Firefox To Ditch C++ In Favor Of Rust

By | January 25, 2012 | 18 Comments


Firefox To Ditch C++ In Favor Of Rust

If everything goes according to the plan, Rust, Mozilla’s experimental programming language that has been in development since 2006, could slowly replace C++, which is currently used by the open source organization.

Just like Google’s Go programming language, Rust syntax is similar to that of C and C++ and destined to provide memory safety, greater security and good concurrency support.

Although Mozilla still has a long way to go, if you are curious enough, feel free to download the alpha version of Rust 0.1 compiler, which has been just released.

With Google, Mozilla and Microsoft developing their own programming languages, it looks like the future of web browsers will be very exciting.


About (Author Profile)


Vygantas is a former web designer whose projects are used by companies such as AMD, NVIDIA and departed Westood Studios. Being passionate about software, Vygantas began his journalism career back in 2007 when he founded FavBrowser.com. Having said that, he is also an adrenaline junkie who enjoys good books, fitness activities and Forex trading.

  • Przemysław Lib

     “If everything goes according to the plan, Rust, Mozilla’s experimental
    programming language that has been in development since 2006, could
    slowly replace C++, which is currently used by the open source
    organization.”

    What???

  • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

    I’ve never heard of Rust before, but it just means more runtimes to install. :(

    • Przemysław Lib

       Rust is compiled language :)  You install additional libraries (if they are not included in exe already) nothing more.

      • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

        That’s what I meant by what I said. Still, why Rust? Why no jump to just C or just C++?

        (That’s right, they’ll use what they think is best; their own.)

        • Przemysław Lib

           Libs are not runtime :|
          But ok rust will mean more things to install. However they could be bundled with FF exec. Since on linux we have Package Managers TM to take care of it for ouselfs :)

          On the other hand I do think that title of this article is pure fiction of the author ;)

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            Mozilla does have a language named Rust.

            They’ll just bundle the dependencies in with their products instead of having to install them separately (like they do with the VC++ 2010 libraries).

  • Asknobody

    Rust language for rusty browser

    • PC`EliTiST

      Brah, ‘Rust’ wouldn’t be Opera’s language. Go try your Hardware Acceleration which consumes more Video Memory with only 3-4 pages than Battlefield 3 on Medium Settings. And other 500MB of RAM.

      Opera = Ridiculous, believe it or not. And that’s why you got a user base of 0,1%.

      • Mikah

        Are you for real complaining about memory use in a alpha version of Opera.

        When you downloaded Opera 12 guess you must have missed the big red warning.

        “WARNING: This is a development snapshot: It contains the latest changes, but may also have severe known issues, including crashes, and data loss situations. In fact, it may not work at all.”

        Well I tried opening the same 99 pages in Opera 11.61 , Opera Next build 1256 alpha & Firefox 9.
        Opera 11.61 used 2.276 GB 
        Opera 12 used 2.342 GB
        Firefox used 1.239 GB plus a plugin container 715 MB = 1.954 GB

        More importantly to me both versions of Opera loaded all the pages far quicker Firefox took about 3 times as long.

  • Anonymous

    Why is everything building a new language

    If you want to make a language, make it new. Not a derivative of something else

  • Saex Conroy

    well i have faith that it will be superior than C++

    C++ is just a standard (im not into programming) but C++ doesnt look rock solid to me and it has many holes when it comes to something as a browser, so if they write the whole firefox in Rust, it will probably better compared to the current C++ firefox

    it will probably be more responsive, faster, less a memory hog

    in a few words: im looking forward to it, firefox is more like it used to be called – Firebird (Phonex) it will be revived from its ashes

    as firefox 4.0 is just an improved version of 3.6 .. probably some drastic, but still small improvements

    firefox rust will be a completely new experience, heed my words

    • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

      Just reading through Mozilla’s description it only mentions things related to security, but I see where you’re coming from.

      If Mozilla used their own language they would have better knowledge (and better use for it) because it’s their own, the same reason why game devs have game engines; standardisation.

      • Anonymous

        They have game engines, not their own programming languages to write the game engines.

        • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

          That was just an example of what I was trying to explain:

          In-house game engines / In-house programming languages = Better knowledge of what they want it to do.

          Please read my comment in its entirety before posting half-baked answers like that.

          • 1234– FF UX is the BEST!

            Another thing is that C++ language is not optimised for especially a browser.. but I guess if they are making thier own programming language, it has got work better for making a browser.. and the result would be a better browser.. .Right? :)

          • http://twitter.com/bricky149 Shane Bundy

            Which is exactly what I was trying to say. :)

  • 1234– FF UX is the BEST!

    That is sick! I wish mozilla comes up with a browser which has more responsivness.. I am runnin g a p4 here but for some reasons.. firefox does not do a good job with these computers especially the hyper threading p4 computer.. but chrome does have a good responsivness with my p4.. I wish the new program based firefox does the same or even better :)

  • apád anyád

    I am more curious about how this will effect other Mozilla products (if Thenderbird and Seamonkey too will be written in Rust?) and what will happen with the Gecko based but non-mozilla products, like Songbird, Iceweasel, palemoon, waterfox.