My first experience with Lemmy was thinking that the UI was beautiful, and (the first instance I looked at) was asking people not to join because they already had 1500 users and were struggling to scale.

1500 users just doesn’t seem like much, it seems like the type of load you could handle with a Raspberry Pi in a dusty corner.

Are the Lemmy servers struggling to scale because of the federation process / protocols?

Maybe I underestimate how much compute goes into hosting user generated content? Users generate very little text, but uploading pictures takes more space. Users are generating millions of bytes of content and it’s overloading computers that can handle billions of bytes with ease, what happened? Am I missing something here?

Or maybe the code is just inefficient?

Which brings me to the title’s question: Does Lemmy benefit from using Rust? None of the problems I can imagine are related to code execution speed.

If the federation process and protocols are inefficient, then everything is being built on sand. Popular protocols are hard to change. How often does the HTTP protocol change? Never. The language used for the code doesn’t matter in this case.

If the code is just inefficient, well, inefficient Rust is probably slower than efficient Python or JavaScript. Could the complexity of Rust have pushed the devs towards a simpler but less efficient solution that ends up being slower than garbage collected languages? I’m sure this has happened before, but I don’t know anything about the Lemmy code.

Or, again, maybe I’m just underestimating the amount of compute required to support 1500 users sharing a little bit of text and a few images?

  • @snaggen
    39 months ago

    I think you are getting things backwards… Learning to write rust might be hard, if you are not used to typed languages or languages with explicit memory management with stack/heap separation. However, writing rust is not hard. It might take slightly longer in the coding phase, since you are forced to do things correct, you need to handle errors and are not allowed to share data between threads in dangerous ways aso. But that makes the resulting software a lot better, which means that the testing and support is a lot less. So, if anything, the net result of writing software in rust is that it is easier, since you are not allowed to shoot your self in the foot over and over again.

    And remember, that every time rust is making your life difficult, you might have introduced a subtle bug in another language.