Call for GHC Maintainers

Moritz Angermann moritz.angermann at
Sat Aug 15 07:31:56 UTC 2020

Hi there!

Thanks everyone for showing interest. I've started a wiki page here:
Please add yourself to the release you'd like to maintain. I've tried
to come up with a plan on how to actually look at this problem,
and it appears to me that we want a list of Merge Requests that are
considered for backporting, and then see to which GHC we
backport them.  So essentially a matrix with GHC releases / merge
requests, and values being either empty or the commit in which
the MR was backported.

To get the existing matrix we might try to extract this from the git
history? Does anyone have a good idea how to do this properly?
The alternative would be to go through all existing MRs, and check for
backports, which would be quite tedious, and an automated
solution (at least to get the initial matrix would be good?).  In
general I believe there to be value in a matrix of backports for easy

Then we'll need a good way to flag new incoming MRs for backports, and
have the release maintainers look at them, and their
applicability/suitability for a given release.

Finally, let's not kid ourselves here, this will require some time
investment, taking ownership and coordination. I don't think we need
to rush releases, but we should make sure that releases are of good quality.


On Tue, Aug 11, 2020 at 11:29 PM Hemanth Kapila <saihemanth at> wrote:
> Thanks for the note.
> I will be happy to pitch in.
> Thanks,
> Hemanth
> On Tue, 11 Aug 2020, 07:40 Moritz Angermann, <moritz.angermann at> wrote:
>> Hi there!
>> As it stands right now, Ben is the one who works tirelessly trying to
>> cut releases. Not just for the most recent version, but also for
>> previous versions. Most recently 8.10.2, but we have 9.0 coming up as
>> well.
>> I know that there are some people who deeply care for personal or
>> professional reasons for older releases, 8.4, 8.6, 8.8, ... Some of
>> them have stacks of patches applied, or proprietary extensions. I'd
>> argue that most of those applied patches are backports of bug fixes
>> and rarely language features, as language features will break
>> compatibility (due to ghc, base, and other library versions anyway).
>> I would therefore like drum up a group of people who will take care
>> (ideally 2+ per release) of backporting and making minor partch
>> releases. This does not have to go on forever, but it would take much
>> needed load off of Ben to focus on what ever happens in ghc HEAD.
>> So what would this work actually look like? It would consist of
>> - going through the list of MRs and tagging those which are relevant
>> for backporting to a certain release.
>> - backport MRs where the MR does not cleanly apply.
>> - fixup any test-suite failures.
>> - agree on a date to cut/make the release.
>> This is not a permanent commitment. I hope we can attract more people
>> to the ghc release managers.
>> I'm looking forward to great many responses. And I'm sure Ben will be
>> able to help mentor us through cutting the first releases. I'll
>> volunteer to be part of the 8.6 branch maintainers for now.
>> Cheers,
>>  Moritz
>> PS: There is a slightly related discussion about release cadence and
>> versions and how other projects deal with this in this ticket:
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