Fwd: ghc-7.6 branch

Ian Lynagh igloo at earth.li
Wed Jun 27 21:53:44 CEST 2012

On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 11:42:24AM -0700, Johan Tibell wrote:
> On Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 8:12 AM, Ian Lynagh <ian at well-typed.com> wrote:
> > On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 04:30:02PM -0700, Johan Tibell wrote:
> >>
> >> I just want to see things changed. :)
> >
> > We're happy to try to improve things, but I'm not sure what change you
> > want exactly.
> I want GHC to stop releasing other people's code, unless they've
> explicitly asked GHC to do so. Other than that, you can do what you
> want.

Here's an honest question:

If a GHC release needs an unreleased change in one of the libraries, and
the maintainer (for whatever reason) is not responding to e-mails,
should the GHC release be held up indefinitely?

If the answer is "yes", then perhaps we should go back to community
maintainership for all the libraries that GHC ships with. As well as
being entities in their own right, those libraries are also part of
larger systems (ghc, and perhaps also other Haskell implementations).

If the answer is "no", then there are going to be times when we need to
ship GHC with a version of a library that is not yet released. With the
best will in the world, there are always going to be people who are
swamped by real life, people on vacation, or even people who unbeknownst
to us have died.

But all that is really tangential to the main issue: even if the answer
to the above question is "no", that does not mean that we need to
routinely release libraries maintained by active upstreams. If upstream
is responsive, then we can discuss with them what code to use and what
releases need to be made. The original e-mail was intended to be the
first in that discussion. Perhaps we phrased it badly, or perhaps you
have bad memories of previous mistakes or of previous systems of
releasing, but all we were trying to do is to find out what code we
should set up the new stable branch to use.

We're happy to discuss concrete changes to the way things work. But (a)
I don't think any change is necessary if your goal is for us to not make
containers releases, and (b) GHC is a complex beast, and it already take
lots of work over a period of weeks (or sometimes months) to get a
release out. I'm keen to keep the process as lightweight as possible.


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