haskell/bytestring stalled?

Simon Jakobi simon.jakobi at googlemail.com
Thu Dec 19 16:58:17 UTC 2019

I'm also CC'ing the core libraries committee – sorry for not realizing
earlier that they would be interested in this discussion!

Am Do., 19. Dez. 2019 um 17:20 Uhr schrieb Simon Jakobi
<simon.jakobi at googlemail.com>:
> Hi Herbert,
> I apologize for the overly harsh and accusatory tone in my last email.
> After looking through the existing PRs and issues, I was admittedly
> somewhat disappointed over the current situation with bytestring
> issues and PRs, but I shouldn't have expressed my feelings in this
> way.
> Also, thanks a lot for responding so quickly today to my many comments
> on issues and PRs.
> To be clear, I'm not interested in putting blame on you or Duncan or
> anyone else. I do however strongly believe that bytestring needs a
> more responsive maintainer:
> 1. Contributors IMO deserve to get a response within weeks or ideally days.
> 2. bytestring users (and that transitively includes all GHC users)
> could benefit massively if some of the current PRs were finally
> merged. For example in [#175], Sylvain Henry reports improvements of
> **11%** for some compilation tasks when he used the PR to build GHC.
> And I admittedly don't want to ask you, Herbert, to lead the effort of
> clearing up the maintenance backlog in bytestring. Of course, _any_
> Haskell project you're involved in benefits from your massive
> experience! However, I feel that since your involvement is so crucial
> in so many other essential projects in the Haskell ecosystem, if you
> would shift your focus towards bytestring, these other projects would
> suffer! I also believe that projects like cabal or Hackage need your
> domain knowledge more dearly than bytestring does. So to ask you to
> allocate more time to bytestring, would feel a bit like a zero-sum
> game, or possibly a negative-sum game.
> A second, more personal reason, why I would prefer to see a different
> maintainer for bytestring, is your preference for coordinating things
> in private communication. The many PRs and issues in the bytestring
> project, and this email thread demonstrate that there are a lot of
> people who would like to be involved in improving bytestring. Private
> coordination would exclude most of them, and make it more difficult to
> make use of all the help that this project currently needs. I
> understand that your preference for private communication is related
> to your experiences with previous discussions over Haskell projects,
> and I am sorry that it has come so far, but I believe that a more open
> and transparent style of communication is more healthy.
> So, while I'm very grateful for your work on bytestring, and while I
> hope that you stay involved in the project, I hope that that someone
> else can take over official maintainer duties.
> Now I am not sure who could take on that job. Clearly we need someone
> whom Duncan trusts. That's why I wonder whether someone involved in
> the performance work on GHC could help. Ultimately I don't think that
> their time involvement would need to be very high – good judgment and
> responsiveness seem more important to me. I'm CC'ing the ghc-devs
> list, hoping that someone with the right experience and availability
> would come forward.
> Thanks,
> Simon
> [#175] https://github.com/haskell/bytestring/pull/175#issuecomment-567233984

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