GHC contribution guidelines and infrastructure talk on 6th September at HIW?

Joachim Breitner mail at
Tue Jul 22 07:43:21 UTC 2014

Hi Rob,

Am Montag, den 21.07.2014, 22:55 +0100 schrieb Rob Stewart:
> On 18 July 2014 09:01, Joachim Breitner <mail at> wrote:
> > Am Freitag, den 18.07.2014, 07:25 +0000 schrieb Simon Peyton Jones:
> >> | On Saturday 6th September is the Haskell Implementers Workshop. There
> >> | has been plenty of discussion over the last 12 months about making
> >> | contributions to GHC less formidable. Is this story going to be told at
> >> | HIW? A talk about revised contribution guidelines and helpful tool
> >> | support might engage those sat on, or peering over, the fence.
> >>
> >> I think that's a great idea.  Maybe Simon M, or Joachim, or Austin,
> >> or Herbert?  Of some coalition thereof
> >
> > I agree, and I’d be available for it, or for joining a coalition.
> I gentle nudge about the idea of a HIW talk on contributing to GHC
> development. I'm glad some people think that this is a good idea.
> However, given that the official deadline for talk proposals has
> already passed, at least an abstract would have to be submitted to the
> HIW committee very soon to be considered. The presentation content can
> of course be put together much closer to the time.

for some reason I assumed you were part of the committee (your mail
sounded to me like “I’m responsible for this event, and would like to
such a talk”), so I wasn’t paying close attention to the deadline. But I
see that’s not the case...

The registration is closed on Easy Chair. So I’ll make a submission
directly to Carter (who spoke in favor of this last Thursday – past the
deadline) and Jost (the chair). Maybe there is still a slot left.

Desperately late submission to HIW:

Contributing to GHC

The core component of the Haskell ecosystem, the Glasgow Haskell
Compiler (GHC) is not only open source, it is also a proper open source
project relying on the work of volunteers. Despite its age and its
apparent complexity, new contributors are not needed but actually useful
to the project.

Recently, the project has seen some changes that make it even easier
for you to start hacking on it, more convenient to get your changes
reviewed and harder to break anything: Our repositories have a less
custom setup; a tool called Phabricator is used for efficient and
meme-ridden code review; various quality assurances services detect
breakage and performance regressions early. This extends our existing
tools (trac, the mailing lists) and practices (notes, an extensive test
suite) that keep working on GHC manageable.

In this talk we give an overview of old and new practices and tools,
especially aiming at interested newcomers, lowering the entry barrier to
contributing to GHC.

(Side remark: I would have like to start the summary with “GHC is
attracting ever contributors”, but according to the graph at this is not obvious.
There have been higher spikes some years ago. But at least we seem to
have a higher stable base. Although less than in 2011 and 2012.)


Joachim “nomeata” Breitner
  mail at joachim-breitner.de
  Jabber: nomeata at  • GPG-Key: 0xF0FBF51F
  Debian Developer: nomeata at

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