Async Foundations Update: Time for polish!

Oct. 7, 2019 · Niko Matsakis on behalf of the Async Foundations WG

As you've perhaps heard, recently the async-await feature landed on the Rust beta branch. This marks a big turning point in the usability story for Async Rust. But there's still a lot of work to do. As we mentioned in the main post, the focus for the Async Foundations WG in the immediate term is going to be polish, polish and (ahem) more polish.

In particular, we want to take aim at a backlog of strange diagnostics, suboptimal performance, and the occasional inexplicable type-check failure. This is a shift: whereas before, we could have laser focus on things that truly blocked stabilization, we've now got a large set of bugs, often without a clear prioritization between them. This requires us to mix up how the Async Foundations WG is operating.

Announcing: focus issues

So how do you deal with a large pile of issues, all of which are important but none of which are vital? One at a time, of course.

The way we've chosen to organize this is something we call focus issues. We're trying to keep a small number of issues tagged as focus issues at any given time. As we close them, we'll pick new ones to replace them. The number of these issues depends on mentoring bandwidth and on how many people are hacking -- as a rule of thumb, they should mostly all be assigned and actively progressing at any given time.

We also have a secondary set of issues called on deck issues. These are the candidates to become focus issues as focus issues are completed. If you'd like us to consider fixing something sooner rather than later, you can add the "on deck" label yourself, along with a bit of context explaining why you think this issue is more important than the rest.

How you can help

You can help in two ways:

  • Fix bugs! If you'd like to take a shot at fixing a bug, try to come to the triage meeting or just show up in #wg-async-foundations on Zulip. Maybe we can find something for you.
  • Nominate bugs! If you've got a bug that is really annoying you, feel free to "nominate it" by following the instructions here. This will help us to fix the things that are bothering people the most.