[ghc-steering-committee] #380 GHC2021: How to proceed?

Joachim Breitner mail at joachim-breitner.de
Sat Dec 19 20:40:31 UTC 2020

Dear Committee, especially dear Simons,

when we originally outlined the process for determining what GHC2021
would be, we aimed for a four week period of discussion, at the end of
which we just go with whatever the ballots say.

That four week period would end next Tuesday.

Now, maybe unsurprisingly, there are many discussions going on, both
about concrete extensions and also meta-questions (e.g. should we use
GHC2021 to spread certain best practices? Can a certain class of users
expect to not have to turn on other extensions? Do we want to preserve
the property of some extensions as heralds for a certain kind or style
of code?).

This poses the question:
Should we stick to the process, give everyone a chance to revise their
votes, and call it a day on Tuesday?
Or would that just lead to foul compromises, and we should keep
debating until we have more clarity?

In favor of sticking to the process:
We expected that something like GHC2021 will cause lots and lots of
discussions, many of them related to opinions, and there will likely
never be a obvious, clear, definite consensus on what the “best”
GHC2021 is. That’s why we set out with a time limit, as picking _some_
GHC2021 (with plenty of obvious extensions safely in) with reasonable
effort is better than holding long and very time-consuming discussions
with diminishing returns. Also, there will be a later iteration to iron
out the wrinkles that we didn’t get to do this round.

In favor of continuing the discussion:
The discussion is fruitful and interesting. We (well, certainly I)
learned a fair bit about the various extensions. Also, discussing the
meta-questions and coming to an agreement there could help us produce a
more principled, consistent GHC2021, and maybe even help us understand
the various purposes and goals of the extensions mechanism beyond
GHC2021. And if, I mean when, we finish these discussions, we have
likely produced a “better” GHC2021.

Personally, I’m leaning towards time-boxing the discussion and
concluding the vote on Tuesday. That said, if the committee has energy
and motivation to continue debating, I’m certainly up for that (my next
two weeks will be relatively quiet, and I might enjoy diving into long
discussions – you’ve been warned).

I think it would be best if the chars make a judgment call as to how we
should proceed. Simon, Simon: How do you want us to proceed?


Joachim Breitner
  mail at joachim-breitner.de

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