NEAR - a platform of Choice for Devs using Rust

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March 12, 2022 2 min read

NEAR - a platform of Choice for Devs using Rust

Here, I go through my experience of trying to develop on other blockchain platforms that use Rust. In the end, NEAR seems to be the most conducive and developer-friendly.

Solana

Solana’s programming model is designed for more efficient parallel execution but comes at the cost of being much harder to develop on.

It relies on more information needed off-chain to handle these transactions (for example needing to know every account or piece of state the transaction can interact with before the tx is sent). Also, because of tx size limits, developers have to split things that would logically be one transaction into many, which puts a lot more strain on the developer.

To understand more of what I'm talking about, try writing a program using https://github.com/project-serum/anchor.  It alleviates a lot of the UX issues from vanilla Solana programs, but you might still see there are things that you can't abstract without sacrificing decentralization.

Terra (CosmWasm)

I have less experience with CosmWasm, but my personally, I felt that  their APIs were designed to have the same flow as Cosmos SDK (Go) modules. The APIs are not intuitive when compared with std Rust or libraries in the ecosystem. While this may not be an issue for someone who has no Rust experience and/or has written Cosmos SDK modules in the past, it will just add strain for developers in the long run. In addition , the documentation wasn't great when I worked with it.

The APIs are not intuitive when compared with std Rust or libraries in the ecosystem

For example, you can look at their storage collection docs (https://docs.rs/cw-storage-plus/0.11.1/cw_storage_plus/index.html) and try to see if any APIs are intuitive to yourself. They do have good guided docs, but if you need to read Rustdocs, you might find things unintuitive and unexplained. Here is a link to this (https://docs.rs/cosmwasm/0.7.2/cosmwasm/index.html).

NEAR

I think the benefit for Near compared to others is that writing a smart contract has a very similar flow to writing a more standard Rust lib/bin. There is less domain-specific knowledge you need to build whatever you want. Also, we try to have a very ergonomic API that matches std or standard Rust libraries. There are some unintuitive things that come with having to abstract over domain-specific things like async cross contract calls, but we are constantly trying to make it as intuitive as possible for a Rust developer.

There is less domain-specific knowledge you need to build whatever you want

My advice would be to write a Smart Contract for each one of the platforms that you are considering and compare the pros and cons. I did this myself when learning the differences before joining NEAR, and I found it very useful. Stay

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