Our Seed Investment in Astral: Accelerating Python Development
Python is the language of data. Its ease of use, versatility, and robust collection of open-source libraries has made it by far the top choice for experts in data science, analytics, and machine learning. Today it is home to a massive (and growing) developer community – but there is a pressing need for tools that can keep up with the increasing demands of developers.
Charlie Marsh is intimately familiar with Python codebases, and the challenges that come with them. As a developer himself, he has spent his career building across different ecosystems, from Android and iOS to web frontend and backend, data platforms, ML platforms, DevOps, and more. As his Python projects grew in size and scope, he felt his tools lagging behind. Taking inspiration from the impact that Rust-based tools were having in other ecosystems, he built and open-sourced the first version of Ruff, a high-performance Python linter, written in Rust.
We’re so excited to partner with him on this journey. When we met Charlie in 2022, he described Ruff as an extremely fast Python linter. He wasn’t kidding: the improvement is dramatic. It is 10-100 times faster on most codebases and because of Rust-Python interoperability, it is virtually indistinguishable from a Python developer looking to integrate the project. The feedback and growth has been incredibly positive – and a huge sign that the Python community can use a little nudge forward with some more performance-oriented tooling. It is rare to find a developer tool that shocks and delights users – Ruff is one of them.
We believe Charlie has created a “magic moment” for developers. His proven attention to detail and commitment to delivering high-performance tooling has contributed to the explosive popularity of Ruff, which garnered over 12,000 stars on GitHub in a few months. The team at Astral plans to continue building Ruff and to release more high-performance tooling that will delight Python developers.