Proposed changes to merge request workflow

Richard Eisenberg rae at
Fri Nov 8 19:36:21 UTC 2019

I wonder if it would alleviate the concerns to have a ghc-maintainers mailing list. This is distinct from ghc-devs, in that the maintainers have GHC as their day job. It would explicitly invite email from folks struggling to figure out how to contribute. I don't mean to create more mail for Ben et al, but having an explicit "seek help here" direction is nice. And (at least for me) mailing a list for help feels more comfortable than emailing an individual.


> On Nov 8, 2019, at 6:30 PM, Ben Gamari <ben at> wrote:
> Simon Peyton Jones via ghc-devs <ghc-devs at <mailto:ghc-devs at>> writes:
>> |  If the maintainers are not willing to either review or find reviewers
>> |  for a new contributors patch
>> |  then it doesn't seem to me that a project wants or values new
>> |  contributors.
>> Yes, that would be an unfortunate -- and indeed wrong -- impression to convey.  Thanks for highlighting it.
>> You'd like the maintainers to have an *obligation* to cause someone to produce a good review on every patch. Here's the worst-case scenario: a well-meaning but inexperienced person produces a stream of large, ill-thought-out, and mostly wrong patches.  To give a guarantee of high quality reviews of those patches amounts to a blank cheque on the time of volunteers working mostly in their spare time.
>> Now, of course, that's an extreme scenario.  But that's why I'm keen to avoid making it an unconditional obligation that the few maintainers must discharge.
>> I don’t think there is really a difference of opinion here.  Of course we welcome patches; of course everyone will try to help find reviewers if they are lacking!
>> So how about this
>> - the author nominates reviewers
>> - if he or she finds difficulty in doing so, or the reviewers s/he
>>  nominates are unresponsive, then he or she should ask for help
>> - maintainers should make efforts to help
> In my mind there has always been a (perhaps too implicit) promise that
> maintainers are always present in the background and happy to help in
> finding reviewers if asked (and perhaps even if not, if it seems a
> contributor is lost).
> Perhaps we should make this more explicit?
> Cheers,
> - Ben
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