Rust 2019 (7): More librarians

Rust - the project - has seen a huge growth in the last year. Rust - the community - as well. This leads to two effects: while in 2017, it was easy to keep track of everything the project does, now, following even single actions can be very time-consuming. This lets the project drift apart a little. It also lets the community drift apart a little, with some tensions between groups becoming more apparant.

Lots of the project success is based on trust: trust between the working groups, trust of the community. This is easier to maintain in smaller circles then in larger ones. Trust is hard to gain but easy to lose. But we also face the problem that we communicate over a problematic medium.

withoutboats has pointed out nicely that consuming community input has become a huge problem. I like to focus on another issue: it has also become a problem for project members to consume and track their own projects activity. Similarly, it has become a much bigger problem for the interested community member to follow the project, even when they do Rust on the job!

This builds tension: the community feels worse informed than before and project members cannot cope with that, as they are also less and less well informed. This tension can be seen in frequent accusations of certain teams just “doing what they want” or that the project listens less and less to the community. While I frequently catch myself calling people out for baseless accusations of that kind, I also maintain that we have to appreciate that such feelings are valid and should not be dealt with by shutting them down.

I have a couple of potential suggestions to this problem:

None of this is a programming job. We need more librarians and writers.