Reviving the LTS Discussions (ALT: A separate LTS branch)

David Feuer david.feuer at
Sat Nov 8 07:45:29 UTC 2014

GHC is an open source project. People work on it because

1. They enjoy it and find it interesting,
2. They need it to work well to support their own software,
3. They're trying to write a paper/get a degree/impress their peers, or, in
very rare cases,
4. Someone pays them to do it.
People are also willing to do some kinds of minor maintenance work because
5. They feel a sense of obligation to the community
but this is not likely, on its own, to keep many people active.

What does this have to do with LTS releases? The fact is that having people
who want an LTS release does not necessarily mean that anyone else should
do much of anything about it. If they don't really care, they're likely to
half-build an LTS process and then get sidetracked.

So what do I think should be done about this? I think "GHC headquarters"
should make a standing offer to any person, group, or company interested in
producing an LTS release: an offer of Trac, and Phabricator, and
Harbormaster, and generally all the infrastructure that GHC already uses.
Also an offer of advice on how to manage releases, deal with common issues,
etc. But a promise of programming power seems likely to be an empty one,
and I don't see the point of trying to push it. If someone wants an LTS
release, they need to either make one themselves or pay someone to do the
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