[Haskell-cafe] expanded standard lib

Simon Peyton-Jones simonpj at microsoft.com
Wed Nov 21 05:59:21 EST 2007

Some random thoughts triggered by this thread

1.  I've been bowled over by the creativity unleashed by having a central site (Hackage), with a consistent installation story (Cabal), where you can upload packages with no central intervention.  A single issue of the Haskell Weekly (sic) News with 60 library announcements represents a qualitative shift from the Haskell situation 2 years ago.  That is fantastic.

2.  We absolutely must not conflate GHC releases with QA-stamped library bundles.  The latter would be great, but the two must be separate.  (For reasons given by others in this thread.)

3.  I think it'd be great if there were bundles of libraries that work together, are available on multiple platforms, and have had some QA testing.  (Sounds as if releasing such bundles on a regular basis is the Gnome model.)  Its not clear to me that any one is actually volunteering to lead such a thing though.

4.  Meanwhile, we could get a lot more mileage from de-centralised approaches.  Ideas I saw in this thread that sound attractive to me are to make Hackage display, for each package:
  - date of last update
  - download statistics
  - some kind of voting scores, so users can vote for
        good packages (and add text comments, please)
  - auto-build system, so that there's a per-platform indication of
        whether the package builds; ideally, packages should come with
        a test suite, which could be run too

(Is this list complete?)  These things (or some subset) look more feasible to me, because they can each be done with a finite effort, and then computers and library users will do the rest.


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