Heads up! This post has some claims that lack citations. The power dynamic here is such that I'd rather be dismissed to generally no effect than to put the heat on some developers without a platform who write internet posts that I think are wrong.
Anyway, let me frame up this discussion a bit:
I am a member of the Elm core team. I made a significant outlay of personal effort to reach this level of contribution, so I think it’s reasonable to claim that I understand what it’s like to care about a project and desire for it to succeed.
A lot of the online lobbying directed at us for changes in prioritization is based on the idea that Elm is not successful unless its community is growing faster now than it was some amount of time ago. This commentary rarely explains how the poster personally defines “success” for Elm, so I have to assume that adoption and success are one and the same in their mind.
For Elm, we reject the idea that adoption is success or even a very good reflection of success. Elm seeks to be an exceptionally good programming language and platform for building front-end web applications. It is successful to the degree that it does that. Major, concrete steps toward this goal will not always result in community growth, especially under Elm's long release cycle. That is okay!
As a final thought, here is an illustrative example of my confusion: if we grant that adoption and success are related, then what does it mean to be the most popular and thus most successful project? If Elm were the most-used front-end technology, what prize would the Elm community win?
So. What do y'all think is the cause of this apparent linkage in the mind of The Developer?
I think that if I can better understand why people feel this way then I will be better at explaining how to measure Elm's success to the Elm community.
If you would like to share your thoughts anonymously you can email me at email@example.com.