[Haskell-cafe] Unmaintained packages and hackage upload rights

Ben Gamari bgamari.foss at gmail.com
Thu Jan 30 16:49:37 UTC 2014

Roman Cheplyaka <roma at ro-che.info> writes:

> In the recent past I took over two unmaintained packages: bert and
> ansi-terminal. I don't mind spending a bit of time to keep our ecosystem
> from bitrotting.
> However, both times I had to go through an irritating procedure of
> contacting hackage admins, asking them to grant me upload rights,
> explaining why the maintainers can't do that themselves and why I think
> the packages are abandoned.
> Instead of a feeling that I'm doing something good and useful, I have
> a feeling that I'm bothering people with my own problems. It also adds
> unnecessary latency to my work.
> So from now on I'll simply fork the packages I need to fix.
> Others are of course welcome to use my forks.
> (This email was prompted by regex-tdfa which doesn't build on GHC 7.8,
> and whose maintainer hasn't responded. My fork is at
> http://hackage.haskell.org/package/regex-tdfa-rc .)
I have also tried to upstream GHC 7.8 fixes to this package to no
avail. However, the maintainer did inform me that the darcs repository
is here[1].

It would be great if someone (it could be me, Roman, or anyone else
interested) would take over the regex-tdfa package itself. While the
forking idea certainly eliminates a lot of effort for the fork-er, it
would be nice if the original point in the namespace were inhabited by
an actively maintained package. I feel like an explosion of forks gives
a not-so-great impression of the Haskell community and makes it even
harder for beginners to find the right packages to depend upon.

Concerning the friction imposed by the package take-over process, I
agree that it is rather onerous. In my opinion the protocol is a bit
too thorough for its own good.


- Ben

[1] http://code.haskell.org/regex-tdfa/

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