Rust beginner notes & questions

Sorry to add to the meta chat, but I think this point is extremely important, and all the previous reponses to it have been rather abstract, philosophical or second-hand, so I feel the need to add a more concrete “lived experience” response.

This sort of attitude immediately drives me away. I would never consider contributing to Linux because I simply don’t want to deal with the kind of people who think “simply stating facts” is impossible to do without “sounding harsh”. That’s not constructive. That’s not fun. That doesn’t inspire anyone to do their best work. I’ve already wasted far too much of my free time on internet communities (programming and otherwise) that devolved into a toxic mess because they tolerated this sort of attitude.

In this particular thread, I basically stopped looking at your posts after the first half dozen or so, because I couldn’t even figure out what you were trying to say and it was raising my blood pressure. So instead, I skimmed everyone else’s responses to see if they’d managed to extract any genuinely interesting ideas from beneath the vitriol, but even that failed to impart anything useful to me because so much text was wasted on responding to the vitriol itself.

In contrast, Towards a more perfect RustIO has been constructive all the way through, so now I finally understand what you were trying to tell us, and I’m still happily reading everyone’s posts over there. So congrats to the amazing community here for turning that around so completely, and let’s try to focus on that thread now.


Just another voice who is here because I simply won’t be anywhere jerks (to be kind) are tolerated or even lionized. A number of other open source projects have variously admired or envied Rust’s phenomenal growth. It is because Rust welcomes and makes comfortable more than just the hostile-by-default.

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OK so as this meta-thread looks like it’s not going to die, a few
comments on it that I’ve been refraining from putting out so far.

There are two kinds of jerks. The one who attacks individuals, and the
one who attacks the language (in the present case).

I haven’t read the whole thread, only ~10 days of it. But I’ve only seen
@peter_bertok being a jerk against the language. On the other hand, I
have seen attacks (at least one that couldn’t be miscategorized for
anything else and has been flagged, but others that felt like it to me
too) against @peter_bertok personally.

In my opinion, harsh attacks against the language are OK. Harsh attacks
against individuals are not.

And the reasons why I think harsh attacks against the language are OK:

  1. If someone at the commands of the language attacks it, it won’t be
    harsh, it’ll be loving
  2. Hence, only people that have relatively little influence in the
    community can be harsh against the language
  3. Which means that they can just be ignored (in opposition to eg. Linus
    who couldn’t be ignored because he is at the helm of the kernel)
  4. And so these persons’ feedback will at best be read by someone and
    acted upon, and at worst be ignored
  5. Oh, and if we feel personally offended when our favorite language is
    attacked, maybe that means it’s time to stop writing Rust for a bit of
    time and get some air :stuck_out_tongue:

I’d prefer to see a devolving thread split (asap) into multiple topics and the conversation/debate continued on their respective dedicated threads. I’d like @peter_bertok and others to spawn topics off of this thread and link to them to try and reach a consensus on the debates.

Fundamentally, we have a “let me prove to you Rust actually sucks at several things” debate in this thread.

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I agree with your reasons, but I only think harsh attacks on the language are okay to some extent. @peter_bertok seems to be suffering from a fallacy that I see a lot in people in the Haskell community, and for which I have a particular distaste. Namely: the idea that you just think hard enough about something in computer science, and then you “solve” it. Examples: how to do strings, streams, kinds of abstraction.

This is a fallacy. Computer science is not like mathematics where problems are precisely defined (and even in mathematics that is disputable). There is no “best” solution between, say, UTF-8 strings and a trait as the basic abstraction. Same for everything else.

This particular fallacy is listed in the code of conduct:

Respect that people have differences of opinion and that every design or implementation choice carries a trade-off and numerous costs. There is seldom a right answer.

And while we should forgive @peter_bertok for not having the code of conduct present in mind all the time, I think we should not allow such discussion to continue for such a long time and just shut it down. We may lose a bit of input by shutting this down earlier, but I don’t think it really matters because nicer people will eventually come anyway and make the same points. (And those nicer people might have stayed away otherwise!)


That change of tone and spawning to a new thread has already occurred. See Towards a more perfect Rust IO


I want to clarify that I in no way was referring to @peter_bertok in my post. I was simply responding in opposition to his view that jerkish behavior might be anything but counterproductive.


(WIP - covers post 1-66 wip doc) There are a number of suggestions and contentions spawned by this thread, attempting to aggregate and spawn new posts combining them by topic:

Subtopic: Subsubtopic: dereferencing and strings (especially interop)

Subtopic: Subtopic: Loop syntax

Subtopic: Rust compared to C#

Subtopic: Subsubtopic: Box<Trait>

Subtopic: Setting an example: Rust code to learn from

Parallel to: Towards a more perfect RustIO - #48 by peter_bertok

Subtopic: Subtopic on std-lib thick vs thin


I think this may be a more fundamental reason than tone for why the conversation here hasn’t been as productive as it could have been. Your posts throughout have been easy to read as harsh criticism of Rust, which of course led to some arguments about whether or not the criticism was valid or the harshness warranted. But from the beginning, there have also been requests for you to use your perspective and insight to contribute to the effort to find solutions and help Rust succeed, rather than simply yelling from the sidelines, so to speak.

I would really like to emphasize to you that while constructive criticism is helpful and important, it’s not helpful to simply complain while simultaneously doubling down on your status as an “outsider” who is unwilling to make a more constructive contribution.

So I would ask that if you really do want to see Rust succeed, pitch in! This doesn’t necessarily mean pull requests or even writing your own RFCs; it does mean putting aside your “harshness” (because, as explained above, that’s not how we do things in this community) and doing your best to learn and share insights.

Your last post in the first spin-off thread is a step in the right direction, and I hope you continue to contribute in that thread.


@DrizztVD1 I think these spun-off topics could use a little more introductory text in each clearly defining the scope of the conversation and what the goals of the thread should be (as was done for the “Towards a more perfect RustIO” thread).


Ok, good suggestion. I intend for the topmost linked post in each spin-off to hint at the main content of the new discussion thread. I can add a summary to some, but for most it should rightly be the original authors who should define the direction of further discussion.

Aaaand I can’t make any more edits. It says I have to wait 20 hrs before I can edit my posts further. :confused:

Consider continuing here:

My response is directly and specifically to Peter Bertok. It is not a generic comment about how conversations should happen (which I think has already been well established, here and elsewhere).

Ok. Although, I’d like to see the discussion on his style wind down. Just replying to you for others to see this request. Thanks

Are you a moderator? I’m honestly a little confused.

What are you confused about? Nope, not a moderator, just a lvl1.

Well, most of the visual space in this forum is now dominated by a flood of context-free posts filled with selective quotes from one long thread. And now you’re trying to prevent people from continuing discussion in its original place. It seemed a little presumptuous to me, unless in an official capacity.

May I request that you remove my comments from your new, separate post about discussion tone? I never intended for it to be pulled out for separate discussion, separated (despite good intentions) from context. I would personally imagine users like @BurntSushi might not be thrilled that minor comments about ripgrep code quality are now a primary topic on the front page, as well. It’s surprising if nothing else.


I interpret @DrizztVD1’s comment as a suggestion to the community/moderators. I agree, all relevant topics that were spawned in this thread already have better, more specific homes, in different threads.

I don’t think that it makes @BurntSushi doubt the excellence of his work :slight_smile: I interpreted his messages as inviting a discussion about if there’s a better way to do it.

Sorry about that. But do note that this is the internet. If you do not intend for something to live forever, then don’t say it in the first place.

I find the notion that I’m misappropriating content to be unwarranted. The original thread was made on a public platform, not a private one (or in private messages). And the discussion was already on the front page, actually.

As to how to solve your particular problem: how about editing your original posts and deleting the content :smiley:. That’s why it’s linked (in the various spawned threads) and not copied (for the most part) (and to cause the content to reflect the changes(deletions) of the original posts).

Note that most people are quoting me (DrizztVD1) and not the original author when they are responding in the other threads. So you don’t have to worry too much about your own reputation (if that is the concern) since original author names are thereby redacted.

Nope, I could specifically not reduce the number of linked posts because selective quoting would be a disservice. Sorting through the morass was a hefty exercise, and I hope to have been as accurate as possible. Do point out (in a private message please), if a grievous error was made.

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