Elm News with Wolfgang Schuster

Wolfgang joins us to discuss his philosophy and approach to sharing what's new in the Elm community.
October 9, 2023


Hello Jeroen.
Hello Dillon.
Well today we're talking to somebody who has given a lot of updates and somebody who has
a lot of subscriptions, but I'm not sure we've heard a lot about his view on things.
So that'll be really interesting to hear.
Today we are talking to Wolfgang Schuster and we're talking about Elm News.
Wolfgang, thanks for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
Yeah, I would almost say welcome to the crew as you like to call us.
I do, I do.
I may have borrowed that from a podcast I grew up on years ago.
99 GFW Radio, the Brodio I think was its nickname.
It was a video game podcast from Games for Windows magazine and they were referred to
as the crew sometimes.
It's a loving name.
I have a feeling in a few weeks we're going to be seeing a headline, Wolfgang Schuster
joins the crew to talk about Elm News.
No first person in those newsletters, but I've seen you feature yourself sneakily a
few times, which I'm all for.
Yeah, yeah.
I'm never sure how to phrase it, but I do.
I'm peeking behind the curtain.
I mean, the Elm compiler talks in I, so.
Yes, exactly.
But then maybe people would get confused and think that Wolfgang was the Elm compiler.
Maybe you should write the newsletters as the Elm compiler.
Oh, that is...
News error.
Sorry, I could not find any news this week.
Can you please show me some news?
I've compiled this week's news for you.
Compilation of the latest Elm news.
In a bundle coming near you.
I do like it.
So Wolfgang, you run Elm News, Elm Weekly.
And tell us about that.
So what do you see your role as with running Elm Weekly?
I see it as an important part of the community.
You know, you've got to have your news, you've got to have your conferences.
Of course, podcasts are a must.
But I really do believe these things play an important role in the community.
So what do you think the role is of a subscription newsletter in the Elm community?
I think for me, the newsletter is a way to share other people's work, mostly.
I kind of see the podcasts in a way is like getting to know people, getting to know more
on an individual level, sometimes, or getting to know a project on an individual level.
Conferences is getting the informal and formal conversations between people.
And the newsletter is kind of more broad sharing of, hey, these people are working on these
really cool things.
And for me, it's like, I just want to share other people's work.
Sometimes it is my own blog post or my own packages or tools or whatnot.
But really, it's about sharing the things the community is building and kind of celebrating
that in a way.
I love that.
You must be a certain type of personality that enjoys celebrating people's work.
I love that.
That's very nice.
Yeah, I really do.
Even years ago, I helped or assisted with running a game developers conference in Wisconsin
for two years in a row.
And for me, it was fun to learn things from talks and to see people talking.
I think the best part to me was all the little booze of the indie game developers getting
to promote and share their creations.
To me, that was more exciting than going to GDC and getting to see EA or Activision show
off their booze.
That's cool.
But these little tiny studios of one to three people, some of them college students, just
getting to celebrate their creations is really fun.
Yeah, that's cool.
You must...
Do you hear from people?
Actually, I've seen some tweets from people who are really starstruck when their name
gets in the newsletter.
And that's always cool.
Yeah, I remember when I started doing open source and doing Elm Review stuff and writing
blog posts, every time I would be in Elm Weekly, I would be like, yes, I made it.
And then at some point, me and Dillon, we started doing plenty of things.
And at some point, I was like, ah, I'm not in it this week.
I think sometimes I release something just in order to be...
I can't miss it this week again.
I like that.
That time has passed now.
I just do things at my own pace.
It's way less stressful.
Well, I'm happy you did release things to help keep the newsletter popular, but also
I don't want it to be a stressful.
It's definitely better when people are writing or building things that they do because they
want to.
Then if they're doing it for me, don't do it for me.
Arun actually didn't want to build Elm Review at all.
He's just a newsletter though.
I mean, I couldn't get into the JavaScript Weekly newsletters, so I did start doing Elm.
I can't even imagine how full a JavaScript newsletter would be.
I do often wonder if Elm even got half the size of the JavaScript community, what the
newsletter would become at that point.
I don't remember exactly when I took over for Alex Corbin, who was one of the previous
Who took over from Putz?
I think so.
And Brian Hicks was in there a little bit as well.
I believe he paired with Alex on it.
So yeah, so taking over, I think I was trying to keep very much the same tone.
I know it's going to have my voice in it, but trying to keep a consistent tone or consistent
style and just with the size of the community.
There's usually around four or five items I would cover every week and try to keep a
few in the backlog.
I know I've talked to some people about this before, about like, well, it shouldn't be
exactly what's happened in that week.
I kind of, yeah, that makes sense, but I also kind of see it as it's weekly in terms of
it comes out every week instead of it's weekly.
This is what happened this week.
So yeah, like there can be, I know when Elm Town came back as a podcast, I didn't want
to overload with like just podcasts for an entire Elm Weekly newsletter.
To me, that'd be too much podcast.
That's a lot to listen to in one week for some people.
So I tried to space it out as best as I could so that there wasn't too much overlap.
I think that helps the podcast.
I also think that helps people who are listening to this.
Like they don't, you only have so much time in a week to consume things.
A lot of people have families or they don't go home and program.
I've worked with some great people who they code at work, they leave work and they don't
even look at a computer.
And so I kind of like that it's something that can hopefully be digested while you're
at work coding and just kind of in the background maybe or something like that.
So do you postpone mentioning some news stories to the next week in order to make sure that
every week there's a few articles to or blog posts or whatever to show or without the or?
I usually do try to postpone at least one or two things.
This year's actually been quite fun.
I've managed to keep it pretty consistently around five to six items this year.
So it definitely feels like there's been more, just more happening in the community.
Yeah, cool.
I was going to ask about that.
Tell us about that a little bit.
What is, because you've got your finger on the pulse.
I mean, I like to think that I have my finger on the pulse pretty well, but I think you're
tapped into some sources that that Jeroen and I might not be.
And so I'd be really curious to hear from your perspective, what has the, you know,
what's the trend been?
What's it been looking like the last year or so in terms of the community and trends
and how engaged it is, how much content is out there?
Yeah, I would say I don't have actual numbers.
I possibly a side tangent we can get to about like numbers, but I don't.
My feeling from looking at numbers loosely is that overall things to post about, things
to share, whether that's podcasts, episodes or blog posts or tools or packages has been
trending up.
I kind of think blog posts, at least in the past few months, are a little low, but that's
just kind of what I'm thinking.
But yeah, overall, at least since I've taken over, to me, news has felt greater overall.
I think there's only been a few newsletters where I haven't had at least six items.
There was especially around, I think, February or March of this year, I think I had enough
for like three to four weeks in advance.
So I actually had like a full month's worth of newsletters planned out, which was really
I think everyone was like, it almost felt like everyone was pent up from the holidays
and from winter and just let loose a flood of, I've been writing this, I've been building
this and here, everyone, finally, I'm done with the holidays, here you go.
I was so bored during the holidays that I did something and now two months later, it's
finally released.
Do you see anything after the conference in Denmark?
Did you see a surge in content then as well?
Or was it just an intangible excitement that didn't necessarily lead to new releases and
blog posts?
There was definitely a small surge afterwards.
I would say within the week or two following Elm Camp, there was definitely a surge.
I know the one that's coming to mind, and it's only because I listened to Jeroen, your
interview about Elm Review and stuff recently, timing-wise, the Sega Cap, I think it's pronounced.
I think so.
That I think was within days of the conference and because of the conference too.
So those types of things definitely seem to invigorate people with new ideas.
Coming back from Strange Loop this past week, I myself feel that way.
I got to chat with someone and was invigorated to very much, I have a project I need to go
work on.
I am waiting on one other person to publish some stuff and then I've got things to build.
So I see where it comes from.
Oh no, no more Elm Weekly.
No, still Elm Weekly.
That'll keep happening as long as I can keep it going.
Yeah, I do think the in-person conferences, like Elm Online has been really great.
And I think that that serves a very specific purpose.
Like it gives an opportunity to, it's great for like sharing a new tool or technique,
kind of like Elm Radio except more walkthrough style rather than deep dive on how to think
about a particular tool or something.
But you don't get the hallway conversations and those in-person conferences, I do think
they generated a lot of enthusiasm and buzz and little connections between people and,
you know, picking up a new project for the community.
So I think those do play a vital role.
So I'm really glad that Elm Camp happened and I hope we see conferences trending back
to where they were before the pandemic, because that was such a great state of things.
Yeah, I did get to chat with a couple of the or some of the people related to Elm Camp
and organizing that and got to hear their thoughts on next, I don't know if it would
be next year's, the next one that they're working on.
They still are very much encouraging other people as well to if you want to run your
own, please, please run your own Elm Camp.
Reach out to them for support, Katja and Mario.
They're happy to support people in future Elm Camps.
I know it definitely, it's definitely crossed my mind, like having worked with conferences
before is like I have that little tiny itch in the back of my head, like, should I?
The answer is yes.
I definitely, I don't know that it would be Elm Camp exactly.
Becca and I have been discussing what would my version of an Elm Camp look like or my
version of a conference look like, and I don't know yet.
I think there's, like I was saying before, the conference I assisted with years ago being
game related, I think that is more me.
I think there's also an aspect of like going to Strangeloop, Strangeloop is this crossing
of academia and humanities and tech, and that was very important to Alex, the creator of
Strangeloop of having those intersections and the conversations that come from those
And so I very much, were I to do this, I'm not saying I am, and if I was, it would still
be quite a ways off, but I think it would need to be something like that, an intersection
of multiple disciplines that aren't necessarily related all the time.
Just to, I think you get really good conversation from that.
Yeah, that's cool.
What would you say to somebody, because I think sometimes people are like, well, somebody
should do this, but I don't think I would be the right person to do this.
Or like, what was your experience like stepping into the Elm Weekly shoes and taking that
on and were you like, did you feel confident about it going into it?
Like you thought it would be a good fit for you or did you sort of take some time to ease
into it?
I've definitely thought about that a little bit, both when I started and since.
I do periodically think about whether or not I am a good fit for Elm Weekly.
I think it's one of those things where I was, for me personally, I was already in a mode
of consuming a lot of what was happening in the community.
And I'm very much the type of person who goes to work and talks to friends and says, hey,
look at this cool thing I saw.
Look at what this person's building.
This person's doing something really cool.
You should check it out.
So I think there was kind of a natural fit there already.
I think the other part is kind of a, even if you're slightly uncomfortable, kind of
sitting with that discomfort and just doing it anyways, because you're going to, like,
I don't even know how long I've been doing the newsletter, honestly, at this point.
I think I started in November, but I don't know which year, if it was last year or two
years ago.
I honestly don't remember at this point.
But even so, say it was two years ago, I still feel that discomfort and that uncertainty
and it will always be there.
And just accept it and just keep going.
Just keep going, because you're not, at least for me, I'm never going to get rid of it.
So just accept it for what it is and move on.
I think that's good advice.
I think, I mean, I think if you feel the motivation that you want to get something out into the
world, I think it, I personally think it's better to listen to that motivation and purpose
that's telling you, like, I think I want to get this thing out into the world rather than
the fear of like, well, is it good enough?
Because that fear isn't really going to guide you towards being better.
But the purpose, I think, will, the purpose of like, I want this to be in the world and
over time, maybe even if something is rough when you start out, that purpose and motivation
will keep you sharp and keep refining it over time.
Very much so.
I do wonder, I kind of feel at times like the fear almost drives me in a way to do better.
I was having this conversation on the way back from Strange Loop, the car ride back
from Strange Loop, about like comparing yourself to others or like, which I kind of group in
there with this a little bit of like, feeling I'm not good enough, or I'm not qualified
enough or anything a lot around that.
Like I am not enough for this.
And I often, I weirdly feel like I'm not for most things.
But that's okay, because most people aren't.
So I don't know, it's like, I know it's going to be like, like, if I do the newsletter,
I'm like, oh, this, I should have put this in this, this newsletter, because it would
have been more of a theme or something.
Or maybe I want to put an image just because I felt like this issue deserved an image and
I forgot.
I'm like, well, that just means I need to do better next time.
And next time I will do better.
Or if I think I put out a really good newsletter, I'm like, okay, that was a good one.
But I know I can do better.
Like I know even if I were an expert at newsletters, I can still do better.
So that expert, I don't know, there's a little something there about sitting with the discomfort
again and just doing that.
But you can always do better always.
Yes, I like that.
I like, like, just not slowing it down and stopping the train.
You just and I mean, a newsletter that's named Elm Weekly, I would imagine definitely helps
with that.
I know for for me and Jeroen, like we, we started this cadence of a bi-weekly podcast
So that helps us just stay on track because it's not like, you know, should we do a podcast
this week?
It's like, all right, what are we recording now?
And it keeps keeps it moving.
So the, you know, like you said, the quality, like you got to ship something and you can
look at the quality and say, yeah, I could do better next time.
But I'm still going to ship this because it's time to ship.
And then you take that forward to the to the next thing to make it better.
Yeah, I was thinking about mistakes while you're saying that, like, I did make a mistake
a couple weeks ago, there was the game jam.
And that is a timed thing.
Like I'm not, I wasn't in charge of the game jam.
I didn't do any of the scheduling or planning or anything.
And I forgot to put it in the newsletter.
I can't wait another week because by that point, the game jam is over.
So I just quick have to send out another another newsletter with just one item, which to me
looked awful and felt awful.
You get this email with like, two lines of text.
Was it considered to be an Elm Weekly newsletter?
Or was it just like, I'm looking at it and I think it's a not an Elm Weekly.
So you just made another email.
That's it.
I like it.
Yeah, yeah.
So I just had a look.
You started on November 2, 2021.
So that's almost three years ago.
Issue 185 and we're at 282.
So almost 100.
Oh, that's kind of fun.
That's exciting.
Almost 100 episodes or issues.
Okay, okay.
I should look to see what trends are in the in the time.
Yeah, that'll be cool.
It will be a little funky.
So December of last year, Twitter was going through some changes.
The newsletter used to be hosted with Review, which was a Twitter child company or something
like that.
I think Twitter bought them at some point.
They got shut down.
And that was kind of notice or no, we were notified ahead of time that this was going
to be happening.
I think we were given like a month, maybe two.
That almost feels generous from them nowadays.
Yeah, yeah.
It's definitely impacted other things as well.
With the newsletter over time where I'm definitely more than like freaking out.
I was like, Oh, no, what am I going to do?
I have to get the newsletter out.
I have to figure this out.
It did happen recently or a few months back with the Twitter account, because I would
I didn't have the Twitter account.
Alex still did.
We just had never passed it on to me for whatever reason.
So I was always posting from TweetDeck.
So that was fine.
However, Twitter was changing TweetDeck to be paid.
And I was like, I don't want to pay for this.
I'm the only one tweeting.
Why would I pay for something where I'm the only one using it?
And it's designed for teams.
So I had to try and reach out to Alex.
And we're like, almost literally opposite sides of the planet.
So scheduling that was very challenging.
Not horrible, but definitely challenging.
Eventually got it moved over.
I think we had the exact same thing with Dillon on the Elm Radio podcast Twitter account like
Yeah, yesterday, I think it was.
We're like, yeah, I used to tweet from TweetDeck.
And now TweetDeck is no more.
So I don't use that account much.
Dillon mostly does, I think.
And also because I don't have TweetDeck anymore.
I don't see those tweets anymore.
Those posts because they're not tweets anymore.
And before that, we had automated tweets, but then the API was shut down that allowed
you to do that.
So whoops.
So these different services, how do you think about that?
And how do you get this content in front of the community?
I guess there's always people's email inboxes.
But there's like TikTok and Instagram.
And then it's like, oh, threads is a new thing.
And Blue Sky.
So how do you decide to get things in the right place that users or people interested
in Elm can find it?
The Twitter aspect was something I just inherited.
I guess same with email, technically.
So those two I inherited and very much tried to keep up with.
I do, especially on Twitter, I try to do, it was more frequent.
I think I've dropped down to weekly or bi-weekly retweeting or liking of Elm related content
on Twitter as well, just for people who are only on there.
Don't know that I particularly enjoy Stag on Twitter, especially with all the changes
it makes it.
It's made it more difficult overall, just from a technical standpoint, barring any social
issues or whatever opinions, from a technical standpoint, it is more challenging there now
than when I inherited it.
So that part I'm definitely less enthused about than I used to be.
I do stay on there though, because there are a handful of people who do put out a fair
amount of content and that's the only place I can find it, that they share it.
So for me, it is a place that part of me still feels tied to in order to get the content
to share.
So more for mining content.
More for Yosanity.
It's okay.
It's okay.
I'm definitely not the best.
I'm not an expert, but I just keep working at it until I figure it out.
I've slowly gotten better at not being on Twitter too much in defying content and trying
Someone just suggested to me that I should just start blocking content that isn't relevant.
I'm like, oh, that's a good idea.
I don't know why I never considered that.
Don't block that Elm keyword though.
No, no.
It did occur to me while I was only...
I don't even think it was a year ago.
I had gotten used to searching for hashtag Elm Lang, but some people post to hashtag
It's very few, but some people do.
And it never occurred to me.
So I was ignoring these people and I was like, shoot, I need to be sharing their stuff because
they don't at Elm Lang, they don't hashtag Elm Lang, it's just hashtag Elm.
So I can't remember what I have found under there, but I've definitely found a few things
over the past year.
So would you say that's your primary place that you're tuned into?
There's a packages channel on the Elm Slack.
Are you monitoring that for interesting things popping up?
Or what are your sources?
On Slack, I'm in a decent amount of channels on there, mostly ones that I'm interested
And then occasionally packages I'll pull from or news and links, obviously.
You say obviously, but not everyone joins that channel, right?
That's true.
That's true.
So if you're not in there, join news and links.
That's where most announcements go.
Public service announcement, join news and links, and then mark it to notify you on every
And then try posting something not in a thread that's a response to something and watch people
yell at you because a lot of people have notifications for every message in there.
I'm so bad about notifications.
I think most people, if they saw how many different chats I'm in across how many different
services they would turn around and just walk away.
So Slack, I'm in the incremental Elm Discord.
You're the community tooling.
I like to view it as, I think is how you've positioned it.
So that's always a good one.
Elmcraft, which is more like an alternative to Slack, I would say more non tooling, just
community stuff.
Every once in a while, I'll get things from there.
Content creation as well.
Blog posts and articles.
Lots of blog posts.
I have a Notion doc for Elm Weekly that is roughly a dozen different blog authors, I
guess, who some of them haven't posted anything in like two or three years, but you never
Maybe the day.
And so every once a month, I try to check everyone's.
Have you not seen that why I came back to Elm after three and a half years?
I have not seen a blog post, but I have seen people in Slack and in the Elmland Discord,
I believe is the other place.
So that's another place that I only see people in the Elmland Discord and nowhere else.
So that is also a good place for me to get content.
But to your point about coming back after three years, I have seen people both in the
Elm Slack and in the Elmland Discord talk about, hey, I haven't tried Elm in like three
or five years and I want to try it out again.
I'm like, that's awesome that you've come back.
The language hasn't changed.
It's still the same.
Yeah, almost.
That definitely speaks well to Ryan's mission of like trying to make Elm mainstream and
seems like it's working, it's doing something.
So that's that's really neat.
Yeah, I've I definitely enjoy he has a cool projects channel in his Discord.
I've seen a handful of projects in there where one, I've not seen this person anywhere else,
which is very exciting.
And two, it's very oriented towards just what they're making and not anything technical.
The two examples that always come to mind for me are someone made a website for their
I think it was.
The stuff they were making.
Elm Town episode about that.
It was very cool.
That's right.
I think I did listen to that one.
But yeah, there was like, it's pottery.
It's nothing technical.
I don't even know if you could get to the source code for the website.
And I'm like, cool, that's awesome.
I don't care about the source code.
I just want to see your beautiful creations.
The other one was a website for this person's child.
They built a website where they could pick characters from little portraits and it would
use AI to generate a story about these characters.
And there was no links to a GitHub, no names on the website.
It was just for creating stories for their child.
And I'm like, this is what I want more of.
I love to see people creating stuff and just sharing it.
It sounds just like you and me, Rune.
Just sharing things, not getting into technical details about it.
Building apps, not talking about tools or high level philosophy behind them.
Yeah, rings a bell.
I am slightly jealous of like, oh, they're just like building things to make your life
a little bit better or bring a little joy into your life.
And it's not like, oh, but this is the ultimate framework for building something.
And like, here's the best way to build Elm apps and here's a static analysis tool that
will help you do that.
I guess the way I look at it is it takes all kinds.
Ryan isn't getting to build these cool websites.
He's building the foundations for them to do this.
He's building the foundations.
You're ruining your Elm review.
It makes it easier for other people to do their jobs.
It makes it easier for other people to create.
And there's something, it has its own beauty in a way.
Oh, it's very beautiful.
And then you Wolfgang share the cool things that people are building so we can be reminded
of how delightful Elm is.
And that's really lovely.
I don't know, this just popped in my head, but it's like going to an art museum.
There are the people who make the art.
And that's what most people go there for, is to see the creations.
But it takes a team of people to curate those exhibits and to put it all together.
It took somebody to build the building, to house the exhibits.
And they're probably not the ones whose actual art pieces are being shown off.
But we couldn't show off those art people or those creations in the exhibit if someone
didn't go and build the building and someone didn't take the time to curate it and manage
all of it.
And don't forget also the people who build the canvas or the paintbrush.
Yeah, that's us.
That's us.
Don't forget us.
I was recently chatting with a friend of mine who's an artist.
And we were asking his girlfriend, like what she thought of his artwork.
And how they like...
It was interesting.
Like, I mean, the artwork of his that she appreciated wasn't necessarily what he thought
his best work was because she liked his realism because she found that really impressive.
And then he was like, well, realism, like I've tried to move away from realism because
that sucks you in and you start doing realism.
And then you start to become uncomfortable making a leap to express something beyond
the realism.
And so he as an artist has tried to not just follow pure realism in his style.
And we were talking about like when they go to art galleries together.
And he was saying, like she was saying how they go to art galleries and they're talking
about a painting.
And you know, he says, what do you think of this painting?
And she says, oh, you know, this one really moves me.
I really feel something with this one.
And like, I wonder what this is trying to express.
I wonder what this is about.
And then she says, well, which one do you like?
And he says, well, this one, the brushstrokes on this is incredible.
And the technique behind this and the mixing of the colors.
And she's like, yeah, but like, what does it mean to you?
And what do you like?
But he can get so caught up in the technique of it and the expressive power of the technique.
But I mean, that's what he's doing all day long is he's perfecting these techniques and
he's critiquing these techniques in art school and talking to artist friends about this.
So it's good to have that balancing force that, I mean, it's great to have a conversation
with somebody who's not a trained artist and have them be like, wow, this one really moves
And then that reminds you like what the point of it is, which you can get away from when
you're just kind of so focused on the technique behind it.
I guess I hadn't really thought about it, I do get lost in technique as well.
Even actually even going to art exhibits, I get lost in technique.
I like to look at what is it made of?
How did they construct it?
Yeah, but there's a beauty in that as well.
Like just trying to fulfill your curiosity.
Sometimes like how did they make this?
Like technically it is interesting because if you can't figure it out in a few seconds
and maybe there's something deeper behind it or something, I don't know.
Maybe it took humanity thousands of years to be able to make this kind of artwork.
Different things resonate with different people in different ways.
I'm almost certainly the one that resonates most with process.
Like I said, it never occurred to me before, yeah, wife and I both, she's very much into
the process of art.
She went to school for art and is very much into the process of her favorite pieces are
the ones where she likes the process the most or appreciates the process the most.
And I think that's probably true for me as well.
I never occurred to me before.
The process is the product.
So if we take the example of that pottery websites or tool, was it a website?
This website, yeah.
If you take that as an example, you were able to appreciate it, but if it was written in
React, would it suck?
No, it wouldn't suck at all.
What if it threw a runtime error?
I would feel bad.
I wouldn't really care about the reaction at the end of the day.
I would feel in that case, I would feel bad both for the website creator because they're
unable to share their content.
And I would feel bad for the viewer because they are unable to enjoy the content.
Even though I enjoy the process behind it all, at the end of the day, these people aren't
there for the process.
The pottery website isn't there because the person likes making websites.
Maybe it is.
I'm viewing it wrong, but to me, it's there because they want to share their other creations
and for other people to be able to enjoy those creations.
The code is just, that's how we managed to do that.
A hundred years ago or not even a hundred years ago, 50 years ago, that probably would
have been photographs in a book developed chemically placed in a book nicely and handed
to another person or maybe printed and you would hand a printed book, like a coffee table
And the person who's sharing that coffee table book there, they're like, look at this paper,
look at this binding.
They're like, no, look at these beautiful images I would like to share with you.
It just happens to be a paper.
Well, it's like the NASA janitor.
Isn't there a story that somebody asks the janitor what they do and he says that he sends
people into space, right?
Because he's part of the crew and the astronaut might be the one landing on the moon, but
the person who's in mission control or the PR person at NASA or their legal counsel or
whatever, they're all sending people to the moon, right?
They're all involved in that mission.
And in the same way, we need the tool makers and we need the people who get excited about
using those tools to make things.
And we need the people excited about sharing what people are making with those things and
sharing the tools to make those things.
So it's a beautiful thing, the variety of people's passions.
And it's great that people are different.
We have diverse interests and that's a beautiful thing.
It is kind of another thing, thinking about whose content I share on the newsletter.
Part of me is always concerned with getting a good diversity, I guess, of content or diversity
of people.
Just am I sharing too much of one person's information?
Am I sharing Jeroen's blog too often?
It has crossed my mind and I'm like, oh no, am I doing this too often?
If an AI learns from Elm Weekly, is it just going to turn into Jeroen?
Yeah, yeah.
So that is a concern of mine when I share content.
And I don't know.
I honestly can't tell you if I'm doing a terrific job or a horrendous job or more than likely
somewhere in between.
Yeah, I kind of like sharing.
I do, part of me does enjoy slightly more sharing the person who's never been in there
before, who's never had gotten to share anything before in the newsletter.
There's a little bit more joy in that for me than sharing somebody who's been in there
every week.
Not that there's anything wrong with it.
I mean, it's useful too.
If someone's in there every week, it's because they are doing a lot.
If you're putting out a blog post or you're putting out a video or some tool or content
every week, that's a mind blowing amount of work.
I struggle to do that, I feel like, at my actual job, to put out something worthwhile
every week.
So if you're doing that for free, basically, that is impressive in its own right.
In terms of joy that you bring, for instance, I remember when I got my first feature, I
remember the first time I got mentioned in Elm Weekly, I was overjoyed.
Like, oh, this is really cool.
I think it was with Alex back then.
I might even have asked him, can you share this blog post that I'm about to write?
And that felt really nice.
And nowadays I'm like, okay, well, I just posted something.
It's normal that it gets in there.
Also because I know we don't have that much content in the Elm community, so it's bound
to be released at some point, unless you drop something on purpose or by accident.
For instance, I'm used to that Elm Radio is there, I guess, a week, one week out of two,
So yeah, if you can share people who've just written their first article, their first few,
go for it, because that's going to bring them a lot of joy and they're going to write more,
I definitely don't.
I'm trying to think if or when I've excluded something in particular.
I try not to exclude things, definitely.
If anyone thinks I have excluded something, almost certainly I just didn't realize I forgot
to put it in because I didn't write it down somewhere or I just wasn't aware.
So I guess a little plea for if you have content you would like shared, even if you don't think
it's good enough, please reach out to me and I'm happy to take a look.
I know I have one item in my backlog that is purposely in my backlog and won't be shared
too soon only because the person is actively working on it.
And I wanted to give them a chance to, I guess, put a little bit more polish on it before
it was shared widely, which also, if I've ever shared something too early, I probably
have, call me out on it.
I can only learn if people tell me these things.
So do you ever filter anything on purpose?
I guess what I'm thinking about is, for instance, all the negative criticism of Elm or Aldi.
It hasn't happened much in the last two years, I guess.
But for instance, imagine those blog posts that have painted Elm in a very bad way.
Would you share those or only if they're done in a very constructive way, maybe?
As you said, I can only think of maybe one that is in that area that since I've been
writing the newsletter.
So I didn't share that one, but it wasn't because it was talking about Elm negatively
or anything like that.
It was somebody who was writing a blog post, maybe there's been two, about migrating from
Elm to something else.
I don't think that's wrong.
I don't think that's bad.
To me, it doesn't fit with the theme of the newsletter because it's not celebrating Elm
in a way.
We're talking about, it's not talking about, I guess to me it's okay to criticize Elm.
I don't want to say it's not.
To me, I want the newsletter to be more of a celebration and less of a critique.
I was thinking about this this morning with print journalism or journalism in general.
I'm not doing journalism.
I'm not here to give a critique of somebody or to do in-depth reporting.
And I feel like some of the moving away from Elm to React or whatever, it just doesn't
fit to me, I guess.
I think if someone did have a very nice piece about things they're frustrated with but still
use Elm despite the frustration, I might share that because it might be a bit disappointing
in some aspects, but it also is trying to, I guess, work towards, it feels like it's
trying to work towards something that is Elm adjacent or Elm related.
Yeah, maybe it will trigger someone to do something about it.
Yeah, I mean, is a React newsletter going to have a blog post in there about why somebody
migrated their React app to Svelte?
You know, like, probably not.
Very much.
I was going to say, like, if you have a blog post of why you're moving from React to Elm,
I'm happy to share it.
I would hope that doesn't go in the React newsletter.
I don't think that's appropriate for a React newsletter.
But if you're moving from Elm to React, that absolutely should be in a React newsletter.
If I were running a React newsletter, I would 100% put it in there and I would not want
it in the Elm newsletter.
I think it's not where that person is going and the news belongs where that person is
going, I think.
It doesn't mean that that person can't have a voice and share their critique or their
experience migrating and their reasoning behind it, but it doesn't mean that it has to belong
in that newsletter.
I hope they do have their voice shared.
I do.
I guess in that specific example, it could be interesting to know that it's either easy
or hard to switch from Elm to React.
Like for instance, if you know that the barrier to exit is low, then it makes you more likely
to try out the technology because you know it's easy to opt out of it again.
Although those projects are never easy, right?
No, they're not.
So kind of along those lines, I guess this is maybe another way to look at it.
The one thing I have added to the newsletter that wasn't, at least I don't recall being
there before, was a job section at the bottom.
That is strictly for Elm jobs and only for if you're writing Elm.
It's not if you're writing Elixir that looks like Elm or React that looks like Elm.
It is strictly if the person will be writing Elm.
I wouldn't want to put something else in there that's not Elm.
Like if you're writing Elm and something, that's fine, but it must include Elm as part
of that person's job.
Just as like, I wouldn't expect an Elm only job to end up in a JavaScript newsletter.
That would be weird to me.
I love that you're doing that, by the way.
I think it kind of kills two birds with one stone or it serves multiple purposes in that,
I mean, you're extending these opportunities to Elm developers and supporting Elm companies.
It's supporting the community in general, making it easier for people to find candidates
and find jobs, but also showing like there are jobs.
And I think that can sort of have a snowball effect a little bit when people see that there
are job postings, it gives the community a boost.
I mean, I certainly feel with starting Elm Radio, I think you're in feel similarly, like
we care about the community and we want to really make the community feel really vivid
and engaged and creating content and sharing what people are building helps with that and
sharing jobs helps with that.
Like when we are Elm at a billion dollar company with Aaron White at CTO vendor where you work,
that's been our most popular episode ever.
And it was so cool to get to share that story with somebody who is like a very thoughtful,
engaging person to listen to, who really believes in Elm and is putting their money where their
mouth is and actually investing in Elm in the business and betting on Elm in a big way.
And I loved getting to share that story because people need to hear that.
I mean, if those stories are out there and they're not being shared and we're not talking
to those people and letting people listen to how they're thinking about that, then people
don't know and those vital signs of the community aren't out there.
So I think there's an important role for content creators and content curators to show the
pulse of the community.
And Elmchem organizers like yourself, Wolfgang?
Future, future.
That's fine by me.
Yeah, yeah, the jobs thing for me, I am definitely excited that it helps companies.
But I'm most excited that it helps the job seekers.
I think because I, for me at least, so getting into software development for me was very
much a hobby meets passion meets, oh, hey, I can make money doing this.
And if others can find that as well, I'm happy to help them.
There's also a part to it as well that I really like working with people who are just there
nine to five and then go home and don't touch a computer.
To me, I don't fully understand it, but I understand that they have these other passions
and I love to hear about that.
I worked with a woman years ago, Lainey, who would go home and bike.
Her passion was cycling.
And that to me was really cool.
I loved hearing her stories about going down mountains and breaking speed records and things
like that.
I was always super excited.
And if I can put a job posting out that helps her and people like her get a job that is
for them enjoyable or easy or however you want to view it so that they can then go home
and cycle more.
Like I am totally down for that.
I am totally down for it.
Yeah, I think that was, and I do know, so I have heard from a couple of recruiters,
maybe one individual that the postings in the newsletter have gotten them jobs.
We don't have full numbers behind it.
I know I've at least helped one or two people.
So that to me is, it's done its job.
I can do better.
I probably will do better, but I have done something.
You can start your own company and then put a job advert.
No, not good.
Come on, put in some work.
No, I've considered running my own company in the past and I don't think that's me.
Maybe someday, maybe in another 15, 20 years, I'll change my mind.
But no, vendor, vendor is a nice place right now.
If you want to come join me, come join me because I'm enjoying it.
But yeah, I, it's kind of like the newsletter.
I like sharing other people's content.
I like building things for other people.
If I'm starting my own company, I'm building something, at least in my head, it still feels
like building something for myself and I'm not there yet.
I'd rather build something for somebody else.
So vendor is a pretty good place to be for getting scoops, I would imagine, because you've
got Richard Feldman working on rock stuff there, although granted it's not Elm, so maybe
not in the scope of the newsletter, but still interesting.
And you've got Matt Griffith.
So it must be cool to have the inside scoop on some of these things people are building.
Yeah, yeah.
I've definitely talked with Matt Griffith about things.
I can't recall offhand what of that has gone into the newsletter or not.
Ryan Haskell-Glatz was there and got to talk to him a lot about things, which sometimes
I definitely got the scoop early on on land things because of just chatting at work.
Duncan Malchok's there.
They I've definitely put their, their stuff in the newsletter before.
It's been about a year, I think, maybe a little over since they've blogged about anything,
but definitely, definitely been in there.
I don't put rock stuff in the newsletter, obviously, different language, different community.
I have, however, talked to somebody from that community about the potential of doing it,
them doing a newsletter for rock, which was kind of fun.
It wasn't quite, we agreed it wasn't quite the time for a rock newsletter then.
I think this was like a year, year and a half ago now, but the rock was small enough that
it wasn't quite ready yet.
But it was cool to kind of see that that could be, I guess, blooming in that community or
would be hatching since a rock's a bird, I guess.
Or maybe it's ready to rock.
Yes, yes.
Nearly, nearly ready to rock.
The stage is set up and they're just waiting.
I do appreciate that it's a language that's designed or at least well suited to puns.
Yes, yes.
I imagine you would.
So that is interesting that, do you think there would ever be a time when a little bit
of crossover would be warranted in the newsletter?
If it's, I mean, if it's like rock 1.0 announcement or something like that, would that be in scope
or is it just totally a different thing?
Part of me wants to say yes, but I think it does, I think it would end up falling under
the category of this is a different project.
I think the only way rock stuff would make it into the newsletter is if somebody wrote
an elm to rock like translation layer of some kind.
Like there's, I know there's packages to generate elm types and Haskell and elm types and Rust
and stuff like that.
So if somebody did the same thing for rock, that would certainly go in the newsletter.
And rock does have, I think it's called rock glue, like a rock glue command to help build
type bindings for cross language stuff.
And I've definitely been keeping my eye on some of that stuff for like, I think with
elm pages for the custom backend task definitions, it would be really cool to be able to write
a custom backend task definition that runs rock with the help of rock glue to get the
types matching up correctly.
So you could just call out from an elm pages app to say, run this custom backend task and
have a type safe thing that passes data from elm to rock, execute some stuff and passes
some data back in a type safe way.
That would be a match made in heaven.
But maybe that would be something for the elm weekly newsletter.
Yeah, absolutely.
If someone writes that, definitely goes in the newsletter.
So you're very active on Slack and especially like in the beginners channel where you help
out beginners with questions.
Do you ever go to your collection of articles that you've shared in elm weekly to find like,
Oh, well you have this problem.
And I shared the blog post about this like a year and a half ago.
Here it is.
And that will solve your problem.
Do you ever do that?
Or do you feel like...
It's probably not from a year and a half ago.
Maybe my memory goes back that far once in a while if something like really clicks, but
it's usually more like, Oh, this was in the newsletter two weeks ago.
I feel like that would be worth having like just going through the elm weekly articles
and combining them into something that you can share again, or you can find something
That'd be valuable.
Or you can train an AI model on that.
They've got things where they have like documentation sites and they train an AI to help you find
things in the documentation.
I guess elmcraft is in a way a compilation of articles and conference videos as well.
The last two, I think two years, I don't want to say three, but because I think it's just
two, Luca Mug has shared a year in review.
And some of that has, if I remember right, definitely has come from the newsletter.
I probably really bad at organizing the content.
It basically just goes directly into the newsletter more or less.
There's very little in between steps, but I was realizing, I've realized multiple times
that I probably should have some better documentation around what I'm actually putting in there
and organization of it, like a spreadsheet or something that would make their job of
doing a year in review significantly easier.
Because I think right now, I think last year they just scraped the newsletter, if I remember
Do you not have an API for Elm Weekly?
How dare you?
That would be cool if it was like an app that you could use to generate the newsletter and
have an API for scraping through things.
But it's a lot of work for maybe one person writing year in review posts.
I mean, some stack, some stacks, the current host and they might, I don't actually know.
I definitely haven't looked into it to see if they have or not, but it's very possible
they might.
So is there like any content that you feel is missing in the Elm community?
Any kinds of contents?
For instance, like beginners usually have this question and we don't have a blog post
to link to.
I mean, I'm not talking about Elm 2020, I suppose.
Like sure, sure.
But yeah, I mean, I want that at some point, but yeah, I think trying to think if there
are any gaps I've noticed or maybe I imagine there are gaps I haven't noticed.
I do often wonder, I think I have the same question.
What things am I missing?
Am I missing, are there people in the community I'm missing?
Are there topics I'm missing that I'm not aware of?
I have been questioning for some time now the grouping of the newsletter.
So I have like the template that I've kind of saved.
It's articles and discussions, tools and projects, talks and podcasts, and then jobs at the end.
And I've wondered if that is a good organization or sometimes it definitely feels like there's
something that doesn't quite match up.
But I don't know.
I'm not sure what it is.
I think projects is kind of broad at times.
Kind of like the cool projects from the Elmland Discord, like it's written in Elm, but it's
not Elm itself.
Yeah, it's definitely a broad, I think project is just a very broad.
I think project does kind of gather those things like the game jam the other week that
I would probably put, I think I put games under projects.
Coming from a more game oriented like background professionally, like that always feels slightly
weird to me.
I'm like, it's not a project.
This is a game.
Like it's its own thing.
It's its own diverse thing.
But I mean, yeah, it's a project at the end of the day, I guess.
What are some of your favorite gems from the newsletter that you've shared?
I got really excited after Elm Camp to get to share I think, I believe his name was Casper
had been doing these audio visual projects that I was just completely unaware of any
of their work at all.
And they've been doing it for a couple few years now.
That was really, that was really cool to see him share.
Maybe we'll drop a link to that or the relevant Elm Weekly in our show notes here.
It's a good idea.
But we don't have an API to find it.
I just have to look for when Elm Camp wasn't around then.
That's how I find things.
We'll never be able to find that out again.
We need an API.
I do occasionally look at like, clicks, click through.
So if someone goes to the newsletter, either through the email or through the website and
clicks on a link, I do get stats for that.
I have heard from people that they do share those links then themselves, like they'll
then copy paste those links into chat at work or something like that.
At which point I don't get any of those numbers, which is why I don't do much based off of
Because I don't actually know I don't know how accurate they are.
I do know that Ryan Haskell Glatz, his YouTube videos, especially around Advent of Code,
were really popular like a year or two ago.
Those got a lot of clicks.
He had his cover photos on point or whatever the term is for those with the lobster claws.
The thumbnail.
Oh my gosh.
His thumbnail game is on point.
It really is.
I'm jealous.
I'm trying to think if there's any others.
I personally always like the game stuff, but that's, I don't know.
I like making and playing games.
So the more of those I get to see, I don't know.
I'm kind of curious.
I am always curious what the community likes the most.
I wish I've considered putting out polls through the newsletter.
I don't know how that would work exactly.
I'll have to look into it.
But it is something I've been contemplating for a while just to see what feedback from
the community would look like.
Is there a button to say that you liked, I think there is a button to say that you liked
a newsletter, right?
Wait, what?
Oh, is there?
If there is, it's news to me.
Oh, there's a, did you enjoy this issue?
And then there's two broken icons or images, at least in my emails.
Oh, that's from two years ago.
Yeah, I guess there no longer is.
Maybe that was a review thing back when it was run by Twitter.
That sounds like and dislike sounds very Twitter-like.
At least likes to.
I do.
That would be interesting.
I do.
So the only stats I actually look at are, I look at total traffic just because it looks
kind of cool.
It's very much everyone reads it the day of and then it sharp drop off and then slowly
dwindles for the rest of the week.
Most of my views and users are email, like 90 plus percent.
There was one most or direct, if I remember right, most directly access the newsletter.
I think the second most is, which I find interesting, is from the online website, which only start,
the newsletter has only been on there for like a year, year and a half.
So not even the entire time I've been doing the newsletter has it been on there, but it
almost immediately became the second most common way to access the newsletter, which
I thought was really interesting.
About a year, year and a half, I want to say.
It was some number of months after I started doing the newsletter.
I don't know what prompted it, but Evan reached out about it at some point, about it being
on there.
I don't know if someone else suggested it to him or how it came about.
Was it when the website was redone to be blue?
It was sometime after that.
If I had to guess, I think the website was redone in like 2020, I want to say.
It's been a while.
It's cool because people need some way to get, like to seed their content consumption
in Elm somehow.
Like you need to know where to start.
And like, I mean, how many people are interested in Elm and don't know about the site?
I guess it's on the online website.
So I guess that's where a lot of people would find out about that and get in there.
But then they don't know News and Links.
Like to me, News and Links, I think of like finding out about new things in Elm.
I think News and Links channel on Slack, Packages and Elm Weekly.
Like those are the three.
And then Discourse.
Those are the things that come to mind.
Oh yeah, Discourse.
Another source of content.
Speaking of the newsletter, as we're recording, I literally seconds ago clicked publish on
Mastodon, which is one other social media site that the newsletter is on.
And everything is good because I'm in there.
How has it been?
Are there people in the Elm community hanging out on Mastodon?
Do you see engagement there?
Yes, I do.
But I don't advertise it yet because I'm lazy and I didn't put it on my website.
I mean, I'm trying to remember.
You were in this newsletter though, because there was your Elm Town interview was in this
So your name will be there.
Yeah, I've definitely seen it.
It feels like Mastodon's either hashtag ElmLang or hashtag Elm has been growing.
Okay, cool.
I'll need to hop in there.
And we definitely need like a backup plan and a meeting location that is determined
in advance for if and when Twitter or X starts to become a paid thing and then nobody uses
it because definitely nobody's going to stick around once you have to pay for it.
So if that actually happens, we need a backup plan.
Yeah, the Mastodon thing was for me, it was an easy choice because I had a friend suggest
Mastodon to me like seven, eight years ago.
And I was like, oh, you should join me on here.
And so I created an account like eight years ago and have just, I had forgotten I had an
So when Twitter was changing hands and everything, and I'm like, oh, yeah, Mastodon, what's that?
And I go and I look through my password manager.
I'm like, oh, I have an account already.
Well, then I'm already set up.
When everyone was figuring out how to create an account, like I did, like, where do I put
Like, no, that's done already.
The investment paid off.
You should invest in Bitcoin as well back in the day.
I do know someone who did and bought pizza with it.
Very early on.
That's crazy.
How much was the pizza?
Like one or two Bitcoin?
Probably something like that.
$15, $20 pizza, something like that.
Slice of pizza just for one Bitcoin.
So yeah, Mastodon is the only other place.
I did get on Blue Sky, I think a couple of months ago for myself.
And for me, it's been pretty quiet on there just with the people I follow.
I don't think I would put on Weekly on there currently.
I have no interest on doing threads.
I have an Instagram, technically have two Instagram accounts.
Somehow I've gotten locked out of my original one.
I have no clue how.
It just wouldn't let me log in at all.
My second one I only have because my mother likes to send me reels on there.
And so I will watch her reels that she sends me and respond occasionally.
That's it.
Otherwise I never touch it.
And post Elm content, right?
Yeah, Elm content.
No, I'm not going to.
Is your mom sending you Elm related reels there, I assume?
We've discussed programming here and there over the years.
I think the closest she's gotten is Google had a doodle of the day that was like a pseudo
programming thing where you gave little instructions to a robot to have it move around the board
to solve a puzzle.
She was very excited about that and enjoyed it a lot.
I do think it would be cool to get some short form Elm content out there.
I have been considering doing like some YouTube shorts.
Maybe I'll need to like cross post them to a bajillion other short form video services
But I think that'd be cool.
Elm talk.
I've thought about it as well, but it's like time is already so...
I know.
So where?
I don't know that I would go.
I tend to be more of a behind the camera person.
Well for this newsletter Wolfgang, maybe you're definitely going to need to share your content
this episode.
And maybe if you wanted a theme, you could even do like a look back at a hundred Wolfgang
episodes of Elm Weekly and some of the trends over the years and changes.
And that would be kind of cool.
In which case, so episode... your 100th will be next week because you started at 185, so
it should be 284.
That would be your 100th.
So that's next week.
So a little tight.
A little tight.
Timing won't quite line up then.
101st people will hardly know the difference.
Off by one error, right?
We're programmers.
We do that all the time.
There's always a joke in there somewhere.
Maybe I should do a look back at a hundred issues.
I would kind of enjoy that.
That sounds cool.
I also nominate that Luca rename the Urine Review to the Jeroen Review.
Well, you say that, but you know how I was really trying to get into Elm Weekly a few
years ago?
Well, for 2021 and 2022, I'm the one who made the most content in that review, not even
including Elm Radio.
Oh wow.
So I'm actually hoping to do the same thing for this year.
So I know like, oh, there's only a few months left in the year.
I'm like, hmm, maybe I should write some things or something.
Which is bad for my stress levels, but it's good for the community, I guess.
Yeah, absolutely.
If I do, maybe doing the hundred issues review will be the final thing to actually get me
to document like in a spreadsheet or something, all of the newsletter content.
So I can actually say, oh no, I've sent that before with certainty.
Well, if you want to make an Elm Pages app to help distributing the Elm Weekly newsletter,
I know a guy we should talk.
Hey, I know him too.
Hank considered that.
It'd be cool.
Could hook it up to like an Airtable API or something like that.
That's pretty nice.
It's like a spreadsheet with a consumable API.
So except for Elm Weekly, where can people know more about you or send you content if
they want to have it in Elm Weekly?
I, I traditionally people have sent me, I would say the most stuff I've received has
been on Twitter through DMs.
I don't know how broken that is right now or not.
I know at some point.
Are DMs broken?
A month or two, maybe three now ago, you, they, they defaulted some settings so that
you had to allow them from anybody.
I don't know if anybody tried to DM me during that time because I don't know when it started.
So if you did try to, and I didn't respond or if you were blocked from it, that's why.
So, so yeah, so Twitter, if you message me on Mastodon, that is also great.
There's also an Elm Weekly email account I have set up, which is elmweekly.wolfgang
Please email me there with content you would like to share, Slack, Discord, wherever you
can find me.
I technically am on, I think two or three different Zulips, which I'm not logged into
currently so I might not respond.
I should actually check those to see if anyone's tried to message me.
I'm on a Matrix.
There is an Elm Matrix account, which I have not signed into in a while as well, or like
a Matrix.
I'm not sure what it would be.
Elm Matrix group.
Trying to think of where else.
If you can find Wolfodux anywhere, that is me.
It doesn't matter what the website is, it's me.
Feel free to message me there.
Hopefully it gets to my email.
Well, Wolfgang, it was such a pleasure having you on.
Thanks for coming on the show.
Thank you for having me.
It was really fun talking.
Yeah, and thanks for all the great work and your rune.
Until next time.
Until next time.