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A new contract with users

A new contract with users

Rough thoughts on the users/maintainers relationship.


Florian Gilcher

December 07, 2020


  1. A new contract with users Thoughts on the user/maintainer relationship

  2. whoami • Florian Gilcher • “skade” on GitHub and rust-jp

    Slack • Rubyist and Rustacean • Rust community & core team • Founder of Ferrous Systems • https://ferrous-systems.com • Founder of RustFest and Rust Berlin
  3. Fundamental thesis We don’t talk enough about the users/maintainers relationship

    from the maintainers side. The users/maintainers relationship is often modelled as hierarchical.
  4. The things we say “Users should keep maintainers in mind”

    • It’s a common thing we hear a lot • It’s true and well-trodden “Maintainers should keep users in mind” • This is rarely spoken about • Often is seen as a burden
  5. Relationship • Relationships are built by two-sided (social) contracts •

    Good relationships: • Are easier and effort-saving in the long run • Not a burden • May seem like a costly investment in the short run
  6. Users and adopters are making a bet • Users trust

    maintainers and creators fundamentally, by using their software • Users, especially commercial ones, are betting their product on you • For individuals, this may involve their standing in the company • User disagreement often has complex sources
  7. Users are diverse • Individuals • Hobbyists • Freelancers •

    Small companies • Large, multinational companies
  8. What can maintainers bring • Better guided feedback • Actively

    work to enable it • Clear communication • Visibility into the future • Content curation • Check for user well-being! • “This week in Rust” • The books, the documented RFC process • ???
  9. Honorable mention • Aki: Using Rust in Metal Fabrication •

    https://rustfest.global/session/1-using-rust-in-metal-fabrication/ • Talks about how companies should think about how place themselves in communities for their own good
  10. Thank you