Blogs by Henk

Tech blog on web, security & embedded
Let's be frank: Rust is a cool language, but there's not a chance I'm introducing it in my company if I can't get any engineers for it. We'll stick with technologies with a much healthier job market.
June 7, 2024

Mix in Rust with C

So, you've just read my previous post on Rust interoperability in general, and now you're curious about how to actually apply the concepts to your situation. You've come to the right place, because in this post and the two that follow, I'll demonstrate how to make Rust and C talk to each other.
June 6, 2024

Mix in Rust

What does it actually mean to introduce Rust in an existing project, and having it communicate with other languages in the code base? This article launches a series of blog posts that provide guidance for introducing Rust into your code base step by step.
At the end of 2022, we announced the creation of Rust 101, a university course that introduces students of computer science to Rust. Initially, the course was created for the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies at STU Bratislava (FIIT), but from the start we've wanted to create an open-source, modular and reusable set of teaching resources. Having now achieved that milestone, it is time for a new announcement: Rust 101 has evolved to teach-rs.
When we first introduced Rust 101 to you on our website, preparations for its first run where in full swing. The action started in February 2023; 20 students of the Faculty of Informatics and Information Technologies of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava followed 9 lectures and 9 tutorials, and worked on their own rust project to round off the course. The course was completed in May.
A while ago, in 2020, I wrote a blog post similar to this one. Sure, it has a bit of a clickbait-y title, but it couldn't be more accurate. At the time I was full of amazement about the way Rust tackles embedded software development. I forsaw great things for Rust's future, even though Rust and its ecosystem were yet not quite mature. We're 3 years further down the road right now, which is like 300 Rust years as Rust is progressing fast. About time for an update!
In 2009 Rust was a new language. In 2022 that isn't true anymore. Nor does Rust have anything to prove. It's made it to the Linux Kernel, and Microsoft have dubbed it "the Industry’s Best Chance at Safe Systems Programming".
Welcome to the age of communication. It's 2021 and technology has come a long way. People, large machines and small devices communicate more intensively than ever before, and many technologies to enable them to do so have been developed. Some of those technologies use physical pathways like fibreglass to reach their receivers, others use radio signals to send messages. It's these wireless communication technologies that spark the imagination the most.
Rust is nice for a lot of things. At Tweede golf we've been using the language primarily for high-performance web applications. But that's not all Rust can do. Rust can be used to write embedded applications as well.
The point of setting up a miniservice architecture is to enable horizontal scaling, improve reusability and to speed up development by separating each domain into an independent application. Miniservices depending on a database pose a number of challenges. We'll explore a couple of them.
Imagine this: you have made the wise choice of taking the monolith-first approach, setting up an application. You have read my previous article about the pros and cons of miniservices. And now, the time has come to start the transition to a miniservice architecture. How do you go about that?
Tweede golf has built quite a few big web applications over the last ten years. One of our specialties being the development of Symfony applications, some of these applications have become massive, with a lot of separate functionality baked into a single monolith. For now, this situation is being contained as we've been strict about minimizing technical debt. In practice, however, it's extremely hard to completely avoid accumulation of technical debt, which is one of the reasons we have started looking into introducing microservice architectures into our projects.

One of our clients helps companies in becoming GDPR-compliant. A goal is to recognize sensitive pieces of user data in a big pile of registrations, receipts, emails, and transcripts, and mark them to be checked out later. As more and more data is collected by companies, finding and eliminating sensitive data becomes harder and harder, to the point where it is no longer possible for mere human employees to keep up without assistance.