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Java vs Rust: What are the differences?

Java: A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!; 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.

Java and Rust can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"Great libraries" is the top reason why over 526 developers like Java, 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.

Airbnb, Uber Technologies, and Spotify are some of the popular companies that use Java, whereas Rust is used by Dropbox, Sentry, and Roundscope Ukraine Labs. Java has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2399 company stacks & 2723 developers stacks; compared to Rust, which is listed in 39 company stacks and 105 developer stacks.

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What is Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!

What is Rust?

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.
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What are some alternatives to Java and Rust?
C
Abstract
Abstract builds upon and extends the stable technology of Git to host and manage your work.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Scala
Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
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How developers use Java and Rust
Avatar of Brian Fults
Brian Fults uses JavaJava

Pretty much everything - Java is reasonably fast, reasonably safe, and reasonably expressive. I wouldn't call it the best at any of those things. The real advantage to me is that the virtual machine is ubiquitous and many people can understand it. Since I have the most experience in this language, it's my tool of choice for most projects.

I've also been learning JavaFx so that I can build user interfaces without the web. I've started several single-page-application projects that worked, but felt like workarounds or hacks and would be better-served as self-contained applications.

Avatar of denkbar.io
denkbar.io uses JavaJava

Do I really need to explain? Well to me, the most appealing factor in Java besides the unbelievable community and vast array of available libraries, is just the amount of effort that has been put in the modern JVM. Decades of optimization and improvements have lead to a terrific piece of technology. I admire the people contributed to that.

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses JavaJava

Shouldn't surprise anyone, as minecraft is also java-based. Java is used for much more than just the plugins though. JCVortex (our API) is also served with vert.x (Java) and many of our team-internal tools also originated from java or are still java-applications.

Avatar of Web Dreams
Web Dreams uses JavaJava

The most popular language in the world, definitely every programmer would use the Java language at some point. Frankly, I only use java when it’s a must. I find the language to be a little bit tedious when working with it.

Avatar of brenoinojosa
brenoinojosa uses JavaJava

bytelore.com makes extensive use of Java in its applications. We use Java due to its performance, community and the number of other projects built in the language. We have many projects and libraries built in Java.

Avatar of Marc3842h
Marc3842h uses RustRust

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.

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