Q2 2023 Recap from Rebecca Rumbul

A review of the Rust Foundation’s activities in April, May, and June of 2023.

With Q3 of 2023 well underway, it is time for our executive recap of the activities, progress, and areas of focus during the second quarter at the Rust Foundation. There has been plenty of exciting work to keep our team busy! 

As usual, this installment in our quarterly update series is intended to highlight the completed projects and milestones our team achieved over the last quarter. The Foundation team has heard firsthand that these granular updates help some members of our community gain deeper insight into the work we do over the course of the year — I hope that this Q2 recap helps to achieve that goal. 

Staffing & Admin #

Our team was thrilled to kick off Q2 with two new members of staff: Software Engineers Adam Harvey (who started at the end of March) and Tobias Bieniek (who started on 3rd April). As you’ll find in the Technology section below, both Adam and Tobias have already provided numerous valuable contributions to the Rust Foundation and Rust ecosystem through their work. 

We also developed a role description for a 6-9 month contract editor/project manager to help oversee the development of a Rust language specification. This was made possible through the Foundation’s own operational budget as well as the generous funding we received from Huawei and AWS. Specific details on the funding for the Rust language specification work is available in the  “Finance & Legal” section below. At this stage, we are having individual conversations with several potential candidates in partnership with the Rust Project.  

Our board of directors’ “People Committee” created a welcome and onboarding packet for new board directors in Q2, so that new members of the board, whether in a Project Director role or a Member Director role, have a better understanding of the responsibilities and obligations of the role. Our goal will be for our new website to have comprehensive and navigable information for anyone interested in learning more about the board director role and requirements. 

In April, the board approved a motion to increase the term of the current Project Directors by several months to accommodate the finalization of the Rust Leadership Council. As the leadership council is now in effect, we expect to have approved policies about the election of future Project Directors soon. When those details are agreed upon by the Leadership Council and presented to the Foundation, we intend to publish material describing the Project Director election process on our website. 

As the Leadership Council was established in June, they are still in the process of developing their own processes and workflows. We look forward to working with the Leadership Council to determine how the relationship between Foundation, Project Directors and Leadership Council will operate in the coming months. 

During Q2, the Rust Foundation obtained $105k USD in funding from Platinum Members Huawei and AWS to support the contracted Rust specification editor/project manager role described above. This fund will be supplemented by $20k from the Foundation’s own operational budget to support the recruitment.

In Q2, our team also finalized Form 990 for the year 2022. This Department of the Treasury form is the U.S. government’s primary way of gathering information about tax-exempt organizations, and will be published by them in due course.

Paul Lenz, our Director of Finance & Funding also continued to work closely with the Technical Team to assess and model the existing, and future, costs of the infrastructure of the Rust Project. These costs are significant, and continue to grow with the increasing popularity of Rust. One of the key goals of the Rust Foundation is to ensure that we can meet this type of cost efficiently and sustainably. 

Membership #

Three new Silver Members were announced in Q2: Appflowy, Red Badger, and Traverse Research. We are currently finalizing the details for several other members and look forward to announcing them in the coming weeks and months. 

The entire staff team is continuing to work on a new membership acquisition program. We rely on membership fees to support the infrastructure costs of the Rust programming language, to provide on-call support, and to fund our security and critical engineering work. If you know of any organizations that may like to join, please introduce us!  

Technology & Infrastructure #

In Q2, our Technology Team spent a significant amount of time on two primary strategic initiatives: Rust ecosystem security and Rust infrastructure efficiency. As described above, we laid the groundwork for a Rust specification in Q2 which will be a focus area once the editor/project manager role and strategy around it is off the ground. 

In Q2, there were several major developments in our infrastructure efficiency strategy. First, 95% of crates.io and 50% of the Rust release requests are now being delivered via Fastly infrastructure via their Fast Forward program. The crates.io move to Fastly kept our AWS bandwidth costs neutral to slightly down. The move of releases to Fastly is showing potentially significant AWS bandwidth savings, on the order of 50%. Additionally, the long-awaited sparse-index protocol has been released, providing a more streamlined and efficient download process. This has relieved GitHub’s former burden of having to download the entire index. 

Our engineering team was extremely productive in Q2 – particularly in regard to the Rust Foundation Security Initiative. The latest updates on much of the Security Initiative work can be found in the monthly updates provided to OpenSSF’s Alpha-Omega, who are generously helping fund this work. 

Communications & Marketing #

Q2 was a time of deep focus and forward momentum for the Rust Foundation’s communications, marketing, and events work. Throughout April, May, and June 2023, our efforts centered around a number of long-term projects as well as several important announcements and news items.

In April, we released a consultation draft of the Rust Trademark Policy to the community for public comment in collaboration with the Project Directors and Trademark Working Group. Revising the Rust Trademark Policy was a priority shared with the Rust Foundation by Rust Project leadership as early as 2021. We received a tremendous amount of helpful and actionable feedback on the draft, and recognised that there was a substantial amount of work still to do to get the policy fit for purpose. 

The Rust Foundation remains receptive to all actionable feedback on the trademark policy, and we have been transparent about our intention to ensure that the new policy reflects the interests of the community while adequately protecting the Rust marks for all. In the next phase of this work, our goal is to incorporate the Rust Project’s prioritized revisions, as defined by the Rust Leadership Council. Our work on the policy is on pause until we receive these stated priorities. The existing Rust Trademark Policy remains in effect in the interim.

News & Content: #

In Q2, we announced AppFlowy, Traverse Research, & Red Badger as new Silver Members (as stated above), promoted the news of the Rust Foundation Fellowship Application opening for 2023, shared a new installment in our Community Grantee Spotlight series, and published a guest blog from the crates.io team. 

The crates.io guest blog served as a joint statement with the Rust Foundation about our plans to update our data retention policy to clarify how we would comply with any future legally-binding requests for user data. This announcement was made following a recent subpoena received by the Python Foundation and the resulting misgivings about user privacy in open source projects. 

In Q2, we also began working on a report on the Security Initiative’s progress and activities. We intend for this to be an ongoing series that will demonstrate how we are putting the generous funding we have received for security work to good use for the benefit of the Rust language and ecosystem. The report details key milestones, funding data, and collaboration with the Rust project. 

Events: #

The Rust Foundation team was present at several relevant gatherings of the Rust and open source communities. Some of the staff team traveled to Vancouver, B.C. for Open Source Summit North America where Director of Communications & Marketing Gracie Gregory and I jointly presented a talk about the Rust Foundation’s 3-5 year strategy, which was received positively. Security Engineer Walter Pearce participated on a security panel at OpenSSF Day (co-located with Open Source Summit,) where he represented the Foundation’s efforts in the security space clearly and with impact.

Several members of our Europe-based engineering team attended RustNL in the Netherlands. Finally, I attended the Global Open Source Technology Conference (GOTC23) in Shanghai, which served to highlight the scale of interest in Rust, and the demand for more Rust content and a stronger Rust Foundation presence in China. 

Perhaps one of the most notable event-related developments in Q2 was the decision to host our own event within WasmCon this upcoming September. The first Rust Global event will take place as a half-day event in Bellevue, Washington U.S.A. on September 6, 2023 with a focus on the intersection of Rust and WASM and enterprise Rust adoption. Our team has already begun planning upcoming instances of Rust Global across the world and we look forward to producing this series of events aimed at both business leaders/decision-makers and Rust advocates.

Branding #

Finally in Q2, We made significant progress on our foundational brand identity refresh. We now have cleaner and more professional typography, color palette, and logo — all of which will go into effect when we relaunch our website in the near future. 

Community Grants Program #

In June, the Foundation team opened and closed our 2023 Fellowship application. We received approximately 150 applications - a 400% increase from 2022. The quality of applications was very high, but given our limited budget, we had to make some very difficult decisions. Congrats to this year's Fellows!

We look forward to continuing our pace of work and quality of impact in Q3. You can find past Rust Foundation Quarterly Updates here.

Thank you for reading this recap of the Rust Foundation’s completed activities in Q2 of 2023!

If you have any questions about the contents of this report don’t hesitate to contact us at contact@rustfoundation.org. If you are interested in joining the Rust Foundation as a member, please email us at membership@rustfoundation.org.