Common Lisp vs Rust: What are the differences?
What is Common Lisp? The modern, multi-paradigm, high-performance, compiled, ANSI-standardized descendant of the long-running family of Lisp programming languages. Lisp was originally created as a practical mathematical notation for computer programs, influenced by the notation of Alonzo Church's lambda calculus. It quickly became the favored programming language for artificial intelligence (AI) research. As one of the earliest programming languages, Lisp pioneered many ideas in computer science, including tree data structures, automatic storage management, dynamic typing, conditionals, higher-order functions, recursion, and the self-hosting compiler. [source: wikipedia].
What is Rust? A safe, concurrent, practical language. Rust is a systems programming language that combines strong compile-time correctness guarantees with fast performance. It improves upon the ideas of other systems languages like C++ by providing guaranteed memory safety (no crashes, no data races) and complete control over the lifecycle of memory.
Common Lisp and Rust can be categorized as "Languages" tools.
"Flexibility" is the top reason why over 13 developers like Common Lisp, while over 81 developers mention "Guaranteed memory safety" as the leading cause for choosing Rust.
Rust is an open source tool with 37.3K GitHub stars and 5.85K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Rust's open source repository on GitHub.
Dropbox, Sentry, and Roundscope Ukraine Labs are some of the popular companies that use Rust, whereas Common Lisp is used by Real Softservice, NG Informática, and Platform Project. Rust has a broader approval, being mentioned in 39 company stacks & 105 developers stacks; compared to Common Lisp, which is listed in 5 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.
What is Common Lisp?
What is Rust?
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To handle its growing observability needs, Postmates created and open sourced Cernan, a telemetry and logging aggregation server. Ceran is built on Rust and Lua, and can ingest data from many sources and then push or exposes what it’s collected to many destinations, or “sinks.” It can also create or manipulate in-flight data with programmable Lua filters.
Sentry's event processing pipeline, which is responsible for handling all of the ingested event data that makes it through to our offline task processing, is written primarily in Python.
For particularly intense code paths, like our source map processing pipeline, we have begun re-writing those bits in Rust. Rust’s lack of garbage collection makes it a particularly convenient language for embedding in Python. It allows us to easily build a Python extension where all memory is managed from the Python side (if the Python wrapper gets collected by the Python GC we clean up the Rust object as well).
One important decision for delivering a platform independent solution with low memory footprint and minimal dependencies was the choice of the programming language. We considered a few from Python (there was already a reasonably large Python code base at Thumbtack), to Go (we were taking our first steps with it), and even Rust (too immature at the time).
We ended up writing it in C. It was easy to meet all requirements with only one external dependency for implementing the web server, clearly no challenges running it on any of the Linux distributions we were maintaining, and arguably the implementation with the smallest memory footprint given the choices above.
Initially, I wrote my text adventure game in C++, but I later rewrote my project in Rust. It was an incredibly easier process to use Rust to create a faster, more robust, and bug-free project.
One difficulty with the C++ language is the lack of safety, helpful error messages, and useful abstractions when compared to languages like Rust. Rust would display a helpful error message at compile time, while C++ would often display "Segmentation fault (core dumped)" or wall of STL errors in the middle. While I would frequently push buggy code to my C++ repository, Rust enabled me to only even submit fully functional code.
Along with the actual language, Rust also included useful tools such as rustup and cargo to aid in building projects, IDE tooling, managing dependencies, and cross-compiling. This was a refreshing alternative to the difficult CMake and tools of the same nature.
At FlowStack we write most of our backend in Go. Go is a well thought out language, with all the right compromises for speedy development of speedy and robust software. It's tooling is part of what makes Go such a great language. Testing and benchmarking is built into the language, in a way that makes it easy to ensure correctness and high performance. In most cases you can get more performance out of Rust and C or C++, but getting everything right is more cumbersome.
Rust is used in Shirogane (https://github.com/Marc3842h/shirogane).
Shirogane is a osu! beatmap mirror built for shiro. We use Rust because of memory safe but still low level and high performance.