Rust 2019 (2): Keep innovating programming language communities

Rust is successful. And the success is well deserved. The Rust project has managed to grow tremendously over the last year. Both as a project, but also as a community.

Just some examples of those achievements:

All these things have one thing in common: due to the large growth of the project and the community, many of these things don’t work as well as before. The causes are manyfold: the RFC process is just not built for handling the load of feedback anymore. There’s no clear roads how we adopt or not adopt things. There’s no clear expectation of what a working group must fulfill or not. The events team is currently too much involved in minutia to get better support rolling.

I don’t want to go through the details, but many of those problems are not new. They are of similar shape, though: things that worked before at a smaller scale have reached their maximum size. This problem is not particularly special to Rust, many open projects suffer from similar issues. In my opinion, these are the moments where you should check for what other communities are doing and have done and integrate them into your own. This doesn’t mean we should adopt their solutions, but instead look at them and see what we see fit for ours. We won’t be able to cover all our problems with that: some don’t fit the community we are building or - that’s also the case - there’s no solutions around.

Rust takes pride in innovating things around the community and being flexible here. We should make sure this doesn’t get lost. If the Rust community and project in 2020 is the same as at the beginning of 2019, we’re in deep trouble and will lose one of our core strengths. Currently, a lot of these problems are pressing, but we’re not in a bad shape. This will not go on forever and we shouldn’t rely on the good faith we have gained in the recent years.