Dev-tools in 2018

This is a bit late (how is it the middle of April already?!), but the dev-tools team has lots of exciting plans for 2018 and I want to talk about them!

Our goals for 2018

Here's a summary of our goals for the year.

Ship it!

We want to ship high quality, mature, 1.0 tools in 2018. Including,

  • Rustfmt (1.0)
  • Rust Language Server (RLS, 1.0)
  • Rust extension for Visual Studio Code using the RLS (non-preview, 1.0)
  • Clippy (1.0, though possibly not labeled that, including addressing distribution issues)

Support the epoch transition

2018 will bring a step change in Rust with the transition from 2015 to 2018 epochs. For this to be a smooth transition it will need excellent tool support. Exactly what tool support will be required will emerge during the year, but at the least we will need to provide a tool to convert crates to the new epoch.

We also need to ensure that all the currently existing tools continue to work through the transition. For example, that Rustfmt and IntelliJ can handle new syntax such as dyn Trait, and the RLS copes with changes to the compiler internals.


The Cargo team have their own goals. Some things on the radar from a more general dev-tools perspective are integrating parts of Xargo and Rustup into Cargo to reduce the number of tools needed to manage most Rust projects.

Custom test frameworks

Testing in Rust is currently very easy and natural, but also very limited. We intend to broaden the scope of testing in Rust by permitting users to opt-in to custom testing frameworks. This year we expect the design to be complete (and an RFC accepted) and for a solid and usable implementation to exist (though stabilisation may not happen until 2019).The current benchmarking facilities will be reimplemented as a custom test framework. The framework should support testing for WASM and embedded software.


Doxidize is a successor to Rustdoc. It adds support for guide-like documentation as well as API docs. This year there should be an initial release and it should be practical to use for real projects.

Maintain and improve existing tools

Maintenance and consistent improvement is essential to avoid bit-rot. Existing mature tools should continue to be well-maintained and improved as necessary. This includes

  • debugging support,
  • Rustdoc,
  • Rustup,
  • Bindgen,
  • editor integration.

Good tools info on the Rust website

The Rust website is planned to be revamped this year. The dev-tools team should be involved to ensure that there is clear and accurate information about key tools in the Rust ecosystem and that high quality tools are discoverable by new users.

Organising the team

The dev-tools team should be reorganised to continue to scale and to support the goals in this roadmap. I'll outline the concrete changes next.

Re-organising the dev-tools team

The dev-tools team has always been large and somewhat broad - there are a lot of different tools at different levels of maturity with different people working on them. There has always been a tension between having a global, strategic view vs having a detailed, focused view. The peers system was one way to tackle that. This year we're trying something new - the dev-tools team will become something of an umbrella team, coordinating work across multiple teams and working groups.

We're creating two new teams - Rustdoc, and IDEs and editors - and going to work more closely with the Cargo team. We're also spinning up a bunch of working groups. These are more focused, less formal teams, they are dedicated to a single tool or task, rather than to strategy and decision making. Primarily they are a way to let people working on a tool work more effectively. The dev-tools team will continue to coordinate work and keep track of the big picture.

We're always keen to work with more people on Rust tooling. If you'd like to get involved, come chat to us on Gitter in the following rooms:

The teams


Manish Goregaokar, Steve Klabnik, and Without Boats will be joining the dev-tools team. This will ensure the dev-tools team covers all the sub-teams and working groups.

IDEs and editors

The new IDEs and editors team will be responsible for delivering great support for Rust in IDEs and editors of every kind. That includes the foundations of IDE support such as Racer and the Rust Language Server. The team is Nick Cameron (lead), Igor Matuszewski, Vlad Beskrovnyy, Alex Butler, Jason Williams, Junfeng Li, Lucas Bullen, and Aleksey Kladov.


The new Rustdoc team is responsible for the Rustdoc software,, and related tech. The docs team will continue to focus on the documentation itself, while the Rustdoc team focuses on the software. The team is QuietMisdreavus (lead), Steve Klabnik, Guillaume Gomez, Oliver Middleton, and Onur Aslan.


No change to the Cargo team.

Working groups

  • Bindgen
    • Bindgen and C Bindgen
    • Nick Fitzgerald and Emilio Álvarez
  • Debugging
    • Debugger support for Rust - from compiler support, through LLVM and debuggers like GDB and LLDB, to the IDE integration.
    • Tom Tromey, Manish Goregaokar, and Michael Woerister
  • Clippy
    • Oliver Schneider, Manish Goregaokar, llogiq, and Pascal Hertleif
  • Doxidize
    • Steve Klabnik, Andy Russel, Michael Gatozzi, QuietMisdreavus, and Corey Farwell
  • Rustfmt
    • Nick Cameron and Seiichi Uchida
  • Rustup
    • Nick Cameron, Alex Crichton, Without Boats, and Diggory Blake
  • Testing
    • Focused on designing and implementing custom test frameworks.
    • Manish Goregaokar, Jon Gjengset, and Pascal Hertleif
  • 2018 edition tooling
    • Using Rustfix to ease the edition transition; ensure a smooth transition for all tools.
    • Pascal Hertleif, Manish Goregaokar, Oliver Schneider, and Nick Cameron

Thank you to everyone for the fantastic work they're been doing on tools, and for stepping up to be part of the new teams!