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I would argue that if the Rust project would have just one mission statement, it wouldn't be "create a safe systems programming language". It would be "move towards a world where safe systems programming is the norm".

What's the difference? Both of the statements have the premise that Rust is – and ought to be – a safe systems programming language. However, the latter captures not only the REAL goal, but also the nuances and tensions: while safety is indispensable, we must do something else too, for the programming society to accept the safe tools we are trying to promote. That means ergonomics, that means performance, that means ease of use, that means wide availability – and that might also mean advocation of visions of a better world, which is what this blog post of Graydon's does.




I really, really like this. Thank you. Well put.


It's important to get the nuance of this statement right. Consider, for instance, the PSF's mission statement:

> The mission of the Python Software Foundation is to promote, protect, and advance the Python programming language, and to support and facilitate the growth of a diverse and international community of Python programmers.

"Facilitate the growth" does not imply that dominance of a certain practice (whether that is use of Python, or adoption of its core principals) is a goal. So you have an incentive for the PSF to say "our international community is growing at a sufficient rate" and focus instead on "advancing the language," which may or may not be aligned with adoption. In such a framework, it becomes easy to justify backwards-incompatible major releases that, regardless of whether their opinion is justified, many users consider to be user-hostile. Framing Rust towards a larger mission that implies user adoption of core principals as a fundamental goal seems much cleaner in that regard, and could conceivably avoid similar pitfalls.




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