For several weeks now, Sherif and myself have been facilitating sessions with a handful of developers from the community in an attempt to gain a better understanding of the perceived value of AssemblyScript vs Rust as a component of the NEAR developer toolkit. If you're curious about the details of the initiative, you can view the planning doc here:

The initiative is an attempt to address the following Problem Statement:

There is some difference of opinion within the team around the decision to support AssemblyScript in addition to Rust as a WASM source. We want to test our assumptions about the value propositions of these languages with external developers in order to make an informed, evidence based decision on what we choose to support, and to what extent.

The Study

TLDR Outcome

The general sentiment of the participants was that AssemblyScript is a valuable option in the toolkit of developers interested in and currently building on NEAR. Developers like what is familiar, as it helps them to start and make progress faster/easier. As a result, there's a general preference for familiar languages over Rust without necessarily grokking the implications or benefits of the latter.

1. Participants

The group that we've been able to involve in this effort has been very diverse and has represented a good range of experience: