I was recently seeing a job offer posted on this forum where people wondered if such a post is to be considered spam. I commented the post, expressing that I see a problem that there are no clear rules what is considered to be spam and what is not. (My opinion was that a job offer for Rust programmers on a Rust forum isn't per-se spam, but other people may have a different opinion. And maybe I would change my opinion after the hundredths post like that in short time.)
Today I find the thread to be silently deleted. No problem with that, as “moderators reserve the right to remove any content and any user account for any reason at any time.” That's fine, and if I was running a forum, I'd reserve that very right for myself as well.
I do, however, miss proper guidelines. In the context of the Rust project, I repeatedly felt like there might be too little effort to properly explain certain rules. I believe that the Rust project is big enough that it should put more effort into that.
Here are some examples:
- The Code of Conduct states that “sensitive issues” are best to be avoided. What does that mean? Is any meta discussion a sensitive issue? Is asking if Rust is the best programming language ever a sensitive issue? Honestly, I would feel slightly uncomfortable with the feeling that I must only post on topics where everyone agrees on, and such rule makes me feel a bit unwelcome whenever I state a thesis that many people might strongly disagree with. It doesn't make the atmosphere better but worse for me (I think). Moreover, I have made posts in the pasts where I wasn't sure whether they will be welcome or not. Discouraging “sensitive issues” made it more difficult for me.
- Depublication of crates: The question whther a package can be removed from crates.io is answered as follows: “The short version is that packages are first-come, first-served, and we won’t attempt to get into policing what exactly makes a legitimate package. We will do what the law requires us to do, and address flagrant violations of the Rust Code of Conduct.” So this is the “short version”. But does that mean there is a long version? Is that long version a secret or communicated to the public? From responses in forums, I have a slight idea under which circumstances packages are removed, but it's all very vague. Does it need to be that way? No. Compare NPM, which has detailed rules and explanations on what to do to take a package down and under which circumstances it's possible.
- Posting in this forum: I'm not really sure which content is welcome here and not (as explained in the opening of my post).
I think it would be wise to put a bit more effort into working out these rules to avoid unnecessary speculation or blaming that content is inappropriate. Note that I do not want to criticize that moderators retain the right to do as they see fit; I merely would like to better understand what I can usually expect, and I would feel better if there was less speculation going on amongst the users whether some content violates or doesn't violate the rules.