[arch-haskell] keeping in sync

Ramana Kumar ramana at member.fsf.org
Fri Dec 21 08:41:05 CET 2012

I agree that the up-to-date approach is the way to go: it fits well with
I suggest we continue that way.

Three items on the roadmap, then:

   1. Document the jobs of the maintainers of the merged repo, and of the
   satellite repos.
   2. Set up the merged repo (and rename current [haskell] to
   [haskell-core] (or -base))
   3. Document how to create new repos like [haskell-web].

Fabio wrote something for 1 in a previous email; I will add it to the wiki
and extend if I can.

Magnus, can you proceed with 2? If necessary I may be able to provide
another server.

Fabio, can you start on 3 on the wiki, since you have the experience with
haskell-web already?

On Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM, Fabio Riga <rifabio at gmail.com> wrote:

> 2012/12/4 Magnus Therning <magnus at therning.org>
> >
> > Yeah, that's my bad.  I sometimes start updates and builds in the
> > morning and then check in on them during the day.  If they succeed I
> > push the new packages to the repo, but I only have write access to the
> > github repos from my home computer.  I always plan to push the changes
> > as soon as I get home, but you know what they say about the best laid
> > schemes of mice and men; I sometimes forget and it might go days
> > before I remember.
> Sometimes it happens to me too, but no other repo is depending on
> mine, so nobody happens to know this!
> > > This are my suggestions:
> > >
> > > 1. Magnus keep a [haskell-base] repository. This MUST be an Arch repo
> > > in sync with a github repo.
> > > 2. Both repositories (Arch and git) should be available for
> > > maintainers of other repository.
> > > 3. Maintainer of [haskell-web] (me) MUST update it's repo to keep in
> > > sync with base in a reasonable time.
> > > 4. After this time a “global maintainer” (Magnus, Ramana, me, whoever)
> > > can grab all packages from both repositories and put them in a new
> > > one: [haskell]
> > > 5. Only [haskell] is intended for end users.
> > >
> > > A “reasonable time” could be 3 days. I saw that Magnus updates the
> > > repo on Wednesday and on Saturday/Sunday: so before the next update
> > > [haskell-web] should be in sync.
> > >
> > > I developed [haskell-web] in a way that it will not duplicate packages
> > > from [haskell]: I use them as DistroPkg. Updating is easy with
> > > `cbladmin` [^1], there's no need to modify `cblrepo`, maybe you could
> > > merge (and develop) some ideas from there. But this is not the main
> > > point. The main point is to be in sync, or else I'm just wasting my
> > > time, as [haskell-web] will never be really useful.
> >
> > The big piece that's missing above is how to handle failures to
> > upgrade a package caused by a dependant not allowing the upgrade.  Do
> > we hold off the base-test repo then?
> > I currently upgrade everything I can in one transaction, what if one
> > of the packages requires holding back due to a dependant.  Would that
> > require a partial roll-back in the base-test repo?
> >
> > It's questions like these that I don't have a good answer to.  And
> > yes, both situations have occurred in the past.  They both cause a bit
> > of work (though not so much if they are caught already at 'clbrepo
> > updates' time).
> I think here you are right, we don't have a real solution to this. In
> these days there are some discussions going in the haskell-cafè
> mailing list about the mess with cabal. The problem is not cabal,
> cblrepo or our different approaches to packaging for Arch. The problem
> is hackage.
> Every developer use different version of dependencies: someone is fast
> in keeping up-to-date, someone is more conservative, someone simply
> hasn't enough time to dedicate to his project and some projects are
> abandoned. We have to decide how many packages we want to include in
> [haskell] repo, and this depends on the approach we take: the
> up-to-date or the conservative.
> I call conservative what seems to have most consensus in haskell
> community: haskell-platform. There are A LOT of packages that simply
> don't work with ghc-7.6, because it's bleeding edge (the assumption
> is: if it is newer than HP, it's bleeding edge). This also was Arch
> approach until the switch from ghc-7.04 to 7.4.1. I feel that  if we
> use HP, our repository can be much more bigger and Arch haskellers can
> compile the most of hackage, if not packaged in archhaskell. The BIG
> drawback is that we'll have to avoid updating for the most active
> packages, and we will easily end up with the dependency nightmare.
> The up-to-date approach is what both of us are doing. I feel is more
> like in the Arch way and, IMHO, the right thing to do. There will be
> less packages in [haskell], but they are the most active ones. When a
> change in a dependency break a dependant, we usually should wait only
> few days. If the broken package persist, we will decide if taking it
> out from the repo or to switch to the conservative approach. Yes, this
> will happen and could require a partial roll-back, but I think it will
> be less frequent and easier to solve than trying to keep HP with less
> up-to-date packages.
> There are two other solutions: a more static approach and
> nix/cabal-dev/something similar.
> The static way could be: take Haskell Platform and build a repo with
> as much packages as possible, the most updated version that work, then
> stop. The next HP release (or every 6 months) repeat again. Isn't it
> the Ubuntu way? Maybe it's easier, but I don't like it.
> If somebody is for the cabal-dev approach, he surely would find the
> archhaskell effort useless. Still I don't see the point in cabal-dev,
> as projects are compiled statically. But this is off-topic here.
> Sorry for my verbosity, and this isn't a real answer to the problem,
> but I wanted to explain my view to ask: what is our goal? Why can't we
> try to follow the path we have already taken? Let's go on, after all,
> merging the repos is not such a big change!
> Cheers,
> Fabio
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