Stream: t-compiler

Topic: steering meeting 2018-10-26


nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:02, on Zulip):

Howdy @T-compiler! I'm running a few minutes late as usual =)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:03, on Zulip):

I compiled most of the survey responses here into this google doc

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:03, on Zulip):

Not a perfect compilation, it wasn't always clear when to "de-dup", but it gives you a sense

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:03, on Zulip):

Let me start by just relating a few things re: this meeting—

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:04, on Zulip):

First is that I'm not 100% sure what it should become =) but what I was imagining is that — longer term — we use the opportunity to check in and do two things:

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:05, on Zulip):

But for this particular meeting I thought it might be nice to try and do a bit of an "assessment" instead

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:05, on Zulip):

There is a sort of "standard procedure" that I've seen proposed which seems to make sense to me...

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:06, on Zulip):

I assume the B (and D) columns are the number of responses that said the thing in A (and C) ?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:06, on Zulip):

(yep)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:06, on Zulip):

...basically to start with a list of "good, bad" (sort of like we have), spend a bit of time reading them, and then place some votes for which ones to talk about (not necessarily the ones that came up most often). Go through those in turn a bit, and then try to draw up some conclusions

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:07, on Zulip):

(To place votes, we would edit the spreadsheet, I can add some columns for that to let you mark down which ones you think are worth talking about)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:07, on Zulip):

Curious to hear though what others think :) seem like a reasonable way to start?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:07, on Zulip):

out of curiosity, did any of the resposnses seem to contradict each other?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:08, on Zulip):

(I cannot immediate tell from spreadsheet)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:08, on Zulip):

not too much

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:08, on Zulip):

I think there were some things that were "at odds" to some extent — but not really in contradiction

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:09, on Zulip):

e.g., we do good at mentoring, but we could have more mentoring and more intermediate-level issues available

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:09, on Zulip):

or, we stay on top of regressions for the most part, but there is a low bus factor and/or triage meetings could be more efficient

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:10, on Zulip):

okay. Well the idea of voting sounds fine to me

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:10, on Zulip):

(Should we try the voting thing? How many people are here -- I see 11 :wave: and/or :crab: above =) -- that would affect how many "votes" we each have to give I think)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

does google spreadsheet provide an atomic increment ?

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

I removed my crab reaction and only kept the "wave"

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

ok so I made some columns

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

let's say we each have... 3 votes

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

put an x in the column

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:11, on Zulip):

to vote for a given topic

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

you have 5 minutes, or add an emoji to this when you're done =)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

ah okay, string length is #votes

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

if we run out of columns, add more

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

Perhaps people can put their names on top of columns to make it easier to keep track of?

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

Or would it be better to keep it anonymous?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:12, on Zulip):

@davidtwco I didn't think we each had our own column

oli (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

my edits don't show up

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

why am I not seeing things

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

Could add more.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

mine either :) not sure what's up with that

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

(since there are only five columns? Or maybe I misunderstood)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:13, on Zulip):

maybe it's the font?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:14, on Zulip):

(ok, well, I'm not sure what's up with x not always showing up -- I've found it matters which column)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:14, on Zulip):

I had in mind what @pnkfelix suggested, that you just put the x in the right spot, not mark your name, because I didn't know full set of folks

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:15, on Zulip):

d'oh I was supposed to create another column for my votes

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:15, on Zulip):

are the xs on the left or right?

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

oh wait, there are two columns

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

I had thought they were on the right

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

action item for the next meeting, find a way of making voting easier

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

not sure how I missed that

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

Some columns had the font colour set to white..

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:16, on Zulip):

voting in zulip (via emojis) is a kind of option.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

maybe that would have been better, but oh well

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

it's so hard to pick just 3...

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

seems to be working ok now

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

does "faster build times" mean building the compiler itself?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

wow that's quite a winner

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

does "faster build times" mean building the compiler itself?

yes

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:17, on Zulip):

people still voting?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:19, on Zulip):

Seems like the most x'd things are:

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:19, on Zulip):

er I was too fast :) will edit

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:20, on Zulip):

some of these feel mildly "duplicate", e.g., "high-level design / public roadmap / big picture"

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:20, on Zulip):

8 topics. 40 minutes

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:20, on Zulip):

(some topics can be merged)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:21, on Zulip):

do we attempt to eagerly merge now, before we start, so that we know how to allocate time?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:22, on Zulip):

I think we will not pick all 8 =) yes I would say maybe:

Seems like the most x'd things are:

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:22, on Zulip):

Or just get started and say that we will try to shoot for 7-10 minutes per topic or something?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:23, on Zulip):

we don't have that much time -- maybe shoot for 10-15 minutes on the first one and go from there?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:23, on Zulip):

I guess I'll open up the floor here — I definitely feel this pain too, hence this meeting :)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:23, on Zulip):

So: There are whole businesses dedicated to trying to help companies solve this problem, no?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

I feel like we should not jump to a technical sol'n :) or maybe that's not what you're proposing :)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

Oh I more mean its a hard problem, that's all.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

We've talked in the past of alternating the weekly meeting

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

My thought so far has been that we should -- starting now but also with this round of the roadmap process — try to establish what our big goals will be for e.g. next year. Then we should establish working groups focused on those goals — each of them needs an active leader. This is sort of where the rubber hits the road, though, because "active leaders" are hard...

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

between triage vs high-level work

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:24, on Zulip):

...my sense is that the NLL Working Group worked really well

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:25, on Zulip):

in terms of "having a clear goal", "bringing in people", etc

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:25, on Zulip):

but it kind of had both @pnkfelix and I devoting time to triage etc

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:25, on Zulip):

still, I think that overall model -- having some goals, milestones, and an internal triage process -- is great

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:25, on Zulip):

I think it's often good to have a "team of leaders" for an effort/working group

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:26, on Zulip):

with "team" meaning ~2 people

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:26, on Zulip):

I would love it if there was a T-compiler landing page where you could go that listed each of the "Active efforts" and some key information about how to get involved

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:26, on Zulip):

Yes, I think that's potentially a really good model

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:26, on Zulip):

I also think that the NLL working group was a better success than the "general working groups" we tried for the .. oh what did we call that? the big push we did at the end of 2017 :)

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

impl period

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

impl period?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

I think beacuse it had clearer goals and a domain, vs like "the rustc-middle working group"

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

yes, impl period ;)

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

following that, it would also be nice to have a short description of what areas of specialism people were, so anyone could identify who might be good to ask about topic X, or for review

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

I think it's often good to have a "team of leaders" for an effort/working group

one thing I would like to see here: can we use this as a mentoring opportunity?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

NLL also had a feature that was visible at the user level (which may have helped get volunteers initially involved)

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:27, on Zulip):

yea even the 2017-era NLL WG seemed more successful than the other WGs

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:28, on Zulip):

I think NLL was also a "lot of small feature" problem where lots of people could get involved

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:28, on Zulip):

i.e., a "senior" leader -- say, @mw -- paired up with somebody who hasn't been around as long, presuming we can find people interested :)

Vadim Petrochenkov (Oct 26 2018 at 14:28, on Zulip):

big push we did at the end of 2017

From that I mostly remember the even bigger rush before
the end of 2017.

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:29, on Zulip):

Has there been any discussion around updating https://www.rustaceans.org/findwork/impl?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:29, on Zulip):

I think an example where that might work out well is @scalexm and I with traits -- not sure who is the senior one there :P

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:29, on Zulip):

i.e., a "senior" leader -- say, @mw -- paired up with somebody who hasn't been around as long, presuming we can find people interested :)

that would be an option, especially if the mentee is already epxerienced

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:29, on Zulip):

Has there been any discussion around updating https://www.rustaceans.org/findwork/impl?

not really, I am curious about it because it seems like another model

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:30, on Zulip):

I think having functioning working groups with triage might allow us to feed into such a site though

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:30, on Zulip):

another observation:

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:30, on Zulip):

there were complaints (accurate!) that the main triage meeting is always over time

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:30, on Zulip):

one way to help that of course is if we are able to delegate out some of that work

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

to split the triage meeting?

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

yes, you'd need a kind of core group that can mentor contributors who don't have so much time

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

we do have to ensure we stay up on regressions, though, and they generally refuse to fit into a nice category :P

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

to split the triage meeting?

well e.g. NLL does its own triage

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

that's mostly "additional triage" though, but it sometimes includes regressions

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

NLL just has a lot of bugs

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

*is not quite production-quality

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

the triage meeting could still look at everything and just be quick to delegate

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:31, on Zulip):

I think this will be true of all new code though=)

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:32, on Zulip):

yea exactly, the main triage mtg is for old code

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:32, on Zulip):

yeah ok so maybe it doesn't help much :)

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:32, on Zulip):

but there do seem to be delays in the main triage mtg while we wait for people with the right expertise

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:33, on Zulip):

e.g. discussing LLVM issues without an LLVM-knowing person, or macro issues without @Vadim Petrochenkov

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:33, on Zulip):

so to circle back, I think these were some of the major points:

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:33, on Zulip):

It would be great if there were more working groups like NLL. Relative to NLL, other parts of the compiler are harder to break into.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

but there do seem to be delays in the main triage mtg while we wait for people with the right expertise

this ties in with the bus factor; it will also always be true that not everybody can make regular meetings

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

There's not as clear of a path to getting familiar with other parts of the compiler.

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

this ties in with the bus factor; it will also always be true that not everybody can make regular meetings

see my comment about @Vadim Petrochenkov

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

right, I'm just saying, we hae to figure out how to deal with it

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

@davidtwco

I think error messages are similar

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:34, on Zulip):

there are quite a lot of people that can help you work on these

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

plus decent docs

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

but there isn't the onboarding leadership

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

(this reminds me: I would like to see a more focused effort around error messages -- trying to give a more centralized vision, ensure use of consistent vocabulary/jargon, etc)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

I've thought even about a separate team, but WG might be a better fit

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

anyway, I'm wondering if we should look at next topic?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:35, on Zulip):

/me should have set a timer

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:36, on Zulip):

We should try make some issues or action items for people so that ideas brought up are followed up on and addressed.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:36, on Zulip):

well I guess it's only been 10-15 minutes

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:36, on Zulip):

an hour really isn't long enough to delve into these issues

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:36, on Zulip):

yes, I was imagining we would do that at the end, but it might be better to do it sooner

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

an hour really isn't long enough to delve into these issues

indeed, we've got some "meeting debt" too :)

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

we could probably have hour-plus meetings on each of these items

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

so my sense on this particular issue

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

basically I would really like to start putting in the effort to seeing some of this stuff happen

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

we could probably have hour-plus meetings on each of these items

could branch out async discussions on internals for some of the topics.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

like, making landing page, etc

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

we could probably have hour-plus meetings on each of these items

its good to try to start get people thinking about these topics (I know many people already do. but its good to see relative priorities)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

and I plan to kind of take that on

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:37, on Zulip):

I'm not sure 100% what the action items are though

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

but I think that it's something to keep in midn

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

as we go through the planning process for next year

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

also at Rust All Hands this February

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

I was hoping there that as we sort of discuss and draw up plans, we would also be saying

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

@Ariel Ben-Yehuda what do you think would be good to have around diagnostics as an entry point?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:38, on Zulip):

"who will head the working group for this thing"

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:39, on Zulip):

(anyway, I feel good about trying to do some "survey" in this meeting and not just bottom up one thing, but we can stay on this topic if people want)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:39, on Zulip):

other topics were:

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:39, on Zulip):

@Esteban Küber

Something like what we did with NLL

A cleaned-up list of issues on a findwork-ey thing, and someone leading the effort on it

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:39, on Zulip):

seems like we covered the newcomer question a bit

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:41, on Zulip):

also at Rust All Hands this February

btw I don't know how broadly this has been announced, I realize — as always it's not being organized as far in advance as it should. But there's been talk of a Rust All Hands in Berlin in early February, much like last year, including official team members (not sure how many other people we'll be able to accommodate yet, I will sync with aturon about that)

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:41, on Zulip):

wr/t/ errors: A dedicated channel and a known someone to be pinged for when people have questions or want to ask for a good first issue (often easier to ask initially than just comment out of the blue) is helpful.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:42, on Zulip):

@Esteban Küber I think what I'd like to see for errors is similar to what you've done in the past -- pick some concrete goals, like "no multi-line spans", and then set out to achieve them

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:42, on Zulip):

wr/t/ errors: A dedicated channel and a known someone to be pinged for when people have questions or want to ask for a good first issue (often easier to ask initially than just comment out of the blue) is helpful.

above applies to any area though - dedicated spaces and people for asking questions is good from a newcomer perspective.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:42, on Zulip):

basically, identifying some organizational principle feels better than "whack-a-mole"

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:43, on Zulip):

@davidtwco I'm usually triaging tickets in the backlog and marking them with easy and mentor (or needs mentor when scope is murkier) and try to be available on gh. Having a separate site is only good if we solve the discoverability issue, but I absolutely agree.

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:43, on Zulip):

it's possible that the issue label structure could vaguely mirror the (working) group structure

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:43, on Zulip):

I don't necessarily mean a separate site so much as a #diagnostics channel here (or in Discord, but Zulip is better :stuck_out_tongue:).

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:43, on Zulip):

the issue tracker is a fairly bad todo list

Ariel Ben-Yehuda (Oct 26 2018 at 14:44, on Zulip):

at least, the way I know to use it

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:44, on Zulip):

then the group responsible for a label could also be responsible for trying to add E-mentor to as many as possible ;)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:44, on Zulip):

btw we're 40 minutes into the meeting, my sense is that we should stay with this general focus — but I'm interested in talking a bit more about the onboarding etc process in a bit more detail, since we seem to be circling that topic

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:44, on Zulip):

one thing that I"d like to raise as a possible Working Group responsibility: documentation

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:44, on Zulip):

I constantly feel guilty about not spending more time on rustc-guide ;)

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:45, on Zulip):

I know that when I was picking out a first issue, it was easier for me to jump in a WG Gitter channel and ask for a good first issue than assigning myself something from a list - something about that was less daunting or felt less likely to make a mistake. Having dedicated spaces so newcomers can do that is a good thing.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:45, on Zulip):

in general, I think the compiler is still pretty lacking in high-level docs, I'd like to discuss if we can make that a bit more of our workflow. I had hoped that focused WG would give us a bit more opportunity to write out the designs we have in mind

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:45, on Zulip):

we've never had much success with T-compiler RFCs, they don't feel like a great fit

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:46, on Zulip):

for wg-traits, I had hoped to use rustc-guide chapters instead, edited as necessary — not sure yet if that will work :)

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:46, on Zulip):

@davidtwco that coment makes me think that we should have a poll aimed at the people that have started contributing very recently to hear their perspective... There might be blind spots we're not seeing...

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:46, on Zulip):

re: specific action items, @davidtwco, maybe one is to come up with a list of possible working groups we can "retcon into existence"

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:47, on Zulip):

though I think it's best not to create too much structure in advance, I'm wary of making groups that we don't have the bandwidth to really make true

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:47, on Zulip):

we should have a poll aimed at the people that have started contributing very recently to hear their perspective

I like this idea

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:47, on Zulip):

another action item =)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:47, on Zulip):

I'm debating now — we've got about ~15 minutes left — can we focus on some small, concrete things we can do?

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

So I will admit that I only recently started seriously looking at the rustc-guide

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

if somebody wanted to take the lead on organizing a survey — doesn't seem especially hard — I'd be into it

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

I'm sort of curious whether there are others in a similar boat

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

I'm thinking now that I've started reading it that I'd like to help improve it

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

re: rustc-guide, I decided to make a weekly spot to write on it

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

actually, it's an obvious WG :P

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

w/r/t documentation - I have a clear memory that when @nikomatsakis and I had an appear.in call to discuss an issue and he was explaining some concept and then related it to the code we were looking at - that helped clear things up 10x more than any documentation I'd read in a guide. IIRC it was about universal regions '_#0r being X, and '_#1r being Y and then seeing the calls at the top of the MIR code that made those - it clicked way more.

tl;dr relate documentation to the code more.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:48, on Zulip):

but it needs a good leader

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

@davidtwco question, when you say "the code"...

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

While @nikomatsakis is (certainly) a good leader, I think their talents are best invested elsewhere ?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

one thing I really like to see in comments is Rust code examples

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

and links between that Rust code example and the variables in the code

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

is that the kind of thing you mean?

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:49, on Zulip):

this can go stale very quick

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

While @nikomatsakis is (certainly) a good leader, I think their talents are best invested elsewhere ?

yeah, I think I don't have time, I plan to be focused on traits + finishing up NLL

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

this can go stale very quick

my sense is (a) that's part of the job but also (b) stale is better than zero

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

personally, I almost always prefer having stale comments to no comments at all

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

This might just be me, but I struggle to relate some of the concepts discussed in the documentation with the code that makes those things concrete.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

also, I don't think it goes stale that quickly

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:50, on Zulip):

you'd be surprised how slowly the compiler moves sometimes :P

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:51, on Zulip):

a constant barrage of newcomers is one way to continuously test the docs

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:51, on Zulip):

There are things that aren't going to change that much where comments won't go that stale, and there are places where they will go out of date.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:51, on Zulip):

This might just be me, but I struggle to relate some of the concepts discussed in the documentation with the code that makes those things concrete.

right, I'm trying to get a sense for what helps to make those connections (besides video calls) :)

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

I second the fact that the video calls are extremely useful as a mentoring tool

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

unfortunately they don't scale :(

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

one thing I originally hoped for with rustc-guide was that we would avoid too many links to the code; I've revised that opinion since I think it is better to link to the code (particularly with checked links to the API docs, so we know when they go stale), as it makes for better docs

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

right, I'm trying to get a sense for what helps to make those connections (besides video calls) :slight_smile:

yeah, I'm going to think on this and see if I can't get myself a clearer idea of why.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

did any of the newomcers here watch the captured sessions that Niko had posted?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

(which reminds me that I want to bug @kennytm about getting the automatic comments when PRs break rustc-guide links)

matklad (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

re doc-code: there's a way to automatically link code and tests, by checking coverage automatically.
If some tests were included in the docs, that would make doc-code link checkable.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:52, on Zulip):

I had the impression that @nikomatsakis had posted them as a way of sharing knowledge transfer

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

I re-watched older ones I had with niko when doing issues in that area after having not done any for a while.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

yeah, I tried that. Not sure if people really watched them

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

interesting

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

I watched one

qmx (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

(niko and santiago)

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

If I forget how universal regions works, that's still my go-to video.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:53, on Zulip):

its possible that's a way we could attempt to scale up that kind of knowledge xfer. Maybe.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

though of course that definitely can go stale

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

Action Items:

One possible though:

mw (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

where do I find those videos?

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCQVvhKUrTN9VfaQx2AyOSAstwENaGkYA

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

Would it make sense to have a youtube playlist with these videos? (If there isn't one already?) :)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:54, on Zulip):

maybe we can make a better one

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

I'd be game to do one video per week :)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

we could grow the set much faster

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

I've thought about a "rustc office hours"

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

basically make that...

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

I guess I can just add a "rustc slot" into my https://github.com/nikomatsakis/office-hours setup

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:55, on Zulip):

(others could too:)

Vadim Petrochenkov (Oct 26 2018 at 14:56, on Zulip):

This might just be me, but I struggle to relate some of the concepts discussed in the documentation with the code that makes those things concrete.

I find code itself the best documentation, but only if it's written in the "executable pseudo-code" style without digressing into advanced optimizations or error reporting.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:56, on Zulip):

sometimes, yes... my sense is that code is often lacking the "high-level view" of what is happening. Reading code tends to be sort of "bottom up"

Vadim Petrochenkov (Oct 26 2018 at 14:57, on Zulip):

That's why I'm annoyed by the diagnostic PRs that insert fancy diagnostics logic right in the middle of "language specification" code.

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:57, on Zulip):

For me personally, the biggest thing around this sort of topic, after contributing for I think a year now, is being able to get a broader working knowledge about the compiler (so I'd be useful in these areas) where there aren't active working groups. It's a bit more of an "intermediate-ish contributor" rather than "newcomer contributor" issue.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:57, on Zulip):

it's an interesting question how to better separate those concerns; @Esteban Küber and I have talked a lot about factoring out the diagnostic details, in part to enable a --teach mode and so forth

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:57, on Zulip):

we've never really done it though :)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:58, on Zulip):

@davidtwco yes, this transition is a hard one. You basically walked the path I had always hoped to see: using the working group to tackle issue after issue. The next step, working on more things, is definitely harder.

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 14:58, on Zulip):

That's why I'm annoyed by the diagnostic PRs that insert fancy diagnostics logic right in the middle of "language specification" code.

I like the approach taken by NLL where there's a clear-er split between the error reporting and the analysis (how applicable this is elsewhere, I don't know), but it makes making changes and understanding things much easier IMO.

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:58, on Zulip):

it'd be interesting to record debugging or implementing something in rustc from start to finish (writing about it works too, but a continuous flow of thought might be more insightful), for people to get a better understanding of the compiler's structure from those familiar with it

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

I don't know if the split in NLL is as clear/clean as one might hope...

varkor (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

(maybe that's what @nikomatsakis's videos are like; I haven't looked at them (yet))

matklad (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

IIRC, in Kotlin, compiler-part emits only bare-bones diagnostics, and all fancy stuff is handled by IDE plugin.

Esteban Küber (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

A big point of contention in my mind is that there's going to be bastardization of the logic regardless of wether we mode the diagnostic code out of the way in order to enable those diagnostics (think about the parser accepting incorrect code that would seem reasonable to a newcomer in order to properly suggest changes in the diagnostic). There's no way around that, I fear...

Zoxc (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

By landing page do you mean a wiki or something more static like https://forge.rust-lang.org/ ? It would be nice to have a place where you can find high level plans and more detailed TODOs

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 14:59, on Zulip):

you definitely have to thread more stuff around

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

@Zoxc I mean something a bit more static -- it would change when new working groups are created etc, but mostly be links to the landing pages for a WG, whcih would have links to GH queries and things to find active issues (I think?)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

sadly, those WG landing pages often do go quite stale

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

it'd be interesting to record debugging or implementing something in rustc from start to finish (writing about it works too, but a continuous flow of thought might be more insightful), for people to get a better understanding of the compiler's structure from those familiar with it

I've thought it might be beneficial to write a blog for each issue I do, trying to break down my thought process and how I tackle the issue, explaining concepts as I touch them, but I wasn't ever sure how useful it'd be.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

probably best to keep them minimal:

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

find us on Zulip, here is out GH label, etc

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

so I hate to be the time keeper but we're at 60min

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

but ideally it would kind of sketch out a roadmap and show where you are¨)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:00, on Zulip):

so I hate to be the time keeper but we're at 60min

was just going to mention that

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

I can take the aciton item to write-up a summary of this meeting

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

not sure if we came up with anything else that concrete to do yet

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

but I think it'd be interesting just to read back over the log and try to ponder what was said, to start

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

a WG for rustc-guide might be an interesting thing to try to pull in volunteers for ...

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

yes

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:01, on Zulip):

/me loves that idea

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:02, on Zulip):

its tough because on the one hand you need the expert knowledge

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:02, on Zulip):

but I'd be willing to be a go-between there, in terms of tracking down the experts when necessary...

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:02, on Zulip):

yes so

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 15:02, on Zulip):

a WG for rustc-guide might be an interesting thing to try to pull in volunteers for ...

I'd be concerned that it wouldn't be that easy to document the compiler like this without having a bunch of experience in a given module - limiting the contributor pool to the WG quite a lot. Maybe it wouldn't be that bad though.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:02, on Zulip):

the thing I always want to do -- @tmandry and I were planning to try it -- was to do e.g. videos and explain things to someone and have them try to write, but I'm not sure if that will work :)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:03, on Zulip):

it might be too hard

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:03, on Zulip):

Its possible that new-comers could assist with identifying what needs to be documented and peeling back the layers of the onion

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:03, on Zulip):

In which case it feels like maybe we just need a pact among some of us to spend some time writing up something every week or something. =)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:03, on Zulip):

yes, providing feedback is invaluable

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

Another thing is that we can/should do more documentation of development patterns

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

like how we use #[rustc_attributes] to expose compiler internals

DPC (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

get a newcomer to go through the code and ask questions, then anwer those questions in the guide

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

for testing

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

confirm, the "writing tests" section is sort of anemic right now

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

especially as we are changing there

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:04, on Zulip):

e.g., migrating from run-pass

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:05, on Zulip):

oh. that's true. hmm.

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:05, on Zulip):

I somehow forgot that. :)

davidtwco (Oct 26 2018 at 15:05, on Zulip):

compiletest improvements was a topic I forgot to include in the survey feedback and only remembered yesterday.

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:06, on Zulip):

all right I gotta run — I'll do a write-up – feel free to keep chatting I suppose though :)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:06, on Zulip):

I'd like to start a rustc-guide-wg topic though before I go, maybe :)

pnkfelix (Oct 26 2018 at 15:06, on Zulip):

(i gotta go too; thanks so much to everyone for attending! especially people like @Ariel Ben-Yehuda who I know are ... semi-retired? Wrong wording...)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:08, on Zulip):

Yes, definitely! I am happy whenever I see @Ariel Ben-Yehuda or @Vadim Petrochenkov online :) :heart_eyes:

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:38, on Zulip):

First shot at a summary: link

Also, something that occurred to me: with respect to the issue of WG landing pages getting out of date, and not necessarily doing the "homework" to track out goals, if we keep up with these meetings, that is an opportunity for us to update said pages. (Indeed, the meeting structure could be to go to the landing page of each WG and read out the updates -- so they had better be updated!)

nikomatsakis (Oct 26 2018 at 15:39, on Zulip):

Summary posted here.

nagisa (Oct 26 2018 at 17:12, on Zulip):

Aww I missed it :frown:

Last update: Nov 16 2019 at 02:05UTC