[Haskell-cafe] Hackage 2 now available for beta testing

Duncan Coutts duncan at well-typed.com
Mon Sep 9 20:24:18 CEST 2013

Well-Typed and the Industrial Haskell Group (IHG) are very pleased to
announce that Hackage 2 is now available for public beta testing. The
plan is to do the final switchover in late September, to coincide
with ICFP.


Read on for details of how to help with the public beta, an overview
of the new features and what the IHG has been doing to help.

Support from the Industrial Haskell Group

The IHG is a consortium of companies that rely on Haskell. The IHG
members have funded the effort to get Hackage 2 up to feature parity
and get it ready for the switchover. The IHG funded this effort because
while the volunteer effort got us the "first 90%" of the way there
(including adding a number of new features) there was still the "last
90%" to do to get it production ready.

The IHG members decided to fund Hackage 2 not just because they are
good citizens, but out of enlightened self-interest. Hackage has over
5000 packages written by over 1000 people -- including the world's best
Haskell developers. This is a massive resource. The IHG members
recognise that improvements to the tools and infrastructure that the
community uses helps the community to produce more and better code.
This is a benefit to everyone in the community -- including the
commercial users.

The IHG is keen to increase its membership so that more resources can
be dedicated to improving the Haskell development platform. If your
organisation relies on Haskell in some way then you may want to
consider joining. See the IHG website for more details or contact
info at industry.haskell.org.

[IHG website]: http://industry.haskell.org/

Despite the help of the IHG in getting to this point, Hackage is a
community project, and its success depends on the community maintaining
and further improving the new server. The code is now on github so it
is easier to contribute, and now that the server is live there is more
immediate gratification for volunteers contributing fixes and new

Public beta

We would like to encourage you to take part in the public beta testing.
We need help both from package authors as well as other users of the

Please report any problems you find using the issue tracker on the
hackage-server github site.

[issue tracker]: https://github.com/haskell/hackage-server/issues
[github site]:   https://github.com/haskell/hackage-server

We are mirroring packages from the old server (every 30min) so it is
suitable to use as your main hackage server with some caveats: we are
allowing package authors to upload (as well as doing the mirroring) so
you may find a slightly different set of packages on this server.

If you are a package author then you are welcome to poke about and
upload packages. We have imported user accounts from the old server
(except for a small number of early adopters of the original server who
will need to contact an administrator). Note that before we do the
final switchover we will *delete everything* from the beta instance
and do a fresh import from the old hackage server.

Configuring cabal-install

Edit your ~/.cabal/config file. Comment-out the existing "remote-repo"
line near the top of the file and add in a new one like this:

--remote-repo: hackage.haskell.org:http://hackage.haskell.org/packages/archive

remote-repo: beta.hackage.haskell.org:http://beta.hackage.haskell.org/

New features

Though our main priority has been feature parity so that we can switch
over, volunteers have contributed several new features, including
better package search, a new site theme, improved security, the ability
to fix package dependencies after a release, changelogs, and a
REST-style interface.

See the beta site for more details on these new features, plus details
of other features that are partially implemented or are in need of

[new features]: http://beta.hackage.haskell.org/new-features

Contributing to the development

The code is on github and we welcome pull requests.

There are open tickets describing existing bugs and features that we
want or that are in need of improvement. Help on any of these would be
greatly appreciated.

There is some developer and user documentation on the github wiki,
including a quick guide to getting your own server instance up and

You can ask questions on the cabal-devel mailing list or on IRC in
the #hackage channel on freenode.

[code]:        https://github.com/haskell/hackage-server
[github wiki]: https://github.com/haskell/hackage-server/wiki
[cabal-devel]: http://www.haskell.org/mailman/listinfo/cabal-devel

Duncan Coutts, Haskell Consultant
Well-Typed LLP, http://www.well-typed.com/

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