back to article Rust dust-up as entire moderation team resigns. Why? They won't really say

The Rust language community is in disarray following the resignation of the entire moderation team, citing the "structural unaccountability" of the core development team. The moderation team, represented by Andrew Gallant, posted its resignation to GitHub yesterday, stating that it was "done in protest of the Core Team placing …

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        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like the team

          If applied properly WD40 should form a film/coating and keep stuff from rusting (if protected from direct exposure to the elements)

          1. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Sounds like the team

            "WD" stands for "Water Displacer". Good for de-moisturizing electrical panels that were accidentally exposed to sea water.

  1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    If the Child/Beast is Just Teething is there Any Need to Be Griping?

    Crikey .... Now there's a Sp00Key Singularity and Virtual Parallel. A leaderless technocracy akin to and mimicking a vacant Prime Ministry and treacherous Presidency.

    A Perfect Opportunity though for that which and/or those who know what needs to be done next for the very best of reasons on a serial basis.

    Can you think of anything/anyone more suited for future presentation than any of the current constantly consistently failing traditional conventional fare?

    Speak up now, for you don't often get such a chance to voice your opinion on such as be leading matters.

    1. fg_swe

      Re: If the Child/Beast is Just Teething is there Any Need to Be Griping?

      Well Mars, maybe it is a matter of simply questioning some parts of the ruling ideology ? What might follow is to get rid of the unnecessary politics they have attached to themselves.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: If the Child/Beast is Just Teething is there Any Need to Be Griping?

      "A leaderless technocracy"

      They are not leaderless, amfM ... In fact, the leaders are staying with the project.

    3. phuzz Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: If the Child/Beast is Just Teething is there Any Need to Be Griping?

      Ah, amfm is back! Not seen you for a while, how's the weather out your way?

  2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The Rust Foundation statement

    Anyone else read that as "We know it's happening but don't want to touch it with ten foot pole. Please don't break Rust."

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: The Rust Foundation statement

      Typical management / PR-speak that says nothing.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The Rust Foundation statement

        To me it clearly says that the Foundation agrees with the change.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Re: The Rust Foundation statement

          What change?

  3. cornetman Silver badge

    Sounds to me like a power struggle.

    As others have pointed out above, if there is a serious enough problem that a raft of people have to resign, then it behooves them to make public at least some measure of why. Sounds suspiciously like someone threw their rattle out.

    As long as key developers/designers are not resigning, then it doesn't seem like much of a loss to me.

    1. Malcolm Weir

      Hmm... this mostly seems to me that someone on the "core team" is behaving badly, and no-one dares touch him/her/them because he/she/they/it are deemed "too valuable" to censure in any way.

      The bottom line is that the best form of governance is always the benevolent dictator. The only snag is that finding a suitable overlord is tricky, and agreeing on what is meant by benevolence is impossible, so you either grin and bear it (hi, Linus) or you end up with these sorts of problems.

      1. fg_swe

        We know about the problems of dictators with unlimited power, so there should be some amount of checks and balances. Mr Torvalds always seems to apologize for occasional aggressive speech, which means there is a balance of some sorts.

        Maybe Rust needs a king controlled by some kind of parliament ?

        Or maybe public naming&shaming would be enough to control the Rusty King ?

        1. fg_swe

          Torvalds Checks+Balances

          Mr Torvalds certainly must answer to the corporations (such as Google, HP, IBM, Amazon) who are heavily invested in Linux.

          These corporations would probably fork Linux in a whim, if they had unfixable trouble with him.

          Also, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and quite a few more wait in the wings.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

            "These corporations would probably fork Linux in a whim"

            If they could, they would have done so a long time ago[0]. But they know that if they do, they lose the free experienced help of several hundred thousand FOSS coders world-wide. Baby & bathwater.

            [0] Some would say that they already partially have ... but that's another rant.

          2. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

            I doubt if Mr. Torvalds gives a fuck about these giant corporations.

            He is comfortable enough, and they are in his thrall rather than he --- or Linux --- to them.

            .

            They use Linux solely because it is the best, and cheaper, solution; and Linux will outlast all those 4 --- the history of big business is littered with failures who were once massive. Which includes billion/millionaire individuals, as well as the companies, shell companies, and monopolies those leaders once ran.

            1. fg_swe

              Follow Money etc

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Foundation#Corporate_members

              Linus earns about 700k/year from these corporations, which is O.K. with me. He is a businessman-engineer who operates in a kind of cooperative setup. Like the Raiffeisen-thing in Germany or coop banks in other countries.

              Just don't assume he has no overlords. Linus is an employee of all those megacorps who have pooled their efforts in the OS sector.

              http://techrights.org/2020/08/16/the-linux-racket/

              1. Mike 137 Silver badge

                Re: Follow Money etc

                The real full horror story of the Linux Foundation can be read on the same site. I always thought that the big closed source players would eventually try to kill Linux and it seems it's happening, now they've extracted a lot of value from it for free in passing. And the age old method is to foment internal dissent so the enemy collapses spontaneously.

                Let's hope Linux the reality outlives Linux the brand.

              2. DrXym Silver badge

                Re: Follow Money etc

                I think a better way of looking at it is corps know Linus is a safe pair of hands. He doesn't tolerate shit getting into the kernel no matter who is trying to land it, big or small. And while he might ruffle feathers from time to time, the long term result is a stable kernel with no major drama.

                And I bet Linus would be the first to tell any corp who thought different where they could stick their money if they tried to do an end run around him.

            2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

              Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

              The more interesting question is whether Linux will outlast Mr Torvalds for long…

              1. 42656e4d203239
                Pint

                Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

                have a mid-week beer for asking a question many ignore... Mr Torvalds has a great grip on the Kernel and is just the man (if a bit mouthy sometimes - but that is down to personal taste rather than effectiveness) for the job.

                When the Kernel loses its fuhrer, what happens then?

                Poettering steps up? somehow I think that would go down well /s

                Interesting times for everyone I think.

              2. Tom 7 Silver badge

                Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

                I been using Linux since before 1.0 kernel and have been mostly happy with Torvald's management of the most important piece of software in the world for at least 20 years. But I do wonder what happens when he steps down or is removed. There are many interests that would like to destroy Linux and far far more who would merely like the privileged of running it despite being no-where near capable of running a whelk stall.

                Its the seed corn for so many commercial interests it will be interesting to see if they can learn to co-operate on it when he goes or whether they will kill the goose that gives their daily bread a nice egg to make it palatable and nutritious. The economic cost of each having to maintain their own goose is going to be ruinous to almost all of them. Some may even feel that the socialist Linux must die and prove the pen that signs off on their harikari is indeed mightier than the sword.

              3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Torvalds Checks+Balances

                I believe the heir apparent is Greg K-H.

      2. jake Silver badge

        "this mostly seems to me that someone on the "core team" is behaving badly"

        Probably just a simple personality conflict. The moderation "Team" tried to flex their muscles ("We're charged with enforcing the CoC, so we're more equal than you are!") and were called out ... and slunk off with their tail between their legs.

    2. Swarthy Silver badge

      Power struggle, Accountability struggle....

      Sounds like the Moderator Group keeps everyone else in line, with Core actually doing the enforcement. But if Core goes off the rails, and refuses to enforce the Mods' edicts against themselves; Quis Costodet?

      Core can censure Mod, Mod and Core can censure everybody; but no-one (except Core) can call Core out. That is problematical.

      My best solution would be to add (yet) another group "Enforcement" or sommat, who has no investigative powers, cannot lodge complaints, they only exist to enforce censure - so they cannot go off the rails in any meaningful way. Takes the load off of Core, and also allows Core to be held accountable, while still keeping Mod from being judge, jury and executioner.

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        True enough, but it's all pure speculation without something concrete to hang it on.

        Just upping and leaving without any kind of explanation is bound to fuel such speculation. With that in mind, you would have thought people whose job it is to manage this kind of messaging should have realised that. Just my opinion but perhaps they weren't really up to the job therefore.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Or the job is literally impossible

          Isn't that the point?

          This is practically identical to what's happened in several country's governments many times, and it often does so happen that ministers get mysteriously reshuffled for totally unrelated reasons a few weeks later.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Or the job is literally impossible

            Or maybe it's a non-job, possibly created to try to placate the usual professional offence seekers.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      In a way it does. Sounds like someone in the core team is being a bit of a dick or subject of complaints and the mods have discovered they don't have the means to sanction that person.

      1. cornetman Silver badge

        This is the thing though.

        These people are a group responsible for conduct and invoking sanctions against those they deem to have broken the rules. Regardless of whether they feel that they have the official authority to wield that power on an individual acting in a dickish manner, as individuals charged with such a responsibility, they could at least blow the whistle on it. The fact that they have not means either they don't have the backbone (so maybe they are completely unsuitable for the role), or there is nothing specific to report, which frankly seems more likely.

        What they have done is instigate the worst possible damage on the Rust project compared to any of the other options. They have brought disrepute to the project without a shred of decency to at least uphold what they were supposed to be upholding.

        Completely unacceptable.

  4. fg_swe

    Rust Alternatives and Roots

    http://sappeur.ddnss.de/

    https://developer.apple.com/swift/

    Totally free of politics stuff, afaik.

    1. Kristian Walsh

      Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

      As a language, Swift most definitely is not an alternative to Rust (memory management is different for a start). It’s also controlled by Apple, a company with a reputation for pulling important things out from under developers’ feet.

      Sappeur is new to me, but reading “Sappeur combines the advantages of C ++ with the advantages of Java” is odd, as I wasn’t aware that there were any advantages to Java anymore except ubiquity (and if that’s the measure, we’d also have to say JavaScript is somehow “good”).

      Despite the poor choice of comparison, what’s there looks interesting, and it’s been marked for later review. Thanks and upticked.

      1. fg_swe

        Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

        Java is memory safe, even (kind-of) with multithreading. C++ is not.

        C++ is very efficient and semi-realtime capable even with using heap memory.

        Java is not semi-realtime-capable if you allocate dynamic memory during usual processing steps.

        C++ has RAII, Java has not. RAII is the most efficient way of acquiring and releasing expensive resources such as database connections, sockets and file handles.

        C++ has synchronous destructors, Java has not.

        Sappeur aims to merge the good things of both.

        Sappeur is arguably superior to Java in ensuring multithreading synchronization of shared data access.

        Java is superior in its ability to collect cycles of garbage objects, over (traditional) C++ and Sappeur. The latter two can only reclaim memory if cycles are broken by explicit code.

        1. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

          As a language, I actually quite like Java, but as an implementation I hate it. Enormous memory hog and I've always felt that garbage collection is a poor solution to the problem of heap memory management. Rust at least tries to fix the second problem with declarative logic through explicit life-cycle management and this is the key killer feature that has everyone keen.

          1. fg_swe

            Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

            Sappeur programs can be almost as tiny as efficient C programs are. They can also start in a few milliseconds, do their work and be done in another few milliseconds. Like the C based Unix userland tools. Unlike most Java VMs.

            That is because a Sappeur program is in fact a C++ program with little overhead for refcounting, stack overflow and array index checks. Multithreaded programs have some Mutex checking effort. All the system libraries are thin wrappers around the POSIX or Windows APIs.

            The resulting memory safe C++ code is compiled using g++ or any other moderately modern C++ compiler such as xlCr (or whatever the name is on AIX), SUN CC, VC++, Elbrus tcc,... All tested with success, not just theory.

          2. DrXym Silver badge

            Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

            I think Java succeeded over C++ because it's portable, had a far more useful standard library and when things went wrong you got nice stack trace. This translates into more reliable, maintainable code which in most cases is far more important to business than raw performance.

            The biggest issue with Java is that Oracle's stewardship has been diabolical. The language has slowly fallen behind its rivals in terms of features & functionality and been encumbered with horrible / confusing licensing terms and other uncertainties.

            1. fg_swe

              Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

              "and when things went wrong you got nice stack trace"

              That is exactly what I mean when I say "memory safety". Java, Swift, Rust and Sappeur have much more robust and deterministic failure-detection mechanisms than C and C++.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

                I think the point some of the commenters are making is that C was designed to not have memory safety, as it was designed to work at the metal level where raw performance was critical. Basically, a unicycle versus a bicycle with training wheels. At some point, you have to insist on people who what they're doing, and if they're not available, throw up your hands and realize You Just Can't Get There From Here.

                1. DrXym Silver badge

                  Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

                  Rust is a safe language that compiles to machine code & bare metal as C or C++ can but without many of the issues baked into those languages. So it's not true to say C is unsafe because it needs to be but because 45 odd years ago they probably didn't think it a problem or didn't care.

                  45 years on and with the benefit of hindsight it turns out maybe we should care and Rust is a language that does without no runtime penalty.

                  As for the likes of Java, .NET, Python et al, those languages have succeed because runtime penalty is secondary to reliability, time to market etc. Those languages eliminates or mitigate against problems endemic to lower level languages and that's why they're used. We're also seeing some middle ground languages like Go & Swift that have some higher level language features while also compiling to native executables.

                  1. dajames Silver badge

                    Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

                    Rust is a safe language that compiles to machine code & bare metal as C or C++ can but without many of the issues baked into those languages. So it's not true to say C is unsafe because it needs to be but because 45 odd years ago they probably didn't think it a problem or didn't care.

                    I think they cared about correctness ... but I don't think they knew how to design rust or to write a rust compiler, I don't think the computers on on which C was expected to be run could have run a rust compiler in an acceptable time, and I don't think most programmers could have got their heads around the need for rust, nor the extra syntax you have to write to manage lifetimes &c. in a rust program.

                    45 years on and with the benefit of hindsight it turns out maybe we should care and Rust is a language that does without no runtime penalty.

                    Indeed. Rust has a number of difficulties ... but runtime performance is not one of them.

            2. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

              I think Java succeeded over C++ because it's portable

              THAT would be a VERY good guess, In My Bombastic Opinion.

              (it certainly makes sense to ME)

              This particularly for GUI applications, and on platforms like Android that have traditionally used it almost exclusively for a very long time.

            3. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

              The biggest issue with Java is that Oracle's stewardship has been diabolical

              You could replace 'Java' with a number of other projects in that sentence and it would still be true.

        2. tiggity Silver badge

          Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

          One thing I liked about Java was exception rippling.

          Simplistically

          If some code could give exceptions than all those types of exception had to be declared as thrown

          Code that called that has to either handle those exceptions or declare they throw them

          So great when you call a method as you know what exceptions it gives (so avoid classic dev bug in similar languages, e.g. c#, where method called & you neglected to check for exceptions) - and in Java compiler lets you know if you are not handling exceptions probably.

          So its great for precise handling of different types of error (as long as people don't abuse it with catch all style logic), and great for control flow as you ae always forced to think about what exceptions you consume at a given level, and which you ripple up.

          ..But it had lots of things that gave me grief e.g. GUI, performance, memory, garbage collection "quirks", threading etc.. But all languages have pros and cons. It's great to choose your language, sadly in most commercial work its dictated which one(s) you will use.

          .. and doing bit & byte level stuff you always had to remember it was always Big Endian irrespective of architecture you were running on (always the same endianness great for consistency, but "fun" when you are doing Java Native Interface calls of code on little endian machine that is dealing with little endian format datatypes).

      2. Crypto Monad

        Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

        Java combines all the disadvantages of an ahead-of-time compiled language, with all the disadvantages of an interpreted scripting language.

        1. parperback parper

          Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

          You're thinking of objective C

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

      I afraid I just can't take Sappeur that seriously, it's practically a hobby project. It is to C++ as TypeScript is to JavaScript, i.e. it's more of a method of enforcing design patterns rather than a new language. Also the source code is from a version of the language from a decade ago, what's on the website appears to be closed source.

      1. fg_swe

        Re: Rust Alternatives and Roots

        1.) Indeed Sappeur is similar to TypeScript. But with enough effort, you could create a compiler that directly compiles Sappeur source into assembly code. For many reasons (both economic and engineering), this would not be wise at this point. For example, I could not create code for the Russian Elbrus CPU, as MCST keeps the instruction set secret (because Elbrus CPUs are part of sensitive government/military systems).

        1.2) Some Eiffel compilers compile into C. That also works nicely.

        1.3) Sappeur is definitely a language of its own. In grammar, syntax and semantics. It is *related* to C++, though.

        1.4) ANY environment can be targeted from the Sappeur 3.4 compiler. From Atmel 16 bit Micrcontroller to 64 bit Mainframe processors. All you need is a halfway decent C++ compiler/code generator.

        2.) The Sappeur 3.4 compiler is indeed closed source and requires a paid license of 300 Euro/developer for commercial use. It is free for non commercial use or evaluation.

        2.2) SUN gave away Java for free, the entire world's corporations use it. They also gave away other great software such as StarOffice. Now they are bankrupt. Free by itself is not sustainable, check Mr Torvalds (see my other posts here) for details.

  5. Nightkiller

    Just allow the core developers to identify themselves as

    Omniscient Lord/ Indifferent God

    That should cover the lot.

  6. Ozan

    So who watches the watchmen?

    1. fg_swe

      Commentards on ElReg.

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