Casually talking about ReScript, OSS, and communities with Patrick Ecker

Found this interview with @ryyppy and found it interesting because it covers many questions regarding ReScript development. So, sharing it here along with quick’n’dirty table of contents:

  • 4:30 — Patrick, who are you?
  • 9:50 — Before Reason/ReScript association, what you were doing?
  • 12:03 — Did a lot of people from the Flow community move to Reason?
  • 13:00 — When was your first contribution to BuckleScript or Reason? (conferences, ReScript association)
  • 16:15 — In 2020, what was the reason to not have a conference?
  • 17:15 — Could you summarize what were the challenges that the community or the leaders were facing? (transparency, native vs JS compilation story, two communities — OCaml and JS/Reason)
  • 20:20 — Then the rebranding of ReScript happened, how is it going? Last August it was 1 year, did it achieve expectations, do you have some numbers, how’s your perspective on the first year? (syntax is better, uncurry by default, branding consistency, scaling infrastructure to get more contributions, Simple Analytics shows spikes proving more people use ReScript in production)
  • 25:40 — ReScript has this nature of being like a good FP language, and most FP languages bring into life by people who are very passionate about it; how do you see that… how to do monad IO, how to do tasks,… as you prefer the workhorse kind of things? (escape hatches, make it simpler, shepherds of the language, PPX maintenance, goals and roadmap, people who integrate ReScript into existing JavaScript/TypeScript codebase is our core audience)
  • 30:40 — How people gonna do metaprogramming? (PPX’es, GraphQL PPX, OCaml abstractions and complexity, libraries should never use PPX’es, PPX’es should be reserved for the application space, dependency hell, syntax extensions)
  • 39:10 — Why there’s no DefinitelyTyped in ReScript? (TypeScript type system is very complex, JSOO solution is very verbose, in ReScript it depends on how you want to approach a problem, different opinions on binding, vendor your dependencies)
  • 45:30 — If you’re a developer trying to sell ReScript to your boss/team, what he can do for the language? Where people can help? (success story articles, full working examples and tutorials, uncovered topics in docs)
  • 48:35 — What are the problems that the ReScript team is now solving? (unicode, generating docs, compiler refactorings so people can contribute more easily)
  • 51:50 — ReScript compiler has been maintained by almost one person, which persons would you expect contributing into ReScript? (it’s mostly about cleaning and explaining it better, we have experienced people to help)
  • 54:50 — How would you convince a JavaScript person to stop writing JavaScript? (you don’t have to leave JS ecosystem, use cases to show easier maintenance, replace 15 different tools running for 20 mins on CI with one that is fast, it’s like a framework integrating TypeScript with React)
  • 60:00 — I see the latest proposals for ReScript have been more like TypeScripty. Is that on purpose or accidental? (ReScript is more like Swift, the newer languages all look the same, currying, ReScript Promise, you need interop)
  • 64:55 — How has been it like running the community? How has being like you, the person who has to calm down every opinion or even try to be a voice of the team? (weird move to set a new syntax, upset people, strong opinions, pushing community in one direction, high-quality newcomers)
  • 69:40 — How fast do you want it to grow? (no compete with TypeScript, grow with no explosions)