Issues, issues, issues...

Thomas Tuegel ttuegel at
Thu Jun 25 23:12:16 UTC 2015

Hi Bardur,

On Thu, Jun 25, 2015 at 3:39 PM, Bardur Arantsson <spam at> wrote:
> On 06/25/2015 03:16 PM, Bardur Arantsson wrote:
>> Hi all,
> [--snip rant, again :)--]
> So, I've been going over even more issues for a few hours and the
> overwhelming feeling I'm sensing is apathy/indifference. (I should say
> these are mostly the issues imported from Trac, so I'm sure there's a
> certain bias there towards old/languishing issues. This will, of course,
> colour my judgment.)

I have been slowly re-working our issue tracker to follow a workflow
similar to that used by GHC. Most of our bugs are at least categorized
now. The next step is to close issues in the `_|_` milestone. Then, we
need to consistently reorganize the issues after each release. I
haven't closed the _|_ issues yet because I'm not looking forward to
the blowback :) Cabal is easily the most reviled open source project;
very soon hundreds of already-disgruntled developers are going to get
hundreds of notifications from me that their pet issue is being
closed. Not that they cared while it was open.

> I'm not sure what to make of this, or if any of the people involved[1]
> have anything to say on this, but I just thought I'd bring it to the
> light. (For all I know, the principals may be on vacation or working 24h
> shifts for people who pay actual money right now. If so, I apologize for
> the "ambush".)

I don't know about 24 hr shifts, but the only person I know of getting
paid to work on anything related to Cabal right now is our GSoC
student. We're also spread out over many timezones, so that will
influence the type and timing of response you get.

> I'm also sensing a bit of "everyone-is-responsible-therefore-nobody-is"
> about the whole project, but that's really just a very subjective
> feeling. Do any casual contributors feel the same way? Relatedly, I'm
> curious as to whether there's an actual "project lead" who sets the
> direction or if it's just a sort of "democratic" thing...?

For the most part, each subsystem is maintained by the person who
wrote it, or whoever made the last major overhaul. Noteworthy
exceptions are the compiler interfaces (usually maintained by someone
from that compiler's team). For example, I usually deal with the bugs
around `cabal test` because I wrote it. I'm also the last person who
overhauled profiling support, saved build configurations, and a few
other things, so I field those issues. Mikhail usually responds to
bugs related to `cabal sandbox` and `cabal repl`, for example. We have
a release manager who sets the timeline for everybody to get their
commits in. The closest thing we have to project leads is a few senior
developers to whose judgement the rest usually yield.

> [1] Going through the issues, I think I just about managed to insult
> every single maintainer of Cabal/cabal-install. I didn't mean to and
> don't bear any personal animosity, but I can be... blunt. Forgive me,
> guys! It was for a good cause, I think.

Uh, this is nothing compared to the abuse I take in other Haskell circles.

Thomas Tuegel

More information about the cabal-devel mailing list