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Substrate and Polkadot is very rust centric. People working with those need to know Rust. That naturally leads to people asking questions that are mostly about Rust.

To be clear, questions that are partly about Rust are fine and inevitable. Questions, that has references to Substrate/Polkadot APIs but are not about them but about syntax/semantics/etc of Rust are not fine.

I feel that we should encourage posting those questions in StackOverflow rather than in this SE.

My reasoning here is that:

  1. It's way more likely people will get better and quicker help than here. We are still very small community after compared to the greater Rust community. In turn, Rust community should also benefit from that.
  2. Such questions distract attention from the other questions, that are more specific. I think the community should focus on the high-leverage activity and not duplicate efforts of the Rust community.

What do you think?

2 Answers 2

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I have split opinions on this, but would lean toward allowing these kinds of things until it notably affects the quality of this site.

If someone is posting their Rust questions on this forum, it likely means that they are struggling with some Rust issue on their pathway to learn Substrate and Polkadot.

For that reason, the success of that user using our platform is directly tied with them getting an answer to that question, and thus generally I feel we should help them.

While the answer to this question may be answered more quickly on the Rust StackOverflow, the StackExchange community has already said they would prefer that we duplicate content between sites rather than try crossposting.

If one user runs into a specific Rust issue, it is likely that many others may run into this issue as well, and thus having this content answered here can actually help prevent future duplicate questions, whereas deleting or closing that post may just generate more of the content we don't want.

Finally, I think it is common for a new person using Substrate to not understand where the boundaries of "Substrate" errors and "Rust" errors are. For example, there are MANY "Substrate" based errors which manifest as pretty complex Rust looking errors. For example:

  • Missing std features
  • Mistakes in macros causing cascading compiler errors
  • Using sp-arithmetic primitives, floating point numers, or randomness crates
  • etc...

In these cases, a user going into the Rust community would probably be led to much more confusion, whereas people in our community would probably easily get the correct answer.

On the flip side, if someone asks a specific Rust question here, they will probably just as easily get the right answer from us, as they would from the Rust community.

Maybe not as quick, but it seems in the interest of ensuring users are successful in the Substrate and Polkadot ecosystem, having people stay here is better.

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  • Thanks, this is a great answer.
    – pepyakin
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 12:48
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The flavour of rust that we use is a little different from vanilla rust. There's a fair amount of trait bounds but this is for good reason: extensibility. I think we should just take this on the chin as being part and parcel of developing blockchains and smart contracts in rust.

Also I feel that our community is welcoming and people feel able to ask questions here, where they might hesitate on the main SO site. That's a precious thing and something that we should seek to safeguard.

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