matklad @ NEAR

Hey, I have a short announcement to make: I am joining NEAR (sharded proof of stake public blockchain)! TL;DR: I’ll be spending 60% of my time on WASM runtime for smart contracts and 40% on rust-analyzer.

Why NEAR? One of the problems I have with current popular blockchain technologies is that they are not scalable. Every node needs to process every transaction in the network. For a network of with N nodes that is roughly O(N^2) total work. NEAR aims to solve exactly this problem using the classic big data trick — sharding the data across several partitions.

Another aspect of NEAR I am particularly excited about is the strategic focus on the smart contract’s developer experience. That’s why NEAR is particularly interested in supporting rust-analyzer. Rust, with its top-notch WASM ecosystem and focus on correctness is a natural choice for writing contracts. At the same time, it is not the most approachable language there is. Good tooling can help a lot with surmounting the language’s inherent complexity, making writing smart contracts in Rust easy.

What does it mean for rust-analyzer? We’ll see: I am still be putting significant hours into it, although a bit less than previously. I’ll also help to manage rust-analyzer Open Collective. And, naturally, my know-how about building IDEs isn’t going anywhere :) At the same time, I am excited about lowering the bus factor and distributing rust-analyzer maintainership. I do want to take credit for initiating the effort, but it’s high time for some structured leadership rotation. It’s exciting to see @jonas-schievink from Ferrous System taking on more team leadership tasks. (I am hyped about support for inner items, kudos Jonas!) I am also delighted with the open source community that formed around rust-analyzer. @edwin0cheng, @flodiebold, @kjeremy, @lnicola, @SomeoneToIgnore, @Veetaha, @Veykril you are awesome, and rust-analyzer wouldn’t be possible without you ❤️

Finally, I can’t help but notice that IntelliJ Rust which I left completely a while ago is doing better than ever. Overall, I must say I am quite happy with today’s state of Rust IDE tooling. The basics are firmly in place. Let’s just finish the remaining 90%!