Looking for feedback on my Medium post about Reason/ReasonML/BuckleScript/ReScript confusion

I just published a Medium post doing a deep dive on the relationship between ReScript, Reason, ReasonML and BuckleScript: https://ersin-akinci.medium.com/confused-about-rescript-rescript-reason-reasonml-and-bucklescript-explained-ab4230555230

I wrote this post because, as a newcomer, I found the relationship between the four terms very confusing and I know that a lot of others have been confused, as well. There have been numerous attempts on this forum and elsewhere to explain the relationship, but I found them all incomplete, possibly because the people explaining them are so familiar with the topic that that they can’t see it as a newcomer like me sees it :slight_smile:.

I’d love any feedback and/or corrections to the piece! Thanks.

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Side note, I really, really, really wish that the ReScript team hadn’t described the launch of ReScript as a “rebrand.” I think it’s caused an enormous amount of needless confusion and I’m wondering how aware the core team is or isn’t about conversations on Hacker News, Reddit, Discord, etc. where people don’t get the “rebrand” concept. I know that people turn their nose at these things, but marketing matters.

As I explain in the article, I think that the concept was a good one but it’s too inward-looking. As soon as you say rebrand, it presupposes that there’s something that’s being rebranded. So now all newcomers are immediately being loaded with not just one (ReScript) but four terms (ReScript, Reason, ReasonML and BuckleScript). Which was the exact opposite of the team’s intentions.

OK, BuckleScript is kinda fading into obscurity, but Reason/ReasonML are still independent entities. ReasonReact, arguably one of the most popular if not the most popular library for Rescript/Reason, still has “Reason” in the name. All the more “reason” (ahem) to get confused.

If I were to go back in time, I would have rewritten this seminal blog post that got relayed around the world and described ReScript for what it really is: a new language that has some historical links to Reason, which is a syntax for OCaml. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but I genuinely fear that ReScript’s success will be hamstrung for as long as this “rebrand” confusion persists.


Great post @earksiinni, I learned a lot about the history and the different projects. Thank you for taking time to write that up.

Hopefully some useful feedback for you:

The post describes the relationship of the projects and suggestions for newcomers. This was wonderfully helpful. The post also expresses your frustrations around the rebranding. To me this came across as a bit of a rant and it detracted from of post for me, but I’m sure your motivation is to try help the project. Otherwise it’s an amazing write up.

@kevanstannard thank you for your feedback!

I think that you’re on point, I was venting a bit. At the same time, I was trying to address a recurring confusion around that singular word, “rebrand.” That seems to come up over and over in comments across the web. I totally see how calling the ReScript launch a rebrand made sense from the perspective of those inside the ReasonML community, but for some people on the outside it’s been a significant source of confusion.

I had an idea too that it might be helpful for the Medium crowd to read my take from the perspective of open source marketing, which isn’t a topic that you hear much about, but I think that would go better in a separate piece.

Anyway, you’re right that it detracts from the piece. I toned it down. Thanks again!