rustc is maintained by the Rust compiler team. The people who belong to this team collectively work to track regressions and implement new features. Members of the Rust compiler team are people who have made significant contributions to rustc and its design.
Currently the compiler team chats in Zulip:
- Team chat occurs in the
t-compilerstream on the Zulip instance
- There are also a number of other associated Zulip streams,
t-compiler/help, where people can ask for help with rustc development, or
t-compiler/meetings, where the team holds their weekly triage and steering meetings.
If you're interested in figuring out who can answer questions about a particular part of the compiler, or you'd just like to know who works on what, check out our experts directory. It contains a listing of the various parts of the compiler and a list of people who are experts on each one.
The compiler team has a weekly meeting where we do triage and try to generally stay on top of new bugs, regressions, and discuss important things in general. They are held on Zulip. It works roughly as follows:
- Announcements, MCPs/FCPs, and WG-check-ins: We share some announcements with the rest of the team about important things we want everyone to be aware of. We also share the status of MCPs and FCPs and we use the opportunity to have a couple of WGs giving us an update about their work.
- Check for beta and stable nominations: These are nominations of things to backport to beta and stable respectively. We then look for new cases where the compiler broke previously working code in the wild. Regressions are important issues to fix, so it's likely that they are tagged as P-critical or P-high; the major exception would be bug fixes (though even there we often aim to give warnings first).
- Review P-critical and P-high bugs: P-critical and P-high bugs are those that are sufficiently important for us to actively track progress. P-critical and P-high bugs should ideally always have an assignee.
- Check S-waiting-on-team and I-nominated issues: These are issues where feedback from the team is desired.
- Look over the performance triage report: We check for PRs that made the performance worse and try to decide if it's worth reverting the performance regression or if the regression can be addressed in a future PR.
The meeting currently takes place on Thursdays at 10am Boston time (UTC-4 typically, but daylight savings time sometimes makes things complicated).
Membership in the Rust team is typically offered when someone has been making significant contributions to the compiler for some time. Membership is both a recognition but also an obligation: compiler team members are generally expected to help with upkeep as well as doing reviews and other work.
If you are interested in becoming a compiler team member, the first thing to do is to start fixing some bugs, or get involved in a working group. One good way to find bugs is to look for open issues tagged with E-easy or E-mentor.
You can also dig through the graveyard of PRs that were closed due to inactivity, some of them may contain work that is still useful - refer to the associated issues, if any - and only needs some finishing touches for which the original author didn't have time.
Once you have made a number of individual PRs to rustc, we will often offer r+ privileges. This means that you have the right to instruct "bors" (the robot that manages which PRs get landed into rustc) to merge a PR (here are some instructions for how to talk to bors).
The guidelines for reviewers are as follows:
- You are always welcome to review any PR, regardless of who it is
assigned to. However, do not r+ PRs unless:
- You are confident in that part of the code.
- You are confident that nobody else wants to review it first.
- For example, sometimes people will express a desire to review a PR before it lands, perhaps because it touches a particularly sensitive part of the code.
- Always be polite when reviewing: you are a representative of the Rust project, so it is expected that you will go above and beyond when it comes to the Code of Conduct.
Once you have r+ rights, you can also be added to the high-five
rotation. high-five is the bot that assigns incoming PRs to
reviewers. If you are added, you will be randomly selected to review
PRs. If you find you are assigned a PR that you don't feel comfortable
reviewing, you can also leave a comment like
r? @so-and-so to assign
to someone else — if you don't know who to request, just write
r? @nikomatsakis for reassignment and @nikomatsakis will pick someone
Getting on the high-five list is much appreciated as it lowers the review burden for all of us! However, if you don't have time to give people timely feedback on their PRs, it may be better that you don't get on the list.
Full team membership is typically extended once someone made many contributions to the Rust compiler over time, ideally (but not necessarily) to multiple areas. Sometimes this might be implementing a new feature, but it is also important — perhaps more important! — to have time and willingness to help out with general upkeep such as bugfixes, tracking regressions, and other less glamorous work.