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Rust Foundation aims to steer the development of the programming language in a safe direction

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Since the announcement of the planned layoff of 250 employees at Mozilla (which corresponds to around a quarter of the workforce), there has been uncertainty in the Rust community this month as to how the programming language will continue. Active members of the Rust project are also affected by the terminations.

In the midst of this crisis, however, the project itself shows resilience and has now announced the establishment of its own foundation in a blog announcement.

The main motivation is apparently that since it was founded in 2010 (respectively 2006 when you count the first commit) The project has grown significantly in size and, according to the core team, now requires a new legal and financial framework that is independent of Mozilla. The idea for this had been in the fore for a long time, with a member of the core development team suggesting the establishment of a foundation at the beginning of 2020. The Rust developers had already communicated via Twitter in the past few days that their project was not threatened in its existence. According to the blog entry, the core team is now starting planning the foundation together with Mozilla, under whose roof various sub-projects and trademarks such as Cargo and crates.io are to find a new organizational home. The unbundling of responsibilities and finances goes hand in hand with this.

At its core, this is about the concept of ownership that is familiar to the Rust community. The internal development in the parent company has probably brought the core team to set sail a little earlier than expected. The Rust ship is scheduled to enter the port of the new foundation at the end of 2020, according to the blog entry. In future, the development and maintenance of the programming language should no longer be dependent on a single company.

In an interview with heise Developer, Jan-Erik Rediger talks about the importance of the community and areas of application for which Rust is predestined.

It was only in May 2020 that Rust celebrated its fifth birthday since reaching version 1.0, and Microsoft has been committed to developing with Rust for core elements in Windows for some time. Background information on establishing the Rust Foundation can be found in the announcing blog entry for the project.


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