[Haskell-cafe] Versioning policy and dependencies

Magnus Therning magnus at therning.org
Thu Jan 5 20:21:57 CET 2012

Lately I've often thought that the versioning policy only addresses
half of the problem: the API.  While it completely neglects the "other
side" of the package surface: the dependencies.

I should probably mention that this springs from my work with
packaging Haskell for ArchLinux and to be honest I'm not sure it's a
worthwhile goal for the community to put much work into simplifying
the work of distro packagers.  Anyway, I think it is worthwhile
thinking about and explicitly stating what the goals and non-goals of
the versioning policy are.

If the following statement would hold, then my work would become a bit

  If I have a set of packages where all dependencies are satisfied,
  then it should be possible to update any of those packages to a new
  minor version (e.g. from X.Y.Z to X.Y.Z+1) without any further

I believe the following rules would help achieving that:

- Use dependencies that are insensitive to changes in minor versions
  as far as possible.
- Increase the major version if the lower bound of a dependency is
  adjusted up to a new major version.


Magnus Therning                      OpenPGP: 0xAB4DFBA4 
email: magnus at therning.org   jabber: magnus at therning.org
twitter: magthe               http://therning.org/magnus

Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with
millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural
integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.
     -- Alan Kay
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