1. 30
    V: positive lessons programming rant

For some context on what I am talking about check out https://lobste.rs/s/1ogeev/v_is_for_vaporware and https://lobste.rs/s/rh1pbo/v_source_code_released.

I have been very critical of the V programming language in the lobste.rs comments, so I thought I would put out something to try and cancel out some of the negativity I contributed to. I don’t want to say anything bad about V here, it was all already said.

Here are some of my more positive lessons:

1.) There is an uplifting and forgiving nature to people along side the critical and grumpy side. Just think of a different project, one you admire and love riding a wave of good energy. Now imagine despite some bad hiccups, some people forgive and even strongly defend that project while it recovers. Pretty cool right? Forgiveness can be a powerful force for good, even if you don’t always agree with when it is applied.

2.) People can resonate with ideas and be forgiving of the rest. Get your ideas out there, people might love them even before you had time to finish everything. V is selling a great concept, and people are buying into it. What great concepts do you have?

3.) Marketing works, and most programmers seem to suck at it. Even if you didn’t like everything the V project did, maybe you can see how powerful the example could be in a different context. Could other small projects you love actually have huge unmet potential because they didn’t reach the right people? Some projects are awesome, and nobody knows about it. Other projects could be awesome, if only they had more support.

Thank you V for the positive lessons.

  1.  

  2. 12

    3.) Marketing works, and most programmers seem to suck at it. Even if you didn’t like everything the V project did, maybe you can see how powerful the example could be in a different context. Could other small projects you love actually have huge unmet potential because they didn’t reach the right people? Some projects are awesome, and nobody knows about it. Other projects could be awesome, if only they had more support.

    God yes. One of my guilty prides is how often I HN-frontpage super-obscure techniques and get people to actually start using them, and I played a major role in popularizing TLA+.* Programmers think they’re immune to marketing, which 1) is absurd, and 2) assumes marketing is a bad thing. When in reality, it’s not bad, it’s effective, and we need to understand how and why it works if we want to actually change the status quo.

    • For certain definitions of popular, anyway.
      1. 6

        I have a couple of opinions here:

        1.) There’s an active avoidance of marketing in our circles and it bites us in our back. Much like FOSS project management, it’s rarely talked about at conferences. Marketing in and by itself is not a bad thing, we must find ways that are appropriate for our circles.

        2.) Our community is unforgiving on people who fail. While there’s ample mismanagement on V’s side and I wouldn’t want to use it as an example, we are not very kind to people that try the waters here.

        3.) Programmers shouldn’t need to be good at marketing to make money of their projects. We need ways to integrate people that like and can do marketing into FOSS projects as equal peers. Foundations are a way to do that. The same goes to fundraising. I think the FOSS community would be better off if we started seeing those as tasks that are worth as much money as the programming itself. My ideal world is a place where we have people finding cool, fundamental work that is being done an making sure those people get money instead of those people, on top of their programming workload have to sell their stuff.