Whether you are looking to build simple websites, next-generation microservices, or complex APIs – Go helps you achieve goals faster with less cost.

Pros:

  • Simple: Though Go’s syntax may look foreign to a C developer, it looks similar at its core. For example, ‘hello world’ in Go is written as it is in most other languages: print(Hello World). Developers with basic knowledge of any C-derived language (like Java or Python) find it much simpler to learn Go.
  • Fast: Go compiles to machine code, so there’s no runtime-loading of code or interpreter (the program starts executing as soon as it’s compiled). Go also has excellent optimization capabilities that make for highly performant programs.
  • Compatible with BigData: Go is ideal for handling some of today’s biggest data problems. It makes it suitable for creating microservices-based architectures. Because Go is such a fast language, developers can quickly write high-performance web servers in Go.
  • Robust: Go is a robust language with built-in garbage collection, memory safety, and built-in CSP-style concurrent programming. It means that developers don’t have to worry about memory leaks or dangling pointers, leading to crashes.
  • Automatic Free Space: The garbage collector frees up unused memory, so developers don’t have to worry about leaks or free up memory manually. Memory safety means that all variables are typed, and if they are not cast correctly, your program will not compile.
  • Scalable: One particular advantage that makes Go remarkably scalable is its ability to run as a single binary without any external dependencies or configuration files—all you need to run your application is its source code file.
  • Straightforward Concurrency Model: Go’s concurrency model is clear. There is no complicated message-passing mechanisms or shared-memory architectures to worry about, just good old-fashioned lightweight processes. 

Cons: 

  • Go is considered an interpreted language, but in reality, it is not wholly accurate. It does support code generation for some platforms, such as Windows and Mac OS X, but that doesn’t mean that all Go programs are compiled into machine code before execution.
  • Go lacks a proper package management system. In Go, there is no concept of dependency in a program. It means developers must manually download packages from repositories and install them on your machine. This process is quite tiresome and time-consuming if the teammates work on multiple projects simultaneously.

Benefits & Drawbacks of the Rust Programming Language

benefits and drawbacks of Rust

Rust is an open-source programming language that originated from Mozilla in 2006 and is developed primarily by the community rather than any single commercial entity. Designed to be a memory-safe language, Rust has been lauded as a systems programming language that emphasizes safety and performance without compromising modern conveniences such as multi-threading or functional programming paradigms.

In simple words, its design emphasizes safety, speed, concurrency, and parallelism and has zero-cost abstractions and memory safety without a garbage collector.

Let’s take a glimpse at the pros & cons of Rust as an alternative to C, C++, and Go, among others.

Pros:

  • Extensive Libraries: The libraries offered by Rust are massive, making it easy to find something that suits your needs. There are so many options available that you might be easily overwhelmed.
  • Highly Secure: The language has many security features like memory safety, making it harder for hackers to inject malicious scripts into your software. It also has a unique ownership model that helps developers avoid race conditions.
  • Blazing Speed Performance: This language offers swift compilation times (as quick as 0.1 seconds) with little to no overhead compared to other systems programming languages such as C++, Go, or C#.
  • Open-Source: Rust is an open-source, community-developed systems programming language that runs blazingly fast, prevents segfaults, and guarantees thread safety.
  • Multi-Platform: Rust is a new option for programmers looking to write software that doesn’t crash. Like Java (the J in JVM), it can be run as a virtual machine, which means it can work on multiple platforms without needing to be re-coded for each operating system.
  • High Performing Code: The language’s creators call it efficient and safe. It shines in mission-critical applications where code that freezes or crashes Rust performs exceptionally well.
  • Convenient to Scale-Up: While it’s a relatively new language, Rust was designed with concurrency. So, it’s easy to scale up in terms of scalability. Developers simply need to ensure that the code is thread-safe so that threads don’t overwrite each other’s variables or functions.

Cons:

  • Standard features such as method overloading are not available in Rust. That means developers must recompile all the code whenever a change is made.
  • Templating engines or threading support are not built into Rust by default.

Go vs. Rust: So, Who’s the Best?

Features Go Rust
Speed Performance Blazingly fast compared to Java or C++ Faster than Go
Notable Features Offer certain features but less than Rust More power-packed features
Easier to Use Easy to use as it has a simple learning curve Quite complex to use
Smooth Code Maintenance Easy to manage a large codebase over time Fails to offer a smooth code maintenance
Level of Security Does not offer memory safety Offers high-level memory safety features
Mature Community Support Go has a higher reach Less community support as compared to Go

Well, both outshine each other in specific aspects. Go language performs exceptionally well for,

  • Ease of use, 
  • Smooth Code Maintenance, and
  • Reliable Community Support. 

In contrast, Rust performs exceptionally well under,

  • Blazing Speed Performance,
  • Power-packed features, and
  • High levels of Security.

We at PixelCrayons, suggest you hire a developer based on your specific project requirements. 

No two projects are the same, so the choice depends upon the significant level of customization.

Contact us for a free project consultation.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can Golang replace Rust?

Answer: Experts are still skeptical about whether Go can replace Rust in future projects due to its limited memory safety guarantees. The true answer depends upon the project requirements, and there is no definite answer yet. However, it’s clear that both languages have their strengths and weaknesses, and so far, neither has managed to outdo the other wholly.

Question: Is Go fast?

Answer: The language Go is swift. Compiled programs can execute as quickly as their counterparts in other languages, and because it doesn’t use an interpreter or VM, the runtime performance is much better. In addition, the compile time is fast, and the resulting binary is small. 

Question: Is Go faster than Rust?

Answer: By contrast, Go prioritizes simplicity and will sacrifice some runtime performance. Yet, Go has an unbeatable build speed, which is critical for large codebases. In contrast, Rust is much faster than Go.

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