GHC 7.8 release redux

Ben Gamari bgamari.foss at
Thu Apr 18 18:21:26 CEST 2013

Recently I tried to parse the flurry of activity in the "GHC 7.8
release?" thread which started in early February[1]. This was quite a
long thread with a number of different facets. To avoid losing points in
the noise, I thought it might be useful to summarize the major points
(please comment if I've missed something major),

  * More steeping time was necessary for a stable 7.8 release

  * Core APIs change too quickly, we need to try harder to decouple
    API-breaking releases from releases with core compiler functionality

  * The solution for this might be the three channel approach proposed
    by Mark[2]

  * Splitting base further might help the reduce unnecessary
    breakages[3]. Work has continued in this direction since the thread

  * Tracking performance regression with periodic runs of nofib would be

Quite a productive thread for a week of wallclock time. That being said,
if I'm not mistaken one matter is notably absent: what is the plan for
7.8? Will it admit API breakage? Should we establish a timeframe for getting
work in before a formal release candidate is cut?

Of course, "let's just wait and see" is a perfectly reasonable response
but it would be nice to see it clearly set down in writing to avoid
future confusion.


- Ben


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