[rust-dev] RFC: New Rust channel proposal

Gábor Lehel glaebhoerl at gmail.com
Fri Jan 24 11:38:04 PST 2014


On Fri, Jan 24, 2014 at 4:51 PM, Benjamin Striegel
<ben.striegel at gmail.com>wrote:

> No one's saying usability can't be discussed. If there are problems, we
> DESPERATELY DESPERATELY NEED to be made aware. Even if it's just "the names
> of these types confuse me", that's valuable feedback. But belaboring the
> point through this many mailing list posts just makes noise and wastes
> energy that the full-time devs (note: I am not a full-time dev) can spend
> on more valuable tasks.
>

The stronger claim that seems to be implied here (I'm not sure if you
intended it!) is that the role of "outside people" in discussing usability
issues should be confined to reporting problems. I don't agree with this.
At a minimum, even if the core developers do the deciding, a discussion
like this can provide them with ideas to choose from among or to draw
inspiration from, and gives them an informal survey of the preferences of
people who care enough to comment. Once in a while, a consensus may even
emerge (for example `box`).

When goals are clear, the collective can divide and conquer. But design and
> usability are subjective tasks, not objective ones, and instead of dividing
> and conquering we merely multiply and surrender.
>

The weaker claim is that "usability issues" can't be productively resolved
through a community process, and I'm not sure I agree with this either. Or
rather, I agree that if the only criterium that can be applied is personal
preference, this is true, but that doesn't hold in every case. For example,
words have meanings. In a debate about naming, it's very much possible to
bring arguments from reason concerning which names have meanings that best
align with the semantics of the construct in question. There may not always
be a clear winner (and then it's back to personal preference), but it's
worth looking for one.

(I agree that we have more important problems to solve than this, and that
the time of people who can is better spent building bikesheds than painting
them.)
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