Elm Camp 2024 appreciation thread

Elm Camp 2024 has just ended, and I’d like to thank the organizers (@katjam @supermario @pd-andy @wolfadex @jxxcarlson). You’ve done a stellar job and I’m prouder than ever to be a part of this community!

I’ve written up a little blogpost with some recollections and photos. Feel free to add your own links, photos, recollections, stories, thanks and so on to this thread!

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I’ve also done a blog post Elm Camp 2024: Reflections – Wolfgang's Musings. Was a really wonderful time with everyone :heart:

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Sounds like you all had a blast. Was Evan present? Anything sharable on Elm Studio, SQL, the near-term future of Elm? How about beginner/intermediate education? (@wolfadex mentioned there was a little going on in that aspect) — I imagine most of it is top-secret but good to know things are in the works.

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Evan was an attendee. He chatted a bit about his work, and a lot about farming.

I don’t think so from Evan. I’d say I’m still very happy to be writing Elm and plan to continue to do so.

@damir has a lot of work he’s doing with SQL. I know he did a session on it some months ago for the Elm Online meetup, and did another during Elm Camp. I’d ask him about that.

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There were encouraging signs of progress/movement on Elm compiler itself / Evan’s experiments and where he left off at his Strange Loop talk.

I don’t want to take the “what to unveil when” right from Evan so I’ll leave it at that. (Sorry, yeah I know it’s frustrating, I was feeling similarly after Elm Camp 2023 which I couldn’t attend)

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Farming? Who would’ve thought!

I’m married to a farmer.

We work in rows, try to automate where it makes sense, and understand the quality of personal attention to details.

We also rely on clouds.

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I’m glad his potatoes are growing well :man_facepalming:

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You might be getting the wrong idea, so to help set the record straight:

  • Progress on the thing that was called Elm Studio was demonstrated and it looked pretty cool.
  • A more thought through business model and its relationship to Elm was also discussed.
  • He mentioned that this kind of work really takes a lot of time and this is something that people often do not appreciate. Offers of help were discussed but mostly this will just be a distraction for him.

Overall I came away with a very positive impression and appreciation of who he is. I also felt the reaction to it all was more relaxed than previously, no-one seems to be in a huge hurry any more, just quietly confident that things will eventually happen.

Mario also did a session on how to work on the compiler, sharing his techniques for fitting new code in there on an “extension” basis, so that the original code is minimally altered. Quite a few folks with compiler hacking ideas were present and got into good discussions with Evan included also. For example, the source maps from Gren thing, compiling to other targets and so on.

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My irony may have sounded a bit harsh but that’s because I care about the future of Elm and I find this culture of secrecy absolutely counter-productive. Thank you @rupert for dropping these tiny bits of information.

So now I’m also glad that after almost 5 years since the last release, “no-one seems to be in a huge hurry any more” :man_facepalming:

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Hopefully this can help clear things up a bit:

  • Elm is a lifetime pursuit for Evan.
  • Elm’s design philosophy heavily centers around evergreen language constructs. Those take time to ascertain.
  • not being in a hurry: lots of work is being done on the compiler: Virtual Dom, IO work, even exploring a compilation target using Bend. It just takes time to find a healthy way to steer a project, sustain the people steering it, and keep a unified vision.
  • The Javascript ecosystem puts a lot of strain on web framework creators (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ3w_jec1v8). Elm isn’t VC-funded, so our expectations have to be adjusted and we, as a community, ought to help Evan find sustainable ways to pursue his life’s work. Right now, that’s through leaving enough time for him to figure out the economic model to sustain himself, his family, and his continued work on Elm.
  • A lot of alternative framework/languages also write redundant features because they’re figuring out the developer experience based on what’s cool, without necessarily looking at all sides of the question. Right now, that “all sides” includes the next features and the business model for the project as a whole. The waiting time and how we are protecting the thought process are consequences of the same design process that gave Elm what we enjoy it for.
  • the feeling of secrecy and being left out is totally warranted on your part. If you can see it as “we’re in it for the next few decades, and we are figuring out a way to go the whole way sustainably”, hopefully it can help alleviate some of the frustration.

I try to think of it as beyond any new features/releases/etc, and more so as Evan thinking from first principles about the model that will enable any future work.

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If you’d like to know more about what’s happening with Elm, I’ve found it best to actively participate. That can take the form of helping answer questions newcomers have on Slack, Discourse, Mastodon, or wherever you find someone looking for help. It can be contributing to existing Elm tools like elm-review or IDE plugins. You could contribute to https://elmcraft.org/ with guides or other docs. You could write blog posts or make videos teach or talking about your Elm learning.

I’ve found that by being more active in the community in these and other ways that I’ve found myself in conversations where I happen to hear more about the work that people are doing that they’re doing that they’re not ready to share more broadly yet. This has included things like Evan’s compiler work, as well as tools like elm-dev and Elm Land. Probably more I’m not even aware of.

In other words, instead of asking (or as some have done, demanding from) people what they’re doing I tried to help and through helping I learned.

To be clear, I never set out to help with the goal of learning what people are building in private. It just happened as a consequence of helping.

you catch more flies with honey — someone wiser than me

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not being in a hurry: lots of work is being done on the compiler: Virtual Dom, IO work, even exploring a compilation target using Bend

What is Bend? Link? Thanks

https://higherorderco.com, there’s a few layers to it. The very brief gist is an auto-parallelizing language.

Note the transpilation to Bend is not something official Evan does but my toy project :sweat_smile:

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I’ll restart the appreciation and shout out to @lydell and Sam for your kind attitude, @wolfadex for your enthusiasm, @supermario, @katjam, and the rest of the team for your successful efforts in strengthening the community, @mloughran for your Zen-like takes, Ed Kelly for your kindness and ability to stand in an overcrowded train for hours, @maca and Simon for your cheering, @damir for being your unapologetically ambitious & scrappy self, JP for the way you communicate your love for FP, and Peter for your energy.

It was good to see you all again! Elm Camp has set the bar too high for any other programming conference :sweat_smile:

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