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Why Discord Is Switching From Go To Rust
RoccamOccam writes: The developers at Discord have seen success with Rust on their video encoding pipeline for Go Live and on their Elixir NIFs' server. Recently, they penned a post explaining how they have drastically improved the performance of a service by switching its implementation from Go to Rust. From the post, "Remarkably, we had only put very basic thought into optimization as the Rust version was written. Even with just basic optimization, Rust was able to outperform the hyper hand-tuned Go version. This is a huge testament to how easy it is to write efficient programs with Rust compared to the deep dive we had to do with Go."

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Node.js/Deno Creator Discusses Rust, C++, TypeScript, and Vim
Ryan Dahl, creator of Node.js and Deno, gave a new interview this week to the IT outsourcing company Evrone: Evrone: You have hands-on experience with lots of programming languages: C, Rust, Ruby, JavaScript, TypeScript. Which one do you enjoy the most to work with? Ryan: I have the most fun writing Rust these days. It has a steep learning curve and is not appropriate for many problems; but for the stuff I'm working on now it's perfect. It's a much better C++. I'm convinced that I will never start a new C++ project. Rust is beautiful in its ability to express low-level machinery with such simplicity. JavaScript has never been my favorite language — it's just the most common language — and for that reason it is a useful way to express many ideas. I don't consider TypeScript a separate language; its beauty is that it's just marked up JavaScript. TypeScript allows one to build larger, more robust systems in JavaScript, and I'd say it's my go-to language for small everyday tasks. With Deno we are trying to remove a lot of the complexity inherent in transpiling TypeScript code down to JavaScript with the hope this will enable more people to utilize it. Evrone: Gradual typing was successfully added into core Python, PHP, and Ruby. What, in your opinion, is the main showstopper for adding types into JavaScript? Ryan: Types were added to JavaScript (with TypeScript) far more successfully than has been accomplished in Python, PHP, or Ruby. TypeScript is JavaScript with types. The better question is: what is blocking the JavaScript standardization organization (TC39) from adopting TypeScript? Standardization, by design, moves slowly and carefully. They are first looking into proposing Types-As-Comments, which would allow the JavaScript runtimes to execute TypeScript syntax by ignoring the types. I think eventually TypeScript (or something like it) will be proposed as part of the JavaScript standard, but that will take time. Evrone: As a respectable VIM user, what do you think of modern programmer editors like Visual Studio Code? Are they good enough for the old guard? Ryan: Everyone I work with uses vscode and they love it. Probably most people should use that. I continue to use VIM for two reasons. 1) I'm just very familiar and fast with it, I like being able to work over ssh and tmux and I enjoy the serenity of a full screen terminal. 2) It's important for software infrastructure to be text-based and accessible with simple tools. In the Java world they made the mistake of tying the IDEs too much into the worldflows of the language, creating a situation where practically one was forced to use an IDE to program Java. By using simple tooling myself, I ensure that the software I develop does not become unnecessarily reliant on IDEs. If you use grep instead of jump-to-definition too much indirection becomes intolerable. For what I do, I think this results in better software.

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Python Turns 30. A Steering Council Member Reflects
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Python programming language, "which has never been more popular, arguably thanks to the rise of data science and AI projects in the enterprise," writes Venture Beat. To celebrate the historical releases file has been updated to include Guido van Rossum's original 0.9.1 beta release from 1991. (Its ReadMe file advises that Python 0.9 "can be used instead of shell, Awk or Perl scripts, to write prototypes of real applications, or as an extension language of large systems, you name it.") And meanwhile, VentureBeat interviewed Pablo Galindo, one of the five members of the 2021 Python Steering Council and a software engineer at Bloomberg: VentureBeat: What's your current assessment of Python? Galindo: Python is a very mature language, and it has evolved. It also has a bunch of things that it carries over. Python has some baggage that nowadays feels a bit old, but the community and the ecosystem has to be preserved. It's similar to how C and C++ are evolving right now. When you make changes to the language, it's quite dangerous [because you can] break things. That's what people are scared of the most. But even though Python is quite old, there are big changes. The Python 3.1 release for this October will include pattern matching, which is one of the biggest syntax changes that Python has seen in a long time. We can learn from other languages. I think we're happy to say that we are still evolving and adapting. We have a good experience with respecting the importance of backwards compatibility. VentureBeat: If you could be Python king for a day, what would you change? Galindo: I would be a horrible King for a day. The first order of business would be to fix all these things that we have acquired over the years in the language. That would require breaking a bunch of things. Obviously, I will not do that, but I think one of the things I really would like to see in the future is for Python to become faster than it is. I think Python still has a lot of potential to become faster. I'm thinking this will be impossible. But one can dream. VentureBeat: What do you know now about Python today that you wish you knew when you first began using it? Galindo: I think the most important thing I learned is how many different uses there are for Python. It's important to listen to all these sorts of users when considering the evolution of the language. It's quite surprising and quite revealing to consider how changes or improvements will conflict or will interact with other users of the language. That's something that when I started I didn't even consider. It would be good if people could be empathetic to us changing the language when we have to balance these things.

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