Here's my Rust advice for C and C++ programmers:
- Rust is a higher-level language than C. A C/C++ programmer could think of Rust as "C++ without most of the footguns and magic."
- Certain types of C/C++ code will translate very easily to Rust. For example, if your code mostly transforms bytes (or data structures) into other bytes (or data structures), then Rust will usually be fairly easy to learn. We could call this "mostly functional" C code, with only localized mutability, and with clear, hierarchical data structures. Examples: Most typical Unix CLI tools.
- Certain kinds of C and C++ will translate very badly to Rust. If you have a big web of mutable objects, all of which point to each other and update each other, then your first experience of Rust will probably be frustrating. Examples: doubly-linked lists, traditional GUIs, typical video games. You can do all these things in Rust, but you'll need to either re-architect them or use more advanced features. (See http://cglab.ca/~abeinges/blah/too-many-lists/book/ for doubly-linked lists, or https://kyren.github.io/2018/09/14/rustconf-talk.html for video games.)
- Async Rust is not ready for prime-time. We make limited use of async Rust at work. It's rock-solid and powerful, but it's missing critical ergonomic features and it demands a surprisingly high level of Rust knowledge. See https://areweasyncyet.rs/.
Honestly, if you're happy with C, there's no reason to switch to Rust. (Except, maybe, preventing exploits, if you worry about that.) If, however, you love certain parts of C++ and hate other parts of C++, then Rust might be worth a look. Anyway, that's my personal take. :-) Overall, I've been really enjoying Rust. It generates fast, reliable code and it fits the way I think.
I have purchased it and it's pretty good. Although it really seems to be geared more towards experienced systems programmers. The online book is much better for beginners, IMO.
And The Rust Programming Language (https://doc.rust-lang.org/book) is on its way to paper publication.
The newly minted Rustonomicon (https://doc.rust-lang.org/nightly/nomicon/) that covers deeper aspects of Rust is hopefully destined for the same.
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