A survey regarding a free Rust book I plan to write


#1

This is a repost of a post I made on reddit.

Hello Rust community! I’m starting a new venture, which is to create technical resources free of charge. For my first project, I would like to write a new book on Rust 2018 edition. My business model will be that if you enjoy my work you can donate to me, and perhaps I will let people purchase an advertisement or two in the front few pages of the book or something – I’m not entirely sure yet. However, I have personal qualms with putting my knowledge behind a paywall, and would like to avoid doing so to the extent possible.

However, I don’t plan to spend this thread discussing my business idea too much, as I am not done forming it for one, and for two it is offtopic for this subreddit. I just want to let you know the reason why I am linking to the following survey here.

https://gratispress.com/rustsurvey/index.php?r=survey/index&sid=643974&lang=en

Hopefully it works, I had some trouble configuring it but things seem to be working smoothly now. The primary website is not at all developed yet, and consists of a book cover I had designed for the project, which I believe I will call “Didactic Rust,” though I’ve not entirely settled on a title yet.

I’ve studied Rust for three years now, and have seven years of experience and education in software engineering, so think that I will be able to do a good job creating a book. I also have studied in the area of education, and plan to make use of learning theory in the design of the book. I believe this will result in an end product that is quite unique and a valuable asset for the community, and best of all free – in the gratis rather than libre sense – for you to read and make noncommercial copies of for distribution.

My project is still in the very early stages, but one of the first things I need to do is get some feedback from the community, and to learn about the community that the book is targeting, because that is the key to making sure that the end result serves a purpose of helping people to learn Rust.

So, to wrap this thread up I will just say that the topic I would like to discuss is what you would like to see in a project like this – particularly if you are someone interested in reading the end result (which is likely some months away) to help you learn Rust. Provided I make sufficient progress and have new material to give to you, I will make monthly posts here with updates.


And here is a cool picture I had drawn for the project

I modified it somewhat into a book cover.

The artist is this guy on Fiverr in case anyone was interested https://www.fiverr.com/onintheartist – I think he did a very good job.


#2

I’m a little confused by question 2. Do blog posts count? What about the official docs? What about reading the source code from different crates?


#3

What’s reddit?


#4

Reddit is a social site similar to this forum. This forum and the Rust section of reddit are probably the two most popular Rust communities. I tried to differentiate more comprehensive materials like books, and sites like Rust By Example, from one off pieces of information one may find on a blog or forum.


#5

I think there could probably be more information in circulation about meta-programming topics. There is a big jump between writing a text-based hangman game and actually making or contributing to useful projects. I find myself often at a loss for locating guidance on questions I have that fall between ‘babbys first program’ and documentation written for industry professionals with 5+ years experience. Should I use GitHub or GitLab? How do I use tags and issues to attract help for my project? How do I find projects that want help? Do I just pick one at random, write some undocumented code and submit a PR? What are simple tasks that are helpful that I can do for a big project while I’m leaning if I don’t understand the proc-macro black magic in the real business logic? Do I need CI? Which do I use, beard-guy or butler-guy? How do I use cool badges? What kind of coding styles are compatible with group projects? What are the footguns that I wouldn’t normally know about unless I was an experienced professional?

I’m in this weird place where I don’t need to be told how to print “hello world” or how to write a Fibonacci sequence solver but when I look at real, useful projects I have no idea what’s going on.


#6

Usually, I find projects because I need them. Really, I know too many of them. I’m a perfectionist (although a mediocre programmer), and I like to go down a rabbit hole of improving dependencies. Most of them want help. If not, but I’m still not satisfied, time to fork.

As for repos/CI, I like sr.ht. They’re libre, composable services: repos, builds, mailing lists, docs… However, I also have mirrors of my projects on GitHub, because that’s where most of the Rust ecosystem is.

For everything else your post resonates with me a lot.


#7

Hi, I am too new to post the thread I would like to here, but the results of the survey are viewable at the reddit thread regarding it.