more releases

Michael Snoyman michael at
Tue Sep 1 06:53:00 UTC 2015

It's definitely an interesting idea. From the Stackage side: I'm happy to
provide testing and, even better, support to get some automated Stackage
testing tied into the GHC release process. (Why not be more aggressive? We
could do some CI against Stackage from the 7.10 branch on a regular basis.)

I like the idea of getting bug fixes out to users more frequently, so I'm
definitely +1 on the discussion. Let me play devil's advocate though:
having a large number of versions of GHC out there can make it difficult
for library authors, package curators, and large open source projects, due
to variety of what people are using. If we end up in a world where
virtually everyone ends up on the latest point release in a short
timeframe, the problem is reduced, but most of our current installation
methods are not amenable to that. We need to have a serious discussion
about how Linux distros, Haskell Platform, minimal installers, and so on
would address this shift. (stack would be able to adapt to this easily
since it can download new GHCs as needed, but users may not like having
100MB installs on a daily basis ;).)

What I would love to see is that bug fixes are regularly backported to the
stable GHC release and that within a reasonable timeframe are released,
where reasonable is some value we can discuss and come to consensus on.
I'll say that at the extremes: I think a week is far too short, and a year
is far too long.

On Tue, Sep 1, 2015 at 9:45 AM, Richard Eisenberg <eir at> wrote:

> Hi devs,
> An interesting topic came up over dinner tonight: what if GHC made more
> releases? As an extreme example, we could release a new point version every
> time a bug fix gets merged to the stable branch. This may be a terrible
> idea. But what's stopping us from doing so?
> The biggest objection I can see is that we would want to make sure that
> users' code would work with the new version. Could the Stackage crew help
> us with this? If they run their nightly build with a release candidate and
> diff against the prior results, we would get a pretty accurate sense of
> whether the bugfix is good. If this test succeeds, why not release? Would
> it be hard to automate the packaging/posting process?
> The advantage to more releases is that it gets bugfixes in more hands
> sooner. What are the disadvantages?
> Richard
> PS: I'm not 100% sold on this idea. But I thought it was interesting
> enough to raise a broader discussion.
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