83: Elm Community - JSToElm
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83: Elm Community

I was gonna steer clear of this topic after initially reading the post by Chris Gregori [Elm and why its not quite ready yet](https://blog.bitsrc.io/elm-and-why-its-not-quite-ready-yet-2c516a81e252) , and the follow up by Lucas Payr [How Can the Elm Community Improve](https://https://medium.com/@orasund/how-can-the-elm-community-improve-79075f0fe1f0) , but it sort of festered on my mind, which listening to this reason behind this weeks tardy release. I have another episode in the cooker, one that was a lot more fun to work on, but there was something about this open conversation that I just can't shake.

Elm In the Spring Videos are up LINK

Announcing Elm UI-Explorer

I was gonna steer clear of this topic after initially reading the post by Chris Gregori Elm and why its not quite ready yet , and the follow up by Lucas Payr How Can the Elm Coummity Imporve , but it sort of festered on my mind, which listening to this reason behind this weeks tardy release. I have another episode in the cooker, one that was a lot more fun to work on, but there was something about this open conversation that I just can’t shake.

There is no answer here, only those searching

That’s my disclaimer.

Summary

I think both articles from Chris and Lucas where thoughtful, articulate and constructive. I didn’t get any sense of trolling, flaming, or even so much as a hint of rudeness.

Chris wrote on article titled ‘Elm and Why it’s Not Quite Ready Yet’ where he outlines several points that he believes makes Elm, as the title suggests, not ready for prime time. To be fair, he does list a fair amount of good points and things that he likes in the language too. What I’m trying to get at, it’s more than just a fly by gripe list, which is why it stuck with me.

- Debugging looks awful and is largely unhelpful
- You cannot install Elm packages from anywhere other than the official package repository.
- Most of the tutorials / examples online are out of date due to v0.19
- The docs are incomplete
  • Elm core development lives in a walled garden that you can’t touch, even if you wanted to - This one centers on the ‘native code’ ability removed in 0.19

    • Pull requests being open for 2+ years
    • Runtime errors can happen
    • Missing key features (SSR, web sockets, local storage)
  • Lacks the ecosystem of its siblings - refer to the ‘awesome list’

    • What if you want transparency in what’s going on with the future of the language you’re using?

So that’s quite a list. And to be frank with you. I have had each and everyone of these thoughts at one time or another. I would venture to say it’s a pretty accurate list. Now do they repel me from Elm? Not really, I’m still here sharing with you and trying to get better. But I do think about them from time to time.

Now the other reason I wanted to talk about this is because Lucas came up with, what I thought was a great perspective, it’s not a bullet for bullet rebuttal, what would be the purpose of that? Convincing Chris that his opinion is wrong, that Elm is better than sliced bread, that he should feel bad for thinking such things? So many of the comments and rebuttals online are exactly this, “you’re wrong and here’s why”. But as I noted, this is not what Lucas did, instead

What are problems in Elm that the community can solve? And how can we solve them?

He goes on to layout out community resource points, the news letters available, this very podcast ☺ and equally as awesome Elm Town, conferences, and ecosystem. It’s a great list, I didn’t even know about Elmfinder !!! Seriously look through this list Lucas put together, I am sure there is something on it you didn’t know was out there.

  • Documentation

  • Good Practices Elm Cookbook

  • Conclusion

    • Elm, like everything, is not perfect
    • We can bring the different platforms closer together. If we have just posted something on one platform, we should tell the other communities as well.
    • We can share the podcasts as well as the newsletter more often. Let newcomers know of all these awesome things that we made.
    • We can continue to share talks. Actually I feel like this is already happening a lot and its one of the greatest things about Elm.
    • We can improve awesome-elm more. This is the first introduction to the community for a lot of people, so let’s make the first contact count.
    • We can improve the docs and write guides. If Evan has problems keeping his guide up to date, maybe we should help out: Write our own open source book. It does not need to be perfect but at least it should improve the parts that Evan guide lacks.

So now what? Head over to discourse and let’s work on it, together.

Resources

How Can the Elm Community Improve

Elm and why its not quite ready yet

“The Hard Parts of Open Source” by Evan Czaplicki

Announcing Elm UI-Explorer

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Published 6 Jun 2019

A show about learning Elm, Functional Programing, and generally leveling up as a JS developer.
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