Qualifying Rust without forking (ferrous-systems.com)
from snaggen@programming.dev to rust@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 17:41


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BB_C@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 18:26 next collapse

Ah, the good old RHEL promise of quality, stability, and security.

Can’t wait for the CentOS Alma version… oh wait, no copyleft!

I will stick with arch rustc, thank you very much.

snaggen@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 18:43 collapse

Well, of course you should stick to rustc if you don’t need the certification. I get the impression you mix up thing and the purpose of a certified compiler.

Ferrous Systems is working on certifying a specific version of rustc, and hence make it possible to use rust for projects where such certification is required. And certification is required for things like programming medical equipment. If you are hooked in to life support, it is good if the compiler did the thing it was supposed to do… a crash in such programs can be fatal in a very literal way.

Also, notice that they try to do this without forking and by contributing upstream.

robinm@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 18:49 next collapse

It’s something that I never understood for other certified toolchain. What is a value of a certified toolchain containing known bugs, including critical and/or security bugs that are fixed upstream?

BB_C@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 19:09 collapse

bureaucratic procedure

Not all verification/certification efforts fall under that banner of course. And some of them do provide value.

But the answer to your question is simply:
bureaucratic procedure

BB_C@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 19:27 collapse

First of all, sometimes I write in a stream of consciousness half-jerking style. It’s not meant to be taken 100% seriously. I thought the writing style itself, when I do that, makes that clear!

Secondly, whatever that is of real technical value from the Ferrocene project, wasn’t sold well by that ad. This could be by design, and maybe no one here would fall under the target audience of it. But then, I would question the point of posting this ad here in the first place.

Thirdly, the ad mentions nothing regarding Ferrocene’s general availability (binaries, source, source+binaries, neither), nor is there any mention of software licenses. I think you would agree that mentioning this directly in the ad would have made it infinitely more informative for readers around here.

snaggen@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 19:50 next collapse

You are free to see this as an ad, but as Rust is targeting safety critical programming in general, I find it interesting to follow certification efforts like this to make rust available for really safety critical use cases. Now, the Ferrocene project is contributing back, but that fact or the license does not really affect the relevance for this community.

BatmanAoD@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 21:27 collapse

It is indeed clear that you’re kidding, but it’s not clear that you understand what a certified compiler is for. It’s not like RHEL, and it has nothing to do with licensing or even packaging/distribution. It’s also not something that Ferrocene needs to “sell” in the sense of convincing users to migrate to it from rustc: either you need a certified compiler and you therefore can’t use Rust at all until one exists, or you don’t need one and there’s no reason to wait for one to exist.

You’re correct that bureaucracy is effectively the reason why the concept of compiler certification exists, but it seems like you’re ignoring the fact that the devs burdened by this bureaucracy generally don’t have a choice in the matter.

BB_C@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 23:29 collapse

It’s not like RHEL

The parallels between this and RHEL (including RHEL derivatives like Oracle Linux) are maybe longer than you think.

it has nothing to do with licensing or even packaging/distribution.

Not sure what you mean. I don’t think I implied that that’s the point of certification.


  • Isn’t Ferrocene going to be a downstream* certified compiler?
  • Won’t that compiler need a software license?
  • Won’t that compiler be packaged and distributed (a cloud-only offering would presumably be off the table, at least for “serious clients”)?

I think all of this is very much relevant info to know.

* “downstream” is the fifth word in the article/ad.

It’s also not something that Ferrocene needs to “sell”

Something is being sold by Ferrous Systems. I don’t think that’s a point of dispute by anyone!

Now, what that something exactly looks like will depend, in part, on the answers to the questions above, no?

in the sense of convincing users to migrate to it from rustc

I didn’t argue that. I don’t think anyone argued that.

In case you didn’t realize, the quintessential Arch user wouldn’t be the target of a RHEL sales pitch either 😉 .

And now any remnants of a joke are ruined by all the explaining.

BatmanAoD@programming.dev on 27 Sep 2023 15:14 collapse

…yeah, sorry, I honestly can’t tell what point you were trying to make, even with the explanation. You call it an “ad” but also say they’re not trying to convince users to migrate, so what do you think they want?

robinm@programming.dev on 26 Sep 2023 18:47 collapse

What ferrous systems does is trully great!

And throwing out an online birthday party is a nice idea. See you there.