Ian leaving and the glorious future

Richard Eisenberg eir at cis.upenn.edu
Mon Aug 5 11:51:27 CEST 2013

I think a hacking session is a great idea, either over IRC or at ICFP.

I'm also thinking about how to foster involvement from newcomers on a 
more continual basis. Every several months, someone posts saying, 
essentially "I'd like a project. Give me one." The answers seem to be, 
"Find an interesting ticket and fix it." The problem is that, often, the 
*interesting* tickets are the ones that newcomers would have a hard time 
with. What if there were a page with a curated list of newcomer-friendly 
tickets? Every few weeks, I see a bug come up that looks easy enough to 
fix, but very non-critical. I would be happy to set up this page and 
serve as its maintainer. I would want to add a link to it from the main 
"working on GHC" wiki page, so it's easy for newcomers to find. The idea 
would be that a newcomer fixes a few tickets there, and then has enough 
knowledge to tackle something harder.

The piece of this that I would help with is that I'm only familiar with 
the first stages of the compiler (to varying degrees): lexing, parsing, 
renaming, typechecking, desugaring, Core, and a bit of the simplifier. 
After that (optimizations, code generation, cmm, stg, ...) is a murky 
haze to me.

Do we think such a page is a good idea? As I said, I'm happy to write it 
and maintain it, as well as serve as an email contact to people who want 
to contribute and want help. And, is there someone willing to curate the 
part of the page (and perhaps answer email) about the "second half" of 


On 2013-08-05 09:15, Erik de Castro Lopo wrote:
> Vincent Hanquez wrote:
>> As a suggestion to increase participation, OcamlLab recently hosted a
>> compiler hacking evening [1] and maybe it would be a good idea to host
>> the same kind of thing for GHC ?
> That's a good idea Vincent.
>> If it's not practical to meet in the
>> same physical place (not enough people in the same place, no place to
>> meet, etc), organizing IRC hacking session might a good backup option.
> Maybe ICFP in Boston in Septemtber?
> Cheers,
> Erik

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