As Volta hits its 1.0 release, I’ve been thinking about what makes it more than just a Node version manager. I think what makes Volta so liberating is what I’ve been calling Toolchains as Code (TaC):
The exact set of command-line tools used for a project should be in git, and should Just Work for everyone who contributes to the project.
Specifying toolchains as code instead of manually installing and upgrading frees developers up from acting like their development machine’s sysadmin, and lets them focus their precious cognitive resources on what really matters: building software!
While I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Rust community’s spirited #Rust2018 blog-fest, I wasn’t really thinking of participating myself until Julia Evans pointed out the leadership wants to hear from everyone—even if I might not have anything especially new to add. So here’s my little wish list for Rust in 2018.
Since I’m not in Rust’s leadership, I don’t have to worry about synthesizing some grand narrative for the whole of Rust. So I’ll just focus on a few things that would be personally useful to me. In particular, I’ll stick to topics that would be helpful for my Neon project, a set of bindings for writing native Node extension modules in Rust.
My history with Rust goes back a long way. But it was when I really started to understand its enabling potential, its capacity to empower whole groups of people to do things they couldn’t do before, that I just had to find a more direct way to get involved with making that promise a reality.