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Rust vs. Java: Choosing the Right Programming Language

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January 16th, 2024

As a developer, choosing the right language for your project can have significant long-term implications. This post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Rust and Java across various factors so you can make an informed decision based on the specific needs of the Progressive Web App Development Solutions companies.

Rust and Java have seen immense growth and adoption over the past decade. Rust is a relatively new systems programming language focusing on safety, speed, concurrency, and App Maintenance importance. Java is a well-established general-purpose language with a huge ecosystem. Both have their advantages and use cases.

The App Founders will help you compare Rust and Java: history, syntax, performance, safety, libraries & ecosystem, community, use cases, and more.

By the end, you’ll clearly understand their differences, strengths and weaknesses. Whether a Hybrid App Development Agency is building a web service, mobile app or embedded system, they can decide if Rust or Java is better suited.

History and Development

Rust and Java have taken very different paths in their origins and evolution.

Rust was created relatively recently in 2010 by Mozilla employee Graydon Hoare. Originally intended for the Firefox browser, Rust became an open-source project in 2010 and reached version 1.0 in 2015 after years of development. Rust is sponsored by the Mozilla Foundation with a core team guiding the App UI/UX Design and evolution in an open, community-driven process.

In contrast, Java dates back to 1991 when a team at Sun Microsystems initiated the Oak project led by James Gosling. After five years of internal development at Sun, the team renamed their programming language Java and launched version 1.0 in 1996

. Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010 and continues to be the corporate sponsor behind Java, managing releases in a more closed process than Rust.

The different origins and evolution of Rust and Java are reflected in their release cycles. As an open-source project sponsored by a non-profit, Rust has been able to iterate quickly, with a new major version released every six weeks. Java’s commercial backing has led to slower release cycles, with years between major versions and long-term support lasting many years per version.

Syntax and Code Structure

These Development Frameworks have different syntax styles that affect how code is structured.

Rust uses curly braces to denote blocks and has significant whitespace. Functions are defined with the fn keyword, variables are immutable by default, and types come after variables. Rust has pattern matching via the match keyword.


fn main() {

  let x = 5;

  match x {

    1 => println!("one"),

    2 => println!("two"),

    3 => println!("three"),

    _ => println!("anything"),




Java uses semicolons to end lines and braces to denote blocks. Functions are defined with public static keywords, variables can be mutable or immutable, and types come before variables. Java has switch statements instead of pattern matching.


public class Main {

  public static void main(String[] args) {

    int x = 5;

    switch(x) {

      case 1:



      case 2:



      case 3:









The syntax shapes how developers structure and organize code. Rust code tends to be more concise, while Java code can be more verbose. However, both languages offer ways to logically group code into functions, classes, modules, etc. Ultimately, the coding style comes down to developer preference.


One of the key differences between Rust and Java is in performance, particularly speed and memory usage focusing on User Experience importance. Rust is designed to be an extremely fast and lightweight language that gives the programmer fine-grained control over memory management. On the other hand, Java uses automatic garbage collection for memory management, which can impact performance.

Several benchmarks have compared the speed of Rust and Java programs. The TechEmpower framework benchmarks show Rust consistently outperforming Java across tests involving JSON serialization, database queries, and server loads. For example, in the plaintext test, which measures throughput, Rust was over five times faster than Java.

Rust achieves better performance through several factors. It compiles to native machine code rather than Java’s bytecode executed on a VM. The Rust compiler also performs advanced optimizations and zero-cost abstractions. Manual memory management in Rust avoids the overhead of Java’s garbage collector.

Rust programs can finely control how memory is allocated on the stack or heap. The ownership system ensures memory is freed promptly without needing a garbage collector. This prevents problems like memory leaks or dangling pointers. Java relies on automatic garbage collection, which can cause stalls or lag during execution.

Rust has a clear advantage over Java for use cases like game development or financial trading systems where speed and consistent performance are critical. The ability to control low-level details in Rust allows for much better optimization than Java’s abstraction over memory management.

Safety and Security

Rust’s key advantage is its strong focus on safety and preventing bugs at compile time. Rust’s ownership system ensures memory and thread safety, eliminating entire classes of bugs like use-after-free errors, data races, and more. The compiler enforces strict rules around mutability and references. This makes it impossible to have null pointer exceptions or unintended side effects.

Java also provides memory safety through automatic garbage collection. However, Java code can still have null pointer exceptions, race conditions, and unsafe behavior not caught at compile time. Java relies more on conventions, code reviews, and testing to enforce safety at runtime. While Java’s bytecode verifier and sandboxed execution provide security, ultimately, Java places less emphasis on safety than Rust.

For applications where reliability and stability are critical, Rust’s emphasis on safety makes it less prone to memory corruption, concurrency issues, and security vulnerabilities. Financial systems, embedded devices, OS kernels and other low-level code stand to benefit greatly from Rust’s safety guarantees.

However, Java’s maturity also provides a strong security advantage. Java’s bytecode, sandboxed execution, lack of direct memory access, and extensive security tools provide reliable application security. Large Java codebases can be vulnerable to bugs, but the risks are mitigated through Java’s security architecture.

Libraries and Ecosystem

Rust and Java have robust libraries and ecosystems to support development, but they differ in key ways.

Standard Libraries

Rust includes a set of core libraries called the Rust Standard Library that provides common data structures, I/O functionality, multithreading primitives, and more. It is designed to be lean and provide only essential building blocks for systems programming.

Java has a much more extensive standard library that provides utilities for I/O, networking, data structures, XML parsing, database access, internationalization, cryptography, and many other domains. The Java standard library aims to provide a comprehensive set of APIs for general application development.

Package Managers

Rust uses the Cargo package manager and crate repository. Crates can provide both reusable libraries as well as executable programs. Cargo makes it easy to manage dependencies and share Rust code.

Java relies on tools like Maven and Gradle, which interface with public repositories like Maven Central. Java libraries are bundled into JAR files and then incorporated as dependencies. The Java ecosystem has a vast selection of open-source libraries.

Third-Party Libraries

While Rust has fewer third-party crates than Java libraries, the Rust ecosystem is growing rapidly. Popular Rust crates provide functionality like web application Interpretive Framework, parsers, logging, encryption, compression and more.

Java has a nearly unrivaled breadth of third-party open-source libraries and frameworks available. Java developers have access to robust and mature libraries for virtually any task, from Spring and Hibernate for enterprise applications to Apache Commons for utilities.

The extensive Java ecosystem can save development time. However, the many libraries to evaluate can also result in decision fatigue. Rust offers a more curated set of crates that continue growing.


Rust and Java have large and active developer communities, which is important for finding help, collaborations, and job opportunities.

Rust has a smaller but fast-growing community. As a relatively new language, it has around 1 million users, according to a 2021 survey. The Rust community is known for being friendly and welcoming to beginners.

According to Oracle, Java has one of the largest communities of any programming language, with 9 million developers. It benefits from its longevity and widespread enterprise use. The Java community has a vast knowledge base and many localized user groups.

Use Cases

Each language has strengths make it a good fit for certain applications and industries.


  • Used for performance-critical systems like game engines, operating systems, browsers, databases, and network services that require high speeds and low latency. The performance of Rust makes it a popular choice for embedded systems.
  • Provides memory safety without garbage collection, making it useful for programs where performance and control over memory allocation are critical. This is important for embedded devices, audio processing, simulations, and cryptocurrencies.
  • A safer alternative to C and C++ for low-level systems programming. Replaces C in places where security vulnerabilities and crashes are unacceptable.
  • Used at companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Dropbox, Facebook, Discord, and Cloudflare for network services, command line tools, web frameworks, and other infrastructure needs.


  • Widely used for enterprise business applications and back-end web development. The safe, portable nature makes Java a common choice for large organizations.
  • Popular for Android development, given Java’s ability to manage memory and operate across platforms.
  • Used extensively in financial services and insurance sectors, where stability and security are critical. Trading platforms and algorithms are often built with Java.
  • Common in big data, scientific computing, and machine learning because of available numerical libraries like Apache Spark. Java’s ability to handle multithreading is beneficial for data analysis.
  • Legacy critical systems in aviation, healthcare, government, etc., rely on Java for their maturity and ecosystem. Rewriting sensitive systems in Java minimizes risk.


Both frameworks have strengths and weaknesses that suit different use cases.

Rust is ideal for performance-critical applications like game engines, operating systems, databases, and performance-sensitive web services. It’s also useful for embedding in other languages.

Java shines for business applications, Android development, and any project that benefits from leveraging its vast ecosystem. It’s ubiquitous in large enterprises.

Rust’s focus on memory safety for new programmers makes it a bit easier to pick up than Java. Experienced coders can be productive quickly in either language.

Ultimately, consider the strengths of each language and choose the one that best fits your project and team. Both are excellent choices with bright fu

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