[Haskell-cafe] Notes from "Haskell takes over the world" BoF at ICFP

Don Stewart dons at galois.com
Wed Oct 6 15:10:35 EDT 2010

Here  are the notes transcribed from the Future of Haskell BoF held
after the Haskell Symposium last week.

-- Don

= Future of Haskell BoF Notes =

A "birds of a feather" meeting was held at ICFP, organized by Bryan and
Johan. We had 30 (?) people in a room, for 2 hours, discussing how to
ensure Haskell succeeds.

These are the transcribed notes.

== Libraries ==

 * Need to encourage special interest groups (SIGs) to form around
   particular domain areas in the libraries. AI, BioInf, Networking,

 * Document the SIG process: what resources they have, how you get

 * Missing SIGs for certain platforms: Mac, CentOS etc.

 * More tutorials on use of Haskell in particular domains.

 * Keen for Hackage 2.0 quality review tools: embedded wikis, voting

 * Hackage analysis tools: reverse indexing of the code base.
 * There is no PVP tool.

 * Library fragmentation occuring due to type duplication (String, Text, ...)

 * Focus on intitiatives for common, core types. HP polish. 

 * What is the "Son of Containers" going  to be?

 * Build reports would help the community a lot. Integrated with
   Hackage. Haddock pages on hackage should be editable wikis
   (per-top-level function, dvcs backed? record history, captchas. roll
   back spam, by default assume good contributions)

 * Need to register patches to packages with lost maintainers. 

 * Belgium Hackathon coming up.

 * Improve libraries process: esp. for small contributions.

 * Hackage maintainance:
        + maintainer timeout.
        + hackage package clobbering.
        + tweaks. hackage-local .cabal fixes.

 * Unclear what the rules for contributing are. Document them!

 * In particular, document how to contribute to:
        * ghc
        * cabal
        * core and HP
        * hackage 
        * dockathon

== IDEs ==

 * A new ghci.
        + scriptable, scion-server?
        + repls on top of ghc-api
        + ruby repl
        + .ghci
        + documentation
        + hpaste/ghci.
 *  IDE
        + scion. contributions. market places.
        + documentation.
        + EclipseFP, scion?
        + NetBeans.

 * Special Interest Groups
        + as the vehicle for domain projects.
        + formal process for forming a group.
        + a small amount of structure for groups
        + document process for forming a strike team.

 * haskell.org
        + polishing the wiki.
        + wikibooks.
        + call for sig.

 * haskell visual design group?
        + consistent color themes across haskell.org sites.
        + consistent haskell branding.

 * community server mailing lists in poor state

 * Move community more online ? Community services.
        + google groups
        + digests.
        + reply at the right point in the threads.
        + serious lists.
            + ghc users. libraries.
        + announces.
        + stackoverflow for new questions?
            + keep refering to SO.
        + reddit for news?

== GHC ==
 * ghc status
        + 50% split in room on moving ghc from darcs to git.
        + bug reports and interaction load with ghc
        + well documented workflow for lightweight changes
        + heavy weight process for major work.
            + bugs, tickets.
        + Simon Marlow "contributions are going up, and process is working well"
 * Release schedule.
        + RC at ICFP.
        + GHC release page.
        + HP/GHC release.
        + stage releases. 
        + more clearly announced that ghc will be a beta prior to GHC HP.

 * HP, uses GHC installers as is. GHC zip.

== Teaching / tutorials ==

 * Tutorials. Documentation.
        + Writing a blog post that is wrong is a pretty good way to get feedback.
        + Find a forum to ask the question, so the answer is findable.
        + Ask on SO.
        + Clojure and Scala communities have active blog spheres.
            + they love descriptions of data structures
            + e.g. high fanout trees.
        + Aggregating the ephemera.
        + Archives: Haskell Reddit has all the interesting blog posts.
            -- Haskell Wikibook.

 * Cabal and integration with other languages.
        + Easier integration with C.
        + Higher barrier to entry on the Mac.
        + Playing well with other languages?

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