This forum was originally opened to replace the mailing list, which was considered difficult to manage as traffic grew, and which will be shut down soon. Currently it is only open to ‘internals’ discussion, that is discussion between developers of the Rust project itself on concerns relating to the evolution of the project and language. It is explicitly not for users of the Rust language.
Currently, users who wish to discuss Rust are directed toward Reddit or Stack Overflow, but there is a somewhat widely-held opinion that the combination of these two resources is still insufficient. Neither is a general-purpose forum: Reddit is best as a news aggregator, and Stack Overflow for collecting answers to questions.
I’m currently trying to decide the best way to provide users a space for general discussion, the two primary options being: adjust the configuration of this Discourse instance to accommodate both audiences, or install a second Discourse instance for users, leaving this one just for project developers.
Project developers are mostly people contributing to Rust, but also library authors and others invested in the design and evolution of the language. Their communication is most often about debating language design matters and issues of project governance. Discussion is often with the intent of vetting ideas and shoring up consensus in anticipation of proposing RFCs or submitting pull requests.
Users are people developing software in Rust. They are most concerned with asking questions, learning, sharing tips and best practices, discussing projects in Rust. Users greatly outnumber the project developers.
There is overlap between these two audiences, e.g. library authors who also participate in Rust’s development.
It is considered highly-desirable to maintain separation between user discussion and developer discussion. One of the perceived problems of the mailing list was that the audience was not clear, there was a great deal of drive-by bikeshedding, and a resulting high signal-to-noise ratio. What began as a place for project coordination ended as a free-for-all with little relevance to the development of the project as discussion migrated elsewhere.