Microsoft has announced it has open-sourced its Rust based Project Verona programming language. Redmond has opened the project on GitHub. The move comes after Microsoft originally promised the new “safe infrastructure programming” platform would be open.
Microsoft has said it is exploring the idea of re-writing its products in Rust. The company's interest in the security-focused language to combat a consistent problem. Specifically, the company points out over 70% of all patches it sent out over the last 10-years dealt with memory bugs. Rust was developed to deal with these problems.
Matthew Parkinson, a Microsoft researcher from the Cambridge Computer Lab in the UK last year explained the company's vision for dealing with memory issues. Specifically, the company is working with MemGC (Memory Garbage Collector) on Edge and Internet Explorer.
“We built a garbage collector (GC) for the DOM. That big bulge in use-after-free was basically people finding ways of exploiting memory management in the DOM engine in IE,” said Parkinson.
With the launch of Project Verona on GitHub, Microsoft has expanded on the details of the Rust-based language. Parkinson points out the goal of the project is to create a safer platform for memory management.
The company has previously discussed the potential security benefits of Rust but not expanded on the details. Earlier this year, Microsoft signaled its interest in the language as an alternative to C and C++ for Windows developers.
On GitHub, the development team says it is currently working to address the following important quaestions
- If we design a language without concurrent mutation, can we build scalable memory management?
- Can linear regions be used to remove the restrictions of per-object linearity without sacrificing memory management?
- Can language-level regions be used to support compartmentalizations?