Rust Foundation Announces Safety-Critical Consortium
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Friday, 21 June 2024

The Rust Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and sustaining the Rust programming language, has announced a Safety-Critical Rust Consortium along with industry partners including Arm, AdaCore, and Lynx Software Technologies.

The consortium's goal is to encourage the responsible use of Rust in safety-critical software. Safety-Critical Rust Consortium Membership is open to Rust Foundation member organizations and other invitees, such as industry, academic, and legal experts.

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Industries that come under the 'safety-critical' heading include transportation (such as automotive, aviation, space), energy, and life sciences. The new consortium acknowledges that such industries are usually ften regulated, have liability considerations, are guided by standards, and have decades of experience in behaving safely.

The Rust Foundation says that while Rust offers advantages in terms of developer ergonomics, productivity and software quality, it lacks a deep and established well of safety-processes and collective industry knowledge of safety-critical systems. The consortium will work to change that. The foundation says that:

"by rapidly incorporating lessons learned from years of careful development and past mistakes in the wider open source ecosystem, Rust can become a valuable component of a safety toolkit adaptable to various safety-critical industries and severity levels."

The consortium will start by creating a public charter and goals, and the foundation says meeting minutes will be published on an ongoing basis. Liaison between the consortium and the Rust Project will be through Rust Foundation Project Directors and members of Rust Project teams. The announcement of the consortium says its scope may include the development of guidelines, linters, libraries, static analysis tools, formal methods and language subsets to meet industrial and legal requirements.

The group may further shepherd Rust Foundation-funded implementation work, including grants to existing academic teams or FOSS projects. Any Rust Foundation-funded work will be submitted upstream, licensed as FOSS, and any specifications will be freely available. The group will further attempt to coordinate with and expand on existing safety-critical projects and standards including SAE JA1020.

Interested parties are invited to join the consortium. More details are on the Rust Foundation Website.

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More Information

Rust Foundation Website

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