Why I’m not in the D community

D is a great programming language in many ways. It’s got a host of features to make your life easier. It’s got syntax that’s familiar to anyone who knows Java, which is almost every programmer these days. It does away with a lot of cruft by making the syntax lighter and by making reasonable assumptions for you.

On the library front, they took the concept behind LINQ and kicked it up to eleven. It’s pretty awesome overall. There’s a working coroutine implementation, and it’s pretty efficient, plus you can subclass the Fiber class and provide your own scheduler. The standard library is mostly okay, missing some things you’d expect it to have. There’s a package manager, but it’s pretty new. There’s no corporate support for anything, though — no AWS client, no Google API client, no first-party datastore drivers, nothing. So get used to writing your own stuff.

Still, on the whole, it’s a reasonable option for some use cases, and I’ve been working off and on to create a MUD in D.

But I’m leaving the newsgroup, I’m not going to report any bugs, and I’m staying off the IRC channel. And I’m probably never going back.

Why? Because D’s community is garbage.

If you want a programming language to gain adoption, you need to make it friendly to novices. You need to make it easy to learn. You need a standard library with good documentation. You don’t have to change the features that your language exposes, necessarily, but you do need to provide the resources people need in order to start using the language.

Hardly a day goes by without people on the newsgroup expressing or implying a strange sort of pride in how obtuse D is to learn, or how the documentation isn’t easy to understand quickly. When people point out problems, there is always someone eager to pipe up that it isn’t a problem because they managed to learn it, or it’s okay that something is presented in entirely the wrong way because the data that’s shown is data that needs to be available.

Say something needs to be improved and people will derisively ask “Where’s your pull request?”

This isn’t a good attitude to have.

To be clear, this isn’t everyone. It’s maybe one in ten. Walter and Andrei, most importantly, don’t do this. But they do nothing to stop it.

So I will use D, when it’s appropriate. I will even release open source projects in D. But I won’t join in the wider community.

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