[Haskell-cafe] Re: ANNOUNCE: Takusen 0.8.6

Jason Dagit dagit at codersbase.com
Sun Aug 1 19:41:53 EDT 2010

On Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 11:10 AM, Jason Dagit <dagit at codersbase.com> wrote:

> = Interested in Takusen development? =
> Takusen is looking for a new long term maintainer.  I have agreed to
> fill the role of maintainer for now, but we are seeking an
> enthusiastic individual with spare time and a desire to lead Takusen
> development.
Some people have asked about the maintainer role.  Let me elaborate on that.

The maintainer will oversee the project and steer development.  For example,
this might include splitting up the duties of the maintainer role into more
specific jobs such as release manager, wiki gardner, mailing list moderator,
etc.  More details about these responsibilities below.

Some background reading on the topic:
  * I recommend reading Karl Fogel's "Producing Open Source Software" as it
covers the entire topic of contributing and running projects, and it's
available on the web: http://producingoss.com/en/index.html
  * Wikipedia's description of a "Release manager" (not the same as a
maintainer, but the roles do overlap on many projects):

Initially I expect the maintainer will need to take on the following
  * Marketing.  Getting the word out about Takusen releases, ensuring users
know when to use it and when not to use it, dispelling myths about takusen,
  * Growing a larger development team (sometimes considered part of
  * Fleshing out the infrastructure provided by community.haskell.org (we
have a wiki, bug tracker, mailing list, and web site now, but no users or
content yet).
  * Plan the next release.  This will probably involve prioritizing
suggestions, bug fixes, new features, and finding people to do the work.
  * Facilitate the next release, eg., make sure release is stable, tag it,
write release announcement and upload to hackage.
  * Setup automated build tests.  Takusen has a lot of tests, now we need to
run them automatically on all the platforms and databases that takusen
  * Review patches sent by contributors, or delegate/nominate patch

If you'd like to study other haskell projects that set good examples for
maintainership, I recommend looking at GHC, darcs, and xmonad.  There are
probably others that would do quite well as examples, but I'm not personally
familiar with them.  I think you'll notice that in each case, the duties are
distributed and decisions are made in IRC or on the mailing list.

As for skills that you should have?  Being motivated and eager to get up to
speed is more important than raw Haskell ability.  The current team,
including Alistair and Oleg, should continue to be available to assist with
technical issues.  Communication skills, leadership skills, and the ability
to ground your judgements in fact are probably the most important skills

Most importantly, don't feel intimidated by the above list.  I'm describing
all the duties I can think of.  Also, I'll be around to help you learn the
ropes and get going while you're new.  It can be a lot of work, which is why
it's important to appoint lieutenants.  Successful maintainers tend to be
good at documenting the tasks to be done, creating roles, and finding
motivated individuals to take on those roles and tasks.  Ideally things are
so well document that contributors can trade roles as spare time waxes and
wanes for people.

I hope that helps!  Don't hesitate to ask questions.

PS I've CC'd the new takusen mailing list, but I don't think it's working
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