Rust Team Announces Rust Foundation
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 11 February 2021

The Rust Core team has announced the start of the active life of the Rust Foundation, a new independent non-profit organization to steward the Rust programming language and ecosystem. A major focus will be to support the set of maintainers that govern and develop the project.

The foundation has already held its first board meeting, with five directors from the founding member companies of  AWS, Huawei, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, as well as five directors from project leadership, two representing the Core Team, along with three project areas: reliability, quality, and collaboration.

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The announcement of the foundation last year came at the same time as Mozilla (original sponsors of Rust) announced layoffs of 250 people, including some involved in the Rust project. The new foundation will probably distance the language from Mozilla, which may lose Mozilla, which has adopted a new focus on earing revenue, opportunities for selling support services.

Announcing the formal opening of the foundation and the first board meeting, Ashley Williams, Interim Executive Director and Core team member, said:

"This marks a huge step in the growth of Rust on several axes; not the least of which, a formal, financial commitment from a set of global industry leading companies, heralding Rust’s arrival as an enterprise production-ready technology."

Mozilla has transferred all trademark and infrastructure assets, including the crates.io package registry, to the Rust Foundation.

Williams said that

"Rust is so much more than a programming language and a community - Rust also represents a new, radical, way to collaborate on open source projects. The decision making power within the Rust project is uniquely delegated and distributed; with the core team holding little more privilege than other more specialized teams."

Rust has over 100 team members as leaders in the design and maintenance of the project, and through Rust’s RFC process, more than 1000 people have made nearly 500 decisions that represent the most critical and strategic product and design decisions for the project.

While this openness results in a language and ecosystem that is truly accessible to everyone, Williams says that

"such a system comes at a cost; a cost that is too often invisible and thus unaccounted for. For too long, open source as both an industry and a community has done a poor audit of its expenses."

The aim of the Rust Foundation is not to evangelize the use of open source software to the largest and most influential players in our industry; that is already a fact. The new challenge is to support and prepare the maintainers and open governance structures.

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More Information

Rust Foundation Website

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