I was just an attendee at the Wellington November 2015 Meetup, but I learned so much that I thought that it would be worthwhile to dish out some public praise.
There were two talks, a rustc introduction and a general ‘Rust for webservices’ intro. The audience was pretty mixed, mainly curious individuals who had heard good things and wanted to learn more. The venue was sponsored by a local testing company called QualIT.
Sadly, the group was very male. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a room with no women and more than 10 men.
@Aatch gave a great introduction to compilers in general and rustc in particular. He walked through the main steps from source code -> AST (abstact syntax tree) -> HIR (high level intermediate representation) -> MIR (medium level intermediate representation) -> … -> LLVM IR.
After providing an overview of how rustc works, he spent a while detailing the reasons why Rust has multiple IRs these days. From memory, his main argument was that enabled the compiler designers to focus more on their things, and enable other tools - like syntax extensions - to work more easily at the front end.(I have a strong suspicion I have mucked something up there).
Talk 2: Rust on the Web
@mikedilger drove for over 2h during work hours to give this talk! It was a cool introduction to providing web services with Rust. His company is probably one of the world’s first to have convinced people to pay for Rust. (Well, they’re paying for a very secure, very high performance service rather than a language).
The talk was broad, touching on a lot of the papercuts he has encountered with the sands of the Rust ecosystem moving every few months. My general impression was that the web ecosystem is in much better shape than it was pre 1.0 - many more crates to choose from. I thought that compiled templates are a really neat idea (although I can’t remember the crate names).
The triggered a lot of questions in Q&A, especially relating to whether Rust supported green threads.
mioco were both touched on in the answers. It was actually nice having a few
rustc people there, who touched upon why the M:N threading approach was put to one side after valiant attempts at supporting two threading models for a while.
The evening was a great meeting of a fledgling Rust community here. I apologise for having to leave slightly early to catch a train. I hope to see more interesting things come out of Wellington and the rest of New Zealand!