The Biggest Names in Tech Form the Rust Foundation

Published February 10, 2021, 8:09 AM

by Robert "Bob" Reyes

Started as a personal project by Mozilla employee Graydon Hoare in 2006, Rust has grown to one of the most-loved programming languages of recent times with its “hack without fear” slogan. Rust is described as a blazingly fast and memory-efficient systems programming language. With no runtime or garbage collector, it can power performance-critical services, run on embedded devices, and easily integrate with other languages.

The non-profit organization Mozilla, makers of the Firefox web browser, began sponsorship of the Rust project in 2009 and was formally announced to the general public the year after. But much more than a programming language and a community, Rust also represents a new, radical, way to collaborate on open source projects.

Dropbox, Coursera, Figma, Cloudflare, Discord, and Facebook use Rust in production, taking advantage of its C-like performance while still keeping the memory safety that developers first saw with JavaScript and Python.

Fast-forward to 2021, tech giants AWS, Google, Huawei, Microsoft, and Mozilla form the Rust Foundation — a new independent non-profit organization to steward the Rust programming language and ecosystem. The newly formed organization has a unique focus on supporting the set of maintainers that govern and develop the project.

“Our founding sponsors’ eager and enthusiastic participation is not only a promise to maintain and sustain Rust as what it is today, but an endorsement of Rust’s values and a dedication to share the responsibility of cultivating the future that Rust aspires to,” according to a blog post by Ashley Williams, member of the Rust Core Team and Interim Executive Director of the Rust Foundation.

Mozilla — the original home of the Rust project — has transferred all trademark and infrastructure assets, including the package registry, to the Rust Foundation. The tech non-profit incubated the project from 2010 until the establishment of independent governance with the Rust 1.0 release in 2015.

The Rust Foundation will hold its very first board meeting today, 09 February 2021 at 4:00pm CT.