the linters are killing me slowly

Ben Gamari ben at
Thu Feb 10 02:04:09 UTC 2022

Richard Eisenberg <lists at> writes:

> Hi devs,
Hi Richard,

> Can we please, please not have the linters stop more useful output
> during CI? Over the past few months, I've lost several days of
> productivity due to the current design.

Mmm, yes, this doesn't sound good. I'm sorry it's been such a hassle.

> Why several days? Because I typically end up with only 1.5-2 hours for
> GHC work in a day, and when I have to spend half of that recreating
> test results (which, sometimes, don't work, especially if I use
> Hadrian, as recommended), I often decide to prioritize other tasks
> that I have a more reasonable chance of actually finishing.
> It was floated some time ago that "Draft" MRs could skip linters. But
> I actually have a non-Draft MR now, and it failed the new Notes
> linter. (Why, actually, is that even a separate pass? I thought there
> was a test case for that, which I'm thrilled with.)
It's a separate pass to help the contributor distinguish 

> It just feels to me that the current workflow is optimized for those
> of us who work on GHC close to 100% of the time. This is not the way
> to get new contributors.
Yes, I am sympathetic with this concern. One alternative design that we
could try is to rather allow linters to fail *except* in Marge jobs.
This would mean that we would need to be very careful not to pass jobs
with failing lints to Marge as doing so would spoil the entire Marge
batch. However, it would also mean that it would make contribution in a
less-than-full-time setting a bit easier. How does this sound?

If we had more devops capacity we could mitigate the Marge-spoilage
problem by teaching Marge not to consider MRs which are failing lints.
However, at the moment I don't think we have the bandwidth to implement


- Ben
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